Over the last couple of weeks, I've noticed that I've been a little more emotional than normal. At first, I thought it was just normal pregnancy/hormone related stuff. Then I took a good look at my calendar. I have a tendency to let time get away from me...I do a good job of keeping on track on a daily basis, but when it comes to "big picture" timeframes, it can be the end of the month before I know it. When I looked at my calendar and saw what the date will be one week from today, it all made sense. Next Friday (February 25th) will be the one year anniversary of the date of my miscarriage. I'm acknowledging that I'm still grieving for that little life that I never really got to know. So many people still don't know that it happened, and those that do probably don't realize that February 25th is coming up and will probably be tough, even though we have a perfectly healthy baby on the way. It's a strange situation to find yourself in...the knowing that if we hadn't lost that baby, we wouldn't be having this one, but at the same time always wondering what life would be like if that baby had lived and we had a 5 1/2 month old right now. If they're not kept in check, the "what ifs" could drive me crazy.
I'm trained as a mental health counselor, but I don't see clients anymore. Instead, I work for the college I graduated from, in their counselor education program. Every year, the Lindsey Wilson College School of Professional Counseling participates in the Kentucky Mental Health Counselors Association conference in Somerset, Ky. The faculty and staff of LWC are often "strongly encouraged" to present at the conference. I haven't presented in years, because there's just not really been anything I've felt passionate about. But this year, things are different. I'm really thinking about doing a 1 hour presentation on working with/supporting women who have experienced miscarriage/stillbirth/infant loss.
Miscarriage/stillbirth/infant loss is an event that affects so many women, but it's still rarely talked about. And until it happened to me, I never understood that it can (and probably will) change a woman's life/outlook forever. I also didn't realize how little support there is for a woman who has learned that she's lost a child to miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. I think that the presentation would be well-received, but there's something holding me back. I think it's the fact that I'm afraid I might not hold it together during the presentation. There are still times when I can't talk about (or even think about) our loss without crying. And when I hear of someone I know who has experienced it, it's a full-on cry because I know the pain they're feeling. I've worked on myself...I've read books, I've benefited from a support group, I've given my grief over to God, and He has healed me so much. But darn it, it still hurts. And it probably always will. But another part of me thinks that a part of my healing will be in being an advocate for other women who are hurting. I've still got time to decide on whether or not to present...in the meantime, I'm gathering resources, reading refereed journals, and generally getting prepared. I think I'm waiting for that still, small voice to tell me whether or not it's time.