Now, I am sure this particular experience varies from person to person based on your insurance situation and whether or not you live in a place with universal healthcare (jealous!), but for me personally there was a cruel financial wallop to deal with on top of the emotional one. There were many moments of staring dumbfoundedly (thats not a word) at astronomical medical bills and thinking of how much I would rather be spending thousands of dollars on cribs, strollers, tiny glitter shoes, and that French giraffe squeaky toy that all the trendy city babies seem to enjoy gnawing upon so very much. This frustration culminated with me (ever-so-slightly) losing my cool with a less than sympathetic insurance company representative and exclaiming, "Believe me!! If I could return this experience for a refund, I WOULD!!"
The fact of the matter is, no matter how financially troubled the bills made us in our day to day lives, we still were able to recognize (most of the time) that money is just money and it ebbs and flows and is ultimately not the most important thing. The actual dollars and cents were merely the vehicle for some much more stealthily disguised emotional hits. Medical bills became the physical representation of the lasting effects of an emotional trauma from which we were trying to distance ourselves. To see it all boil down to medical codes and corresponding price tags was painful. The harsh frankness of my hopes and dreams being referred to as "products of conception" and coded as a "missed abortion" made it hard to make peace with shelling out cash. The lasting financial effects gave the trauma an exciting new means of haunting us all the more.
More than any of this however, was the way medical bills becomes the universal scapegoat within my relationship. When it felt inappropriate or difficult to express the grief and anger toward this experience or each other, it was much more comfortable to rail against the insurance companies, the waning savings account, and our neglected budget. We became so tense about managing our finances that it was clear at times we were just desperate to replace one stress with another more seemingly conventional and manageable one. Just like we had to reconcile allowing this experience to be part of us as individuals and a couple, we also had to reconcile allowing it to be part of the way we lived our lives for the time being. I think money is an example of the undoubtedly multitudinous commonplace things that get scapegoated in the emotional battlefield of surviving miscarriage. Riding through those moments is the true work of moving ever forward.
It was a combination of time, reflection, and open conversation that got us through this phase. I guess the best we can hope to do is practice being more aware of when our rage and sorrow is being displaced and then focus back in on the important things like communication and connection with our loved ones. For me personally, I had to make a conscious effort to be gentle with myself. I allowed myself to recognize that this was simply a time where it is impossible to have full control over many areas of my life, both large and small. Miscarriage comes with an unimaginably steep emotional price, but learning acceptance and pathways to peace in the face of that price is the kind of hard-earned life lesson that can't be bought.