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loss of a pregnancy, miscarriage, pregnancy, birth, the first pregnancy

Have you ever suffered the loss of a pregnancy? Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day. I know October is National everything month but I would like you all to pause for just a moment today and remember all the mothers who lost their everything and children who never got to be held. We can’t forget the loss of a pregnancy is the loss of our child that would’ve been; it’s how to survive a miscarriage.

My story is not unique or special but my loss was life-changing for me. In that one moment, my life was altered for eternity. The loss of a pregnancy sounds so simple but I’ll spend the rest of my life learning how to survive a miscarriage. The statistics all say that it is common but it doesn’t feel statistically accurate. I can’t imagine how so many women are suffering so stoically, such a deep and profound sorrow. My heart was irreparably damaged and in its place, a gaping wound remains that can never be filled. It’s a kind of primal pain that is indescribable. 

READ ALSO: Mourning Mother Won’t Let go of Baby

I don’t think that the loss of a pregnancy or infant is like anything else, we will ever experience in our lifetime and I can say for certain that it is nothing I would ever wish on even my worst enemy.

It’s like dying but still being alive. It’s having to carry on when you want to crawl into yourself and cease to exist. It’s survival at the most. It’s a vulnerability that, to this day, still brings me to my knees on occasion. The only thing worse that I can imagine is losing a living child who’ve you’ve spent years loving and knowing.

The worst part about the loss of a pregnancy or infant is what a single solitary loss it is. Surviving a miscarriage is like surviving the apocalypse and your entire family dying, do you even want to survive?

You will never feel so alone as you do when your womb is empty because you feel like your body failed you and no one feels it the way you do. Others know that you lost your pregnancy or your infant but in a few weeks or months, they can forget it if they choose and carry on. And they usually do and you are left feeling like a crazy person who misses terribly this tiny person we never met. You begin to question your sanity, especially when others look at you like “when is she ever going to get over this.” Worse, they actually are afforded the luxury of forgetting that it ever happened to you. Oh yes, they do and no I never will “get over it”.

Every May 1st (The day I survived my miscarriage) and November 24th (our child’s due date), I observe as days of remembrance. I feel the loss every single day but on those two days of the year, I allow myself to feel all of my feelings. Sometimes, I sob the entire day, sometimes I am numb and others, I am still and thankful that even for that short time, my baby was with me and for the two beautiful children that I do get to hold because there are those of us who never got to hold any of their children.

I am past the point of feeling raw or envious when friends tell me that they are pregnant. I am happy for them. In fact, I love seeing them get to experience that love and complete sense of purpose. I no longer ask “why me?” because there is no point. My little one has finally stopped asking for a sibling, and that has helped immensely. My guilt is beginning to alleviate some. My feeling of failure is slowly fading like an old photo.

I do however know how fragile and fleeting life is and that has made me a different kind of mother to my children. If I am being completely honest, I still don’t think that I could survive a loss of one of my girls. (That’s not a tempt fate, so please forget that I even thought that) but the pain nearly killed me and for a little while, it completely destroyed my sanity. It’s hard to be rational when you are a frightened, exposed nerve in the world. I am aware that I am a little more protective of my girls than maybe I should be but you have to understand, they are my everything.

READ ALSO: When a Tattoo Heals Your Heart

I’ve been searching for something to immortalize the baby that I lost, to give me closure in a way. I feel like I need something to mark his existence, proof that he ever existed at all. That he was here. That the Big Guy and I loved him more than anything else in the world, just like we do our two girls. I know that nothing can fill that hole in my heart but I want people to know that I am the mother to 3 children. I was pregnant 3 times. It happened. I’m not crazy. I didn’t imagine it. I am not over it.

I’ve finally decided on a tattoo that I think is perfect. It’s a poem, one that I’ve quoted to my girls since they were babies. I am going to have it tattooed on my left-hand side rib cage, near my heart because that is where my children always are with me, in my heart, forever…even if you don’t see them or forget they exist. For me, they are always right there with me.

If you’ve ever experienced the loss of a pregnancy take today to feel your feelings.

Be kind to yourself. There is no right or wrong way to feel. There is no expiration date on loving a child. It doesn’t matter who else remembers or cares, you do.

We all have our wounds. They might not show on the outside but they are there. Be kind to one another and cherish every single moment with the people you love, especially the little people, because time is fleeting.

