Sudden Loss

I had a suspicion that I was pregnant.  Familiar symptoms began plaguing my body: nausea, sleeplessness, moodiness, and back pains.  I was excited.

A couple weeks later the symptoms stopped.  I took a few pregnancy tests, all of which came back negative.  I was worried.

Then the bleeding started.

At first I thought that maybe I had been wrong.  But I knew my body and this bleeding was very different from a normal period.

I have cried with many friends who have miscarried.  I have comforted them, held their hand, or, if I couldn’t be there, offered understanding in comments and e-mails.

But when I experienced my own miscarriage, I couldn’t talk about it.  Besides Ben, I shared the news with only a couple other people.

I was scared.

The comments well intentioned people would say held me back.  I didn’t want to hear–

You’re young, you’ll bounce back.

You do have two little ones.  Enjoy them.

Maybe it was for the best.

You weren’t trying, were you?

Frankly, it’s none of your business if we were trying. I also don’t care if it was for the best, that I have two babies, or that I have youth on my side.  My heart was–is–still breaking.

That baby I was growing was real to me.  I was visualizing her little hands, his first smile, her itty bitty nose, and the smell of his newborn skin.  I wasn’t sure how I would handle three little ones under three, but I was going to try!

Still, my fear held me back from fully mourning.

The impact didn’t fully hit me until a month afterward.

It was then that I cried into Ben’s shoulder.  He understood.  He continues to comfort me each month when I am greeted by an unwelcome visitor.  He is compassionate even when I am horribly angry for those first two days.

I am my worst critic.

When my period arrives, I begin asking the questions.

Am I not worthy?

Is it because I am a horrible mother?

What am I supposed to learn?

What about the feelings I had?  Did I misunderstand?

Why?

After the questions end, I start berating myself. The thoughts are dark, depressing, and leave me feeling worthless.

The pain increases, the emptiness I feel in my heart grows bigger.  I feel alone.

Yet I am becoming stronger.

I am learning to shut off my inner critic.  I feel my depression ebbing away.

I am letting myself grieve.

Now, will you please pass the tissue?

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54 Comments

Filed under keeping the faith

54 responses to “Sudden Loss

  1. I am really sorry, Amber. And I am really sorry for stupid people.

    • I believe that most people really are trying to say the best things, but sometimes I just don’t want to hear it. You know?

  2. You poor girl. I went through a very similar process when I had a miscarriage at six weeks along. For me it was that I didn’t feel like I had a right to grieve since I hadn’t been very far along. It was a good solid month or more before I really mourned the loss. My profound sympathies. And I’m glad you’re fighting your inner critic because she? Knows nothing. You however? Know and understand a very great deal.

    I hope people don’t say stupid things (hope I don’t, for that matter), but remember that the people who DO say them are usually kind at heart and just hoping to say the right words to make you feel better. Kind of sad how far off base they often are.

    Except for the people who say you’re better off not pregnant. Them, you have my permission to scissor kick. Hiyah!

    • Kim,

      You are absolutely correct: most people have good intentions. I had my miscarriage a few months ago and it has been harder than I thought it would be. My primary reason for not telling people is because I have had many express happiness (mostly by in-laws) that I am not pregnant yet. I know what they mean is they are glad I’m not pregnant and very sick (because I do get very sick) but after I had the miscarriage I have been ultra sensitive. I also felt guilty because Andrew was only 4 months at the time. When I suspected I was pregnant, I was scared but I was full of faith. It’s hard to describe that to a person who is not religious.

      I am sorry for the loss you experienced as well. Miscarriage is a unique sense of loss. In many ways (I’m not sure if you felt this) I felt like my body had failed me. I think, though, I have learned quite a bit from this experience. I am learning to rely on the Lord even when all I really want to do is ignore Him. He really does know what’s best for our family.

  3. I am so sorry Amber.

    I often wonder if people REALLY think before speaking. I think people are afraid of silence and of truly listening and often think they are in the best place to give unsolicited advice. Perhaps their intentions are in a good place, but the words don’t necessarily reflect what is in their mind.

    Again, I am so sorry Amber. The grieving process is a difficult one, but by putting these words down, I hope you find some solace in acknowledging what you feel.

    • I know I have said my share of hurtful comments, most in an attempt to console. Since I finished my degree, I learned much of grieving, infertility and miscarriage. I also realized how insensitive I had been.

      I think these factors combined made me ultra sensitive after my loss. It didn’t help that I was feeling guilty, depressed, and angry. After writing I did, indeed, feel much better. The anger has lessened and the sorrow has increased. A good sign of grieving.

      Thank you for your kind words of support. I really can’t express how much they meant to me.

