Apathy Toward Loss and Life

Deep within my heart is a hiding place.  In it resides the four pregnancies I have lost.  I don’t know what to do with them.

They are lost, like me.

I feel empty more than sad.  Like a spoon has slowly scooped out my emotions and left me bare.  As I try to pinpoint my exact feelings, I am faced with more confusion.  I guess I feel beyond questions like “why me?” or “why has this happened again?”  The likelihood of finding answers is signficantly low and I don’t really have the energy do to so.

According to one website that I frequent often–and found after my second miscarriage–my chance for having a normal pregnancy is 43%.  That is not a promising number.

A dear friend reminded me, though, that I must continue on, that life is not as desolate as I feel.  She encouraged me into action, so I made an appointment with a doctor to see if they might find what my other physicians didn’t: an answer.  Again, in 50% of cases like mine, there is no discernible cause.

The appointment is a few weeks out and I have no idea what will come of it, but I guess there’s nothing to lose.

The website I mentioned above also provides a very accurate list of what women might experience after miscarriage:

  • disturbed sleep and eating patterns
  • unexplainable tiredness
  • unexpected tears
  • disturbing dreams and mental confusion

I would also add,

  • extreme emotion–anger, sadness, happiness, etc
  • feeling betrayed by your body and/or by God (if you believe in a higher power)
  • wondering if you should have done something different and feeling guilty for little things you feel you could/should have changed

When a miscarriage is your second, third, fourth, etc, things change.  It seems–in my experience–as the miscarriages add up, the more distance I’ve placed between myself and the situation.  This is proof in how I announced my pregnancy to the few people I told: “Well, I’m pregnant; since I probably only have 3 weeks left, I’m not too worried about sickness and other symptoms.”  Talking about it with my usual dose of sarcasm was my way of coping with previous losses and steeling myself against the possibility of another one.

Somewhere on this website, the authors mention a sense of ambivalence when a women finds she is pregnant, again, after suffering multiple miscarriages.  There seems no point in seeking a connection with the growing embryo when your body will spontaneously abort it soon.

I find myself wondering at how I will cope with this one.  It sounds weird, but I feel confused (see? mental confusion) and unsure of what is going on in my head and heart.  I feel tears behind my eyes, but no desire to let them through.  I suppose it seems that tears are unnecessary;  I’ve been there, done that, and feel like a broken record when I speak about my loss to anyone.

And I really dislike the word miscarriage.  It comes off my tongue with spite, like the very word is poison.

Let this post indicate to you how I am doing.  I just don’t know.  One minute I am seething with unknown anger, the next I am listless.  I feel pointless.  Not like I am worthless, but like I don’t have direction–my thoughts, my purpose, I just don’t know what I am doing or where I am going.  Even at work, I will sit at my desk and think for 10 minutes about what I need to do.  It’s strange, really, because it isn’t connected to religion or whatever, it’s connected to this loss that I don’t understand.  A loss that most people don’t grieve over, publicly, and many people aren’t fully informed about what it involves.  It’s almost like we, I, are trying to force our way into the parent category of the child/infant loss group.  People will roll their eyes at my grief, suggesting it really isn’t that bad.

And maybe it isn’t.

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9 Comments

Filed under miscarriage

9 responses to “Apathy Toward Loss and Life

  1. I am so sorry. I wish I could give you a hug in person. I’m sure I’ve said before, but I was in your place. I had 4 miscarriages. I didn’t think a pregnancy would ever stick and I felt everything that you wrote about. And then, something just clicked. I have no idea what. I never got any answers. But I now have my 3 beautiful kids. It’s not hopeless. And those babies, that life you created, even though it was with you for only a short while, it’s not lost. Life is life, no matter how long it was lived. Thinking of you xoxo.

  2. Amber, I am so sorry. You let people peer into your heart with what you write and I appreciate that so I can grieve with you in some small way. It’s not true that “it isn’t really that bad.” It’s yours, it belongs to you, and you’re the only one who feels the true weight of what you carry. No one else can tell you it should feel lighter if it doesn’t. I don’t blame you for feeling lost and empty. One of my clients is 15 and miscarried; everyone around her was relieved she wouldn’t have to deal with a baby at that age, but she is really hurting. We made a box and decorated it for her baby, and she writes letters to the little girl she would have had. She paints pictures of balloons for her daughter. I think of you when I am with her.

  3. It is a big deal…
    I’ve had a couple of people brush mine off because I was so newly pregnant that I barely had time to realize it before I miscarried.. But, I still know I lost a life, a child, and to me that pain cannot be classified as “nothing”.
    Thinking of you all the time! xoxo

  4. I appreciate what it takes for you to commit these thoughts to “paper.” I would posit that you don’t really have to know anything right now, or ever really. Just hang in there and know that you are loved.

  5. You are entitled to feel however you want to feel. There are no right emotions or wrong ones, just the ones you know to be true in your heart.

    I’m thinking of you and wishing I were closer to give you a big hug and a cup of tea.

  6. A friend of mine here had two children and t hen four miscarriages. She found out that she had low progesterone or it was too high, I can’t remember, something like that. They were able to give her meds to stabilize her hormone levels and since then, she has had two more children, both while still continuing the meds. I don’t know if that’s what they might find with you, but sometimes they can find a cause and treat it.

    I just went through a molar pregnancy. This is not a miscarriage, but rather a pregnancy gone bad. It’s caused by a chromosomal abnormality (two sperm fertilize one egg and the resulting fetus has too many chromosomes). It causes the placenta to form as cyst-like cells rather than a normal placenta. I had to have a d&c because the body does not usually reject this type of pregnancy early enough. One side effect is extreme nausea and constant bleeding.

    I have found that people who have not had a miscarriage or lost a pregnancy do not understand what it feels like. They are critical and judgmental of your grief rather than supportive and loving. My own mother and all four of my sisters-in-law who’ve had babies have not ever lost a pregnancy. Not one of them is very understanding. If they happen to call at one of my low points, they tell me that everything will be fine and I’ll be able to get pregnant again. They tell me about someone they knew who had a molar pregnancy and had more babies. They don’t take into consideration that I am now 34 and since I now have to wait 6 months to a year before we can even try again (due to the increased risk of another molar pregnancy and higher possibility that the second molar pregnancy could be cancer-causing), that I may be running out of time to keep trying. And I’m afraid that it will happen again only this time the outcome won’t be as positive–that it could be cancer the next time.

    All I’m saying is that people can be so cruel without really intending to be. Their lack of experience can lead to misunderstanding.

    I’m sorry that you’ve had such a hard time with this. I wish you well this time around and hope that perhaps a cause will be detected.

  7. Amber, I am thinking of you and sending your strength. Feel what you want to feel, when you want to feel it. xoxo

  8. It’s just not fair. I’m so sorry for your loss. Truly.

  9. Lindsey Duffin

    Amber I am so sorry. I want you to know, it is okay and valid to feel those feelings, and yes, it is as bad as you think it is. After going through my miscarriage, I realize it is something that no one else fully understands- especially those that haven’t experienced it. I still have questions/anger/sadness/etc from that experience. I am so sorry you have had to go through it several times. Want you to know I am thinking about you.