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.