I was hoping that next time I wrote anything about miscarriages, I would be holding a sweet little baby in my arms and could whisper messages of hope to all of those experiencing hardships, “Keep at it. You’ll get there”, “See, miracles happen”, “Keep believing.”
Ok, so I still believe all of these things, but unfortunately I’m not writing to you with a baby sleeping on my lap (yet!). This post is not just about miscarriage, but I have realized something during my miscarriages that I would like to share.
On the weekend, I had another one. Yep, number four. I felt somewhat numbed by it. Really, universe? Again? I had just come back from four months in Australia where I had been undergoing IVF to get a PGD embryo (a fancy way of saying a healthy embryo) so that we could reduce the biggest miscarriage risk which comes from conceiving an abnormal embryo. We tried transferring two healthy embryos on two different months… nothing…
I flew back to Seattle, my heart aching for home and my husband, and one week later, bang! Of course, we were pregnant again! Well, you know how that story ends, but I found myself thinking, Why? Why is it so easy for everyone else? Why is so hard for me?
Now most of you may have never experienced a miscarriage (thank god) but I’m pretty sure that hasn’t inoculated you from asking the question, “Why? Why me?” about some aspect of your life.
Perhaps you still haven’t found the love of your life. You’re sitting at home alone with a beer and a pizza scrolling through photos on Facebook of drunk bachelorette parties, beautiful weddings and honeymoons in paradise, and you ask yourself, “Why? Why is it so easy for them? Why is it so hard for me?”
Perhaps you have been on a diet for three years straight. All you want is to take a big fat bite into a donut, but you know that three minutes later you will be ten pounds heavier, yet those skinny bitches around you are eating McDonalds for breakfast and still have a bloody thigh gap, and you ask yourself, “Why? Why is it so easy for them? Why is it so hard for me?”
Or maybe your best friend has arranged a girls trip to Mexico, which you desperately want to go on, and which everyone else has signed up for without batting an eye lid. But you know that rounding up the cash to go on that trip means steamed rice for dinner for at least two months after, and you ask yourself, “Why? Why is it so easy for them? Why is it so hard for me?
The moral of the story is that everyone has a “why?”
Pregnancy loss is my “why?” Pregnancy loss is the experience that makes me wonder why things seem so easy for others and so difficult for me.
But you know what? There are countless things in my life which are not a “why?” but instead a “how?” – a “How did I get so lucky?”
It’s so easy for us to think of the things that others have and we don’t, and social media makes it almost impossible to avoid. But it is also important to remember that everyone has their own challenges, everyone has their own “why me?” But everyone also has their own “How did I get so lucky?” So I want to finish this piece by challenging everyone to do three things this week:
1) Be compassionate. That person honking their horn on the freeway, or giving you an evil eye at the coffee shop does not actually hate you, nor are they trying to piss you off. They are just dealing with their own “why me?”
2) When you have a moment of “why me?” (which we all do) try and shift your mindset. Notice the things that you are lucky to have, the things that are likely somebody else’s “why me?” The things that make you ask yourself “How did I get so lucky?”
3) Be real. We don’t have to pretend that life is all sunshine and lollypops. When we are real with people, we give them permission to be real with us. We let them in and help them realize that they are not alone in their “why me.”
I know that it’s not always easy to do these things. In fact, sometimes I’m the one honking on the freeway or lashing out at a loved one because I’m having a moment of “why me?” (yesterday was a case in point). And when we’re feeling that way, it becomes even harder to be compassionate toward others – but it is also when it is most important. It is the periods of difficulty and uncertainty that we must do our best to remember that we are not alone in this; that everyone has their own journey and its challenges, and that the highlight reel that you see on social media is a very distorted reflection of peoples real lives. Have a deep conversation with anyone you know and ask them what they’re going through. I bet you will find it doesn’t look anything like the cocktail on the beach that they posted yesterday! In my own experience, one of the greatest sources of healing has come from transparency. Be real. Talk to the people you love. I think you’ll realize that you’re not alone; that you are surrounded by care and support, and you may even stop to ask yourself: “How did I get so lucky?”
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