Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The loss season


For the longest time, I didn't think all that much about miscarrying. I mean, I thought about it all the time at first, obviously, but before too long it sort of faded into the background. Such are the benefits of already having a child to take care of; Nate takes up most of my energy, anyway, so there wasn't a lot of time to dwell on what we'd lost. (I shudder to think of the state I'd have been in if I'd lost my first baby, after waiting so long for him.)

Fall, though, as much as I love it, always seems to bring me a hearty dose of melancholy, and this year it's got an extra helping of wistfulness in tow. All of a sudden my friends who got found out they were expecting this spring, right around the time I did, are hugely pregnant and approaching their due dates. I still associate September due dates with my expectation that Nate would be born around September 22nd. October dates, too, make me think back to Nate's birth, since he stubbornly hung out in my womb long enough to flip the calendar page. It's November that's giving me pause.

By my calculations, the baby we lost would have been due on Thanksgiving day. When I initially calculated it, the timing seemed perfect--a day to thank God for all He's given us, and in particular this latest little blessing. When I miscarried in early April, I didn't think about the fall. I just needed to get through the pain of the now at that point, and some ever-hopeful and obviously naive part of myself thought it was entirely possible that I'd be pregnant again by my due date. (To be honest, that part of me is still hopping around inside, fingers crossed and eyes shining. My jaded side wants to kick her and have a margarita. Or three.)

It's officially fall, though, and as the magazines and catalogs and cooking blogs gear up with an onslaught of lovely autumnal decor and harvest-time food, my thoughts keep turning to what we should have been expecting this season.

I worry that it will color the rest of the year, which isn't fair to Nate, to David, or to myself. It isn't fair to my brother-in-law and his lovely wife, who are expecting their first, long-awaited child next month. (And honestly, my excitement over their baby is actually helping right now. Between shower-throwing and advice-giving and equipment-lending, it's like I still have a baby project, sans heartburn, backaches, and the immediate promise of sleep deprivation.) I'm praying the cure to my funk will come, at least in part, from planning plenty of activities to celebrate what really is my favorite season. There's an arts festival to attend, an anniversary and a birthday to celebrate (our sixth; Nate's second), a Halloween costume to plan, a girls' weekend to relish, a farm to visit, and probably a dozen other fall-centric activities I'm dying to drag Nate to this year. There'll soon be a tiny niece to snuggle and coo over. We'll be fine. But still.

My mother asked us to come down to Georgia for Thanksgiving, but I can't deal with the idea of spending my due date in the same place where we discovered my miscarriage. Not at all. Better to have my own Thanksgiving feast to focus on, at home, where I can make sure I'll be too busy with table setting and turkey roasting and potato mashing, hopefully, to dwell too much.

And, I promise, I'll still look around my table and smile with gratitude, even if there are tears in my eyes.

{Image credit: thealwaysgentleman.tumblr.com via Diana on Pinterest.}

12 comments:

PrinceOfTheWest said...

Praying for you both daily, dear girl. The Lord's arm is not too short.

Tracy said...

Last week, I was writing a check and as I wrote the date, it gave me a moment's pause. oh, yes, I remembered... this was the day my first baby was due, that first pregnancy that ended so early.

That was 20 years ago. The first year was the hardest - the whole I should be having a baby now - and then the next year of I should have a this-many weeks baby now. I would pause and pray, cry sometimes, and move on. It got easier, but I still remember.

I will be praying for you through this season. That you will find time to mourn - and laugh. That you will be blessed with more joy, both with Nate and hopefully another child to come. And that you will continue to have the grace you show here, and be able to keep feeling gratitude.

Kristen @ St Monica's Bridge said...

After long battles with infertility, my first two pregnancies ended in losses. The second one was especially difficult because I had thought for sure God would allow us a baby this time and the baby was due December 23rd. But just two days after seeing the positive pregnancy test, it was over. All over. That Christmas was one of the most difficult Holidays I have ever endured. I was thankful, but felt incomplete. My heart goes out to you. And my prayers as well. You are right, you do have much to be thankful for, but it is okay to mourn what might have been. (visiting from Arwen's blog)

Maureen said...

Thanks for sharing and being so open. We still think often of your loss, and pray for another blessing to come.

Elizabeth said...

I think about you all the time, and I cried when I read this. Even though I know it's not about me. You and I have a bottle of wine reserved with our name on it at the Blathering - I can't wait to talk over old times. :)

Dr. Maureen said...

Oh, Lauren. I will say some prayers for you and David that you will have grace and comfort this fall.

Lisa said...

So hard. I understand. Prayers.

Jessica said...

I've been thinking of you a lot since I read this a couple days ago, but I just don't know what to say. I'll keep thinking about you guys and praying for you.

Anonymous said...

I am praying for you. I have three children but I often think of the three that I lost. You will always remember. And it is ok to remember and to feel sad. Let those who love you carry you through this.

Elizabeth said...

We're now more than two years out from our first loss, and it's still so hard to think about. I'm glad you're giving yourself time and space to grieve in your own way this holiday season. It's so important for you to honor yourself and what you've been through.

LE Bean said...

Thanks for putting this out there. It helps to hear that other people feel the same, that it's not just crazy thoughts in my own head. I miscarried early April too, about a week after one of my best friends did. Fall is my favorite season, but this year will be hard. Anyway, not to take away from your feelings, but I just wanted to say thanks. I haven't been brave enough to really talk about it yet, but reading this helped a lot.

Praying for you & your heart too.

k said...

I am a new reader, but I can--to a certain extent as this is such a personal loss--understand what you are going through.

I hope that God is able to give your soul a sense of rest and peace on the especially hard days.