2014: Hope

As a followup to my last post, I want to talk about my One Word for 2014: Hope. As I mentioned previously, this is going to be quite a bit more personal than last year’s word was, and probably emotional, at least for me.

Why Hope?

After more than ten years of marriage, several of which had been spent believing that it just wasn’t possible without serious medical intervention, I ended up discovering on September 30, that I was pregnant.

It was shocking. I cried.

I felt a lot of different things over the weeks that followed. I was mostly just surprised, but there was a bit of fear, a lot of uncertainty, some days of pure ambivalence and moments of sheer dislike (for the various “joys” of being pregnant more than anything else). But most of all, I was really happy about the pregnancy. I grew up thinking occasionally about what it would be like some day to have children. Children were always in the plan until it seemed like they weren’t. To have that plan suddenly revitalized and dropped in my lap was overwhelming, in both good and bad ways.

The most difficult thing for the first several weeks was not talking about it. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. Except I didn’t, because that first trimester can be so chancy.

So I kept my mouth shut, except for with a few people. And I didn’t tell anyone except for those people about all the other things that suddenly became huge considerations. Like that we were going to sell my new car and the house because otherwise, once I wasn’t earning my income, we were going to eventually end up in a financial hole.

Long story short, I kept a lid on things and finally endured enough days and weeks to go to my first midwife appointment. Going in, I had a premonition that there wouldn’t be a heartbeat and I’m glad I did, because I think that lessened the shock of discovering that, in fact, my baby had no heartbeat and a miscarriage was imminent.

Three days later, I did miscarry. I would have been 12 weeks had the pregnancy remained viable.

After the numbness passed, there was more tears and more mixed emotions, but mostly there was grief. There still is. I don’t believe this is something I’ll ever really full get over.

At and I would talk about various things in the days that followed. Did we want to try again? Did we want to try try or just not prevent? Was he okay? Was I okay? Talking about my pregnancy in the past tense was surprisingly difficult and I eventually got fed up with referring to the baby as an “it.” So I told At I believed he had been a boy but that I still wanted to name him Hope, because whatever, it wasn’t like anyone would pick on him at school. At countered with his belief that she had been a girl, and he thought Hope was fine name in any event because that’s what she had brought us.

So we named our baby Hope. And hope is my One Word for 2014, because, for as difficult and terrible as it was for me to miscarry, I don’t regret that any of it happened. I learned a lot about myself along the way, and I think I have grown as a person as a result. I also feel that my marriage is stronger now than it was before. There was plenty of good mixed in with the bad.

As I greet 2014, I want to do so with hope in my heart and a reminder that I get to choose to be thankful, or to look on the bright side. I get to choose to change my life if I want. I get to choose to try again.

And I get to choose to talk about the whole experience now and how it has impacted me. I honestly feel a bit like a fraud saying things like, “When I was pregnant,” even to At, just as a frame of reference for the time I’m talking about. But just because I didn’t tell many people about my pregnancy when it was happening doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen and didn’t change me profoundly.

I want to let it continue to change me. I’ve never been an optimistic person before, but given all the circumstances of the past few months, I really want to learn to allow myself to always hope for better days.

Do you have a One Word for 2014? What is it?

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17 Responses to 2014: Hope

    • Alas says:

      Thanks for all the kind words and thoughts you have sent my way, Elfi. I know I’ve been less than communicative, but it does mean a lot to have the support.

  1. Grimmtooth says:

    My mother miscarried when I was around 10. Being 10, I was shielded from the emotional happenings associated with that event, but my parents did sit me and my sister down and explain things. We had a baby brother but he wasn’t going to join us in this world. I spent some time musing on that.

    The next year brought us my youngest sister. She is in every way a gift to us and the world. “David” may have been an excellent brother. But I can’t imagine a world where my little sister didn’t exist. It would be so much smaller and dimmer.

    Sometimes things work out in the strangest ways. I have faith that they will for you and At as well.

    All the hugs.

    • Alas says:

      Thanks so much for this comment, Grimm. It certainly adds another way to look at the situation positively, and since I am so naturally not-positive, I need all the help I can get!

      I really am hopeful for another chance at this, and a chance that ends in parenthood this time! And I have Hope to thank for that feeling. :)

  2. Stormy says:

    Hugs, friend.

  3. Yngwe says:

    Thanks for sharing Alas. It could not have been an easy thing to do.

    When my daughter was only a month old, she spent a long weekend in the ICU. There was a time when it looked like she might not make it. It was an incredibly emotionally trying experience for my wife and me. It also affected our relationship in ways neither of us fully appreciated until years later.

    Not that you are looking for advice, but mine is this: keep the lines of communication between you and At fully open. It is hard enough to appreciate the effects that such trauma have on yourself, much less your spouse.

    • Alas says:

      Thanks for listening. I know it’s not the most cheerful of topics.

      And I will always welcome advice from a friend, whether I have gone looking for it or not. In fact, I was a bit surprised at At’s reaction to this post. I hadn’t shared it with him before posting (just generally what it was about and that I wanted to post it), so he didn’t end up seeing it until last night. His reading this gave us another place to connect and to share our mingled grief. I suspect we’ll keep finding odd moments like that. I hope we do. Although I know I’m not alone in my feelings, that doesn’t lessen the fact that sometimes it really does feel lonely.

      And very belatedly, I am glad that your daughter’s outcome was positive. She looks like such a bright and happy child from what I’ve seen, and the love in your family is obvious. I’m glad you have that to hang onto.

  4. Hyacintha says:

    Oh, Alas. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I had a missed miscarriage with my first pregnancy (and oddly, felt the same premonition beforehand). The grieving process was absolutely the most difficult thing I have ever experienced. I won’t presume to say “I know how you feel,” as everyone has different experiences and emotional responses, but for me it was at least comforting to hear from others who were dealing with similar losses and know that I wasn’t alone.

    It sounds like you are handling your grief in a very healthy way. I pray 2014 will truly be a year of hope for you and that your heart will continue to heal. And if you ever feel like talking to someone, you have my email.

    <3

    • Alas says:

      Thank you. I also find it very helpful to hear from other people who have experienced this sort of loss. Not that I would wish this on anyone, but it’s a good reminder that this sort of loss can be survived and moved on from, even if never left behind.

      Thank you again so much for your kind wishes and your offer to talk. It means the whole world to me to have such a loving community of internet friends. I don’t care if I never meet you IRL, you have touched my life and I appreciate you for it. <3

  5. James Whataguy Bippes says:

    I like it. I like you. I like the other guy, too.

  6. When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get 4 emails with the identical comment. Is there any manner you possibly can take away me from that service? Thanks!

  7. Hydra says:

    /hugs

    I miscarried at 4.5 months, then after that a few more times early on. But that time was hard because my mom got a crib?! A 3 year journey then became an 8 year one.

    I’m a talker. I found when I kept talking about the miscarry, so many women had a story around me. I went from dealing with it alone to knowing that I could take my moments alone but if I needed to shout and cry there were wonderful people out there to understand.

    Hope is always with you.