When I think back on my pregnancies, I remember how truly blessed I was to carry well with no problems. Giving birth twice, each experience its own hilarious story I can’t forget. The one thing I do remember with both is the lingering thought in the back of my head throughout both pregnancies is the fear of a miscarriage. I never spoke about it because I definitely didn’t want to entertain or give power to that thought but it doesn’t mean it didn’t cross my mind.
I knew of quite a few women who had been through that fearful experience and I never quite knew what to say. I have to admit with some occasions, I was quite a coward choosing to rather avoid the topic or speak to the women I knew lost their unborn joy purely because I didn’t know what to say. Now that I was done having children for the time being, I didn’t have to worry about those thoughts until the 20thof April 2018 happened . . . . . . .
We really weren’t planning for a 3rdchild, not that we didn’t want one, we just didn’t want one in this season. We had taken necessary means for semi permanent solution to prevent a 3rdchild and it was doing its job so life carried on.
More than a year after our second child was born, I was sure we were sorted. I remember being in JHB for a Kingdom Come conference when I just had a feeling. I knew this feeling twice before, followed by 2 confirmed pregnancies. To be safe I took a test when I got back home and it was negative and life carried on.
A week later I woke up with a horrible pain. Trying to brush it off like the tough cookie I am, I tried to do my morning duties as per normal. I soon realized something was seriously wrong. I immediately called on my spiritual mother (Who was staying with us at the time) to come pray. The pain subsided enough for me to at least help my husband get the kids ready for school and get myself in the car.
The only way I could explain the pain was something similar to child birth. I couldn’t sit, couldn’t stand, couldn’t move, couldn’t do anything. If this was PMS pains, I never had anything like it before. I chose to go with my gut and told my husband to take me to casualties. I still remember thinking on the way to hospital that I hoped it wasn’t a seriously bad case of gas or wind that was stuck LOL because that would be really embarrassing.
You need to understand; I was raised to show no pain so on the outside I looked like someone with a mild cramp but on the inside I felt like I was being stabbed multiple times so to say I need to go to casualties is a serious thing.
Once there, a nurse proceeded with the usual checks and the standard ‘pee in a cup’ test. I assured the nurse that everything to my knowledge was fine concerning my health. Then the nurse came back presenting us with not one but TWO very positive pregnancy sticks!!!!
She still asked us if we knew about it and I was taken so off guard my thought was ‘I know what that is’. That thought was soon followed a deep sinking feeling as my mind caught up with what was going on.
I knew immediately something was wrong and began to cry very different tears. I knew I couldn’t celebrate the news. I had no idea how to communicate what I was feeling. I just looked at my husband and cried. We knew that should we fall pregnant, even though we weren’t trying to, we would want and love our baby. I knew we wouldn’t be having that anyway.
The doctor then came to explain the strong possibility of an ectopic pregnancy and what that meant. I then had to go for a scan to confirm and fortunately my gynae was on duty so I felt safe. Everything happened so quickly from there. The scan revealed that the fertilized egg had been in my ovary and that the ovary burst. I had to be rushed into theater to operate. All I was thinking was that I would have wanted my child. I didn’t even know what to ask God or how to even pray. My whole morning was just tears and being who I am, I don’t often cry and when I do I feel very uncomfortable. No words can describe what was happening on the inside of Theresia that day.
It didn’t take to long to physically heal after that but emotionally I guess will be a continual journey. I would often make jokes with my closest friends about having one ovary and “Me and my one ovary” sounded like a great title. On the inside though, I struggled with many unspoken battles. Rollercoaster rides on occasional basis. At one stage I was so gripped in fear that I thought I was completely off balance in body and hormones. I was just short of losing my mind with phantom pregnancies and cancer scares. I had 3 emotional meltdowns (cried for nothing and then got angry about it) that I just had to be real with my husband and spiritual parents that forced me to be vulnerable in a way I was not comfortable with at all. I was naïve to think this could be brushed off. I was never at any point angry about it. I just felt like a broken piece of equipment with lots of faulty parts. I also felt guilty for even wanting to talk about because I thought I didn’t have a right to say anything as it wasn’t like I was trying to have another baby. I felt guilty thinking about the would be mommies I knew who were actually trying and lost their babies.
I was so grateful to receive physical healing later in the year when tests results showed a complete clean bill of health and very stable hormones. With that healing came inner peace that I did not have for a long time. It might only be a year, but there is so much I have learnt and I am still learning through this experience.
What I have learnt so far:
Vulnerability is not a weakness
I think we have become so conditioned especially as women that you can’t share your feelings or you will be judged and labeled. I remember fearing being seen as unreliable do to my emotions etc. I oftened asked not to be treated differently because of it. The absolute truth is the more I shared with my husband what I was feeling, no matter how stupid it may seem, the better our marriage became and I felt more free. When we think “I got this” then we leave no room for God to even show up and yes, it isn’t nice to feel ‘naked’ but it definitely has become easier to practice. I feel far less burdened as I communicate feelings. I am by no means weak for it.
You are never alone in your trauma
The craziest thing for me after this happened was finding out how many women who I really looked up to had a miscarriage. They are well past it but in the length of time I had known them, I never knew that and it interested me a lot. I realize now through this experience what a challenge it could be to talk about it and how many women have just carried on. Don’t get me wrong, it is not all bad. I felt comforted and surprised learning this and knowing these strong women where they are now, I know I will live. (queue dramatical music).
I also under estimated the support system around me and how much I could rely on them. I am forever grateful for those God has place in my life that have loved me through my crazy. (biggest award going to my husband of course)
It is what it is, I choose what I do with it
It took a really long time for me to realize that what happened to me was a traumatic experience. Maybe it is because the picture I paint in mind when I hear the word trauma has something to do with ER shows and accidents. I can’t change the fact that it happened but what I can do is to choose life. Choose victory everyday. Thank God for my two healthy, amazing children instead lose time on what could be. The things that happen to us in life, especially when we didn’t ask for it doesn’t make us a victim unless we choose that role.
It is a process, just go with it
The biggest thing I have learnt so far is to go with the process. I will mess myself up trying to figure it out and even more so trying to control it. I have learnt to trust that God will work this out for my good (Rom 8:28) I have made peace that I will never know the why and that is ok. I have definitely learnt and grown far more from this than what I have from my other life experiences and trust me I have quite a few. It only started when I fully gave up on controlling it. The process never ends but can definitely stream easier through surrender.
I have never spoken about this till lately. In fact, only a handful of people knew it even happened. It is however time to start sharing and share I will. Its ok to not be ok all the time. What is not ok is to stay stuck in the moment. Don’t let those unforeseen moments define you. You define those moments.