"How far along are you?" The medical technician drawing my blood asked. "I lost the pregnancy last week." "OH!" she responded, looking confused and full of regret. She then immediately looked through my work order and said, "Aren't you in for HcG levels?" "Yes, but we're checking to see that they're dropping normally."
I've been meaning to write this for 4 weeks, trying to figure out the best way to present it, navigating through my emotions. I envisioned writing about my pregnancy announcement, and how everything was going well. How this was finally our time after all the obstacles and the waiting, but that's not how it turned out. Everything was going well until the 8 week ultrasound, which revealed that the fetus wasn't growing properly and had a slow heartbeat. We were told that this happens sometimes, so we'll do another ultrasound in a week, but a few days before that, I miscarried.
Letting go is supposed to make you feel better by lightening your load, but it's always been painful for me. I hold onto things that don't serve me for much too long. Letting go of an unhealthy past relationship hurt because I had to release the bad feelings I had about myself all the time. Those feelings were like little shards of glass pushing their way out of my skin. They eventually moved out, but it didn't feel good.
Letting go of the way I think things should be for my life hurts, because what I dreamt of is not coming to fruition. In yoga, they tell you to let go of the pose you just completed to make space for the new one. This direction is such a powerful lesson on life - if we let go of what we think we're supposed to be doing, we make space for amazing possibilities, we quiet the surrounding noise of perceived outcomes to arrive at a serene space of clarity, listening to the all-knowing voice inside of us who can direct us to our best selves, if we make room for it.
Letting go of this pregnancy wasn't a choice, and letting go of my perceived outcome hurts. It's like ripping an arrow out of my heart. I know, I'm supposed to let myself be sad. I tend to wallow though. I'm good at that. I dive down into the deep end of the sorrow pool, where you can't hear people laughing and talking anymore. It's quiet down here.
During my last massage session, the therapist hit some tension and said, "don't stay there, breathe through it." I guess that means I need to come back up from the bottom of the pool, across the water line to where I can actually take a breath, hear people talking, and move through my day, one minute at a time.
But, sitting deep in the throes of infertility, I discover my most fertile soil. In the depths of sadness and confusion, I harness the momentum of feeling it all: pain and anger, but also excitement and hope, and if I choose to frame these feelings for resilience, I discover my capacity for discomfort and the ability to work through it. I uncover my truest desires when something I want is out of reach. How badly do I really want this? What am I willing to sacrifice? What message is encrypted within this perpetual challenge?
Every time I allow myself to feel it all and pour words onto a page it's like giving birth. I have experienced a rebirth of sorts, a painful and enlightening path back to who I am, who I want to be and what I want to offer the world. Becoming your best self involves labor pains, because navigating the road to an unknown destination requires a serious attitude adjustment if you're going for the long haul. Choosing joy, happiness, and gratitude in the midst of uncertainty and disappointment proves difficult, but our other option is remaining in sorrow. Why do some of us choose to stay there, instead of breathing through it? I sit in the sorrow of feeling like I'm back at square one, at the very beginning of this 5-year journey. But once I take a huge gulp of air, I turn around to see how far I've come, and the view is magnificent.