A Constructed Life

Next Steps

The question I get asked most these days is, “How are you doing?” It is asked with kindness and true concern from family and friends – those who know I miscarried 17 days ago, more than a few of them having experienced the same thing. And my answer is this: I’m good. I think. It’s hard to say.

My life makes it very easy to live in a place of distraction, especially distraction from myself. I spend (almost) all day, every day meeting the needs of my family. Sometimes I feel like I’m living just a few inches outside of myself – close enough to be an active participant, but far enough to avoid getting dragged into heavy emotions. I don’t know how good I am at being present, though it’s something I often think about and actively strive for. And I don’t know that this is a new way of being for me. Rather, I think this is a way of being for me – something I found during adolescence when things got just a little tougher than I liked. This has always made it easier to move on, to carry on, no matter what’s going on around me. But. Despite the miscarriage, despite the whatever that may be making life uncomfortable in the smallest or biggest way, I feel like I’m finding my way back to myself. Oddly, I feel like the miscarriage somehow pushed me back to myself.

Right now, I’m trying to stick close enough to find some clarity. Right now, I am wanting that baby I didn’t get to have. Right now, I am wanting a full, growing belly, a trip to the delivery room, a small new body tucked to my chest and the adventure of watching a child discover the world and themselves. I am wanting the things I lost 17 days ago. The struggle is determining if there’s longevity to those desires – do I really want this? Or am I still working my way through losing a baby? Our decision is to wait. To wait until clarity comes and give it ample time to arrive. But here’s one thing I do know – that this in itself is a distraction. The possibility that maybe I will get to have another baby. That maybe this lost pregnancy wasn’t my last chance. When clarity comes, and if the answer is no more babies, I think that will unlock another step in the mourning process. That those days are over and the what ifs will always linger.

For now, I’m just trying to be here. To stay connected. To take a cue from my kids, who are the most present people I know, and seize every single second and live the crap out of it, whether they’re whining because their pancake isn’t a perfect heart or walking down the street without stepping on a single crack “because the cracks are lava and your feet will burn and then they’ll die and then you won’t ever be able to walk ever ever again so Mommy don’t step on the cracks because then I’d have to carry you and you’re too big and you need to carry me in case I step on a crack.” They throw themselves into every moment. And quite frankly, that sounds exhausting to me. I just want to try really being there with them while their doing it.

See? It’s exhausting.

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2 thoughts on “Next Steps

  1. Father

    Be gentle with yourself, please. Distractions from what? Being you? You are the best most complete Elizabeth I know. And ,what you call distractions just might be the necessary ingredients to whatever is supposed to be in your life. Rather than label the thoughts and emotions, just let them be.

    And, dear daughter, life is full of “lasts.” We need most of them to allow room for the “nexts.” Some “lasts” are welcome, and some just hurt. And…then we move on.

  2. Mari

    Helas, my kitchens are too small for an isnald, but I can dream! I love the idea of having storage and baskets of produce handy. Can’t wait to see how the project looks.

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