Last night, my mother and I had another one of our unproductive conversations about the miscarriage. They happen like clockwork, once a month, and it's always the same scenario-- her offering well-meant advice that completely invalidates the feelings I've experienced in the last 5 months, and me responding with (I admit) rather hysterical distress.
This one started off because I mentioned that I'm definitely NOT going to spend Mother's Day at my in-laws with the new nieces this year, and followed that up by saying that I really don't want to go out to brunch or do much of anything and I'd rather not spend time thinking about it.
My mom got her panties in a wad over that and told me I should be grateful to have a mother and should think about people other than myself. Which I could have expected. She's always offended when we don't make a huge deal out of Mother's Day, even as she tries to act like she's above it and doesn't care (and for the record, I have taken my mom out to brunch in the city the last three years, alone, because I was the only sister living close to home. Now two of my younger sisters live in the area). But I honestly don't think it's asking so much to be spared thinking about a holiday that makes me so sad!
The Mother's Day issue aside, we launched into a variation on the same conversation we've had multiple times in the past, except my mom was more explicit than ever about telling me she thinks I'm dealing with things the wrong way. She said I'm turning this into a "negative" experience instead of trying to see the "positive" sides of it; she told me I seem to have a "chip on my shoulder" about other people's pregnancies/babies and she doesn't like to see it; she said I never seem "cheerful" any more; I don't seem like myself; I should feel grateful for all the good things in my life; and she thinks I have something chemically wrong with my brain as a result of the miscarriage hormones and I should talk to my gynecologist about it, rather than my therapist. She also thinks I need to find a support group (in real life, the internet doesn't count because there are so many "weirdos" on it) of women who are dealing with this "productively" instead of ranting about their bad luck like "a bunch of NOW feminists who blame men for all their problems" (yeah, I don't know where that last bit came from, either).
She also brought a bunch of people she knows who had a miscarriage (her new friend from her bible group; our close family friend; my cousin) and claimed that none of them have the depressed, despairing attitude about their miscarriages that I have. My mom loves to bring up comparative examples, so she's done this already many times before. And my objections are always the same: a) all of those people have gone on to have other children (sometimes as many as three or four!) so their situations are rather different from mine; b) some of those miscarriages were 25 years ago; c) my mom has no idea how those people actually felt or handled this when it happened to them. All she knows are the stories they tell years after the fact.
She fundamentally doesn't understand what this is like. And I know she's worried about me, I know she loves me, and I know it hurts her to see me upset. But is this something else I have to feel bad about fucking up? I can't get pregnant, I can't stay pregnant, and now I apparently I can't even deal with no longer being pregnant the way I should.
The other really frustrating this is that I'm trying to do all the things she says I'm not! I'm trying to feel grateful. I'm trying to believe that good will come of this experience. I'm trying to be a more compassionate, kind person as a result of this. I'm trying to use this time to strengthen my marriage. I'm trying to redevote myself to my schoolwork. I'm trying to not be jealous or envious or angry.
I'm also really fucking sad a lot of the time.
We "made up" and it was fine. But this is just further confirmation of the fact that people in my life are tired of hearing about it. My friends (with few and rare exceptions) don't ask me how I'm doing any more. My mom and mother-in-law do, but it's because they're not-so-secretly hoping I'm going to say "Great! Life's never been better! I'm walkin' on sunshine, whoa-hoah!" (which I know by the way they are SO FREAKING DELIGHTED when I do anything that denotes "moving on").
Even I'm tired of being depressed. I never wanted to be Oh Woe Is Me Miscarriage Girl. That wasn't on my bucket list. But this isn't the SATs and I can't make myself get over grief by pulling a few all-nighters. What more can I actually do?
It's all confirmation of the brilliant post at Knocked Up, Knocked Down on "When to 'Get Over' Your Baby Loss." Yup, two months sounds about right.
I'm back, and it's hopefully not a once-off!!
4 months ago