loss-bw-self-portrait-2017-lauren-grayson.jpg

Everything is different, and nothing is the same. 

I can tell you that in the beginning, the very beginning. There was denial. This stage was short lived, as I grasped at straws, made calls demanding more testing be done. I Googled everything under the sun and found every case I could of when the ‘doctor is wrong’. 

It honestly didn’t take more than a few days to realize it was real. To know it. I felt it. Which is so funny, honestly, because I never felt the loss. But I just knew. I was still sick, my levels were high and my body wasn’t processing the loss, but I knew. I felt it with everything in me…that he was gone. 

By the time they wheeled me into surgery, I was vomiting nearly every 30 minutes around the clock and I was wrecked with intense, nonstop nausea. Add this on top of a deep depression, shock and a heavy, heavy fog. I was completely disconnected with reality. 

I can tell you that in the first week, I took only one shower (because I was told I had too before surgery) and went into the hospital on a Saturday morning for my outpatient surgery. I had multiple breakdowns, that resulted in a little extra dose of something to help me ‘relax’. The remainder of that week I spent in my bedroom. Laying on my bed, only to get up to use the restroom. Sleeping. Laying. Waiting. Wishing it all away and praying for it to stop. I couldn’t move. I was paralyzed by an unknown loss and total devastation. I wondered if this were something I could honestly ever come back from, or if this was it. This was how I would break. 

I can tell you that in that first week, each and every single time I woke up, I forgot for just a moment what was happening. Then it would hit me. Those first few seconds awake all was okay, and then it would resurface. I would remember. It would all come flooding back and I would remember. It was like each time I woke up, I had to learn the news all over again for the first time. Hitting me like a tidal wave right in the face. A punch in the gut. Every. Single. Time. 

self-portrait-black-white-pregnancy-loss-miscarriage

I can tell you that the first week was the absolute worst Hell on Earth I have ever experienced. And, I have experienced. But there is no loss in the world that could have prepared me for this. Nothing. When they say ‘the fog hasn’t lifted’ they really aren’t joking. I felt like I had been plucked from my reality and placed into the Stephen King movie, The Mist. Where there is a thick, heavy fog…and just monsters. Everywhere. 

I asked a friend during those first few weeks if it was possible to wish myself away. I said that all I wanted was to crawl out onto the grass outside and lay there and allow my body to just dissolve into the dirt and grass. A quick decomposition, where my body and all of these feelings would quickly be absorbed by the Earth. She kindly, told me that, no, she didn’t think this was a viable option for moving forward. 

self-portrait-loss-1.jpg

The only way I could describe that time was to ask someone if they could imagine what it would be like for all of the air to turn into water. And every waking moment you are just choking. Just drowning on air and suffocating. It was constant. Breathing hurt. Moving hurt. Smiling and laughing hurt. So much guilt and so many questions as to why. 

The following month wasn’t great. Once I made it through the first week and the heaviest fog, I went on auto pilot. I have to be honest, I went back to work and everything was mechanical. I truly believe I was just on some kind of survival mode. At other times, I was absent. I was either feeling things intensely, complete despair and overwhelm, or I was disconnected. I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t remember things. I was physically present, but mentally, I was somewhere else. I am still having trouble with this now. I can’t quite focus, and I am insanely forgetful. 

I got countless, countless messages. Emails, texts…messages of support and hope and understanding and sympathy. I didn’t respond to all of them, which added to my guilt. But I hope those who didn’t receive an answer from me know it wasn’t personal. There was so much I wanted to say, but I didn’t know how. I also got messages that were odd and confusing. That were frustrating, and while well intended, hurtful. 

loss-self-portrait-lauren-grayson-pregnancy-miscarriage-light

At times I wondered if I was over reacting. At times I have felt like a total asshole. Why am I making this such a big deal? Well, I’m not. It just is a big deal for me. It’s really, really hard. 

Over the past few months I have felt grief, depression, confusion, self loathing and hate, envy, anger and frustration. Among many other things, of course. 

Miscarriage is a bitch. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I thought I knew, I thought I got it, but when it happened to me…I realized there was so much I didn’t know. It’s honestly the most welcoming club I have ever been in…but it’s also one that no one wants you to ever have to be a part of. 

Moving forward, I have found that everything is different, and nothing is the same. 

Where I used to be frustrated with a new inquiry, a Mom expecting, due in just a few weeks, I now feel differently. I used to think “Geez, don’t people realize it’s so hard to book last minute? I wish people would book earlier in their pregnancy so we could plan and I had more available.” Now, I think, maybe she has lost. Maybe she was nervous or afraid, to say it out loud. To be too hopeful, too early. Or, maybe she is just a busy women and photography wasn’t first in line when it came time to plan for a baby! 

I have been an ambitious woman over the last several years. My nearly six years in business has taught me many things. I made it my goal to reach certain levels of income or ‘status’ or notoriety. I worked insane hours, nonstop and poured everything I could into a business. I put my personal life and my family on the back burner. Because, well, I am a workaholic of sorts and I love money. I mean, I am really not even ashamed to admit that. I don’t make nearly as much as people think (trust me, ha, taxes and the cost of doing business add up!) but I loved my job and I was never satisfied if I wasn’t looking at the next step. Nothing was ever enough or fulfilling to me. I always wanted more. An insatiable craving for more drove me to being a crappy Mom (sometimes) and an overworked entrepreneur. 

untitled-17-Edit.jpg

Then this. This happened. This loss. And, while, I still have so much to work on within myself, everything suddenly was different and nothing was the same. 

Just like that, my priorities shifted. They changed. 

While I still love what I do more than anything in the world, and will continue to create the art that I love, it is no longer my top priority in life. I don’t think this ‘happened’ so that I can learn a lesson. I don’t believe everything ‘happens for a reason’. There was no reason, no need for this in my eyes. It just happened and I will most likely never know why. But, I will take from it what I can. And the lesson I feel I can take from this, is that life is too short. We still need to pay bills, so I still have to work, and I am okay with that! But, this whole experience has brought on a new focus in my life. My actual life, is a bit more clear now. I have made big changes to my business that I hope will still make my clients happy, but also accommodate a lifestyle that allows me to be present more. That allows me to be home more, to read more books. To live.