I wondered how I would tell this story to thousands of people. I thought long and hard about my approach. About how I should leave certain aspects out and be sure to add others. About why and how my business helped me heal from a miscarriage. I thought about a lot of things. What I decided to do was just tell my story as simple as it happened. And as simple as it turned out. I thought that you would appreciate it better that way.
The Beginning of My Journey
My name is Stacey and I married a fantastic man named Elbert. Our matrimonial journey had a rough start. About 4 months post-wedding day, we separated. There wasn’t just one problem; there were problems. For whatever reason, we both just couldn’t get it together. It had boiled down to the both of us having unrealistic AND undiscussed expectations of what our roles ought to be. Sad, but true. Even as I think back to that time, I can’t figure why or how things went so wrong. I just know that it happened, and happened really fast.
We reconciled about 6 months later and at around our first year’s anniversary, we started “liking” each other again. Yeah, LIKING EACH OTHER AGAIN. What a reality check! Life moved on and so did we as we put forth the effort to mend our broken marriage. Learning to compromise, communicate effectively, spend intentional time together, hold our tongues, and be kind to each other were some of the things we practiced daily.
Then I Got Pregnant
Around about this time I got pregnant. I was 32 and I felt as if it was the best time for us. I did not want to delay having a child any longer. After all, we were back together and things were progressing in our marriage. So why not have a baby?
But, did you notice that I said “I” and “I got pregnant” and “I felt…” The complete truth is that my husband felt that we weren’t strong enough. He felt that we shouldn’t put parenthood on top of a weak marriage. So, there we were again, at odds with each other. This time around it was almost our second anniversary.
I desperately needed him to see my position on the matter. To realize that we were in the perfect time of our lives. We were homeowners, healthy, churchgoers, financially sound business owners. So why not now?
No matter what I said, my husband was adamant about his feelings. His “feelings” didn’t matter to me. Ready or not…. the baby was coming.
And then…. it happened. Silently. Without notice. Without warning. Everything changed, all of a sudden….
I Miscarried… The Aftermath
Only a couple of months into this pregnancy, a decision had been made for us. “I” lost the baby.
I had so many hopes tied into that baby. After all, this was exactly what we needed. So, I thought. I believed that this baby would somehow fix things and make our marriage even better. Now that the baby was gone I thought there was no hope for us. There was no point of us continuing to “fix” our marriage. Seriously. For What? We were only “liking” each other anyway.
Since Elbert felt that having a child so soon after our reconciliation wasn’t a good idea, he didn’t feel the loss like I did. Sure, he was sympathetic, but he didn’t feel it himself. My tears were just that… mine.
As I think back to those dark days, nope, I’m sorry, months. Wrong again, it was probably close to a year. There are only moments that I can remember. I remember feeling completely numb and void; absent from my present circumstances. I remember feeling so hopeless. The same thoughts swirled around in my head… WHY DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME? Honestly, what life lesson was I supposed to learn? What deep rooted issue needed to surface for me to correct? What? Why me? How did this happen? But most importantly, what the hell do I do now?
These emotions kept me in isolation. Sure, I could go grocery shopping and pay bills and clean my house. But, I was void of any connection. I was mundane, robotic, and not myself.
It affected my marriage. Our road to intimacy was stalled. I’m not talking sex, I’m talking intimacy. All of the work we had done up to the miscarriage, was at a standstill. It was as if we, (I), took a break from working on us.
All of the little “things” that we incorporated into our “new” marriage were no more. Things like my husband patting me on my bottom when I walked past. Or, he would massage my shoulders, even if I didn’t ask. I would nibble on his ear while he sat at the kitchen table. I would give him my undivided attention as he went on and on about something that I could care less about. It was the intentional time together, regardless of what we did. Playing naked Uno. Smooching at a movie theatre. Taking a long drive to the suburbs of Chicago just to get ice cream. The “things” we were doing to make our marriage strong were gone. Just completely stopped.
I remember that every day seemed the same. Nothing special, nothing remarkable. I was on a mission to find out why this happened? What was the point of it all? But, it didn’t matter how many statistics I studied or self-help books I read, I couldn’t get out of my funk. It was especially challenging to find a sense of healing from my miscarriage while at home because I had the added pressure to “fix” my marriage.
Business to the Rescue!
However, when it came to my business, which my husband and I owned together, I had to function. After all, we had employees and clients. Interacting with our staff or going to the various homes and offices we serviced MADE me get-it-together. Our staff still needed strong leadership and our clients needed to feel confident that we could do our jobs.
