The.Anger.Stage.

January 21, 2014

After everything went down, I was shocked that I wasn't angry.  The floods of sadness kept pouring in so strongly, unrelentlessly, that I truly believed that there was no more room for anything but stomach-killing sorrow.  Of course we have all heard it, the stages of grieving.  I never really went through denial-
maybe for a few hours when Brinly's water broke in October.  I didn't even realize pPROM was a condition and knew it wasn't great on the way to the ER but never ever did I imagine what the next 30 days would bring.

I pretty much skipped denial after I heard the diagnosis.  When you physically deliver a child and then do it all over again 20 days later, and then look that child straight in the face, there is absolutely not once inch of room for any type of denial.  Death is hard to deny.  The only shock I dealt with was going into labor with Jude.  I had somehow convinced myself he would make it even though my aching worrying heart told me otherwise.

A huge explosion occurred in our life on October 30 and then November 17th.  All I could do was hold on for dear life, cling to those around me, focus on breathing and surviving the overwhelmly heavy-wet blanket that feel onto me and glued itself to my very soul.  I thought that was it.  I prepared for months and months of sadness.

But now, 9 weeks later, the dust has settled, the smoke has risen, and now I can see it.  Destruction.  I can see the mess.  I'm fully conscience now and I am fully capable of taking in everything that just happened. And I. Am. Angry.

Darren and I have entered into a new stage where I am constantly trying to avoid triggers in this fragile state and where he is constantly trying to prevent me from running into triggers.  I don't have facebook.  My heart cannot bear to read pregnancy news, updates, and even attempts.  Ridiculous things like waiting in line to see Santa Claus in New York threw me to my bed crying for hours. I change the channel on baby commercials.  I was watching a behind the scenes "Bachelor" special and some past-winners "special" news left me rolling my eyes-this is not me.  This is not who I am.  But I'm harder now.

Today I made the mistake of reading some blogs with newer pregnancies.  I knew better.  It's just not a good mental choice for me right now.  But I did it thinking I was strong.  Words like "God is so faithful" and "I never thought I would be writing my own bump update" stirred up the anger I've been fighting.  Although I believe in my heart God truly is faithful, I don't feel it now, I don't see it.  I felt that way too the day I found out I was finally having a son AND daughter.  I felt so loved by God, so remembered.  So blessed.  So na├»ve about the "safe zone."  I too couldn't believe my blog had turned from entry after entry of trying and trying and finally I, Holly Lynn Benson, could post pictures of a growing stomach, of a gender reveal, of my plans.  Obviously beating infertility SHOULD be celebrated and I think it's wonderful to do updates and share great news-that is all our end goal in the infertility world-but in my broken state its a cruel reminder of something that was mine was physically torn from my body.

Sadness is so sad.  It makes your eyes get wrinkles and your hair turn gray.  It ages you.  I look more worn than I once did.  But anger?  That is a whole nother beast.  If not dealt with it rots your bones.  I accept anger is a stage and I plan to embrace it gracefully.  To give people the benefit of the doubt.  To attempt to rejoice with those who are rejoicing.  To NOT become bitter and cynical forever but to accept that anger is part of this.

Today I had to have an HSG done again (they fill the cervix with dye to make sure there was no damage).  It was horrible because my 'cervix' kept disappearing as the tech said.  They literally had 5 different things up my &$#%&$% and a 5 minute procedure took 45 minutes.  After 2 very bumpy attempt they had to call in a specialist.  It made me incredibly sore and incredibly sad-this is the first time I've seen an ultrasound with an empty womb since I last saw Jude kicking away when he was alive.  I held in the tears till the staff left the room.  In the car, it was one of the first times I prayed, but it was a crying, "why? how could you? what did I do? when will this end?  Where is the mercy and grace we sing about?

Here comes the vomit on blog.  I have to get it out.

1.  I'm mad because we have paid $24k+ in infertility treatments.  This is like paying for air.

2.  I'm mad because I will NEVER get to enjoy pregnancy if I ever carry again.  I will be horrified, paranoid, and doubtful.