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grief,loss, parenting, miscarriage

Five years ago this morning, I broke the news of my miscarriage to you in a blog post, as I was undergoing my D & E. It was the only way that I could process any of it. It was the only way that I could carry on and your support meant everything to me but every day since, I’ve had to live alone with that loss like we all do. Try to make sense of something so senseless.

Recently, I did something that surprised even me. I shouldn’t have looked. Until, I saw it, in person, in the flesh, it wasn’t “real”. It was just this terrible thing that happened to me five years ago. It was the bill I paid for what is referred to by the medical billing department as a “missed abortion”. It was a child I will never hold. It is the faint whisper of sadness that lingers forever and leaves me melancholy just around the edges. It wasn’t real in the way that you could see it with your own eyes.

But I’ve seen it now and I can’t unsee it.

Last month, we took the girls to Chicago for Spring break. It’s my hometown and the girls have been many times but they’ve never done the touristy things so we took them to some museums and the zoo. It was a fantastic trip.

Then, I saw something that I’ve seen before but with fresh eyes and a heart that’s survived a miscarriage.

As we entered the exhibit, one I’d seen before, I suddenly felt anxious. Like I needed to know. I was borderline obsessive and I couldn’t control myself. No one noticed what I was doing but I think the Big Guy caught a glimpse of the desperation in my eyes as I walked up to the dial upon entering the Your Beginning exhibit and turned it to the first trimester; I wanted to pinpoint specifically the 4th day of the 11th week. What could he do?

grief, loss, anniversary, parenting, miscarriage

 

The exhibit was different than before. It was completely in black, darkness was everywhere and only the fetuses were lit up as if my very soul had put this exhibit together. It is somber. I tried not to do it. You’re not supposed to do it. You’re supposed to carry on. Push it down and pretend it never happened. You’re supposed to move on. Go on living as if your entire life is not tinged by the hole in your heart. 

I didn’t want to make a spectacle with my mom, my sister, my daughters and my husband there. I didn’t want to go down that rabbit hole of grief facing anger and sadness head on but I had to know, so I turned the dial.

Such a little thing and to anyone who didn’t know or even just wasn’t paying attention, this was naturally inquisitive behavior. Only I never twisted the dial to progress to the second trimester. Instead, I left it frozen in time, suspended in disbelief, as is my daily existence since that day 5 years ago.

I try not to overthink it or linger too long in my loss. The emotional time bombs are less and less frequent but I remember every single day. I have two children but I am the mother of three but most people don’t know that.

It’s not like I wear a t-shirt that says so. It’s not like I’m marked in any way but on the inside, I am scarred. I don’t howl like an injured animal as I did on that day or fall apart anymore; so silently I continue on, remembering but not making too big of a deal about it.

Pregnancy loss is so common that some people believe it’s almost normal. I could never subscribe to that way of thinking because for me it was profound. For me, losing my pregnancy changed me forever. But still, after a while, it feels like it happened to someone else and you learn to live with it. It feels like a wound that’s healed and the scar has faded and you hide it beneath your clothes so no one has to look at it or think about it or feel sorry for you ever again.

grief, loss, parenting, miscarriage, anniversary

But you want to feel it. The pain makes it real. It reminds you that it happened. The pain is the only thing that proves your baby was here at all. So, I looked and now, I can never forget.

The scarred wound of my miscarriage has been ripped wide open.

On the morning of my D & E, I frantically demanded that they perform another ultrasound. In complete desperation, I refused surgery without one more ultrasound. I was desperate for rescue. I needed this to all be a mistake. I needed my baby to be alive.

But when they did the ultrasound, there in black and white, the perfect baby with absolutely no heartbeat. He looked like he was sleeping. Like a little astronaut exploring the space of my uterus and that was the last thing I saw before my heart shattered into a million tiny pieces. I broke, just before they wheeled me into the operating room and I’ve detached myself as much as I can since.

