I'd like nothing more than to let it go. In fact, armies of 4 year-old girls obsessed with the movie Frozen seem to be belting at me to "Let it Go" every day. I'd love to oblige. Truly. Because this stinks (and their off-key toddler singing is loud and hurts my ears). However many factors seem to be conspiring against this goal.
Two months after my miscarriage my pregnancy hormone levels were still not reading negative. My OB was following my levels to rule out a partial molar pregnancy (still is, actually). She told me the drop was admittedly quite slow, but nothing to be particularly concerned about as long as they were consistently trending down. It seemed that my body was quite literally refusing to let go and clutching desperately to this pregnancy. I became best friends with the lovely nurse who drew my blood every week. She wears bright red lipstick and always compliments my shoes. We have a schtick about the weekly blood draw being our fun little tradition. She talks about her son and I talk about how my week went. It is usually a surprisingly cheerful part of my day even though it involves getting poked with a needle. I brought both Chris and Jer in to meet her so I guess that means she's now officially in my crew. We hug like old friends. So, letting it go seems increasingly out of the question as this little show and its players have firmly woven themselves into my day-to day. They are so much the fabric of my life right now that I can no longer pretend they are something separate.
For a long while, I would give a weekly report to my nearest and dearest that pregnancy hormones were still surging through me. We'd usually have a snarky banter that went something like "well, we could have told them that" referencing the fact that I was still acting totally bonkers on a fairly frequent basis. I could just as easily laugh giddily about this as break down in spirit crushing sobs. It was anyones guess which it would be (don't I sound delightful?). They say postpartum sadness is unspeakably hard when the pregnancy results in a baby, and I was completely unprepared for the effect it would have when the pregnancy resulted in me being alone with my thoughts. The hormonal free-fall and consequent sluggishly resolving chemical imbalance wreaked havoc on my ability to emotionally move forward.
This experience has refused to let go of me in more unexpected and cunning ways as well. This was made abundantly clear when I had to go get an MRI to rule out a uterine septum (SPOILER ALERT : I have an almost total one! which means more antiseptic-soaked surgery blog posts to come before carrying a baby is even an option for me. So basically I am in the Olympics of reproductive malfunction and I'm gunning for the gold in several categories). In the days before the MRI I found myself a total wreck. This was not uncharacteristic in general (please refer to the lingering pregnancy hormones), but it was out of the ordinary as it pertains to a simple MRI. I nearly started hyperventilating talking about it over coffee one day. I worked in an intensive care unit for years, for goodness sake, and thought I was almost fully desensitized to most routine medical interventions. Turns out there was some definite post traumatic D&C effects lingering in me that sprung to life at the thought of another IV, another allergic reaction to hospital tape, another runway walk in a scratchy light blue gown and grippy socks.
This whole experience has burrowed down deep and rears its ugly head when I least expect it. There are still pregnancy website email pop-ups to which I can't bring myself to unsubscribe. On a day that happened to coincide with two births in my family, I got a very conspicuous email announcing "Congrats! You're in your second trimester! Start telling the world!". I know I set myself up for that sucker punch because I have complained in the past about how cruelly relentless and annoying those emails are and I could have easily stopped them by now, but I haven't. Part of me also still wants to see them. This part of me defiantly and stubbornly doesn't want to make it easier to forget. Maybe I am not ready to release the parallel universe version of myself that is now moving through the normal stages of a healthy pregnancy.
I guess the heart of the matter is, there is too much focus on letting go. I've been guilty of slipping into the false sense that the end goal is a version of me who does not think about my miscarriage. Moving "ever forward" is not about detaching from what happened, it's about learning to carry the weight of this experience with increasing dexterity and humor. It is about allowing the sadness to be present, but not chaining myself to it and giving it all the power. The sadness and pain deserve honor and respect because moving through those emotions is what is shaping me into a stronger version of myself.
It is less about letting it go and more about letting it be.