3.  I'm mad because at church at a baby dedication the pastor read a verse about how "blessed" parents are to have kids.  Am I not blessed? 

4.  I'm mad because if I want to look at my child I have to go to a memory box that has pictures of his face instead of tiptoeing into his nursery to kiss him goodnight.,

5.  I'm mad because people have to tiptoe around me.  I cannot be normal and jump to host the next shower or talk diaper cream.  The only way I can relate to pregnant friends or new mommies is by talking about what I've experienced and that makes people feel awkward and possibly scared.

6.  I'm mad because I truly believed "this was it."  2 kids, done with infertility treatments forever.  Doing the stupid HSG today is exactly what I was doing this time one year ago. 

7.  I'm mad because no matter where I go, what I do, I am always aware of missing a part of myself.  I'm mad because at night the memories and flashbacks suddenly start playing the saddest movie I've ever seen in my head.

8.  I'm mad that 2 days ago I got excited because I got a package in the mail all to find out it was a box of formula and a "congrats new mom" package for babies that are buried.

9.  I'm mad that I happen to be 1 of 10 people that struggle with infertility.  I'm mad that we have both female and male factor infertility against us.  I'm mad I'm one of the 3% that has to pursue IVF.  I'm mad that after years of trying, we finally beat the dumb statistics all to fall into the .04% whose waters break at a deadly stage and my cervix is possibly incompetent.  SERIOUSLY?

10.  I'm mad that when the phone rings from a married friend that I immediately feel with dread that "maybe they are pregnant" and panic.  (Please note I get this is not right, I'm just being incredibly honest.  I get over it really quick).

11.  I'm mad that I struggle praying.  I don't want to be a whiny "Christian" that gets hard-hearted and bitter towards God because He does something I cannot understand; however, after years of unanswered prayers I'm at a place where I accept that He is going to do what He is going to do.  My faith is more raw and I'm more "scared" of the huge amount of pain and sorrow that this world is capable of offering to Christians and non-Christians alike.  As we move forward with future efforts to build our family, I more of the mentally of "buckling up my seatbelt" and seeing what His plans are. 

Alright.  That's off my chest.

I know anger is natural and as mentioned, I was warned it would come.  The crappy thing about grief is I've heard it comes in cycles.  I know time helps heal and I KNOW that moving forward in the fight for Jude and Brinly's siblings is the best I can do to cope and allow myself to hope again.

Through all the pain, sadness, anger, and destruction there have been a few beautiful people placed in our lives that have reached out and helped us realize we are not alone and have given us that glimmer to keep on hoping.  I have to cling to that, accept the fact that life is unfair and I'm one of her victims.  To rejoice in the beautiful life I've been given outside this stupid fertility category.  But for today, I'm mad.

34 comments:

  1. You have every right to be mad. Don't feel bad about it! Thinking of you.

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  2. I agree with Marianne, there is every reason to be mad. There is no 'right' or 'wrong' in how you cope with these things, and you don't have to apologize. This is all so familiar to me, to many of us, and I can tell you that you are strong and it will get better. I relate so much to this: 'wherever I go, whatever I do, a part of me will always be missing'. It's always going to stay true, but it won't always make you so angry. Your sweet babies will remain a part of who you are forever, and the love you have for them, even though it won't look like you expected it to, will only grow.
    Have you visited Glow in the Woods ? That site, full of understanding parents who know what you're experiencing, saved me in the worst of my grief.
    Sending you so much love as you continue to heal and remembering your babies with you always.

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  3. I don't have any advice, or anything helpful to say. Just that I have always and will continue to pray for you and Brinly and Jude. You're in my thoughts, and I think you should be angry and have no reason to apologize. Understanding, or forgiveness for your anger, will come with time but for right now you need to be angry! I know I would be. I'm thinking of you and praying for peace for your family and only GREAT things for the future for you.

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  4. Honest and true. My two favorite qualities about you. You have maintained this throughout everything. Your core is still you and hasn't changed. Xoxo as always, biggest hugs!

