Missing in Action

What's broken can be mended. What hurts can be healed. And no matter how dark it gets, the sun is going to rise again.When last I posted, I claimed a break for the holidays and to meet my publishing schedule. What I didn’t share was news so fragile and hopeful it had been twenty years in the making: Doctors had confirmed in November that I was pregnant. Hubs and I were over the moon. It had been a lifelong dream for both of us. After I posted, on December 12, the doctors could no longer find a fetal heartbeat.

We were devastated. We still are. That effort had been the final stop on that road, and we’re having to adjust our mindset to being permanently childless. It’s a wrenching perspective change.

I hadn’t known the statistics for miscarriage for women my age were so high. My doctor told me for women in their forties, it’s between 60-70% of all pregnancies. A fertility center in Chicago gives slightly kinder numbers, but the steep rise in the curve is what punctured my last hope. I also hadn’t done the mental math to realize how many women I’m friends with who have shared this pain. Some have gone on to have rainbow babies, but others face my kind of future.

The strange societal silence about the death of unborn children, and the ways women are stigmatized for facing the most personally devastating medical procedure possible, continues to haunt me.

I’ve been blessed with a hubs who is not only supportive, but there with me emotionally. Open to sharing this depth of despair. I’ve been blessed with colleagues who are willing to share their experiences and gentle nudges like the one from this article about the way the Japanese grieve miscarriages. I’ve been blessed with fellow authors and friends who supported my need to vent and who pushed me–both to take the time off I needed to deal with all the follow-up medical visits and procedures, but also to keep trudging forward with my edits.

To my friends and family: I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get into the holiday spirit. In the wake of losing my mother-in-law in July, my fellow KKP author a week later, all the artists I’ve commemorated (and now, even, General Organa), and this final blow, 2016 was too heartbreaking to celebrate.

The one miracle: I somehow finished all my edits on time. I met the biggest of my goals for ROW80 right on time. Dragon’s Pursuit came out January 4, and seems to be finding a small audience–and even, happy reviewers. (And you can add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads, if you want to hold off on buying another book, too.)

I keep reminding myself the sun keeps rising. In order to leave any mark on the world now, I need to be as committed as ever to my creative path. I’m still struggling to keep my emotions at least somewhat in balance. In the midst of all the other medical stuff, I took time out for a dental cleaning. And discovered I have another tooth that needs removing. Because apparently I really need more pain in my life right now.

So, even though I’m a week late, I’m still going to make an attempt at goals for this round:

  1. Finish draft of Fire to Dragon and submit to my editor by February 10.
  2. Blog weekly.
  3. Resume weekly stay-at-home date night with hubs.
  4. Walk daily… even if it’s only half a mile. (On top of everything else, our oldest Husky has developed an unexplained limp, so she’s not as active as we’ve been used to.)

I’m keeping this list short and intentionally low-key for now. It was a hard enough decision to share our heartbreak so publicly. We’ll see what productivity impacts the grieving process has on me as time goes on.

In the meantime, as always, I’m keeping tabs on my ROW80 buddies, and encourage you to, too. I’ll be back again next week, and I’ll be putting one foot in front of another for a while.

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9 thoughts on “Missing in Action

  1. Here’s something I’m playing with: to build muscle,we need to tax them and tear them, let them recover, and then do it all again. You’re being taxed and torn up, and you’re building your strength. Glad you took time to recuperate. Based on my logic, by the time this pain is over, you’ll be superwoman!

  2. I am so sorry that you have had to go through something so difficult. My brother recently lost a child to a chromosomal disorder only a few hours after birth, so I may no know exactly what you are feeling, but I can understand some of it. Please remember that you are not broken. You are beautiful and perfect and loved. I will be sure to keep your family in prayer.

  3. I grieve with you, Tanya. I’ve had two miscarriages, and lost a newborn son, as well. I’m fortunate to have two living children, 15 and 12.5, both born after the first miscarriage. I hadn’t heard the term “rainbow babies” before.

    I hope you can both be gentle with yourselves and each other. I hope you can find some peace with the loss of your dreams of parenthood, and ways to channel that dream that may bring you joy.

    Your goals seem just right as a way to ease back into things. May you find much success and healing in them.

  4. Sending much love to you both Tonya. I am so sorry this had to be a part of your journey. Your strength, and your love story with Hubs continues to be a source of inspiration for us all.

  5. *hugs* I’m so sorry to read this news.

    I’ve been through two early miscarriages – one at 12 weeks (when I was 22 years old) but I’d been informed that it would happen weeks prior and, the more difficult one, at 13 weeks (when I was 32 years old), after having heard the heartbeat at 7 weeks. It was so hard to run into people whom I had told about the pregnancy and have to answer the questions about “how’s the pregnancy going?” and such. I burst into tears so easily and felt so fragile at the time. I did go on to have rainbow babies. My doctor even told me, after the second miscarriage, that I would be at my most fertile for the following few months. Still, the loss hurts. It’s a loss of dreams for that child and his or her future with you. I am so very sorry you have gone through this.

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