Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The one thought I can't escape

Along this 2-year-ish journey of awfulness, I mean, recurrent pregnancy loss, I've had many thoughts. (Most of which are recorded on this blog.)

But there is one very all-encompassing thought which has dominated my brain for a better part of the last 26 months. And I've remained mostly silent about it until today.

"Why me?"

When someone announces a pregnancy the same time I would have announced one of my own ... "Why me?"

When someone has a rainbow quickly after their first loss, and aren't made to go through recurrent loss or infertility ... "Why me?"

When someone reaches a top level in their company without having seasons of struggle or doubt ... "Why me?"

When someone can take the health of their unborn child for granted, I can't help it ... "Why me?"

Now if you're starting to think, "Wow, Rachel, this is a little depressing, a little 'glass half empty,' I will readily admit, "Yep, it absolutely is."

In spite of wanting to change my attitude, the "why me's" have continued. 

And yet ... They are not the same.

(Thank goodness.)

I'm laying here in my clean(ish) house (it's all relative, right?), while so many people this weekend have had theirs turn into rubble from a tornado ... "Why me?"

I have the blessing of raising two children, who are whole and healthy. She has none to raise ... "Why me?"

Amazing and dear people have come out of the woodwork to show us love and support during this challenging time. I've been blown away by generous and extravagant love ... She has received only platitudes and judgment. Or maybe worse, nothing but indifference to her heartache ... "Why me?"

My two living children are healthy, and for that matter, so are my husband and I. (Well, at least fertility issues excluded.) And yet, they are battling cancer ... "Why me?"

I grew up in a loving, caring environment where physically and emotionally, I was kept safe from abuse. Home was my haven. Her home was her hell ... "Why me?"

My two live-born children survived infancy. Many women in other countries are so used to having their babies die, they don't even name them until they are over a year old ... "Why me?"

I was born in America, a country where I can be anything I set out to be, and am protected from persecution from the government. Billions of others are born in unsafe, corrupt countries where food is scarce, they have no education, and are mercilessly persecuted ... "Why me?"

My 5-year-old is sleeping safely in bed. Her 5-year-old was kidnapped and turned into a child soldier ... "Why me?"

The adoption of our daughter was finalized. Theirs was disrupted ... "Why me?"

This could go on forever. 

It's not as though I'm saying pregnancy loss is not as hard as cancer, or losing your house, or being abused. 

It's not about comparing pain.

I'm just saying, pain is pain.

Just as I do not deserve to have 4 unborn babies die, neither do I deserve to have my health, raise my kids, have privilege and opportunity, or have reason to celebrate.

This is about recognizing that, for every hurt I've experienced, there are about 10 more blessings I need to be thankful for.

It's about acknowledging that everyone has a story.

And for me, I need my story to start having much more gratitude -- and much less "Why me?"


  1. I love this post. I do this a lot myself, first compare myself to people who don't have to deal with the struggle
    I have to deal with, and ask "Why me?" But I also turn the tables and remind myself of all I have by recognizing the struggles others face that I don't face and again asking myself, "why me?" But the best, most humbling way I've found to deal with the "Why me?" Question I found on a blog about neonatal loss. In that post the author posed the question, "Why not me?" It's a powerful one, one I've asked myself ever since. It has really helped me. I'll try to find that original post and send you the link if I can.

    1. Thank you, Esperanza. Yes, the question "Why NOT me?" is a very helpful one too.

  2. I really, really needed this today. You literally helped me change my whole perspective. Thank you so much.

  3. I found your blog a few weeks before your viral "Why Miscarriage Matters When You're Pro-Life" post (in fact, I think I was the first FB share! :-)). I love reading what you write here, because I'm currently going through my third miscarriage and have one healthy two-and-a-half year old girl. I love your godly yet honest perspective on all this. This post was especially what I needed to read today. It is so easy to focus on the loss we have experienced rather than the blessings. Both are real, and both should be acknowledged. Thanks for sharing your journey here. It is a blessing to me.

    1. yay for being the first "sharer." (Is that an official title??)

      I'm so sad to hear that you are going through your third miscarriage. I know there are no right words for you right now. Other than, I really wish you weren't going through this again.

      I'm glad my journey is helping in some small way. Know I'm thinking of you.