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  5. Thank you for being so transparent and vulnerable... this was beautiful. And honestly Holly, I feel a lot of the same things and I haven't experienced a fraction of a fraction of what you have. Sometimes, I honestly think being a Christian and walking the infertility road might be harder... not only do you have to fight infertility, but some days you have to cling to your faith with white knuckles refusing to let go despite 10 million reasons you should. I'm believing with you that anger is a stage and that this will pass. I think of you often... you are so, so loved! HUGS!

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  6. Sending you so much love. I agree there is no right or wrong when coping. Praying for you always!

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  7. There is no need for you to ever apologize friend. Ever. Your feelings are true and honest. Please know that I am here for you through the cycles no matter what and you can tell me anything. The thought of what you must be going through tears at my heart and I wish that there was some sort of magical thing to make it better. Please know that you are loved..

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  8. oh girlie my heart just aches for you! I recently picked up a book by Max Lucado called "You'll Get Through This". It is so powerful and a must read. I actually bought a bunch of copies to pass out to anyone that wants it. If you send me your address to 10hopeingod@gmail.com I would LOVE to send it to you.
    waitingforbabybird.com

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  9. You shouldn't have to apologize, at all. Please don't ever let anyone make you feel like you should. And anger sucks.. I've been through it again and again-- for example.. tomorrow is my son's 9th birthday and I'm angry that I don't get to celebrate it with him. I'm angry that people expect me to "be over it by now". It sucks.

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  10. Anger is natural and normal, along with all of the things you are feeling and experiencing. Even in this time, know that you are not forgotten and we are still praying for you.

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  11. I agree with everyone else. Don't apologize. It's normal and I experienced the same feelings even though I didn't go through as much as you.
    Your #3. I'm mad because at church at a baby dedication the pastor read a verse about how "blessed" parents are to have kids. Am I not blessed?

    This is something that bothers me too. Blessed. A word that is overused and has religious tone to it. I call those people lucky.
    Thinking of you always.

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  12. I don't think anyone would blame you for feeling angry. You've been through so much, and you deserve to be happy as much as anyone else does.
    I wish you peace, and hope that your future children-- Jude and Brinly's siblings-- find their way to you soon.

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  13. I am angry for you. My heart breaks every time I think about you. I can relate to that anger, and I know how foreign it feels to be angry at a God that I have trusted with my heart and my life for forever. It gets easier. You are harder, stronger, and more aware of the pain that life on Earth can bring, and what can push those with no faith over the edge. Hug.

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  14. I agree with what Patricia said above. I am angry for you, too. No one should have to go through what you've been through. I think it's good that you're acknowledging your anger and admitting it's there. So many people stay in denial and that's not healthy. Sending up prayers for you.

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  15. You are so right to be mad! What happened to you is something that I can't imagine a loving God "planning" for anyone. When I lost my twins (the last one at 21 weeks) after 6 previous miscarriages, I had to go back and reframe some of my beliefs about how prayer works and how much of the craziness that happens is part of a Plan. I still believe in God,but some of my specific beliefs about God have changed, and I feel more at peace. It is ok and really healthy to question and rage about this. When Job did this, God spoke to him of the power of nature, and I take this to mean that there are random forces at work in nature that cause these things to happen. When I think of God, I think of the loving parent who doesn't cause His child to fall, but picks her up and comforts her when she does. I will keep you in my prayers that you feel God's loving hands picking you up from this terrible fall.

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  16. There are no words. I am just so, so sorry you have to go through this.

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  17. I can relate to so much of this. I'm only starting to get angry now, too, after weeks and months of deep sadness.
    Seeing the empty uterus again on an ultrasound. So hard. I'm sorry it was so physically painful on top of the emotional pain.
    I'm not sure this will ever make sense, but I hope and pray that there are better days ahead.

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  18. Get it out sweetie, just get it out there. Never edit yourself, not here! There is no wrong way to grieve!

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  19. My heart breaks for you. I know I don't understand your pain, but I know the anger. I know that anger all to well and it's okay. This past month I have yelled at God more than I ever have in my life. Things don't ever make sense, but you will get through. I hate saying that but I know it's true. Know that it's okay to scream, to cry, and to be angry. I'm here for you friend and I'm always praying for you.

