Emotions


A lot of people have been asking how I am doing. Not like “hey, how are feeling?” But “heeeeeeey….how are you feeeeeling?” And I never really know how to reply. It’s complicated.

One of the best ways I’ve been able to describe it is in an analogy. Let’s say you have relied on public transportation your entire life. You’ve never owned a car or a bike. Then one day, a friend shows up on your doorstep and says “Hey! I bought you a car, it’s all yours! Let’s take a test drive!” You’re a little shocked and excited…like, “is this for real? No way! I’ve always wanted one of these, thank you soooooo much!” So you take a test drive, just around the block and back to you house. Just as you take the keys out of the ignition and put them in your pocket, your friend grabs the keys from you and says “I’ve reconsidered and I’m actually going to keep this car for myself.” He kicks you out of the car and then proceeds to run you over as he drives away and leaves you dying in the street.
How would you feel after that?

That’s how I feel right now. Sort of.

In the last 16 days. I’ve been happy, sad, mad, scared, hopeful, hopeless, shocked, disappointed, terrified, grateful, excited, guilty, heartbroken, peaceful, confused, lost, joyful, thankful, pissed and occasionally annoyed.

David and I spent quite a while in shock and operating in crisis mode after everything happened and we’re just now starting to transition back into “normal life”……whatever “normal” looks like after going through all this. The transition into normal life has brought a lot of unexpected triggers with it; triggers that have catapulted me into emotions I wasn’t prepared for.

I’ve noticed my emotions are sitting just below the surface, just waiting to come up for air. I catch glimpses of them every now and then and they totally take me off guard. Like the other day when I drove by Subway and tears unexpectedly fell from my eyes. 13 days prior, the stomach pain had just started and I thought food would help, so I grabbed a veggie sandwich from Subway. And now I will never be able to drive by that Subway without being reminded that the pain I felt in my stomach was actually because I was pregnant. 

Or the other day when I had to shoot a maternity session for a client. They were a sweet couple and I’m happy for them, but it was difficult to say the least. I got in the car and the anger rose up in me. Why would God choose to bless them and not us? I was furious.  Or yesterday, when I looked at the date on the calendar and realized that it was exactly 1 month ago that I had my 3rd IUI and got pregnant. I managed to keep it together until I got home from work and fell into David’s arms. I felt so helpless.

And then today, there was a lot of peace and joy as I spent the day with friends and their families at a cabin in the mountains. It was such a good day, a getaway that David and I have both desperately needed. My heart felt at peace in the mountains for the first time in a while. Watching all the kiddos run around, giggling, chasing the dog and wiping sticky smiles….something about it gave me a hopeful longing that one I would have some sticky smiles to call my own.

There isn’t a guide book for how to process going through a traumatic ectopic pregnancy, emergency surgery and the loss of both baby and fallopian tube after 3 years of infertility. There’s no system out there that explains the “normal” stages a person going through this should feel. Because this just isn’t normal.

The best piece of advice I’ve been given is to just allow my heart to remain open to feeling whatever comes my way, be it tears or laughter. As long as I’m open to feeling emotions, I know I’ll be ok. The last thing I want is to become shut off to grief or pain. At this stage in the game, it’s pretty easy to build a wall around your heart, deflecting all heartache. It’s pretty easy to run from pain, grief and hurt. But the path to emotional healing just isn’t as easy as running away.

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