Physically, emotionally, and mentally, it has been a hard week. Just exhausting. Yesterday was one week since I started actively losing the pregnancy. I was having a rough day in which I kept breaking down into tears. I sat on the couch to watch the news, when a diaper commercial full of beautiful newborns and toddlers came on TV. It left me hysterically crying.
Going through this miscarriage has left me feeling drained of joy. I have a wonderful life with an amazing husband and two beautiful children, but this past week has been filled with physical pain and emotional despair, and I am just exhausted.
Shortly after that commercial left me sobbing, my daughter asked me to come play tea party with her. When I went upstairs to the playroom, I saw that she had obviously spent a great deal of time setting up cups, plates, toy food, and flowers. It was beautiful and she made it just for me. I told her thank you for setting up such a wonderful party for us to share. She responded, “I love having tea parties with you, mommy. You’re the best mommy in the whole world.”
I broke down into more tears, because at that moment, I didn’t feel like a great mommy. I felt like a mommy with her head barely above water, drowning in the emotions that come along with experiencing a miscarriage. Affirmation from my four-year old, telling me that I was doing something right, was enough to make me lose my composure completely.
After playing tea party, I decided that she and I were going to do something together that brings me joy. She had seen enough of my tears, and I wanted to do something with her that would make both of us smile. So we made pie. Chocolate creme pie with a chocolate graham cracker crust and vanilla meringue topping. I don’t know what it is about chocolate that makes the world seem a little bit brighter, but it does. As Professor Lupin from Harry Potter once said, “Eat it. It helps. It really helps.”
I find so much joy in baking. The process of creating my own recipe from scratch just puts me in a happy place. Most of the time, I bake just for the joy of it, and I give away the sweets. So for three hours yesterday, we mixed, stirred, and measured out our very own recipe for dairy-free, chocolate “creme” pie. Natali had two pieces while it was still warm. I’m not going to lie…half of that pie was gone before my husband got home from work.
Did the pie fix my depression or make all of my problems go away? Hardly. It did give me a moment of peace though. In a horrible day of emotional turbulence, the process of baking a pie helped me to find my joy again. Chocolate creme pie can’t help me work through the pain of miscarriage, but it did give me an afternoon of memories made with my daughter. It put a smile on both of our faces. Chocolate creme pie made me a happier mommy for just a little while, and it helped me get through another day.
One thing that miscarriage has taught me is that when you feel like you are drowning in your despair, you have to hang on to the little things that make you smile, or you are going to get swept under. Whether it’s going for a run, reading a book, or making chocolate creme pie, you have to do things daily that bring you joy and help you feel fulfilled. Those small moments of joy may seem inconsequential to the greater pain you’re feeling, but they are so unbelievably necessary.
So if you are reading this and happen to be going through something terribly trying, I urge you to find your joy. Do something completely frivolous that puts a smile on your face. And eat chocolate. “It helps. It really helps.”