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  20. My dear Hollie, you are entitled to as much anger as you need. This is your space to vent about your happy, sad and angry moments.

    I have never had a loss in a later stage before, but I relate in so many ways to your frustrations of infertility. It overwhelms me at times. I am thankful every day for my blog friends that are some of the only people that truly understand.

    Much love to you today and always.

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  21. Again you amaze me. What a strong and powerful voice you have for us,and with us who have suffered a loss. Thank you. I continue to pray for you and your husband as you process so much.

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  22. I couldn't have said this better myself....I'm struggling through a lot of the same issues as you are right now. So not fair and so incredibly tough to understand. ((hugs)))

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  23. Holly, I am so angry for you. This is so completely mind-bogglingly (should be a word it it's not) unfair and sad. Just one of many people you don't know thinking of you, Darren, Brinly, and Jude every day.

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  24. this post brings back all the heartache and anger I had after losing my boy/girl twins. These days my blog may have pretty images of my beautiful son, but late 2011 and early 2012 had post exactly like this. Full of sadness and frustration. I experienced all the same emotions you are going through and I can tell you that feeling them is very important. You will get through this. Seeing a child or two die is about the worst thing possible and I too have flashbacks and fits of anger at my shit luck. But, after seeing my children, I knew that I would move heaven and earth to give my twins' siblings a chance. I think of them every day, but the pain has lessened. Process this loss however you need to and know there are people out there who understand every jealous moment and every dark thought you are going through. I'm so sorry.
    MissConception

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  25. Be mad. Be effing pissed off. What happened to you and your beautiful babies is so incredibly, heartbreakingly unfair.

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  26. We actually talked a lot about anger last night in my baby loss support group. I know you know - but it's normal to feel angry. It's even healthy. Feel what you need to feel. Give yourself grace. At this point, do what you have to do to get through each day and the healing will eventually come. XOXO

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  27. You really amaze me with how mindful you are with this whole process. That you are able to reflect on your anger and its triggers. Few actually have the ability to do this and instead allow the bitterness to take over. I know that I struggled with this for quite a while (still do) and I haven't been through half of what you've experienced.

    As others have said, I think allowing yourself to be angry is important. You lost your babies and I can't think of a single rational point for why this would be ok. So do not for a second feel quilty or ashamed for feeling what you're feeling and doing what is necessary just to get through. You are a warrior mama and warrior mamas, though harden, also show incredibly courage and strength. Remember too, that in the moments it seems like it's too much, we are here to support you.

    Sending love.

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  28. Angry is ok. I get angry a lot. And being afraid of announcements is ok too. The part you wrote about the empty ultrasound touched me. I can't imagine how I would feel going through that. I would definitely cry too. It's so hard. Our Noah died just a few weeks before Brinly and Jude, and I feel a lot of the same things as you. I'm so angry at having to TTC right now. I shouldn't be TTC, I should be pregnant! It's so hard.

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  29. I just lost our baby girl at 17 weeks in November.....she was so perfect in everyway. Probably an infection. Reading your blog put words to my feelings. Thank you for writing about your journey.

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  30. I know this is zero help to you, but I am mad for you. I cannot imagine how you feel but I just wanted to share.

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  31. I'm amazed with your ability to process all of this s you have every right to be mad. I would be too. I was extremely angry when I had my miscarriage, but it was early and in no way compares to what you went through. My heart breaks for you Holly. You are a strong woman with an incredible amount of faith though, and I know you will make it through this.

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  32. These words are a gift. As I sit and read through your blog, emotional because your words are so real and powerful, I am thankful for your ability to be so transparent. Your sorrow is palpable, in a heart-aching way, in your ability to express it. These words help us, your readers, to know -- even if we can't feel it to the same searing magnitude -- the depth, and the breadth, of the pain that comes from empty arms, when they should have been full. A gift for those who experience even a fraction of your pain, or those who hope to be a comfort to others in their pain. Grateful today for your beautiful and honest spirit.

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  33. Wow! I just want to say thank you for sharing
    www.mommy-dreaming.blogspot.com

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