Grief is an emotion that is, at times, quite toxic. It is all consuming and can be irrational. I’ve written before about grieving for my pre-diabetes life and how once given permission to do so, I was able to put in perspective where diabetes belongs in my make-up.
But the grief I have been experiencing for the last month has been like nothing I have ever known. It has moved in, made itself at home and is now ordering me around and making me angry.
It may come as a surprise, but I am actually quite pragmatic about the miscarriage. It happens. I knew the stats. At our first ‘Oh-my-god-we’re-pregnant’ appointment with the obstetrician, he calmly, but firmly, told us the stats. Thirty per cent chance of miscarriage at my age. I took it in, smiled weakly and added ‘plus, I’m not good at being pregnant….’ and let my voice trail off.
I refused to get too hopeful and every visit to the bathroom for the next few weeks, I expected to see the tell-tale signs of the pregnancy ending. Throughout our holiday, as I counted another week down, I got a bit more confident, a bit more hopeful. And even though I thought as I ticked of the 12 week and then 13 week mark that I was getting close to feeling sure the pregnancy had ‘stuck’ the stats were always in my mind.
When I miscarried, I was prepared for sadness, although not the all-encompassing grief that engulfed me and took over. But even that was understandable. I was grieving the loss of a baby and the addition to our family.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the anger. It started two days before we were due to get on a plane and head home. I woke up, and there in the pit of my stomach, I felt a heavy stillness that at times threatened to overtake me. At first, I was able to aim the anger at diabetes and to a degree, I still do. I cursed by body. MY stupid fucking diabetes made this happen. The rational side of my brain – which, in all honesty hasn’t had much of a look in lately – reminded me that an A1c sitting in the 6s would not have in any way contributed to the end of the pregnancy. The side that had been overtaken by anger simply disregards common sense. It does it well.
But diabetes – and me – were not the only targets for my anger. As is often the case, the people closest to me bore the brunt of my fury. Aaron was in the direct firing line and there was nothing he could do to avoid – or understand – where this was coming from.
As it became apparent that I’d need further treatment for the miscarriage – another D&C the week we returned home because the one in the US hadn’t been completely successful – I pulled away more. He was compassionate and concerned and I pushed him away. As we sat in the hospital waiting for my name to be called to go into surgery, he tried to hold my hand and I pulled it away.
I was short with my parents – especially my mother. I withdrew from them too and became silent and sullen. And angry.
I realise now though, that it wasn’t really anger towards them that I felt. It was just easier to yell or dish out the silent treatment or be nasty. Because the truth is that the anger was really directed at myself. I couldn’t tell my family that I felt that I’d failed them because I knew that they would tell me that it wasn’t the truth. I didn’t tell them that I was blaming myself for the miscarriage because they would try to make me see that it wasn’t my fault. I couldn’t tell them how much I was hurting or how sad I was because there were no words that expressed those emotions.
It’s been four weeks now. I still feel emotionally wrecked and my heart is heavy with sadness. There are moments when I feel my eyes fill with tears for no real reason – just because. But I can now look at myself in the mirror and not feel hopeless because my stomach has returned to its completely flat state. I can look at photos from our trip and smile at the memories rather than just focus on the fact that I was pregnant then. And now, I’m not. I’m healing and I’m breathing again and that is a victory.
I know that this is a stage on my way to acceptance. I just wish that there were a way that I could take loved ones along for the ride rather than attack them and alienate them.
This is the last time I’ll be writing about my miscarriage here. Diabetogenic is about real life with diabetes and despite trying with all my might, I can’t blame the miscarriage on diabetes. Thank you to everyone who has read, commented and sent their love through this time. It’s greatly appreciated.