By: Lindsey Dell
I’ve been feeling very uninspired lately. But the truth is, I’m tired. Too tired to even type an article (pathetic, I know). Some might say that’s a good thing, that I don’t have anything to write about. But the truth is, sometimes I think that maybe I’ve just felt all my feelings and I have nothing left to feel. I guess that could be considered a good thing, but the truth is, sometimes I feel like I’ve just become numb. Trauma will do that to you.
I’ve gotten to the point over the last few years where I can genuinely be happy for people who become pregnant, even if it’s something that I want (and will likely never have). But the truth is, I worry for them. I remember seeing a fitness influencer that I follow on social media posting about her journey with miscarriage, and subsequently with IVF. After a successful embryo transfer, she posted a video announcing her pregnancy at 12 weeks. 12 weeks was always considered the “safe” time to announce publicly once you were through the first trimester because the risk of miscarriage dropped dramatically. But the truth is, I wanted to tell her that you’re never really safe. I, too, announced my pregnancy “safely” at 12 weeks. But the truth is, I had no idea what was coming. I know this all sounds so awful and cynical. Trauma will do that to you.
We’re coming up on exactly four years since we found out we were pregnant with our daughter. I honestly can’t believe it’s been four years but the truth is, it also feels like yesterday. I remember every detail about every moment, from the first positive pregnancy test to the worst day of our lives. The truth is, I don’t think that will ever change. I bet I will always remember those days as if they just happened ten minutes ago. So how does that make me feel? I’m glad you asked. Guilty. It makes me feel guilty. The truth is, I feel guilty because I don’t talk about my baby near as much as I used to. I’m not giving her the time and space I know she deserves. The truth is, I’m afraid people are tired of listening to me talk about her. People are tired of me “bringing them down.” I feel guilty because I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on my health and that makes me feel better physically. But the truth is, I’m angry. I’m angry at my body for failing her, angry at the doctors and the medical community for having zero answers as to why IVF was unsuccessful, angry that there is no refund policy on unsuccessful fertility procedures (kidding…sort of). I have a lot of anger. Trauma will do that to you.
At 41 years old, I have started to become resigned to the fact that we will not have earthside children in our lifetime, and that’s ok. But the truth is, I feel guilty for starting to feel ok about it. I know there are other options for having children in this day and age and I think they are amazing and wonderful options for those who choose to do them. I have my own personal reasons for opting not to. I sometimes feel guilty about that too. And then I feel silly for feeling guilty. Trauma is funny like that.
Sometimes I want to wear a giant sign that just says “GRIEVING MOTHER” on it so that I don’t have to answer anyone’s questions or so I get a free pass for being extra moody sometimes (it happens). The truth is, I’ve gotten slightly ok at pretending to be fine most of the time when I’m not always fine. It’s that guilt again. No one wants to be around a Debbie Downer all the time, right? But the truth is, just call me Debbie. Sure, I have my good days. And there are way more good days now than there were four years ago. But the truth is you can never recover from grief like this. It comes at you like a freight train, seemingly out of nowhere at times. You might be having the best day ever and then BAM. The grief/guilt combo. Trauma will do that to you.
I think the moral of this story is that there are always some hidden truths in everything. What you’re seeing on the outside may only be a fraction of what someone is really feeling. The truth is, we may never really get to know the whole truth. As the years go by and I’m speaking about my daughter less and less, and even writing about her less and less, that doesn’t make my truth any less true. She is still at the forefront of my heart and mind every single day. And then there’s that guilt. The truth is, the guilt is sometimes worse than the grief. I feel guilty for feeling happy, then back to grief, rinse, and repeat. It’s a cycle of emotions that I don’t think we are ever really equipped to manage. We learn to just push through the best we can, sometimes with a smile and sometimes with a grimace. My hope for anyone dealing with grief and guilt is that one day we can all learn to be truthful with ourselves. We should never have to feel guilty for any of our feelings, but the truth is, trauma will do that to you.
About Lindsey Dell
Lindsey is a mother to 2 angel babies. She lives in Cottleville, MO with her husband Nathan and their 4-year-old Wheaten Terrier, Louie. They are still hopeful that they will have their rainbow baby one day.