Guilt. it’s like a 4 letter word, but it has 5 letters, so it’s worse. Guilt has probably been the darkest looming shadow over me for the past several months. The inner monologue of guilt is never-ending, and it’s actually quite rude. *Shut up inner guilt monologue, ain’t nobody got time for that.*
On any given day or week after a loss my brain sounds something like this:
“What if I didn’t teach Zumba? What if I did more yoga? What if I could just relax more? What if I ate better? What if I didn’t have that iced tea with hibiscus in it? What if I drank too much wine? What if I knew sooner? What if I found out later? What if we started trying sooner? What if I am too fat? What if my intense workout regimen broke me? What if I am broken? What if I can’t do this at all? What if I’m doomed? What if I did something to deserve this?”
My head is never a calm place to be, ever. Unless I’m sleeping, which is why I like sleeping so much. And then there is residual guilt because of everything that is affected by your physical and mental reactions to what is happening.
So then I have the “who am I letting down” narrative that flows through my head for work, friends, family, hub, students. I had to step down from advising Alternative Break because it was going to line up with my IVF cycle, turns out due to the latest and greatest in the pregnancy woes, I had to push that back. But, still. I had to miss teaching dance and fitness classes for a few weeks. Have you ever had to tell 14 5 year olds you can’t teach today but you’re there to watch? Well, it goes something like this:
Class, I have a boo boo so I can’t teach today, but I am here to watch and give you tips!
Why? What happened? What’s hurt? Is it your leg?
Yup, it’s my leg.
How did you hurt your leg?
Isn’t this your work?
Yeah, but I also have other jobs.
When your real answer is “I’m actually desperately trying to have an adorable and annoying 5 year old like you eventually, but instead I have an embryo growing inside my ovary and it’s really dangerous so I can’t do any physical activity so it doesn’t rupture. But just practice your dance to Getting Jiggy Wit It, please.” LOL
Anyway, you can see if you read the article from my first post that guilt is the feeling most people dealing with miscarriage are dealing with; a lot having to do with the fact that most people think it is within your control when it truly isn’t. Not saying there aren’t any steps you can take to help. But, there are plenty of the most relaxed, healthy people who have struggles conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy. And there are lots of people who don’t live the healthiest lifestyles who are lucky enough to have a healthy pregnancy. Soooo many more pregnancies end in miscarriage than most of us realize.
So, when people say things like if you just relax and stop trying, or have you tried this magical concoction or any of those things, they don’t make you feel better. They just make you think of another thing you are doing wrong or could have done to prevent it. And from personal experience, the last thing I need is someone telling me something I could have or should do…because trust me. I’ve already told myself that.
My biggest hurdle has been to release guilt, to realize there is nothing I could have done to prevent this, and to be able to move on and to continue to have hope. Because that is something that I can actually control.
5 thoughts on “G.U.I.L.T.”
My NACA friend,
I hear every word. Lived it for many years. Understand. It is hard. I won’t mislead you. It will always be on your mind. It was everything. My one piece of advice… don’t stop enjoying all the other things in your life as you go through this. I got in a funk and it was hard. My story: married at 32; first child at 39; twins at 41. I am an old mom, and i am okay with that. Hugs to you and your sweet Kenny from SC.
Thanks Dawn! I love hearing others’ success stories. ❤
Colleen I’m so so sorry to hear about your journey. I had no idea. You are so courageous for putting your stories out there and I do hope it is a therapy that is truly healing for you and for others. We were so fortunate to never have had to suffer through any miscarriages, but the road to that effing plus sign took well over a year to show up – a few weeks before we were due to see a specialist. With a close friend’s early pregnancy loss looming in my mind and spirit from a couple months earlier and a bunch of irregular tests and ultrasounds, I didn’t feel like she was a sure thing and that I could truly start to get excited until maybe month 6/7. The FB announcement went out in month 9. It’s such craziness and was such a rough journey – not what you think of when you think of the first time you’re expecting. I have had four close girlfriends now who have had to suffer through IVF and so much time just hoping and getting let down. One of our close friends told me he just started to pray every night and right before they got their positive result, he just wished with everything he had…it ended up coming true. It sounds cheesy, but that is what I did. I let go of the guilt – all of the shoulda coulda wouldas and that month just gave in to positivity and the most hope I could bear. Simone was conceived. It’s no where near easy, but the thing I want you to hold on to is twofold – 1. Each of those aforementioned girlfriends did get pregnant and have gone on to have successful, wonderful pregnancies, and 2. You are always stronger than you think. Just don’t quit….. look at what you have already endured. I’m sure you and Kenny are stronger than ever and that you are already amazed by how many fucking times you’ve been let down by trying to get pregnant. You are still standing. You are still trying. Keep at it, lady friend. You are not alone!
Thanks MK. If wishing and hoping was all it took I would have tons of kids by now, lol. But I do believe in the power of positive thinking for sure!
Oh my I’m so sorry if it came off like that! Just know that you are so strong and that you will get through this!! Xo