Ancient History

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Almost two weeks ago, I found out I was pregnant.

On Monday, March 24th, the pregnancy began to end at my parents’ home in Grand Junction. I had driven there with the kids earlier in the day and tried to blame what I was seeing and feeling on the effects of travel. But it wasn’t.

Because the pregnancy was relatively new, I thought I’d treat it as an Extra-Fancy Period requiring more than a panty liner and a Flintstone’s vitamin to get through. I told myself that 40 years ago, I would have never known for sure I was pregnant—Just pretend it’s 1968, self, and it won’t hurt so much.

After applying false eyelashes, smoking a pack of unfiltered cigarettes, and fashioning a bra out of hemp with little owl-faces for the cups, I realized it wasn’t going to work as well as I thought. I’m no Cher or Neil Armstrong. Oh, wait, he’s more 1969.

My parents did not know I was pregnant, so it would be pointless to tell them I was miscarrying. I decided unless something alarming happened and I needed medical help, it would be best to not ruin my childrens’ little vacation. So I went to the playground. I went to the mall. I bought a silver Fossil wallet. I went to the restaurant, to the museum, to the ice cream place and all their respective bathrooms. I strolled downtown and snapped pictures and perused the shelves of a toy store. I did a load of laundry in my parents’ washer and dryer.

I cried to my husband on the phone.

On the morning we left, I packed the bags and Beatrix’s swing back into the Suburban. We left one of Tommy’s Crocs and a pacifier behind. Then I drove my children 250 miles home through a snow storm with poor visibility and a Low Washer Fluid warning light blinking on the dash. I bought them Burger King and let them watch Dumbo on the DVD player.

I got us home, safe and sound. And for the solid majority, alive!

This all sounds flippant and cold and stupid. I could add bitter to the mix by describing our family trip to the zoo today.

I searched the faces of the the very few (it seemed) non-pregnant women there and I knew I wasn’t alone. I couldn’t be the only one walking the loops of goose-poopy sidewalks, losing someone.


I wrote the above yesterday. It was a bad day. There are so many greater losses one can endure than an early pregnancy loss. I know that. But it’s my fourth pregnancy loss! Never in a million years did I think I’d be in such a place, with such a history. Why not me, though?

I love God. He loves me. It doesn’t mean life is a laugh riot of sun-soaked potluck picnics. Far from it, actually. There are fires and storms to endure and if I take it to it’s craziest and most far-flung conclusion? I am being made. It hurts to be made. As much as I’d like it if God left me to my own devices, it wouldn’t get me very far because as established above, I do stupid stuff.

It hurts to be changed, again. It hurts when dreams die, when my body fails, when I force myself to pretend, when I force myself to live in a different year, even in my mind. It hurts to compare, it hurts when I have ugly and jealous thoughts, it hurts when it is a beautiful early spring day and I barely notice I am at a zoo.

Here I am. Again.

It’s 2008, and it feels late.


Still avoiding the publish button.

It’s over. Why share all this, after the fact? Because the burdens we carry alone are the heaviest and I wasn’t created to be alone. None of us were. We need each other.

Right now, across the street, the neighbors are loading their things into cars and vans. Their little boy, a second-grader, catches a ride to school with us each morning. Before spring break, he breezily mentioned they were moving on April 1st. It was a surprise to me. There are no moving signs. I wonder if they are in trouble, financially? With the foreclosure crisis in the news every day, it isn’t a ludicrous thought. But I can’t ask them. It seems too private, the move too hasty, and the smiles and waves across the driveway have stopped coming from their side of the street. They are throwing their belongings in vans and cars without bothering to box them first.

It looks lonely over there, something is not right. There is no eye contact. It’s pain, I recognize it. I think I should go over there but they’ve built a wall that is telling us to stay away, don’t intrude, and above all else don’t ask questions. I want to help my neighbors by letting them get away with some pride intact. I don’t judge them. I feel for them from the bottom of my heart.

But I can’t tell them without risk, and that scares me.

God, there is so much pain in the world and the biggest obstacle toward healing is pride. I have none left.

I am weary.

So I am telling you. Now.

58 comments to 1968

  • julianne

    An anonymous internet neighbor here. Even if there are “greater losses” than an early pregnancy loss, or four, that doesn’t make the pain you are feeling any less. I am so sorry. I am praying for you tonight.

  • I’m sorry. I’ve been through it, too, a few times, and it doesn’t get any easier.

    Meredith’s last blog post..One Fork Menus

  • So sorry about this, friend. I am leaving you a loving hug in your comments right now and I hope it helps just a bit. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    randi’s last blog post..just one more day

  • Oh, Mopsy. I… am so sorry. I always wish I had something more creative, more meaningful to say, something that would really prove I’m sorry.

    I’ve got nothing other than I’m sorry. I am. Thanks for sharing your heart here.

    Megan’s last blog post..Surprise, Take 2

  • Oh, Mopsy, I’m so, so sorry. Many (((HUGS))) and prayers.

