TTC Series: Our {grief} process…

Let me start with saying that our trying to conceive journey was hard. At times I thought it was unbearable. I published our story, now a couple years later, because I was more ready. I say more because even now it takes my breath away when I hit the “publish” button. Some might wonder why share in this forum, others may wonder why “re-live” it all. The truth is that more and more women are being open about their struggles and need to hear the stories of other women and their families who have traveled similar paths or paths that resemble the emotional roller coaster that is their TTC path.

The other concern I had was that this blog is meant to be a place of inspiration. I didn’t want this series to overshadow my goal. However, I realized that those trying to have babies or going through loss might need a bit of encouragement, dare I say inspiration, to keep trying or to place their journey in God’s hands. The more I published the more I knew that this was an inspired series and that many have needed it.

As I return to more traditional posts for this blog I will occasionally reflect on this series. It is part of who I am and who my family is. I don’t shy away from referencing our first little one or my first pregnancy. I had started a “belly book” and that is tucked away somewhere too. There are things that will never be the same for me.  I look forward to someday being reunited with the little spirit we affectionally called Baby Jacobson.

There have been other questions and if you have one for me please feel free to contact me personally or post in a comment. Please keep in mind that the trying to conceive journey is one shared by many women but is very personal and individual for each. The paths are really nothing a like, even though they often get lumped into the same category.

I wanted to share a little bit about my healing process. It has been a process and not one that was complete when I found (just a month later) that we were expecting again. It was the strangest feeling to have your pregnancy backdated to a miscarriage. People were constantly commenting, from very early – like 13 weeks, that I was “very big” or “huge” and could I be further along then I thought. Of course the wound was still raw but I would assure them that I knew when I had gotten pregnant. Many looked at me in disbelief but I didn’t have the heart nor was I ready to explain that I had lost a baby and that miscarriage date was the first day of this pregnancy. It seemed a bit unbelievable, even to me.

I also found myself a bit ashamed because I found myself grieving amidst our pure joy. Grieving for our lost little one and rejoicing for the one that was to come. For me I had to do both simultaneously. I do believe that “The Hardest Week” was something that the Lord used in my heart and mind. I seemed to deal with a lot of compounded grief that week that might have otherwise been death with after a miscarriage. This script ran through my mind that “I didn’t want this story.” All week long I barely (and not always) kept tears at bay. I needed Benjamin, my Mom, sister, Dad, and a few close friends to hold me up. And hold me up they did. After finding out about Cashel’s pregnancy I still needed time to process but how I did that was not a traditional way. Is there a “normal” way to deal with grief. If I’ve learned anything it is that there is NOT! I threw myself into reading a book by Angie Smith called I Will Carry You . It is an incredible story of a family dealing with a pregnancy and the life of their fourth daughter who they knew would not be able to live after birth. It was a very unusual read for a woman in her first trimester, most would have been reading “What to Expect When You are Expecting” not a book about loss, and truthfully many shouldn’t read it. However, I needed it. While rejoicing I was also able to process, grieve and mourn the loss of our first.

Finding out about our second pregnancy was absolutely surreal and I will write about how I found out and then how we shared with our loved ones. It was so absolutely exciting and yet terrifying. Once you have gone through a loss you know it can happen to you and it’s something you have in your mind. You are not blissfully naive. There can be fear. Also with my second pregnancy my doctor encouraged/required a reduction in stress, a huge one. I quit my job at just 10 weeks pregnant and worked from home on a limited schedule. My whole life changed and a new chapter began.

Please know that grief is personal and loss is horrific for everyone but there is hope, there is more. The process looks different for everyone. Some grieve more openly or more intensely, others more personally or internally; but loss is loss and grief is unpredictable. There are days (like Baby Jacobson’s due date or milestones that Cashel now hits that make me miss those moments with our first) and I grieve. I can’t tell you when or how your grief will subside, but joy comes with the morning. For us we didn’t know how we would become parents, when, or in what way. We were ready for whatever God had for us, and still are. We have learned that the best way to live is to rest our lives, and our children’s lives in His hands.

Stay tuned for the story of finding out about Cashel and sharing the news. For a sneak peak check our announcement video “Sharing Our Good Fortune With You” which is how we told the public at about 15 weeks.

Below is a video by Selah called “I Will Carry You” and it is a beautiful and heart wrenching tribute to the loss faced by Angie Smith and her family. Even the juxtaposition of these two videos gives you a glimpse into my heart and struggle in those early days of my second pregnancy.

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