(Note: This entry started at one place and then I went off on a tangent. My bad)
I’m sitting here, about to type this entry knowing it’s probably going to come across as harsh and insensitive. I am going to type the rest of this very carefully. But, I want to preface by saying that I don’t intend it to be that way. And although parts of it may offend some of you, I merely mean this entry to show that none of us can have the same experiences. That doesn’t mean to give any less significance to the experiences of others, just that they’re different and painful and hurtful in different ways. We all hurt sometimes.
I didn’t lose a pregnancy. What happened to me wasn’t a miscarriage. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have a miscarriage. And when people hear my story and tell me about losing their pregnancies at 7-8-9-10 weeks, I don’t see the connection the way they do. That by no means diminishes that pain and suffering that comes along with it. It’s a loss. A horrible, senseless, blameless loss. But it’s not the same. I didn’t lose my pregnancy.
I can see how it would be easy for you to think so. I was pregnant on Everlee when she died. But I never refer to it in that way, and I don’t even come close to thinking of it in that way. My daughter died. I didn’t have a miscarriage. I didn’t lose a pregnancy. Like anyone who loses a child at any age, I have a room full of her things. I have a closet full of her clothes. I have an album full of her pictures. I held her in my arms. I stroked her hair. I kissed her face. I counted her fingers and toes. I know how she felt in my arms. I know how she smelled. I know that her fingers were long and definitely not like mine. I picture her beautiful face every single minute of the day and know it looked exactly like mine, red hair and all.
Oprah said that all pain is the same, how we deal with it is what makes the difference. I truly believe that. Maybe a miscarriage is something you can learn to live with a little easier. At least that’s what my experience in talking to other mothers has taught me, and not a conclusion I have jumped to on my own. I’ve been off work now for 7 months. I still cry in the middle of the night. I still wake thinking I can hear her crying for me. I still hate my body with every ounce of my being for doing this to her. Most people who have miscarriages get pregnant again on their own very quickly and have completely normal pregnancies afterward. That will NEVER be the case for me. Not only can I not get pregnant on my own ( a completely separate issue), I will never have a normal pregnancy again. Each subsequent (if I’m even lucky enough to get that far) will remind me of getting so close to bringing home a smiling baby girl only to have her stolen from me at the 11th hour. There will never be a moments peace with being pregnant. There is no sigh of relief at 12 weeks for me. Because I know now how easily pregnant women are lulled into a sense of security. Because I know that being 34 weeks pregnant isn’t a promise of having a baby in that meticulously arranged nursery.
There’s no magic in baby making or pregnancy for me. Doctors appointment, after test, after ultrasound after appointment. Waiting on baited breath. Heart beating. Blood pressure rising. palms sweaty. pins and needles. And I haven’t even made it to the high risk specialist yet. This new normal I am searching for isn’t anything close to normal. But it’s my life.
I’ve started the process for returning to work. It will be a few weeks before I begin my ease back, but the plans are in place to begin with a few half days a week and slowly working myself back up to being a full time functioning member of society. The newly-acquired social anxiety is still there, a monster rearing it’s ugly head when I least expect it. In preparation for my reintegration into the world of the living I’ve been making an honest attempt at getting out of the house more. I have resolved to not say no to anyone who asks me to do something unless the panic about it is so bad I feel like I might perish (If I have been blow you off lately, and believe me there are a lot of you, now is the time to try and drag me from the house).
I have also had the most amazing and good-for-the-soul little house guest for the last number of weeks. My sister is in the process of moving into a new house, and has just gotten a rescue puppy. Being that at the moment she still lives with my parents and our childhood dog (who is a ripe 17 years old… cantankerous and stuck in his ways like any old man), the pupper – Opie – is currently staying with me. He has been, by far, the best medicine I have had. his puppy kisses and boundless energy and quirky antics make me genuinely smile and laugh again. He is better than any pills my doctors could give me. I’m so thankful to have him for this short period of time.
Someone once told me that in order to start getting back to normal I need to “fake it until you make it”. Sometimes I heed that advice. I try my best to paint on a smile and I bite my tongue from screaming at people “Don’t you know my baby is dead” when they expect me to behave as if nothing life altering has happened to me. But most of the time I don’t want to fake it. I don’t want to deny the profound turn my life has taken.This is who I am now. Of course parts of me are the same. Some things will never change. They’re who I am. But my core, the very centre of my being has shifted. I am a mother now. A childless mother. And absolutely, I will go through the motions of life, and fight back the tears with a smile on my face, because that is what you do in baby loss land, and I will hope, that even if just for a moment, my smile will feel good, and genuine, and real.
I hate posts like this. Ones where I have no wisdom to offer, or comfort or inspiration to give others on this journey. I’m just sending thoughts out to the universe, because honestly, no matter how many people I have surrounding me with love and support, sometimes I feel so desperately alone. But I’ll keep moving, and keep hoping. There’s still got to be some hope out there.
First off, I am so very sorry for your loss. You didn’t lose your pregnancy. You lost your child.
My pregnancy only made it to 17 weeks, but even in my mind, I feel like I’ve lost a child, not a pregnancy, and if I can get pregnant again (statistics don’t ease my mind, I’m terrified), I will breathe no sigh of relief at 12 weeks, I fear I will be terrified forever. I know I have been changed forever.
That doesn’t mean to say that I think your pain is the same as mine. I don’t. I truly cannot imagine how you have suffered and how your are still suffering. The story of your loss is heartbreaking, and I cannot even imagine trying to pick myself back up after what you’ve been through.
