Posts Tagged ‘miscarriages’

Charmed

I love Pandora jewelry, particularly the charms. Though I’ve never bought a charm for myself, my husband usually gets me one for Christmas or some other occasion. I don’t have a ton of charms for my bracelet, but I have ascribed meaning to each one that I have received.

The first charm I got was this orange-striped candy bead a couple of Christmases ago from my MIL:

orange candy

Of course I associate it with sweetness and the holidays!

I also have this one, The Red Hot Love bead:

red hot love

You guessed it–this symbolizes the love my husband and I have each other (duh)!

I’ve received a few more since then and my MIL offered to buy me another one last Christmas for my birthday in January. Here’s what I bought:

butterfly

This one is the fuchsia butterfly. I got it to remember the baby I lost last September. Not that I would ever need a piece of jewelry or anything else for that matter to remember. Holidays were particularly hard last year and when I walked into the store I knew that I wanted to get something to remember her with, but I didn’t want anyone to know why I’d chosen it. That’s me, keeping my pain tucked away so the world can’t see. My MIL and husband  just assumed I thought the charm was pretty. This was somewhat true, but I have associated butterflies with her memory since they seemed to be everywhere after I lost her.

This year, my husband took me in the store again and I was immediately flooded with last year’s memory. As I recollected, I realized that this passing year was also filled with the second loss I had in February. I’ve never actually processed the loss to a great extent. Maybe I didn’t because there was no fetal pole or maybe because I was only 5 weeks along. Actually, the main reason was because I was just too terrified, but more about that in my next post.  Anyway, this is what I chose for my latest charm:

guardian angel

This one is the guardian angel.  The angel wings symbolize my second angel baby. The one that was gone in the blink of an eye. The one whose spirit that I have since decided was a him.

I don’t know what next year will bring but I hope that I won’t be buying a charm to acknowledge another loss. Given the choice between having a loss and having nothing, I will gladly take nothing.

I kept thinking yesterday how much I wanted to be able to pick out a charm for my take-home baby–the one that will truly be mine, the one that won’t die, if one exists. What would be even better would be for my husband to select it for me. I can’t tell you how much I want that to happen. I’ve waited so long now that I’m not sure whether I am truly waiting or just merely breathing.

This would be my first baby’s first Christmas. This realization has not eluded me. It would also be my second baby’s first Christmas. I got a beautiful new tree to distract myself. I won’t let myself visualize what my baby would look like, whether she would be talking, or what she would think of the tree. I made it pretty and I made it for her and I made it for him, and I hope I have honored their memories.

I am glad to have my bracelet. It’s funny how something so pretty can make you so sad, but I guess that’s life. I don’t know why loss like this happens and I suppose I will never know. So I carry my losses in my heart and I wear them on my wrist, hoping someday my babies find their way back to me.

Advertisements

What Might Have Been

 

Today was supposed to be a big day for me:  the day I (finally) announced my pregnancy to all my family and friends.  I would have been 11 weeks.

I woke up this morning and like all mornings, the aching realization hit me:  My baby is gone.  This time  though, I had an additional thought.  Yes, my baby is gone but at least I know there is no other baby in me right now that could die as well.

I can’t remember if this extra thought made me feel better or worse.

My husband and I went to the state fair instead.  I was bombarded by babies and toddlers but that is ok because I knew I would be.  We go every year and the main attraction for us is walking around, looking at the exhibits and eating food we normally would not eat.  Reflective me couldn’t help but remember this time last year at the fair when I asked my husband if we would have a baby by the same time the following year.  I almost did.  But almost doesn’t count.

Just a few days after the D & C, I got the pathology (don’t know if this is the correct term) report back.  This surprised me because Mr. Hardly Gives a Damn  Mr. RE said it would be weeks before I got it back since tissues had to be sent to California.  As suspected, the baby had a chromosomal abnormality, Trisomy 15.  Trisomy 15 is one of the more rare abnormalities, so not much is really known about it.  From what I read, it is just something that happens.  That’s all I really know.

I also know that the baby was a girl.  According to the report.

But I knew that already.  Knew it in my heart, before I even had my first ultrasound.  Seconds before Mr. RE told me that my baby had no heartbeat, I saw her face on the screen-just for a millisecond.  I knew it was a girl’s face.  How could I not know?  Even though I only saw her briefly, I now see her every time I close my eyes.  This is haunting, but comforting.

Does knowing with absolute certainty that she had an abnormality versus knowing that I could have done something to harm her development make me feel any better?  I don’t know.  I guess it does.  It’s kind of like choosing between being shot in the head versus being shot in the heart.   There’s also the general consensus that it was much better for this to happen early on than for it to happen later.  Do I agree?  Yes.  But. . . there’s the selfish part of me that wishes it never happened at all.  Why couldn’t I just be pregnant very briefly and never even know it happened?  What was the purpose in all this?  What was the sense in it?

Like most women, I was nervous about the ultrasound but never in a million years thought I would be told the baby had no heartbeat.  I forgot to worry about it.  To be honest, I only worried that the baby would not be measuring at 8 weeks.  No heartbeat at all?  Never saw that coming!  I guess I went into shock or something.  When the doctor told me, I could only respond with silence.  When I did manage to speak, I think I said something along the lines of “Are you sure?” or something like that.  I guess Mr. RE thought I was questioning his expertise because he gruffly told me I could get a second opinion if I wanted to.  Keep in mind, I’m still in stirrups while this is going on.  I wanted to get the hell out of there, but he insisted on typing “No FHB” on the screen before I was allowed to do so.   I lost it seconds later; thank God my husband was with me.