  4. As much tissue as you need, my dear.

  5. I am sorry for your loss. I wish I could bring you a box of tissues and a huge hug.
    xo

  6. Hi Amber – I am so very sorry for your loss, because it is a loss no matter how early in a pregnancy (I lost one at 13 weeks and one at 6 weeks) it occurs, the hormones have kicked in, the excitement has started and so much more. When I had my miscarriages only my husband knew about them which with hindsight was a big mistake as not talking about it, not being able to outwardly grieve, meant feelings did not get expressed or properly dealt with. So I am glad you are talking about this and I hope you continue to do so until you feel you have grieved enough.

    • Thank you so much. I agree, talking about it can, in many ways, help us grieve. I wrote this post feeling very angry–angry with my body and angry with the pain I still felt–and published it feeling very sad. A shift that I needed.

      I am sorry for *your* loss. You are right, a miscarriage is real no matter when it occurs. I am sure you grieved just as much each time.

      Thank you for your sweet words. You are a true friend.

  7. I’m so sorry for your loss Amber. Hang in there. I will keep you in my prayers.

    • Thank you, Marvett! I will never turn a prayer down. : )

      Really, though, thank you. Your support means more than I can sufficiently say.

  8. I can understand how you feel, Amber, and I’m so sorry you had to experience this. You had a baby inside you. It doesn’t matter how long he/she had been growing, it was your baby and you have the right to grieve. Take the time you need and you will keep getting stronger.
    *hugs*

    • Thank you, Shannon. This comment means so much to me. The disappointment and pain I felt when I realized the baby–my baby–was no longer growing really hurt. But through writing, and through your support and that of others, I am feeling much stronger.

  9. Oh my friend, you’re in a heap of trouble for not telling me!!

    Okay okay, so I know you have loads of other best friends to tell. I mearly bow before you bloggy greatness.

    But I do so hope your heart feels better soon. I’m sorry about your loss. That truly would be so, so hard. You are so amazing.

    I hope you know its true. Because I said it was so. And whatever I say is truth.

    Don’t forget it. 😀

    • Ha! I really did not tell anyone! I promise. It actually happened before CBC but if it had happened after, you better believe I would have e-mailed you!

      My heart does feel better. Each day. Thank you so much, Serene.

  10. I’m so sorry you had to go through something like that. My mom had 5 miscarriages, and she could be the first to tell you that those were her children and she definitely mourned each one.

    I was actually old enough to remember the last one, and after the excitement of thinking that I might have a new brother/sister for awhile, then finding out it wouldn’t happen… I remember going into my room to cry. And it sucked really bad.

    So I’m sorry that each month since it’s had to suck for you. And you will always think of that little one, which is JUST fine. We are all giving you big hugs!!

    • Thank you, Kristen. Your mother must have suffered greatly. I can relate even more to her pain after I experienced my own miscarriage.

      I had the miscarriage a few months ago, when Andrew was 4 months, and, well, I think you can understand my primary reason in not telling people. Silly, really, because I don’t care how close they would have been, I would have loved that baby just like my other two.

      I feel the hugs. Really, I do. Thank you for them.

  11. Oh, Amber!!!!!! I am so sorry to hear this. It HURTS. And inconsiderate people make it hurt more. I remember when my wife had a miscarriage. I couldn’t believe how deeply sad we were. I was brave until I had her in to the doctor for the D&C. Then, I sat out in the wating room and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed for a good hour or more. You will be in my prayers. It does eventually pass, though. But it hurts!!!! And you need to allow that.

  12. I can definitely understand your pain right now. I’m so sorry.

  13. db

    Aww.. Hugs to you Amber.

    I just wrote about this on my blog as well.. I miscarried the day after our second anniversary. It was very early in the pregnancy – and I barely knew I was pregnant, but it still hurts. It’s been 4 months and I still think about it every day. I imagine what my baby would be like…

    And people do make the most ridiculous comments! I’m so sorry for you and your family.
    xoxox

  14. Amber, I’m sending tissues and a great big hug. You deserve it my friend. I cannot imagine the pain, and will not try to take it away. Stay strong, and feel what you need to feel. Be true to yourself. You are an amazing woman.

    • Thank you, Christine.

      I don’t think the pain will ever disappear but, strangely enough, I am very grateful for it. It reminds me that I am human, that I can experience loss. I can also now empathize with women who have experienced a miscarriage. I can really cry with them. Even though it was awful, I believe it has made me a better person, a better mother. I feel even worse that it took such a harsh lesson for me to make some changes.

  15. Amber, I am so sorry for your pain. I’ve been there. Three times in fact, and it didn’t get easier. We have our Little Miss but we would like to try again soon, but I am so afraid of going down that heart-breaking path again. I fear that my daughter now was my only silver-lining, the fluke, and if we tried for another, we will only have to endure more pain. But I’m not willing to give up without even trying first, so we will get there. And I hope, just like you, that we can heal and move on – and find that rainbow amid our fear again.

