Sometimes I grip the steering wheel, holding tightly, praying, begging God, Jesus, some higher power out there, to help. Not to sound like some dumb lyrics to a country song, but in those moments I wouldn’t mind letting go and letting Jesus take the wheel. I must be a sight as I drive around town in my minivan, pink dice hanging from my rear view mirror. It’s laughable really. But then it’s kind of not.
I’m holding on because I am afraid.
A few months ago, I had a miscarriage. It rocked my world, but it wasn’t supposed to. I have four beautiful (albeit very, very loud) children and I was done. I was moving on, thinking about what I was going to be in the next phase of life. The phase where all my kids are in school and I get to dive head first, one hundred percent into all of my really fulfilling, but underpaid, creative pursuits.
When we found out I was pregnant, I went into a little bit of shock. I cried. I swore. I said wait a minute this was NOT supposed to happen. I even Googled “do married stay-at-home moms get abortions.” And I found out that yes, they do. But not me. I became un-shocked, un-sad, un-upset. I became excited, happy, hopeful and sort of shameful of what I had Googled. But acceptance of this surprise pregnancy was a process and I needed to accept that.
When I had the miscarriage, I went into a little bit of a depression. One morning I woke up 11 weeks pregnant feeling like I was getting my energy back and looking forward to finally telling my other kids why mom had been so tired lately. Instead, by that afternoon I was in the hospital having an emergency D & C after a miscarriage.
“This is really sad,” I thought to myself. And it was. But I had no idea how sad I really felt or how long it would last. Or how afraid it would make me.
I’m almost 40. If I had a miscarriage when I was 26, I think part of my healing would be to try to get pregnant again. Especially if I had been trying in the first place. I have no idea how to heal when you are almost 40, without a lot of money and have four beautiful (albeit very, very loud) children.
And then there’s the whole crazy mother issue. Yeah, I have a crazy mother. A crazy mother who was just a quirky, roller-coaster, fun firecracker of a mother-person when I was a little girl. But then something went terribly wrong. For years we tried to figure out when it went wrong and what went wrong. What was it that put her over the edge into a lifetime of mental illness and addiction? Was it the car accident? Was it the divorce? Was it the depression? Was it bad luck? Was it the move? Was it something hidden in her past? Was it brain chemistry? Was it bad wiring? What was it?
I have lived in fear of some kind of it taking hold over me. Like a genetic marker that I can’t surgically remove. What would “it” be that made me less roller-coaster and more crazy? Was the miscarriage my “it”?
Not to sound like the lyrics of some dumb rap song but I just can’t keep living this way. Like Eminem says, “I’m starting today, I’m breaking out of this cage, I’m standing up, I’ma face my demons, I’m manning up, I’ma hold my ground….time to put my life back together right now.”
I’m driving around town holding onto the steering wheel, holding onto hope. I’m looking for a therapist. I’m looking into the eyes of my beautiful, loud children. I’m looking at a future that is all kinds of possible and scary at the same time. I’m looking to my faith, I’m looking straight at my fears and staring them down.
I don’t exactly know how to heal from a miscarriage when you are almost 40 and having a mini-mid-life crisis and old-school crazy mother issues all at the same time. But I do know that I will fight the scary “it” of it all.
Not to sound like the lyrics of some dumb old pop song but I will get through “it” step by step, like an infant new kid, inch by inch with the new solution.Yeah that’s right like a Black Eyed Peas song “I will get it started, I’ll get stupid and get it started in here.”
Because that’s what the other side of IT is all about. Starting and starting over, again and again. Facing fears. Feeling the pain and the vulnerability and the scary hold-on-tight-to-the-steering-wheel moments and coming out on the other side with more compassion, more love and more understanding. It’s all a process.
While I am praying for my own mind, I am also praying for other mothers who have lost babies and other dads who have grieved. I am praying for women and men who have Googled their own searches and had to make very hard decisions. I am praying and holding close to people who hurt so badly because their “it's” are taking over. I am praying for the people that don’t feel worthy—the mothers, the fathers, the teenagers.
I won’t quit fighting my it, healing, moving on, letting go of my fear and starting over again and again.