Thursday, July 22, 2010

What it's like to be thrown for a loop



When a person has a baby, there's so much happiness, hoopla, congratulations, attention, meals and support to the new mom who needs to rest and heal and take care of her new little one. When someone has a miscarriage, the mother goes through the same physical ordeal of pregnancy, labor and delivery, but there's no greeting of new life at the end of it. There's no congratulations or excitement, and often times, there's no acknowledgment at all.

I had so many people who supported me through encouraging notes and letters, and my family was there. Really there. But overall, the time period after losing a baby is lonely. It's lonely because your baby isn't there. It's lonely because no one else feels the love that the mother-to-be has already developed for her unborn child. It's lonely because people don't like to talk about it. And because people who don't know what to say, sometimes don't say anything at all, maybe because they don't want to say something that makes it worse, or maybe because they truly can't grasp the pain and hope it all blows over...

Love. Even in minute amounts it's powerful. So powerful even, that God is called Love. I think if my baby were allowed to live and grow, my love for him would grow with each passing day. But love doesn't grow gradually from nothing. When it comes into being at the first thought of a child that's ours, it's not a small and paltry thing that eventually grows to something so strong that it hurts. When love is born, it contains all that it ever will be. And it already has the power to heal and to hurt. Even at 14 weeks, when my baby was supposed to already have fingers and toes, a face, organs, reflexes and even fingernails, my love for him was there; real, palpable, powerful and growing.

People handle their grief in different ways, and many times, the way others would handle their grief (or suppress it) gets translated to those who are grieving as the way it should be done. The idea bounces around that since it happened early, it should be easy to move on. Or because it happened, it means it should have happened that way, so get over it. And sometimes a person who is grieving can't help but think some of those thoughts themselves and then get angry because it should be easy but it's not.

Since I didn't know how to publicly handle my grief, and I needed to grieve my love lost, I took a hiatus from this blog. Since then I've wrestled with God and had Him engage me in the most loving ways. I've rested, re-focused, and bonded with my family. Oh, my gorgeous family. What blessings I have - even Enoch, who, I'm convinced will meet his family one day.

And so, I'm back. It's a new beginning.
























12 comments:

Emily said...

Oh Amanda, this made me cry. I am still pretty far away from this stage in my life (or at least I hope I am) but my littlest seeds of oncoming maternal feeling were utterly shaken. I am so, so, sorry for your and your families' loss.

I honestly don't think you ever get over these things and you shouldn't be expected to. Our relationship with the person and the loss will change over time but never leaves us. And that is ok.

Welcome back.

Lois and Jon said...

Loss of any kind is difficult for me to comprehend. I hope it gets more bearable as time goes by. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Carrie, The Modern Housewife said...

I'm so sorry Amanda. I had no idea. As you know, I've been there too.

I am glad you are blogging though. I haven't checked in a while because i thought you quite a while back.

MisCdaisy said...

Amanda, you have so beautifully explained what I am sure a lot of women have experienced, including myself (lost one at 5 weeks in 1996 and 9 1/2 weeks in 1997), when they loose a baby. I know I could have never been able to put that into words! You amaze me so!!! You have carried yourself so well and God has definitely used you in ways you may never see! I know you have encouraged me! ...and I appreciate it so much! Blessings my sweet friend!

<3 Melissa

MisCdaisy said...

oh yeah... welcome back!!!

YEA!

<3 Melissa

Michael and Jana said...

So sorry, Amanda. It is such a difficult loss.

I'm glad you're back!

Amanda Conley said...

Thanks, everyone, for all your sweet comments. I'm glad to be back.

Becoming Jane said...

What a courageous and lovely blog. I am so sorry for your loss. However I understand the importance of the individual grieving process. It can be a very lonely journey. It is nice to hear your voice again.

Courtney said...

I'm glad you're back. And I understand many of the things you're describing. I'm sorry for anything that anyone has said to make you feel like you should be on some timeline.
Even though I haven't been e-mailing you about things as much please know that I think about you and your sweet family, especially Enoch, often. It's been almost six years since we lost our Elle and I'm still not "over" it. Things are easier now but I still miss her all the time.
Anyway, don't mean to ramble, but if you ever, ever want to talk about Enoch or how you feel, I really would like to.
Thank you God for 14 weeks of Enoch's life on earth, for Amanda's mothering of him, for his place in the Conley family, and thank you that you save us and give us hope.

The Musician said...

So glad you are back. I entered radio silence too for my lost little one. I had the wonderful support and meals from friends, but no one could give me back my little one. Glad to see you back, with some peace in your heart for your little one.

Janet Brown said...

I am a stranger to you, but not to the having a partial understanding of what you are going through. My lovely daughter lost her son, Ryan, at 14 weeks to anencephaly. While we as family rarely speak of his loss, I know my daugher remembers him every day. Bless you for sharing your feelings in such an eloquent way. I wish I had stumbled on your blog three years ago as I am sure it would have provided some comfort to us all as we were going through a difficult time.

CaseyWiegand said...

WOW THIS IS BEAUTIFUL