Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Life after miscarriage

I probably should have written this post a couple months ago, since October is national Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month (PAIL)  I'd like to tell you guys that I didn't do it because I was just so busy that I couldn't find the time, but actually, I'm just scared.  I'm scared of having to relive those terrible times in my life.  I'm scared of having to admit all the weakness and pain I experienced, both physical and emotional.  But even more than that, I'm ashamed.  Ashamed of the thoughts and feelings I had.  I cycled through all the "stages of grief" denial, anger, etc., but what I seemed to latch onto the most was the anger.  Anger at myself for losing my baby(s), anger towards other women for getting to have their babies, anger towards my husband for being so damn irritating!  (It was hormones,I know) 

Naturally I blamed myself. 

"What did I do wrong?  How could I have not known that my baby "stopped growing" (the polite, medical term for dead) and mostly, what did I do to deserve this?  I'm being punished aren't I?  I always said I didn't want kids, I always said "we're not having kids".  So this is my punishment, isn't it?!? This is my fault for being selfish, for waiting so long to have kids.  I wasted all those perfectly good, healthy, YOUNG years.  How dare I think that I can just piss away my youth, being selfish and carefree, doing whatever I wanted, then finally decide I want kids.  This is my fault! If I hadn't waited so long, this never would have happened."

That was the sort of journal entries that I wrote during my recovery (both physical and emotional)  I was angry, bitter, resentful.  I couldn't stand to be in the same room with pregnant women or babies.  I hated them.  I wanted to know why they were allowed to have their baby but I wasn't allowed to have mine. 

I'm not proud of myself but at the same time I can accept those thoughts and feelings as a part of my healing.  I slept for days, didn't get off the sofa, didn't eat for almost a week.  I lost 12 lbs in 4 days.  I didn't shower, didn't talk, I avoided eye contact with everyone.  I was ashamed, I was devastated and I was angry.  I cried almost constantly, completely unable to control the gushing flow of tears that seemed to pour out of my eyes every second of every minute. 

Did I mention I was angry?  Everyone wants to help or comfort you.  But at times like this, there really isn't anything that anyone can do for you.  They hug you, they speak softly, they hold your hand.  Mostly, I think that's to make them feel better.  They are uncomfortable with the situation and they feel helpless as a bystander.  I can't count the number of times I was asked "is there anything I can do?" or "let me know if I can do anything for you."  I finally snapped one day.  My wonderful MIL was the unfortunate recipient of my outburst of emotion.  I had attempted to go back to work, thinking that if I did I would start to feel "better".  It didn't work.  I barely lasted until lunch.  My MIL offered to drive me home and asked that damn stupid question again. 

"Is there anything I can do?"

"NO! No God damn it, there isn't ANYTHING that ANYBODY can do!!!  The only thing I need, the only thing I want is my baby.  I want my baby to be alive, I want her to be in my belly.  I don't want her to be gone, to be .... to be dead"


"I wish everyone would stop asking me that.  I don't want anything from anybody.  I just want my baby"


So, what do you say or do in this kind of situation?  Let me tell you what helped me the most or what I would have appreciated from friends and family.

Cry with me.  Forget about being strong or being my "rock".  I don't need a wall, I need compassion.  I need to know that this loss is affecting you as strongly as it's affecting me.  This one is aimed mostly at the dad's.  Hubby never cried with me during our miscarriages.  Not once.  My MIL told me later of how he came to her, heart broken and in tears, but he never showed me that side of him.  He thought I needed him to be strong, but his lack of emotion only made me feel lonely.  Like I was being overly sensitive about the whole situation.  I wondered how everyone else could just pick up and move on so quickly and easily. 

Hug me.  Just wrap your arms around me and hold me.  Don't say anything, just hold me (and cry with me)

If you feel the need to "help" then just do it.  Don't ask, just do it.  Come over and walk the dog.  Do my laundry.  Bring me groceries.  That's fine, I need and appreciate it, but don't expect me to make these requests willingly.  99% of me just wants to roll over and give up.  But if you keep coming over, maybe, just maybe, I'll get off the sofa one of those days.  Maybe I'll even take a shower.

What do you say to someone who's just found out their little bundle of joy is gone?

"I'm so sorry"
"I can't imagine how you must be feeling, but I love you."
"I know your hurting and I'm so sorry"
"I love you"
"Let me take care of that/do that/get that for you"
"I love you"


I've never told anyone these things before.  I've talked about my miscarriages before , but I've never been so exposed about my anger, my emotions or my heartache.  I hope this can help someone realize that they're not alone in their feelings and that there really is life after miscarriage.

Phantom cries

I had the strangest experience the other night.  I was sound asleep (well, I was "mom" asleep) and I remember jumping up out of bed because my son was awake and crying.  I stepped into his room though and he was still asleep!  Okay, maybe he called out in his sleep, no biggie.  I go back to bed, fall asleep and a little while later, I scrambled out of bed again because my son "needed to nurse" ... didn't he? Doesn't he? Where is he?

I checked the video monitor and there he was, sound asleep in his crib.  Hmmm .... Okay mama, go back to bed.  I crawl into bed, fall asleep for and hour or so only to awake again to what I can only assume is "phantom cries" that my brain is creating. 

As if moms don't get little enough sleep, now my brain is creating false baby alerts to wake me up even more?  LOL Thanks brain that's just what I needed.