Sunday, January 26, 2020

Finding Peace after Pregnancy Loss in Sedona

I really needed this trip.  We both did, but especially me.  I was feeling crushed, helpless, and disconnected to the world the days leading up to that weekend.  We just lost another pregnancy.  Just as I was getting excited about passing the awful milestone that we miscarried our last one, I saw blood again, and it kept coming.  I couldn't believe it, I was bewildered, I was angry, I was shaken.  Even as I am writing this, I am feeling waves of those same emotions, like PTSD, just hitting me over and over.

This time around, I had a much harder time accepting what was happening because there are very few I know who have been through more than one miscarriage in a row.  They call this condition recurrent pregnancy loss.  It even has its own medical abbreviation, RPL.  I was scared and in disbelief.  As someone who has never had a major health problem, never done drugs, young, and for the most part optimistic, I was shocked that I was a victim.  Though the first miscarriage was also painful to go through, we moved on knowing that it happens to every 1 in 4 pregnancies.  We know people who have had one miscarriage and then successfully sustained their next pregnancies to term.  But what now?  It felt like I'd never reach the finish line, since I couldn't even make it to the first hurdle, twice.  When the blood was flowing out and I was curled up on my side, sobbing in a voice that I had never heard before, I didn't know what to think, but I was very afraid.  Afraid of what this could mean for our future, and afraid of finding out the "truth" about myself.  Now, I have come to the conclusion that this cannot define who I am.  I am more than this.  I may be crushed, but I am not broken.

Going back to a few days before we left for Sedona, I could not shake the sinking feeling of failure and hopelessness after the disbelief wore off.  I felt like somebody was playing a practical joke on me, like I was being teased over and over for having done nothing wrong.  Or maybe I was being punished for having had it too "good" so far.  I couldn't reason it out, it was just plain unfair.  My body felt like it wasn't mine, my emotions also felt like they weren't mine.  I felt so alone and un-me.  The only thing I could think somewhat positively about was to get away and be with nature.  It's ironic because previously, I would opt for the outdoors when things felt too in control--like things were too predictable.  Not that daily life was boring, but just that I craved a little more adventure, a little dose of the unknown that usually comes about when we go backpacking, snowboarding, and hiking.  This time, nature was what called to me when everything internal was in total disarray.  I didn't know where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do, but I felt like I needed a retreat and some source of renewal.  I already tried retreating into my own mind through meditation, which was actually really great, but I needed more than that.  When I told Wes, he said that he had already googled a bunch of places for a getaway and was going to ask me if I wanted to try going to Sedona, Arizona.  I honestly was down for anything at that point, but Sedona intrigued me.  It sounded like a beautiful and peaceful place full of good vibes, and relatively easy to get to.  With that, we booked a last-minute hotel room and a rental car and packed our bags.