I still allow myself to be sad when I need to, I don't hide the fact that our IF and miscarriage still hurt sometimes. I am not always thinking about it but it does come up once in awhile. For example we were at a baby shower in Janurary and everything was going fine until they started opening the presents. It came out of no where really because I had gone to another baby shpwer a couple months before and I was fine plus I was excited to go to this baby shower to see our friends that we hadn't seen in awhile. I guess that is the nature of feelings, they can hit you out of no where. JJ saw that I was about to cry so he decided that it was time for us to leave. We walked to our car and as we were on our way home I cried and talked it out with JJ. My saddness had nothing to do with my friend and her baby, I just needed to grieve in that moment when I realized again that I may never get my own baby shower. I didn't put any limits on myself like needing to stay and be there for my friend so I can show how happy I am for her, she already knows that I am happy for her. I didn't make myself feel guilty for being sad or not staying the entire time. When we put overwhelming expectations on ourselves to be the perfect Christian and to be happy all the time it can put a person in constant inner turmoil for allowing themselves to feel emotions that would be deemed as "negative." It is OK to feel sad and dare I say angry, these are basic human emotions! It upsets me to know that there are Christians out there who would push someone's grief aside just so that they don't have to see it, that is not a Christian action at all.
It is absolutely possible to move on from a miscarriage. You never forget your child but you can start to live your life again. I loved the scene in the first episode of Downton Abbey this season where Mary says she has spent too long in the land of the dead and needed to choose to be among the living. That was so powerful for me because I was faced with that same choice after the miscarriage. Was I going to allow our IF and miscarriage to have me constantly thinking about our loss and death? Yes and no. One of the things I have come to realize is that we are all going to die at some point. I know not the most fun thing to think about but since it's true, I had to decide what I wanted my life to be like before that happens. I do think about the fact that my ultimate goal is not earthly pleasure here, it's heaven. IF and miscarriage are traumatic things to deal with but it is possible to live your life despite these traumatic events.
I do think about our dear sweet little one but I don't allow the loss of her to stop me in my tracks anymore. Since death is eminent for us all and heaven is my ultimate goal, then I must do what I can to get there. The thought of someday being in the same place as Cecilia is a huge motivator for me to keep living the best life I can and serve God. I try my best to unite myself to Christ and his sufferings in that moment of grief, sadness or anger. I don't ask Him to take it away I just go through it, mainly in private or with JJ but always in the presence of Christ. I am very private with my emotions most of the time, which is interesting that I have a blog.
Some things that have greatly helped me are frequent Penance and the Traditional Latin Mass, the High Mass more specifically. I try and go to confession monthly but it's been more like every 6weeks, I notice that resisting temptation is much harder after I have not gone to confession in awhile I notice the difference in myself at around the six week mark if I haven't gone. I feel like I am stinky when I don't go to confession and do a proper examination of conscience. There is a cool app called Mea Culpa that has a very thorough examination of conscience, I use it to reflect and then I write down what I want to confess or try and remember but I dont keep track on the app, that creeps me out a bit. I think the mindfulness that we are sinners in need of God's mercy helps me to remember that I need His grace in me. Remember there are actual graces that you get from the Sacrament of Penance so why not take advantage, I say this to myself as I want to go to Confession this week.
The Latin Mass has given me an opportunity to worship God as my introverted self, althought there are many who go to Latin mass that are extroverts, I find that it fits my temperament well. There is no giving each other the "sign of peace" or giving a special mother's/father's day blessing at Latin Mass which really helped me when I was grieving most to just be in Mass and focus on Jesus. If you don't go to Latin Mass you can still pray the Novus Ordo in a deeper way and follow along with the priest in the Magnificat booklet or a missal. The big thing was just to give of myself more fully in the Mass and remember the 4 intentions of Mass; adoration, praise/thanksgiving, penance and impetration/petition. When I really started to give of myself in Mass and unite myself to what was happening on the alter, I started to get healing graces from it.
Knowing my temperament and personality has really helped me to take pressure off of myself to grieve or heal in a certain way. Each person and personality type is different and there is no one size fits all to healing a broken heart. Knowing how I process things is not an excuse for actions but it does explain them as well as my thoughts. I have been able to work on my major weaknesses as a melancholic as well as draw strength from my natural inclination to draw inward. I think the more we know who we are and how we process things helps us to be more proactive in the healing process. The book that I read about temperaments is called The Temperament God Gave You. For the longest time I thought I was melancholic-choleric but I was wrong I am melancholic-phlegmatic. I have choleric tendencies because I believe that my mom is choleric and pushed me to take charge even though my natural inclination is to want to be left alone and not take charge. I also found out I am an INFJ on the Myers-Briggs types. Again, I think its improtant to know about ourselves to know why we have certain reactions to things. A book that helped me to allow myself to feel my emotions and not push them away because of shame or they are seen as negative is a book by Conrad Baars called Born Only Once, its not in print anymore but you can find it on audiobook I think.
There are times where I know I am wallowing too much so instead of closing myself off I open myself up to God and to the appropriate people who I trust to share these kinds of thoughts and feelings with. I have learned to know my audience as far as sharing with people in person, this is where discernment comes in. You can't share some of the deep thoughts and feelings about miscarriage with everyone, well unless you have a blog ;) but in your everyday life you have to discern who may be more compassionate.
Sometimes I just need to be alone or with just JJ and have a good cry and feel how much we miss our little one and wish we got to hold her or I need to just feel the pain that infertility brings about. I have to admit I haven't had as many of these crying or deep sadness episodes in awhile, other than the one after the baby shower. I feel stronger than I was before the miscarriage. Now when I face something that is difficult even if its so small like pushing myself harder in my workouts, I think to myself "I have gotten through a miscarriage, countless negative pregnancy tests, two surgeries and many painful periods. I can certainly do this!" The miscarriage made me face infertility in a deeper way and allow myself to grieve about it all. I still have my little fits and times where I am sad about our situation but for the most part I don't feel like it is suffocating me anymore. I don't feel like I am punched in the gut and can't breath because of infertility or our miscarriage. This is not to give me a bunch of credit but I know it is God's grace and the nature that He created me with to get through the miscarriage. To Him be the Glory! I pray for women/couples going through infertility and miscarriage on a regular basis, that they may feel the healing comfort and graces of God.
Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis. Laudamus te. Benedicimus te. Adoramus te. Glorificamus te. Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam. Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens. Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe. Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patri. Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. Qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram. Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis. Quoniam to solus Sanctus. Tu solus Dominus. Tu solus Altissimus, Jesu Christe, cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris. Amen.