Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Roller Coaster: Break Down

This is the fifth post in a special bi-weekly series.  It's a sequel to The Longest Weekend of My Life series.  Please check back next Wednesday for Part 6.

Part 5: Break Down

I was still bleeding on Saturday, still less than a normal period. The cramping had stopped the night before, but I had gone to bed with a migraine and slept fitfully, and the migraine was there to greet me in the morning.  Not wanting to take medication for it, I focused on eating well and trying to nourish my body's needs in any way I could think to. Along with the migraine, I was grumpy. My kids were also in bad moods, and I struggled to keep my emotions in check as I fed everyone breakfast and dealt with trying to get them to do their chores.

I had to sit and quiet myself to help soothe the baby. As I rocked him I felt emotions rising within me. I realized it had been a full week since this whole ordeal had started with the pelvic pain and the trip to Instacare. I realized It had also been about that long since I had cried.

That's when the tears came.

Soft, yet painful, aching tears.

I started praying out loud in an effort to get all of my feelings out of my head and try to make sense of things.

I didn't know how to feel, how to be.

It had been such a strange combination of symptoms, and it felt like a physical and emotional roller coaster. First, the severe pelvic pain, without bleeding. The discovery of the pregnancy coupled with the warning that it might not be viable. The confusion and tears followed by peace. The yearning and searching for answers where there were none to be found. Calm acceptance of whatever would be. The pain had gone completely and I'd allowed myself to feel hopeful, even joyful and elated about the future. I had calculated the due date and dared to imagine our family with a new baby, only to start bleeding and have those hopes virtually ripped to shreds.

What was I feeling? There was anger, even rage, and I found myself unable to keep my emotions under control when faced with any kind of challenge. I threw an adult temper tantrum, throwing things and yelling at the top of my lungs at my children who were refusing to clean their room. Where did that come from? Did they deserve that? No. But I didn't care. Maybe it bought me some time. I wanted to crawl into some obscure hole and hide from my family and the rest of the world, so I couldn't be a danger to anyone but myself. I needed time and space to figure things out, but I didn't know I could possibly get enough, or how or if I ever would figure this out.

I got the baby down for a nap, and I closed myself in a dark room.

I cried. Hard, painful, sobbing tears that shook my body.

For several minutes as I cried, I couldn't speak. I just let the tears flow. When I could speak, I prayed out loud, this time more fervently, more passionately. I begged for comfort. I asked forgiveness for treating my children badly. I explained how I felt and how conflicted I'd been. I had to stop between phrases as more ugly tears would wrack my body. It felt good to let it out.

I realized while praying that I wouldn't know the answers or the end result. It wasn't for me to know whether the pregnancy would last or not. But I could ask for help, comfort, peace, sustaining. It was for me to decide how I would bear this burden and to do it with as much grace as I possibly could. I needed more faith, and I asked for support and help in moving forward the best I could. I asked that I would be able to take care of my family and myself, and as I prayed the tears softened and slowed. I ended my prayer feeling exhausted, but calm. The fear and the anger were gone.

I'm sure my children had heard my sobbing. They'd been in the room on the other side of the door, and as they heard my muffled cries and prayers they had decided to do what I'd asked them to do and work on their bedroom. They were excited to show me what they'd accomplished while I'd been feeling sorry for myself, and it was refreshing to see them cooperating with each other and eager to please. I thought maybe I should have an emotional breakdown more often...

The sadness lingered, and I occasionally found myself sitting at my desk with my head in my hands. My children each came to me at various times and placed their hand on my arm or shoulder, or gave me a hug. My little girl repeatedly walked over to me and tenderly brushed my arm. I knew they felt at least a little bit of what I felt, and they wanted me to feel better. Even though they didn't understand what I was going through, they understood that I needed their comfort. I was grateful for it.


  1. In march 2009, I went through this as well. I only made it about six weeks in and had just announced to my coworkers and family that we were indeed expecting. I'd had sharp pain in my side for weeks, the whole duration. One Saturday morning, I saw brown, then more brown, then after a trip to the er confirmed my hcg had dropped, red. The callous er ob/gyn told my husband and I that pregnancies really aren't all that 'for sure' until twenty weeks anyway, and packed us off home with the feeling that I was just being a silly woman for even coming in to either confirm or disprove my fears. I stayed home from work the following week because I couldn't be around other parents, stayed home from church for the same reason.
    I cried a river that week, but felt a heckuvalot better afterward. Tears are cleansing sometimes.

  2. I really feel for you. I've recently been through something similar. I just had to comment because I also had migraines when I had bleeding issues during pregnancy. I'm guessing it's hormonal?

  3. Lorelei, it's horrible when care providers treat something so difficult as commonplace and make you feel like an idiot for being concerned. I wish there were more caring providers who would validate women's feelings, but I think most of them just don't understand. Thank you for sharing your experience. It helps to talk about it, and to understand that I'm not alone.

    Bonnie, I've suffered with migraines since puberty, and I definitely think there's a hormonal trigger. They're also triggered by stress and tension, and in this case I'm sure I had a perfect storm of crazy hormones and plenty of stress.

  4. Sometimes a good cry is so therapeutic.