    *Hugs*

  16. I’m sorry. Sometimes it is hard to lose something, even if we didn’t know we had it yet. Good luck with recovering and grieving.

  17. Eva

    Sending hugs to you, my dear. We all mourn the loss of your baby with you.

  18. Oh, Amber, I’m so sorry. The babies we never get to hold have a place in our heart just as much as the ones we do. I’m wishing you peace and strength, friend.

  19. I can’t imagine, never having gone through it myself. I am so sorry for your loss.

  20. You are incredible. Amazing. Wonderful. Beautiful. A fantastic woman and mother.

    I love you.

    So sorry. Crying for you. And praying. Praying lots.

    So sorry sweet friend.

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  22. Some people don’t know what to say so they speak without thinking. I won’t say that I understand when I don’t. All I can say is that I am sorry.

  23. Very sorry, Amber—and definitely sending you virtual hugs and ample tissue.

    I’m glad that you are writing about your loss and hope it will help the many many others who end up feeling isolated and do not find their way to fully grieve and mourn this very difficult loss.

    I went back and looked at the post I wrote on this topic back in February (http://bit.ly/aMI7Kb) and revisited you compassionate comment there with greater compassion for you.

    You are brave, you are loving, you are honest and you are not alone (even though you sometimes, as you say, feel that way). Real connections are healing, even if none of us have any answers on life’s biggest and unanswerable questions.

    With love and best wishes.

  24. Amber, I am so sorry. I just wrote a post mentioning my first miscarriage. In retrospect, I believe it’s harder to have a miscarriage after you’ve had children than before. Before was crushing to me, no doubt, because I wanted to be a parent so bad and I wasn’t sure I’d ever be. But having a miscarriage after I had my son meant that I knew exactly what that little speck inside of me could have become and I grieved that loss, even though I knew how enormously lucky I was to have my little boy.

    I don’t know why I had to go through so much to have my kids, I don’t know why anyone does. Are we meant to appreciate them more? I’m sure people who don’t have pregnancy losses appreciate their kids! All I can say in retrospect is that I’m sure I ended up with the kids God meant me to have.

  25. Jen

    Listen only to the words that comfort you, Amber. And know that we–your many many friends and supporters–have you in our thoughts.

  26. I am so sorry, sweet Amber. I join our friends here in sending you love, hugs, and tissues. You are in my thoughts and in my heart today.

  27. Many of us know this sort of loss, which may not help at all, except we understand. And sometimes it takes years before you can talk about it, so I’d say you’re doing well, if that’s even a term that makes any sense in this context.

    Sending a virtual hug, and virtual kleenex, and love.

  28. I am so so sorry. Like so many of us, I have been there and I know how profound and private the pain can be. And how utterly insensitive people can be. Sending thoughts and tissues your way.

  29. Oh honey… I am so sorry.
    But I’m so proud of you for writing about it. Thank you.

  30. Sweet girl, I’d wrap my arms around you if you were here to be wrapped.

  31. Amber, I’m sorry I’m so late to this. I had one between Miss D. and Miss M., and no matter what anyone says, you need to grieve in your own way.

    Sending white light and big hugs your direction.

  32. I love your vulnerability. Thank you for sharing your heart. I’m sharing mine right back along with so many others. Babies are babies, held with our hands or our hearts. They leave their mark.

  33. I, too, am sorry I missed this until now.

    That heart of yours that is breaking? It’s a mother heart, and that is a gift from God.

    So mourn away as you need to, because you know what a blessing it is to have these little ones.

    And keep fighting those demons. You’re so wise and strong.

    Know you are loved.

  34. (And by saying you’re strong, please don’t read that as meaning that it’s weak to mourn. I think it’s strong to let yourself grieve rather than push it away.)

    hugs.

  35. Melanie J

    I’m really, really sad for you. But Heavenly Father loves you. Be well.

    • Melanie,

      You are so right. I am finally allowing Heavenly Father, and the infinite Atonement, heal my heart. It feels oh so good.

  36. Take as long as you need to grieve. I’m glad you had the courage to write it out — and look at this outpouring of support and love that resulted.

    When you wrote about how this baby was already real to you, I was taken back to my own miscarriage, at 12 weeks, which occurred many years ago now, and how no one seemed to understand that I was in *real* mourning for my loss. I suppose it’s easy for people to not get it; when it’s not visible on the outside, it’s not so real to them. I do get it, though, and you have my sincere condolences.

    • Meredith,

      Thank you for this kind comment.

      Miscarriage is a form of ambiguous loss. It’s hard to publicly mourn for a child that many do not see as “real.” The pain for us, though, is real. It is tangible. And it doesn’t go away.

  37. Between my older sister and I my birth mother had 7 miscarriages and my of my close friends have had miscarriages. I’m so sorry for your pain. Don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t cry over the baby that was yours. Just know that Heavenly Father loves you.
    Sending hugs.