  • I’m so sorry, my friend. So very sorry.

    Stephanie’s last blog post..Week 201: Spring Broke

  • I’m so sorry.

    Shauna’s last blog post..random stuff for Sunday afternoon

  • I know that my saying I’m sorry doesn’t make it hurt any less… but I sure wish it did. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

    Howdy’s last blog post..A Picture to Ponder…

  • Ann

    My heart goes out to you, Mopsy. I’m so sorry, and I’m praying for you tonight!

    Ann’s last blog post..The View Out My Window

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. I don’t know what else to say. I’m thinking of you and I hope that some of your burden is lifted by sharing your story. I’m glad to be here for you to share it.

    Beth’s last blog post..A Person’s a Person, No Matter How Small

  • Gretchen, I am so sorry. I have no other words, other than I wish you didn’t have to go through this again. Thank you for tearing down your walls and sharing this with us. You have people all across the internet who care for you. One being me.

    Heth’s last blog post..Funny

  • Very poignant post…especially regarding our pride putting up walls against others who care. My prayers go out to you, dear one, and your baby that was almost of this earth but very surely is of Heaven…

    bugzmommy’s last blog post..Where Does the Time Go???

  • This sucks.

    Anonymouse’s last blog blog or not to blog?

  • I’m so sorry. I agree with the first poster — even though there are “greater losses,” that doesn’t diminish yours. I am glad you shared it. II Cor. 1:3-6 comes to mind — I just read part of that passage somewhere else this evening but I can’t remember where. But perhaps the sharing of pain and loss and the accompanying feelings and the foundation of faith through it all ministered to someone else besides raising prayers for you.

    Praying Ps. 119:76 for you tonight: “Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.”

    Barbara H.’s last blog post..Strength for our duties

  • My heart is broken for you, Gretchen. May our great God be near your ache and hold you as you cry.

    Kelly @ Love Well’s last blog post..When The Mouse is a Blessing

  • You’re right–it does hurt to be made, to be stretched, to be changed, to balance, to yearn. It aches, and then you’re stronger, and then something else aches, and then you’re stronger in a new place, but every time it also seems to drain something from you as well . . . when we are made whole, will we then be strong and undrained at once? It’s hard to imagine. But God must have some way of handling his own pain and sorrow that only strengthens, without weakening.

    Inkling’s last blog post..Computations

  • Oh Gretchen, I’m so sorry. Praying that God will comfort you and give your heart peace.

  • Gretchen, I am so sorry. I am so very sorry. I understand all too well…it doesn’t get easier. I’d like to think that someday this stuff will make me more beautiful. But for now it just pisses me off and hurts my heart.

    Andi’s last blog post..A New Week

  • Gretchen, hugging you right now.


    Adventures In Babywearing’s last blog post..From The Tongue To The Lips

  • NTE

    Mopsy – I am so sorry. I am glad that you have your faith, and that that understanding brings you comfort. I do hope that sharing your pain, even with us ‘strangers’ will be comforting as well.

    NTE’s last blog post..Monkeys? Hop on! Ducks? Screw that!

  • {{{HUGS!}}} Thank-you for sharing. Your post is so poignant, and I like the comparison to the neighbors and how so often we hide our pain. How many times do I keep things to myself, with the hope that I will heal or forget more quickly. But it is no doubt my pride getting the best of me.

    “Weep with those who weep…” Sharing in your tears here.

  • Oh, Gretchen. Oh, my friend.

    Aching for and with you.

    Rocks In My Dryer’s last blog post..Six

  • I am so sorry, dear friend. I did not want to read this today, or ever, but I’m glad that you did not keep it to yourself. Sugar coating is for cereal, not for life, and sometimes it Just Plain Sucks.

    Jenni’s last blog post..New Place, Sweet New Face

  • Shayne

    Adding my hugs, Gretchen. I pray that His arms will comfort you and bring you peace. You are right that God has not guaranteed us that life will be burden-free, but I’m sorry you’re having to bear this one.


  • Oh, honey.
    I had the very same thing happen to me back in January – no sooner had I found out that I was unexpectedly pregnant than I suddenly wasn’t – and it was a bitter thing to carry.
    I’m sorry.

    Rebecca’s last blog post..A LOVELY freaking day.

  • Stacey

    I’m so sorry Gretchen. It’s never easy. I pray that God will comfort you and hold you close. ((HUGS))

  • Rachel Chip

    Ooh, I’m so sorry. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m praying for you. I don’t know if you remember me, I miscarried in November. We’re trying unsuccesfully to get pregnant again. I though for sure I was pregnant this time, and then on Friday I found out I wasn’t. I’m having a bad day, but God used your post to remind me that I’m not alone in going through this messy life. THANK YOU so much for writing. I’m sorry, this wasn’t supposed to be about me…I’m so sorry for your pain and I just wanted to let you know that your strength – God’s strength in you – is just amazing.

