As young children, we’re taught to never give up and to never stop fighting. But is that really healthy?
Yes, be determined. Yes, always strive for the moon. Yes, dust yourself off and get back up.
When is enough actually enough? When is more categorized as selfish?
Three years ago I walked into the doctor’s office with so much hope. We had names picked out and that day was the day we’d officially name Callie or Brody. The nurse couldn’t find the heartbeat, but we’ve walked this road before. I have two healthy babies. . . surely this one is fine.
Off to get an ultrasound, only to find out our baby died a day or two ago.
I remember being so mad at myself for not being more grateful during my past pregnancies. Yes, they were hard. Yes, they were physically grueling at times, but I grew a human being and that is a humbling adventure.
The nurse told me that a lot of people keep trying after a miscarriage because they don’t want to end with a loss. Others said that their “rainbow babies” healed their sadness. Yet, here I was with a body that was physically and emotionally wrecked from a baby that was now in heaven. On top of that, I had a traumatizing surgery to remove my kin from the womb. I remember telling my therapist that my body wasn’t the same and physically, I wasn’t sure if it was worth trying again.
At what point is enough actually enough? Oftentimes, you remember the moments you lost because those are character building moments. You learn so much more when you fail because it helps you identify what you did wrong and puts things into perspective. In a lot of cases, that loss is what fuels greatness in the rest of your journey.
It took a while, but I realized that quitting is sometimes okay. Sometimes the path we’re on veers to another path that we’re meant to take.
Losing a child will always be one of the hardest things my husband and I have endured, but I can honestly say that the loss is the foundation of so much growth. Losing a child forged an empathetic mindset which has created opportunities for me to build friendships and even create work that I’m prouder of. My relationships are stronger because I appreciate them on a deeper level.
I’ve learned that when we allow losing to consume our identity, we actually lose sight of what is important in life. For me, that was accepting that my body couldn’t physically endure another pregnancy. It was accepting that my husband and two children on earth are enough. But, most of all, it was extending grace to myself and recognizing that sometimes quitting is an acceptable option.
October is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. If your loved one has lost a child, take a moment to share words of encouragement.