Reflections for the inner life.
by Louise Osborn, LMHC
I woke up one morning recently with that odd mix of irritation, sadness and confusion. Nothing had happened, so why was I in such a funk? More importantly, how was I going to break it. I started with exploring the obvious. We traveled for Thanksgiving and came straight back to the grind of the week so the house wasn’t in order. That tends to make me feel out of sorts so I organized the kids room and front porch, threw out some things, took others to charity. Doing for others always makes you feel better right? And it did……but not like it usually does…..I was still off.
I decided to begin the Christmas season by doing some decorating. Maybe that would help, but first I had to go get some new things. It was the music in Lowe’s, honestly, that did it. It brought everything flying back into my mind so clearly that I was shocked I hadn’t realized it when I first woke up that day. It was almost December. Friday would be December 1st, in fact.
I’ve had 6 miscarriages. All but 2 have been in December. The last two were the furthest along. The last one was by far, the most traumatic which was in late December and thus mentally, it is intrinsically linked to Christmas music.
I am learning that its not just the music. Its the season.
During the last miscarriage, I was under so much pressure to perform as if nothing was wrong. We had three other children that I wanted to provide a good Christmas for (one a one year old) and my in laws were going to be in town staying with us. Unfortunately, due to the other miscarriages, we elected to keep this pregnancy a secret planning to reveal it at Christmas, which put me over 12 weeks and in the safety zone.
We were pregnant with twins!
The week prior to Christmas, at my 13 week mark, I went for my check up and my doctor failed to find one of the heartbeats. I was devastated. The week before we had two heartbeats. He consoled me, prayed with me and told me to come back the day before my in-laws landed. I did and learned we lost the other child. I endured the week of their visit in a blur of hiding, crying in my room and probably more alcohol than is healthy. I had surgery the day after they left on New Years Eve. The hospital played Christmas music and my in-laws never even knew I was pregnant.
I have since more than made my peace with God. Now I understand why I went through what I went through and I love my son Matthew (our youngest, born the day before Thanksgiving the following year) so much that I can’t even contemplate him not being in our family.
8 years later, Christmas music still makes me cry.
The body always remembers grief and makes you acknowledge it, no matter how hard you try to move on. Outside of the mother who loses her baby, no one else really acknowledges a lost pregnancy. It really is a lonely grief, especially years out. I have learned, though, that taking a few minutes to look at those old sonogram pictures tends to keep the grief at bay for another year.
If you are in need of some grief counseling, Louise Osborn is available to take appointments in both the Julington Creek area or in our Elbow Tree office located in Saint Augustine. Her email is email@example.com.