  • Tracy

    I am so sorry and sad for you Gretchen. You will be in my prayers.

  • Oh, Gretchen. My heart aches for you. I have NO idea what it is like to lose a child. I watched my father waste away and die, and I imagine losing your baby is a million times harder.

    Praying for you right now.

    Heidi’s last blog post..Bad Poetry Monday – 13

  • My heart goes out and breaks for you. It is so hard to experience the pains in life and still move forward, at times. You are a strong woman who has been blessed by your gains, as well as your losses. Having your beautiful children doesn’t make the loss any less painful, but it does make those children that much sweeter. (((HUGS)))

    Dawn’s last blog post..An Adoption Prayer

  • I randomly found your website tonight. I wanted to let you know that a loss is a loss and it cannot be compared to anything else. I experienced a miscarriage myself and was given some valuable information at the time…take time to grieve. I don’t know what you are going through on a personal level but please know that there are others out there who have experienced similar losses. You are not alone.

    Natalie’s last blog post..Mary’s Listening Ears

  • edj

    I’m so sorry to hear this.
    I am encouraged, though, by your conclusions. You did right to share it–we can carry each other’s burdens, and draw strength from each other.
    I’m praying for healing and strength for you.

    edj’s last blog post..What I Have to Put Up With

  • I know all to well exactly how you are feeling. I lost my third daughter in September at 20 weeks.
    When you said it hurts when your body fails … when you never thought you’d be there in a million years. Oh, how I understand your hurt. And how clearly I have come to realize how terribly it hurts to be made, to be conformed to His image.
    I am sorry for your loss.
    Praying for you

  • Jessica

    I’m so sorry! I’m very thankful that you are so open about this sadness. Previous posts of your miscarriage experiences have really helped two of my friends who I sent your way. Specifically the Monster at the End of this Book post. I will pray for you.

  • I’m so sorry…



    owlhaven’s last blog post..Outback Steakhouse ?freebies?

  • The part about the pain of being made really resonates with me. I’ve struggled for a long time to release the mindset that God owes me protection and safety and some measure of happiness because I love Him – and that the suffering that is hurting me, and shaping me, is purposefully placed in my life. I’ll be praying for you and your family – that God would bring His supernatural peace that can make us feel full, even when we are empty.

    Jess’s last blog post..Say What??

  • Sending you a hug across the internet. The writing was beautiful and moving.

    noble pig’s last blog post..A Day in Dundee Hills

  • I’m so sorry. I wish it weren’t so.

  • I’m so sorry. Thanks for sharing your heart and mind. It is good to share, burdens and joys. It makes friendships real, even if they are over the internet fence.

    Kiki@Seagulls in the Parking Lot’s last blog post..Helping

  • Oh my friend, Gretchen. I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for being transparent and real with us. Many hugs and prayers your way.

    Megan@SortaCrunchy’s last blog post..A Word of Caution on Getting “Caught Up” on Vaccines

  • Oh Gretchen dear. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. And your first commenter is right. Just because there are greater losses in this world, tha tdoesn’t make your loss any less. Hugs and prayers.

    Goslyn’s last blog post..Burned Out

  • Heather

    I am also an internet “friend”. I am so, so sorry. I have been there. I have felt the ache and I also know how it feels to see life go on as if nothing is happening. I will pray for you.

  • Yup, know what that feels like, Gretchen. I don’t know that the 4th time would be any easier than the first.

    Hugs to you, dear friend.

    Rach’s last blog post..Ways I am cheap.

  • Jenn

    Oh Gretchen, I’m so sorry. There are truly no words that I can possibly offer to you right now. I can only offer all of the hugs you can possibly handle. I’m here if you want to talk or if you need an IRL hug. Love you.

  • (((hugs))) Gretchen, I am so sorry. It only happened once to me; I would think the fourth time would be worse, not easier. Stay close to your family and friends, and thank you for trusting us all to share with us. more ((hugs))

    Gretchen (the other other one!)’s last blog post..Signs of Spring

  • I’m so sorry, Gretchen. I was thinking about you up in the mountains, I’m sorry it wasn’t a fun and easy trip.

    Alice H’s last blog post..Won’t the cars fall through those holes?

  • {{ Oh Gretchen }} I am so, so sorry. My heart just breaks for you, my dear friend.

    You continue to amaze me with your courage and your openness. You are incredible!

    Robin’s last blog post..Misc. photos

  • I was at the zoo last week, with my kids and my cousin and her kids. I wonder if you saw me, one of the non-pregnant.
    You wouldn’t know from looking how much we have in common.
    So sorry for your loss.

    Kira’s last blog post..The love of my life…AND death

  • Jill

    I am a friend of Mandi Calame’s. Saw a link to your blog on her site. I live in GJ! And, I’ve experienced miscarriage also. I’m so sorry for your loss. I think that you are right that our pride gets in the way of our healing. It gets in the way of our coming to God with our “cares” or “anxieties”–and He cares for us!!

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