You don’t need to apologize for your feelings, only you can grasp your own hurt and no one else should project on to you. No one knows, truly, how you feel. I’ve become a part of an online group for ‘baby lost’ parents, I expressed condolence to one mother who lost her child at 17 days old. I told her I cannot even imagine the pain associated with losing a child you’ve been able to see, feel, meet. She told me not to discount my own pain, we are all hurting equally. Maybe that’s true, but even so, I still cannot fathom that the hurt is so similar. To be able to hold and see your child, to be able to touch her and kiss her is a connection with your child that I don’t think anyone who has had a miscarriage can fully fathom.
Your loss is immense. I am so sorry for the loss of Everlee. I am sending healing thoughts and hugs to you.
(I hope this comes across as supportive as I mean for it to be and not like I’m trying to be defensive)
Thank you. It came across exactly as you intended. I am so sorry for your loss. We all hurt. For different reasons. In different amounts. In different spans of time. Pain is all the same, but so very very different too.
all pain of grief is different,no two people feel the same way, we all experience things differently.
I wish i could take all your pain away from you because you have hurt long enough and to know this is a life time hurt makes it worst because nothing is ever bringing her back, nothing will ease your pain less.
Hi I know where you are coming from, when I lost my baby girl ( still birth) one day before her due date. Every body said they were sorry, and I heard all the stories about how people were going through the same thing of loosing a baby through miscarriage, but it not the same, you carry this little whos a part of you for over 9 months and where I lost her I lost a part of me. Because she was with me for over 9 months. I went back to work 6 months after the lost and I had people come up to me and ask how the baby was and I had to tell them what happen but I didn’t cry it took every bit of strength I had but it got easier to talk about it. It still hurts 22 months later, Just take it day by day, and don’t stress about going back to work. It will be hard for a couple of days with people coming to you. I work with a awesome group of people who were my support and my strength. Anyway if you need to chat just drop me a email.
I also hate words like “lost pregnancy” and “fetus” etc. It is not just the end of something physical happening to our body, it is a loss of a person. A fully, formed beautiful baby. It is very painful and hard for others to understand who haven’t been there, but there are so many who have been there. Glad you have a cute puppy bringing you some joy (so cute!) and I hope your reintegration into work goes well! I will pray on it.
I could have written this myself. I wrote a post on my blog called, “it’s just not the same to me.” I received numerous emails telling me off, angry responses, and backlash. I had friends telling me, “I know just how you feel, I had a miscarriage at 8w,” or “a lot of couples miscarry their first.” I just couldn’t relate. My daughters died in the NICU. Yes, they were born mirco preemies at only 26w4d, but they lived 16 hours, and 8 days. Even if they died before birth, they would NOT have been miscarriages. I get so angry when someone loses a child, whether they are still born or a neonatal death and they are referred to as a miscarriage or pregnancy loss. I am so glad to hear I am not alone. Lots of love your way. xoxo
I have had 3 m/c in the first trimester. Then I lost my daughter Hope at 18.5 weeks. We held her and she lived for 20minutes in our arms. The first 3 early m/c cannot even compare. Of course they hurt and the hurt still stays with me, but I did not get to give birth to them and meet them like I did Hope. I think with each week in pregnancy that goes by, the more you bond with your baby. The loss of Everlee is not a miscarriage or pregnancy loss, it is the loss of your daughter.
I feel the same about my blog-but know that giving others someone to relate to can be priceless and mean more than any wisdom you could provide. Thats part of the reason we’ve created these sites for us and our babies-to find people who get it-people who live with the loss of their beautiful babies every day-people like us. Thank you for giving me something to relate to at 1:30 am-i needed it. 🙂
I lost a pregnancy, a very early one, and the pain and suffering I feel daily seems to be unbearable. Seeing a lifeless fetus was crushing to me. The love I feel for the baby is so intense, I never thought was possible. I can’t even begin to imagine how you must feel. I know what we went through was very different, I read your blog because I feel like you are the only person in the world I can relate to. I can’t even imagine how impossible it must have been to let her go, or how hard it must be to even walk by her room. My heart breaks for Everlee, and for you. I cry every time I read what you say. I’ve realized that there is nothing in the world anyone can ever say to make you feel better. After trying unsuccessfully for a few months & being told because of my history chances are I will miscarry again.. I have decided to stop trying for right now. Trying to get pregnant with no results is emotionally exhausting. Knowing what I know now, I am glad I lost my pregnancy when I did, I don’t know how I would ever get his or hers face out of my mind if I had gotten as far as you did. In reality, I lost a fetus, I’m not trying to downplay my own sadness, because there are days where I can not get out of bed, and days like today, when I just randomly start crying in class, I lost a fetus, to me, still a baby, still my miracle, still my child, still was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with, but to have held her, seen her, smelt her, I honestly don’t know how you do it. I feel as though I can’t go on, I don’t know how you do it. Every day is a struggle for me, and I can imagine how much harder it is for you. I don’t know you, and we don’t even talk, but I feel like reading your blog, you are the only person that knows the pain I feel.
I don’t think you should apologize for the way you feel, I don’t think you came across as offensive, and I lost my pregnancy very early, and I easily understand it is not at all the same thing, i have always said what we went through was very different, but I think our pain is the same. I don’t think the fact that I was pregnant a short amount of time makes it any easier to get over & I sencerialry hope you are right about that one. The day I found out my pregnancy was over, my fiancé got me a new puppy, and you are right about them being better then any pill they can give you. My doc put me on anti depressants to help me, but no amount of medication will ever change what happened, or erase my memories.. I deff recommend a puppy of your own, my dogs help and comfort me so much.
this reply is kinda all over the place, sorry about that, just a bunch of random thoughts after another, sorry if it doesn’t make sense.
Jennifer send me a DM on twitter and ill give you my number. We should chat.
Hmm. I read half of this and ignored the rest…
My wife miscarried at 19 weeks. I saw the heart beat. Saw our baby. You should be thankful you had the chance to spend some time with yours. I never had that chance….