Nine years ago today I had an experience that would change me forever. Just a few weeks before, I was very abruptly told during an ultrasound that the unthinkable was inevitably going to happen to me. “It happens to one in four women, here’s a tissue", by an extremely unkind and cold nurse, who clearly lacked empathy for that kind of news in that moment. I had never personally known any woman before me who openly discussed her own heartbreak experience. Not even ten years ago, we all suffered mostly in silence about the painful loss and grief of having a miscarriage. The shock of being casually told the unfortunate news that I was having a miscarriage (as if she were my waitress at Applebee’s and they were out of nachos for the night, “Sorry about that, you’re not having nachos or a baby”), made it hard to accept this news. I went for a second opinion. It was confirmed, but my heart couldn’t let go, so my doctor agreed to let me hold off until November 1st for any surgery to remove what was supposed to be my first baby. I prayed for closure, for something to happen naturally in my body to make it clear that this was not my time for motherhood. And the night before I was scheduled for my dnc, it happened. Halloween night. In an emergency room. Losing my hope for this tiny life that had held so much promise and potential. All these years later and I have grown—I’m not anywhere close to the same as that timid, hopeless woman who left the emergency room that Halloween night. This loss, it was personal. And it taught me empathy for every woman out there who has been brave enough to share about her loss and her struggle to come to terms with it. I learned to love through the grief, to sit with the pain, and to lean on God to help me make sense of it all. I found a little bit more of my purpose during my emergency room visit that Halloween night: that I am not the one in control, and that this moment of my life could propel me into greater love and understanding if I only said yes to the pain.
The lesson lives beyond that night. Life can be lovely and beautiful and utterly shitty and heartbreaking all at the same time. The joy comes in finding the love that surrounds you and lives inside of you no matter the weather.
Tonight I’ll take my two kiddos out with their friends to beg for candy from neighbors. We will laugh as we fill our bellies with too much candy and stay up way past bedtime. And I will hold these bittersweet feelings of creating wonderful new memories with the ones that hold so much pain and sadness from the past; aiming to fully embrace that in all things, life is both high and low simultaneously. And no matter what, you are fine and good.