Ancient History

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What If?

I was reading posts on a message board dedictated to women due in February 2006 when one caught my attention. A woman expecting her first baby wrote about being obsessed with miscarrying. She said it is all she thinks about and she can’t sleep at night. Her worst nightmare is to have a missed miscarriage—when the baby dies but for some reason the body doesn’t get the message for sometimes weeks. That is the kind of miscarriage I had.

I began to think of responses to write to her that could help her feel better. I thought about telling her to calm down because it won’t happen to her. But it might, I thought. So my focus shifted from telling her to chill (in a nice, sympathetic way) to telling her if her worst nightmare comes true, she will survive.

There will be times when you physically ache from the emotional pain. There will be anger, tears, upheaval, disappointment, blame, guilt, and a lot of sorrow. But you will live through it. You will smile again, laugh again, and dream of the future again. You might even try again. You will carry it forever, but won’t necessarily buckle under its weight. Sometimes, if the winds are pushing you along, you barely feel it.

Of course, I have only been through it once. Ladies who have been through it multiple times must bear more scars and feel differently. I have no idea and can only speak about my circumstances.

In the end, I didn’t reply at all. Hearing she will survive her worst nightmare is not what she wants to hear. She wants to hear that she is immune to losing her baby and there is no way it will happen to her. That is what we all want to believe.

I still want to believe it too. I laugh. I shake my head. That luxury is gone, but in its place are the priceless experiences of survival, learning how resilient I am, and the deepening of my faith.

What if? I fully expect to have mascara coming out of my nose from waterfalls of tears. I expect to feel the ache in the southwestern corner of my heart. I expect the lump in my throat to harden into a rock, to lay awake, to do a little fist-shaking, to have some choice words for whomever will listen, to have rapid-fire conversations with God until he reminds me to be still.

I fully expect to survive.

4 comments to What If?

  • moms_s_t

    Wounds heal, scars leave a mark, the heart survives again and again and again . . . with an inner strength to continue never to give up.

  • Great post. Cool idea to have board for moms due in same month. Use your gift of words to speak hope & truth in them whenever possible.

  • mopsy

    moms_s_t…I thought of you while writing this, too. You are an example of head-held-high in the midst of pain.

    Lexie…I’ve tried to do that in the past. I am hesitating this time because I am unsure of what to say under my new set of life circumstances. Be encouraging? Be realistic? Be a straight-shooter, a soother, a yes-woman, a get-a-grip-woman? All of the above? Plus, there is the added thing of expecting my sixth baby, which is such an oddity on those boards and immediately makes me a weirdo.

    These sound like excuses.

  • I try and not think about it, knowing if anything happens, I will get through it just as I did before. The thought creeps in though. It sure does change everything. As you said, “that luxury is gone”.

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