I've entered an entirely new area in my life. I lost a pregnancy just a few months ago. It was my 6th pregnancy, and my first miscarriage. I wrote as a form of therapy about the entire experience, even as I was going through it. It's a long story, filled with a roller coaster of physical and emotional turmoil. There was healing even in the midst of the turmoil, and even though it was a very difficult thing to experience, I felt I was blessed and able to learn and grow from it. Even though I still didn't understand why it had happened, I was able to find some meaning in it.
What's surprised me is how my feelings toward pregnancy have changed. I've experienced nervousness before, wondering whether I was pregnant, whether we were ready for another baby at that time, reflecting on how I would handle pregnancy and one more child. I remember being most nervous with my first pregnancy, but I also had a sort of ignorant bliss. As informed as I thought I was, I really was ignorant when it came to pregnancy and birth. I was 21 years old and embarking on a completely new life experience. It was something I had wanted and hoped for since I was a little girl, a fulfillment of dreams and goals. There was a mystery and wonder to it all, and I was mostly fearless.
I had 5 wonderful mostly uneventful pregnancies, all ending with full term healthy babies. I had amazing birth experiences and learned how strong and capable my body and spirit were to be able to carry several babies to term and to birth them all vaginally, and 3 of them without any pain medication. I even birthed a breech baby at home! I felt somewhat invincible when it came to pregnancy and birth.
After losing a pregnancy I find I'm questioning myself. I know I'm capable, that confidence is still there, but there's a new element. I wonder about a lot of things. Will the next pregnancy stick, or will my body flush it out like the last one? Is one miscarriage all I'll have to experience, or are there more in my future? If I have to go through that again, do I really want to get pregnant?
For the first time in my life I wonder if my body is somehow broken. I have an inkling of how a woman must feel when she's told her body is incapable of birthing on its own and she must have a cesarean. I know it's a lie, and yet the feelings are still there.
Why would my body work and then suddenly not work anymore? It doesn't. It's like when I asked my midwife how delivery of the placenta is achieved in a home birth without the aid of pitocin. The response: "Why would your body be capable of doing everything itself only up until a certain point? Why would you be able to birth your baby without medication only to need medication to get the placenta out?" It doesn't suddenly stop doing what it's been capable of until that point.
So I'm not broken. I know that. But do I believe it? Yes and no. I realize, more than ever, that I'm not the one in charge. I can do everything within my power to have a healthy pregnancy, and I could still miscarry for unknown reasons. Does that mean my body messed up? I don't think so, but I still don't understand how it works. I guess it's not for me to understand. Like I said, I'm not the one in control.
I don't want to try to get pregnant and I don't want to try to prevent pregnancy. If I try to get pregnant I feel I might be setting myself up for another failure. If I prevent pregnancy then I feel I'm denying my spirit and body what I know they need and can handle. I know there's another baby to come to our family. I just don't know how many pregnancies it will take to get her here, and I'm not sure I'm up to the task if it means experiencing more loss.
Maybe this article helps explain why I feel this way. At least it gives me a little validation.