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

  • I am so sorry!

    Jeana’s last blog post..Saturday. What A Day.

  • shannon

    Thank you for sharing this even though it was hard.
    I am reading your posts and the comments left and feeling a little less alone and a little more okay.
    I am praying for you, Gretchen.

  • laura

    i have never had a miscarriage. i’ve never been pregnant. i will never be pregnant – at 39 and not married and not with anyone at present, that dream is one that i have had to lay to rest over and over and over. Your post made me cry for your loss and for what i will never, ever experience.

  • i’m so sorry. i never thought i’d be the person hoping for a pregnancy after a miscarriage that never happens. i never thought i’d feel so discouraged every time my period starts. sometimes i too think, why me, and like you immediately think, why not?

    chickadee’s last blog post..A Little Quiet Play?

  • Thank you for the comment you left on my blog. I’m sorry that you are going through the same pain that I am. It’s really, really hard. Reading your thoughts made me feel less alone. Praying for you.

  • I am so sorry–hugs to you and your family. You write beautifully and I am happy you just left a comment on my blog because yours was one of the blogs I lost in my lay off. But I’ve got you back now!
    Know that we are all thinking of you.

    Susannah’s last blog post..IHOP: Leave Happy

  • I’m so sorry. My heart goes out to you. My heart feels heavy for you.

    Melany’s last blog post..Just the same

  • Bless your heart. I’ve been there myself three times and it sucks.

    I think you are doing a very positive thing by sharing your losses. When I started having my miscarriages in 2002, it seemed like I was all alone and no one that had ever experienced this sort of loss wanted to talk about it. People didn’t know what to say, and treated me differently. Or tried to make me feel like I was making a big deal out of nothing. I felt so isolated and alone.

    Your journey shows others in similar situations that you have a right to feel whatever you are feeling and that, while you can be in intense emotional pain, you can still go on with your life and handle a crappy situation with class, grace, and an abiding sense of spirituality. You can even feel joy in your other children…without “disrespecting” those you have lost.

    I commend you!

    Jamie W.’s last blog post..No more “Baby LaLa”

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