So, I am left here with more questions and heartache than ever.  Most of the questions start with “Why” followed with a slew of “What ifs” for the future.  Right now, I am in limbo land.  Still grieving.  Still waiting.  Always waiting.

Still asking.

Do I see myself trying again?  What if it takes another two and a half years?  What if this happens again?  What if this baby was “the baby” and I never get another chance?

I can’t answer these questions and neither can anyone else.  I do want to say thank you to everyone who stopped by and offered their support on my last post.  I didn’t respond to many of them, but just knowing someone cared made everything much more bearable.  I read the bulk of those comments moments before I went into surgery and they gave me the strength I needed for that day.

There’s a million more things I could say about the experience, but for now this is it.  It’s funny how a little bit of writing changes things.

A Woman Named Duggar

As most of us know, Michelle Duggar suffered a miscarriage a few weeks back. I was reminded of her loss when I read a blog post by a fellow IF blogger who posted her own thoughts on the situation.  I thought her perspective was a bit surprising.  I expected more compassion, but realize from first-hand experience that we infertiles should, no, need to, express the full-range of hellish emotions, whatever they may be.  However, I wanted to compare her response to the responses of ”non-IF’ers”.  Here is a sample from the news world:

*  “Maybe this miscarriag­e was God’s way of telling her to stop trying to have kids!” (maybe your ignorance is God’s way of telling you to shut-up)

*  ”Yikes, her last baby was premature and almost died. I don’t think it’s going to getter any better for her in the future. I think her body is telling her something and she should listen to it for the sake of the whole family.” (didn’t know bodies could speak, but ok)

*   ”Think the almighty might be trying to tell you something. It is wrong to have so many kids, there is no way you could give all of them an appropriat­e amount of attention.”

*  “That’s what you get for treating your uterus as a weapon of culture war.”  (huh?)

“I still don’t understand why they would try to create another life, after they saw the suffering of the last baby they had.”

*  “She and her husband have made a spectacle of themselves and their procreativ­e promiscuit­y by putting their family in a reality TV show.” (promiscuity–are we even talking about the same show?)

“In the article HP printed yesterday, it said the Duggars wanted privacy in their time of grief. Yeah, right. I’ll bet my Bank of America debit fee that there will be a thousand TV cameras just waiting for Michelle Duggar after the funeral, while she cries a bunch of crocodile tears for her loss of this child.” (hmmn–“loss of child” and “crocodile tears”-didn’t know someone was low enough to put these in the same sentence)

 

Honestly, I am not surpised by their responses.  I am pissed though.  Not because their reactions only validate the notion that the world at large cannot relate to the IF community.  People cannot help their ignorance.  What bothers me the most is the cruelty behind the words.

In the eyes of the public, Michelle Duggar and her reproductive abilities are critciized for three main reasons 1) She has 19 children.  2)  She is 45 years old and 3) She suffered a life-threatening pregnancy before she became pregnant with number 20.

I’ll be honest: when she annouced pregnancy #18 and #19 my reaction was similar to the comments above.  I thought she was “too old” to have any additional children.  I wished, or rather demanded, that she be happy with the number she already had and believed she was a fool for not sterilizing herself after her difficult pregnancy with Josie.  Then, infertility entered my life and my world was changed. 

I find it interesting that so many people correlate the number of children she has had with this miscarriage.  It’s funny how everyone becomes an expert when fertility is involved, isn’t it?  The truth is that she could have one baby or 30 babies at this point; none of them caused her to miscarry this child. Neither did her tumultous pregnancy with Josie.  If the pseudo-doctors of the world are going to make a diagnosis, they should at least get their facts straight.

Perhaps what is so damning about these comments is how they imply God caused the miscarriage because he knew no other way to tell Michelle Duggar she shouldn’t have more children.  I find it ironic that these people are likely the same who have never cracked a Bible or attended church a day in their life.  Yet, in the world of fertility, they seem to be divine prophets from God.  As an infertile, hearing a comment from someone that ‘God doesn’t want this’ or ‘God doesn’t want that’ from me is treading on hallowed ground.  Like many of you, my relationship with God is intimate, personal and intensely trusting.  Someone who maliciously intrudes upon this relationship is abominable.

So, should Michelle Duggar have more children?  Is she a fool for having the number she has had?  That is not for me to answer, simply because I am not Michelle.  I have tried to put myself in her shoes;  Does someone have the right to tell me I shouldn’t have children because I am 35 and my husband is 42?  Do I have the “right” to seek infertility treatments when I have bills that are unpaid?  Should I not consider IUI or IVF because it is not natural?  I don’t know about you, but no one has the right to make these decisions for me except myself, my husband, and my doctor. 

I know the pain from not being able to conceive a child.  It is a devastating, deplorable condition I would not wish on anyone, even if they already have 19 children.  If I grieve every month for the child I have never created, doesn’t Michelle have the right to grieve for the child she carried three months in her body,even if she is 45?

Is it fair that Michelle has 19 children when I (and others) have none?  No.  Is it fair that she can conceive a baby by merely thinking about it?  No.  Will it hurt like hell when she makes her next pregnancy annoucement?  Yes, definitely!  Though I am a bitter infertile and seem to lose a little more of my ability to stay logical and rational every day, I must hold on to my empathy for others.  It is part of what is left of me.