I wish I had done things differently.
I wish I had grieved differently.
When we had our first miscarriage, I hung on to our ultrasound pictures for a about a month. Then, I threw them away. I did not make it far enough in the second pregnancy to have any pictures. I threw away the ultrasound pictures from the third pregnancy on the same day the miscarriage was confirmed. I thought, "I am not going to be the weirdo who holds on to the pictures of her dead babies." I regret that now. I wish I was that weirdo.
For some reason, today, I yearned to look at those pictures, to reminisce and to validate those pregnancies and those little lives.
I wish I could go back to my first Facebook pregnancy post and read all the comments that were filled with excitement and encouragement. But, I deleted those too.
I don't know why I thought I needed to purge the pictures and Facebook statuses. People don't throw away pictures of their parents after they die. Parents don't throw away pictures of their child if it passes away at the age of one. Suddenly, it seems I am the wierdo for throwing those pictures away.
But, it is not really about the pictures. Having those pictures would not change anything, but they are symbolic of how I tried to deal with my losses. I tried to "toss" them out of my mind and start over. But, there is no such thing as starting over. God ordained for me to lose those pregnancies and, therefore, ordained for that to be a part of my story. Even if I start a new chapter, those chapters of loss will still be a part of the book that is my life.
I now see that I put too much pressure on myself to "get over it." I expected too much of myself. I regret not embracing the grief.
I still struggle with this, because even as I started to write this blog, I almost talked myself out of it saying, "Don't write about the miscarriages AGAIN. Your readers will think you are pathetic, and that you should be over it by now." The truth is, I am pathetic. I may be over it, but I will never forget.
So, for those of you dealing with grief of any kind: don't make my mistake of trying to force yourself to get over it. You are human. Grief is human. Don't try to run away from grief, it will eventually catch up with you anyway.
Today, I was ready to reminisce, not grieve, over the happiness of positive pregnancy tests and expecting. I was ready to remember all the plans that we made and the naive excitement Stephen and I shared. I had no saved ultrasound pictures or Facebook posts to help me reminisce, but I did find one picture, taken 3 days after my first ever positive test.
I remember. We were ecstatic to be parents. It was wonderful.