Tag Archives: Miscarriage

When Disagreement Turns Hateful: The Duggar Family Loss

When I first heard the Duggar family news that Michelle had miscarried, I felt spite well up, thinking of my own losses and comparing my family of 2 to her family of 20, and internally said, “I don’t feel bad for her.”

This past week, I read the story and my anger turned into concern and compassion.  Michelle had a late-term miscarriage, losing her baby at 20 weeks. I don’t care how you feel about their growing family, a miscarriage is hard.  Also, to them, continuing to have children is a blessing and it is also their choice.  They are feeding, schooling, and taking care of their children and home without the help of government assistance or the community, what is selfish about that?

While I had an admittedly “right” reason for my anger, at least I was heedful of Michelle’s pain and kept the thoughts to myself, not posting them on Facebook or even mentioning them to my friends.  Unfortunately, many threw mean comments right at her face, completely ignoring the pain she and her family are currently experiencing.

I have disagreements with Patriarchy and the Quiverfull movement, something that Melissa articulately describes in her post, Babies, Duggars and Me.  However, this is not about me and it’s not about you.

It’s about Michelle and her pain
a baby lost with all the accompanying sorrow
and coming together and collectively sharing her burden while lifting her up.

With so much hate in this world, why don’t we recognize an important component to our evolution: compassion.

Rather than spreading hate by calling the Duggars “selfish” and, with disgusting temerity, saying things like, “God took the Duggars baby because He is sending them a message: stop conceiving,” let’s recognize her sorrow and cry with her and all women who have experienced loss.  I know I am.

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Filed under Spreading Love

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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I Blame My Hair

I remember when I was young and care-free.  I would wake up, work-out, shower, eat breakfast, blow-dry my hair, and all those other things to make myself beautiful.  I loved the mornings.  I didn’t like to get up, per se, but I did like the feeling of waking before the birds and completing tedious tasks long before I needed to set out to work or class.  I felt accomplished and I did my hair.  Every day.  No exceptions (ok, unless I didn’t wake up early).

Around the time of my third miscarriage, I had grown to hate that hair styling tool meant to blow dry my hair into beautiful locks.  It never did.  Instead, I would labor in front of the mirror getting sweatier by the minute, blowing that darned heat in the direction of the wet mop on my head and willing it to style my hair so I wouldn’t have to use the straightener.  Alas, my wavy tresses made that impossible.  And my kids made the task not only tedious but life-threatening as they attempted to touch the socket, grab the hot straightener, and cause all kinds of havoc with their sweet, little hands.

I decided to shower and work out at night.

Once we arrived in MO, and started medical school, things shifted yet again.  With Ben’s schedule changing weekly, there are nights he is at home and nights he is gone and no advanced warning as to which it will be.  It fully depends on his homework load and his studying pace.  As my love for mornings dwindled with each pregnancy, I have scorned the thought of getting up before my children.  Surely there would be opportunities to workout and shower at night.  But here we are, 2 months into our routine, and I still don’t have a routine.

Did any of you read NPR’s article entitled “Prioritizing Health or Hair?”  I am sure the idea in this–that women are choosing their locks over their health–caused quite a few guffaws from educated readers.  Unless they were moms.  I mean, who has time to exercise AND look beautiful?  When I actually find the energy to straighten my hair, do you really think I’m going to ruin it by exercising?  Heck no.

For many of you readers, you must remember me bemoaning the 20 lbs I gained from birth control.  I ditched the evil pill and am now contending with the extra weight.  Clearly I must decide between styling my hair and exercising–it’s one or the other folks.

I think I might go back to AM exercising.  My kids don’t wake up at night so I really don’t have an excuse for limited Z’s until I remember that IT’S THE MORNING.  Who wakes up just to sweat in the morning?

So I blame my hair for my extra weight.

Until I remember that I don’t do my hair, either.  Drat.

Heather has asked that we just write. So I did. You can too.

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Filed under Random Thoughts, Uncategorized

Oh Birth Control, How I Love/Loathe Thee

After the last miscarriage, I had to take what I normally avoid: birth control. Why? To control my insane cycles that included major depressive episodes that my current medicine was not effectively controlling; nausea and/or vomiting; and intense cramping that left me breathless.  Also, the bleeding was mild and came and went over 9 days.

But I have hesitated to take the BC.  My first experience, in the beginning two months of our marriage, was not good.  It turned me crazier than I already was.

However, my doctor explained that it would help with the overactive cysts (another thing that accompanied the miscarriages), keep the bleeding regular, and control my intense mood swings.

So I caved.

And it became my–almost–best friend.  That little pill worked wonders until I was ready to try again.

But the third miscarriage put me into another hormonal/period tail swing.  So I went to my therapist–the red pill–and began a new regimen.  Again, things righted themselves (except for the major depressive episodes, yuck), and all has been good in my world.

Until the scale topped out at 20 lbs heavier than before the miscarriage.  What the hell?  I kind of expected 10 lbs but 20, 20! I think the weight gain might be creating major depressive episodes at this point.  And anxiety attacks.  Oh my.

So I’m going to bid good-bye to my friend.  It’s been a lovely relationship full of give and take.  You took my body and I gave my soul.  Or something like that.  For real, though, adieu.  And good riddance.

What type of birth control do you use?  Do you like it?  (Come on, don’t be shy.  Sharing is caring. And it makes me feel better.)

image via ladysuite.net

—-This week’s supportive parenting theme is saying sorry.  How do you say sorry?  How do your kids sorry? Funny stories about apologizing?  Let’s hear it.—-

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And Life Goes On

With a heavy heart, I put him down.  His need for me to hold him as diminished.  I want to kiss his cheeks, but he is too busy with his toddler agenda.  And my mind wanders into the “if” zone.

