The Opportunity in a Broken Heart
July 6, 2016
The Day We Lost Our Baby.
D&C Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow.
As long as I can remember, I have always been an opportunist. Always looking for a way to make the most of every opportunity.
Sometimes this has rewarded me with incredible, juicy insights on how to squeeze the life out of every precious experience. Sometimes it has gotten me into trouble for taking it a little too far and find myself over-indulging and erring on gluttony. And sometimes… well, sometimes… it’s just really hard to feel all there is to feel in an experience. Like today.
A few months ago my husband Seth and I started trying to get pregnant… and we did! We were so excited and so full of hope.
My mom has a really rough medical history in carrying babies to full term. “Rough” = 5 miscarriages, 1 ectopic pregnancy, and one 6 week early baby: me! 🙂
So, the whole ‘getting pregnant’ and ‘being pregnant’ experience was joy and hope laced with threads of anxiety and fear. I did my absolute best to drown out the ugly emotions with as much belief, faith, and positivity as I could possibly muster. I was constantly reminding myself to take my thoughts captive, rebuke fear, and speak life-giving thoughts into my atmosphere, over my body, and over my baby.
And I DID.
Hard core. Day in and day out. For 11 weeks. All the way up until this very morning… when my worst fears came true.
We went in for a regular sonogram check-up, and found no heartbeat.
We lost our baby.
My heart is breaking now in a new kind of way. The kind of way no one ever wants to grow familiar with.
We’ve been very very fortunate to have lots of friends sending us notes of encouragement already today. Bottles of wine and craft beer dropped off at the doorstep. And a sushi dinner getting delivered tonight. But even relishing in my beloved sushi and craft beer seems like squirting a water gun on a raging house fire.
The grief, confusion, and pain is like smoke around I fire that I can’t even see yet.
But what I can see clearly is the weighty burden of this new and awful “opportunity”.
The opportunity in a broken heart.
You see, when your heart isn’t just “broken”, but it’s ripping and tearing in places you didn’t even know you had, you have a two options:
1) You can stuff it all down and in. Down and in. Down and in, as far as it’ll go. And then do your very best to drown out your heart’s desperate cries with distraction of all kinds.
2) You can open up wide, dive in deep, let it all hang out, and see what’s there.
It’s only been a few hours since I got this paralyzing news. But I already know: I am choosing the latter.
Already, my face hurts from crying.
I have a sinus headache from blowing my nose.
And I do NOT for the life of me understand why this happened. BUT… I am choosing to believe, choosing to trust, and choosing to share. (Lucky you!)
But seriously. We ALL have pain.
Maybe you haven’t recently lost a baby, but you’ve lost something.
Something died along the way, at some point. A person, a relationship, a hope, or a dream.
Something you loved. Something you risked your heart to love.
How did you grieve it? Did you even grieve at all?
I want to be the kind of person that risks my heart to love and hope fully… and then bravely opens up to experience the depths of pain that come with that risk.
Do you have any cans of worms that you’re tip-toeing around in your heart?
How can you muster up the bravery to crack it open?
Who do you know that would stand by you to root through it?
You can do it.
It’s worth it.
Continue reading in part 2