But, when they weren’t looking, I let the tears come. And they came easily and all of the time.
You see, I started my business when I was 19 years old. (My husband became a partner 7 years later). I have always had my business. It was my first baby if you will. And everything I did in it or with it, was of my choosing. I felt at peace and I felt at home somehow. Strange, but I felt that my job duties were comforting. Mostly, whenever I had to personally clean somewhere. Those were the days or nights that I would have my breakdowns. And later, breakthroughs.
Anytime I was alone cleaning for a client, I felt the need to drown myself in work. The systematized movements gave me physical focus. I could do these things in my sleep and it gave me time to think and pray and cry. And oh man, did the tears come. I would literally, wipe something, cry. Scrub a surface, cry. Vacuum steps, cry again. I lost all sense of time and I was performing tasks that we weren’t even paid to do! I was going the extra mile, unintentionally. It was very therapeutic. I simply got lost. At a job site. Hoping that no one would walk in on me and give me that time to grieve.
This whole, cleaning a crying thing went on for months. It seemed as if I wished for an employee to call off or go on vacation just so that I would have to go in to clean in their place. I was looking forward to the cry-fest! There was one particular home that I broke down completely with the whole ugly cry going on and I said that this had to stop. I couldn’t continue things this way. Having feelings of despair should only last for a while. It couldn’t become a way of life. I knew this and I knew that I had to change.
I began to use these times as a way to search for the one thing that I really needed. I needed to be whole again. I didn’t want to feel broken into pieces. I didn’t want to feel betrayed and abandoned. I needed peace of mind and the freedom to be completely me. I needed resolution for what happened to me. I needed to tell the woman in the mirror that no matter what caused the miscarriage, how or why it happened…. I will come through this.
I Started Journaling My Feelings
So, I began to journal. Whenever I could, but mostly at the job sites. I would give myself grace of about 5 minutes here or there to write down something inspirational like a quote or bible verse to combat my negative emotions. I would listen to uplifting music that would keep positive vibes going. Even when the tears came, less often now, I simply wiped them away and kept moving forward. I became grateful for these times. Very grateful that my business helped me heal from a miscarriage.
I began to reach out to my friends and family again. Not a lot. But just enough for my comfort. Little by little. Step by step. The peace of God entered my heart again. I could see the light of day. Again, little by little.
I wish that I could tell you that all I needed came in one miraculous rush. It didn’t. That was not my story. It was not just one thing that caused me to heal from a miscarriage. I made good choices that helped. I made a couple of bad choices too that made things worse and set me back a bit. The good ones outweighed the bad. It was a process.
I had to also realize that I was going to survive this regardless if we had children or not. Or, if our marriage would make it or not.
Nevertheless, things got much better at home as we slowly put our “fix-it” hats on again. Soon the patting on my bottom, the ear nibbling and the, ahem, naked Uno resumed. Yeah, things turned out pretty darn good.
About 3 years after my business helped me heal from a miscarriage, we got pregnant again. This time, Elbert was on board and was ready. Really ready!! Our first son was born in 2007. We then had another son less than 2 years later. And as life would have it, our last son was born when I was 40 years old! All were naturally conceived, full term and healthy. Elbert and I are 16 years married strong.
We currently still provide cleaning maintenance in Chicago, Illinois, US. And now own the blogging business of A Janitor Story. where we inspire and provide practical solutions for new maid and janitorial service providers. Our content is intended for the professional cleaning service industry, however, many team leaders, married business partners, and small business owners can find value.
About the Author
|Stacey Freeman is a new blogger at A Janitor Story. She and her husband Elbert Freeman have owned a small professional maid and janitorial contracting firm in Chicago, Illinois, US. They have owned their company for 25 years and have a strong passion for customer service. So much, in fact, their customers have retained cleaning services on average of 17 years. NOW you can learn their secrets to customer satisfaction, their growth strategies, how they relate to team members, and the dozens of tips to keep a small cleaning business organized. Their blog is appropriately named A Janitor’s Story. Here, they share stories of how they balance married life and business partnership. Their stories are comical, informative and always inspiring to thousands of professional cleaning service providers who seek balance and structure in their own lives. Although their blog is intended for the professional cleaning service industry, the material can be useful to many. Married couples in business, small business owners, team leaders, and anyone looking for a better customer experience can find value in the blog’s content. Stacey and Elbert just celebrated 16 years of marriage in 2017. They reside in Chicago and have 3 small boys.|