If I had known my womb would reject baby after baby…

Would I have kissed his sweet, newborn lips more?

Would I have endured those night-time feedings with more patience?

Would I have lived with more love and less resentment?

Would I have less regrets now because I had lived purposefully and in the moment then?

I don’t know the answers.

*****

Today marks the one year anniversary of my second loss.  Or at least writing about it.

*****

I thought I was okay.  It’s been well over 4 months since I had my third loss, but I guess that grief is still oozing from my heart. In swells.  At first it was anger, bitterness, and so many other loud feelings.  It petered off to rejection and a forget-this-I’m-strong attitude. Now the deep sorrow has set in.  I can’t hear of another pregnant woman without waves of sadness sweeping over me.  I try to ignore it, I do, because I am very happy and excited for them.  However, my thoughts are overwhelming.  I am afraid to leave the house because little things might open the dam of tears.

Oh depression, please leave me be!

*****

I once thought things were simple.  My life, as I knew it, was perfectly planned out.  But the physical and emotional pain over the last year threw my soul into a rather-be-forgotten rut.  No, this isn’t about detours or how God has other plans, it’s about biology and how sometimes there is no damn reason for why our bodies do certain things.  Or why, after two healthy, albeit tough, pregnancies I can’t seem to grow another.  It also doesn’t explain, well, a lot. Something I won’t go into, yet.  Too dark for a Friday.

*****

How do you celebrate an anniversary of loss?  Right now, I’m thinking food and love.  But dear Ben has his first major exam for medical school on Monday and will not be around today, tomorrow, or Sunday.  I will be alone.  With the kids.  With my thoughts.

So we will continue with our regular routine: eat, clean, make messes, clean some more, eat, and bed.  Maybe some fun sprinkled in, but, in my current state, highly unlikely.

Happy Friday everyone.  Have some fun for me, okay?

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Filed under miscarriage

The Elephant

Everywhere I go, people ask, “How are you doing?” I know what they are referring to.  I ecstatically answer, “Great!” and move the conversation in a more comfortable direction.

With the last miscarriage, I had a split desire to talk about it and deny everything that happened.  This time, I am clamming up.  Occasionally I let myself think about it, but for the most part I ignore it.  There is too much hurt to confront right now.  Part of the grieving process is denial.  I guess you could say I’m in that stage right now, and I don’t know when I’ll get out of it.  I don’t know if I want to get out of it.

Talking about this experience with people is not only uncomfortable, it’s impossible.  It’s not that women haven’t experienced miscarriages before, but what often happens is a story sharing experience followed by, “I’m sure you’ll have more soon.”  I understand good intentions–hey, I’m the Queen of Good Intentions–it’s just that I’m too hurt, angry, and bitter to hear these things without saying something sarcastic bordering on caustic.

Not only did we lose a baby, but I am facing the possibility of never having anymore children.  I’m not exaggerating.  So, when people ask about it, I find myself saying bluntly, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

At the same time, everywhere we go, there is this awkward silence followed by rushed conversations. People don’t know what to say and what not to say.  They don’t know whether I’ll be hurt when they mention, “so and so is having a baby,” or if I’ll act angry when they say some consoling remark.

I am the elephant in the room.

Sarcastically speaking, it’s lovely to have this loss right as we are moving.  People wish to say good-bye and I just want to fall into a deep hole with loud music playing–anything to avoid thinking.

I’m learning to hold my tongue, but know that I really really don’t want to talk about it.

P.S.  Since I am responsible for moving, I won’t be around much.  Plus, I’m trying very hard not to slip into a depressive state. It’s hard to comment when everything seems so…bleak.

P.P.S. I miss my kids so much it hurts.  Really hurts.  5 more days.  5 more days.  (Repeat until the emotions die down.)

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Filed under Shooting Straight

I Might As Well Turn Myself In

In February of this year, Georgia state representative Bobby Franklin proposed a bill that would make miscarriage illegal. And worse, punishable by death penalty. (For summaries or a refresher, The Huffington Post and Mother Jones are invaluable resources.) When I heard about it, I remember scratching my head. How could a man get off punishing a woman for a biological process?

After my most recent miscarriage, this issue has greater personal impact. And I wonder, how would I have proven that my miscarriage was, indeed, a miscarriage? If ever questioned by authorities, I have come up with a plan of action that involves three steps.

1. Written proof from my doctor that I was taking progesterone to prevent a miscarriage. Present the medication as evidence.

2. Provide a copy of ultrasounds one and two which show conclusive evidence that a heartbeat was not found.  Have the radiologist, the doctor on call, and my primary care physician write a detailed description of what the ultrasounds indicate.

3. Submit video of me lying on the couch in obvious pain. Show a graph that indicates the contractions I was enduring. Include blood samples taken at time of miscarriage and the embryo I “birthed.” End with a heartfelt plea from both my husband and me exclaiming our sincere grief at the loss we experienced.

Joking aside, this type of law indicates the giant chasm women still need to cross to ensure our rights and dignity are maintained. It is also proof of the corrupting nature that any state with a consistent political majority–be it republican or democrat–undergoes. In their attempt to remain “right wing” and “pro-life,” the lawmakers of Georgia have undermined a women’s right to not only choose, but to have control over their own bodies. The most humiliating part being that a man is leading this debate on a women’s reproductive issue–proof that men continue trying to control women through their misogynistic legislation.

I have yet to determine how this law fared in Georgia’s legislature. But I am darned grateful I don’t live in Georgia.

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