Some weeks after our loss, my mom asked me, "Remember that old saying: 'Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all. What do you think now? Is it better to have loved and lost?"
I've come to the conclusion that I must agree with the old cliche. Yes, it is better to have loved and lost.
But it's oh, so, so much harder.
In my own mind and in my own prayers, of years past, I've thought, if I had to pick one battle, I'd pick not being able to get pregnant in the first place over having a baby and losing one. I even prayed that if I wasn't going to get a live baby to hold, that I never get the promise of one to begin with. Infertility seemed like an option I could live with, I could deal with, I could understand. Miscarriage, I could not.
Different experiences impact people in different ways. Finding out that babies are not as easily come by as 'they', whoever they are, always seem to claim that babies are, was a shock. I was frustrated, even a bit crazy at times. But I could still live, it didn't have to take over my life. I could learn and I could strategize. I could take little actions of faith, of hope for the baby that would someday come. I had my moments of sadness, but mostly I felt, deep down, even in the unlikely possibility that I never got a baby, that I'd be okay. I could have other dreams and plans not related to a baby at all. I had moments of being upset but, overall, I was content.
But I'm not at all okay with losing a baby I did have. There's no strategy my analytical brain can think of for fixing this situation. There's no amount of faith I can have that will give me that baby back. After two months, I'm able to have hours of happiness again--but the best I can say is that once or twice I've made it to 48 hours without crying, and that's a big improvement. I can get my housework and my teaching done, and that's a big improvement. Various other non-baby-related dreams and plans seem crushed or have lost their allure because most of life doesn't seem as shiny as it did before.
This is ever so much harder, but still, I must agree, at the level of reality instead of at the level of mere feelings, it is better. Because death is not powerful enough to cancel out the goodness of life. October does not negate September. There is something 'better' that remains even though every part of me feels worse.
I have often felt in the past two months that I'm not good at handling this. That other people seem to be able to handle it more calmly and simply accept medical realities, find the silver linings and all that sort of optimistic stuff. Angel's much better at it. I don't know why I'm not better at it. I don't know why I can be having a perfectly fine day and then wrap Christmas presents for my sisters and find myself crying for an hour over how I'll never get to wrap Christmas presents for my first baby. For someone that's always been a straight-A student, I feel like I'd give myself a solid C- in grief. I do not fault anyone around me for this--so many people have been impossibly kind. It's just me, and my stubborn refusal to learn anything valuable from the loss of my child or to see anything good in death--God's enemy and mine, too.
To me, miscarriage was/is both better and more agonizing than the threat of infertility was...however, though I know my future isn't under my control, I can't help but desperately hope I won't have to face it again.