My heart still aches but it’s in survival mode. But on that day in April at the Museum of Science and Industry, I purposefully opened my wound. The pain makes me feel closer to my baby. I walked into the exhibit and I slowly made my way to the 11 wks. Fetus. Yes, the exhibit has fetuses from conception until 40 weeks in formaldehyde. Then, I saw it, the closest thing to my reality; 11-weks and 4 days and 11-weeks and 6-days.

grief, loss, parenting, miscarriage, anniversary

I felt the wind get knocked out of me as it has been almost every time I think of what will never be. My eyes began to go blurry and the room began to spin. It was hard to breathe. There it was; bigger than I’d thought; a fully formed person; with 10- fingers and 10-toes and ears and a tiny little mouth and eyes. It wasn’t a “pregnancy” that I lost, it was a person.

grief, loss, parenting, miscarriage, anniversary

 

I wanted to run away and howl, like I did in my car on that day 5 years ago. But I was frozen and trying to digest the truth. I couldn’t speak. I only lingered. Truthfully, part of me never wanted to leave because it was like seeing my baby for the first time. I know it wasn’t my baby but it was what my baby would have looked like could I have seen him; touched him; held him in my arms.

My miscarriage robbed me of all of that.

No one said a word. I was like thin glass in an earthquake and it was taking everything inside me to not collapse and sob like a baby on the floor. My legs were shaky. I could feel myself getting wobbly. It hurt reopening that wound but it was something I needed to do. In some small way, it gave me closure just knowing/seeing what was. It made him real and less than a memory cloaked in sadness and emptiness.

On this day, I forgive myself and give myself over to the grief. I get no birthdays to celebrate with my third baby but I will never forget he existed, if only briefly. Every year on the 1st of May, for the rest of my life, I will be alone with my grief and allow myself to remember the worst day of my life because it’s the only tangible memory I have of my third child.

Today, I am frail and vulnerable and my heart is heavy because my arms are empty and my house is filled with the laughter of one less than it is supposed to be and I can never forget any of that.

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National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness, miscarriage, loss

Today is October 1st, the first day of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Today also marks 5 months since we lost our baby. It’s been 5 months since my miscarriage. It’s the anniversary of the worst day of my life.
National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness, miscarriage, loss

This was the first time we ever saw our third baby

We had already been blessed with two beautiful children and I was waiting for the day that the little heart beating blip would turn into a goo covered bundle being laid on my chest. I looked forward to it. My brain ran wild with thoughts of my girls playing with their newborn brother or sister, fawning over his every breath and cry and whimper. I could already see Bella mothering him and sitting by my side as I nursed him begging me to hold him. Gabi would be over the moon. All she’s ever wanted was to big be a big sister. She would have adored that baby like you couldn’t imagine and the Big Guy, he would have fallen so deeply in love with that baby that he would have been his forever, just like he has done with each of our babies. I wanted that baby so much, for so many reasons.

In the past five months, my heart has broken a million different times at the most random occasions but lately it’s gotten harder. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that I keep bumping into women at school, at church, in the store who are pregnant and look to be as far along as I should be. Every time I see one, my heart is reminded of what will never be and it hurts. I know that I am not the first one to suffer this devastating loss and I know that those around me don’t feel this gaping hole that is where my heart used to be but I do.

My girls have moved on from asking about our baby in heaven and the Big Guy never talks about it but he listens when I need to. He knows that the first day of every month, I’m not myself and a little part of me wants to crawl into bed and die just like I did on the day that I found out. I am not purposely lingering in my loss but it’s always there. It haunts me. I think it might always haunt me. I will never forget, any of it. My miscarriage changed me forever, I know that now.

I am past the anger of my miscarriage now, on most days. Now, it’s just a quiet lingering pain of loss. I am happy for those around me who are pregnant and having babies. I am excited at the prospect of my sisters and sisters-in-law and friends to tell me their joyous news. I can’t wait to hold them close and kiss their tiny foreheads but still I am sorry that I will never get to hold my third baby. I will miss that. I am sad knowing that just for a little while I had a little miracle living inside me that I will never get to meet.So today, on the first day of the month and the first day of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month, I sit here looking at the ultrasound photos and sob for my beautiful baby in heaven.

 ***********************************************************************************************************************************

I first shared this post on my friend, Jill’s site Scary Mommy on August 23,2012. She gave me a place to share the events of that day when I was too afraid to share it here. I didn’t want to be that mom who couldn’t stop talking about this one moment but I feel that today is the perfect time to share the details of that day. I can’t promise I won’t talk about it again. I have a feeling that my due date is going to be a pretty painful day for me. Thank you for all of your support and love.

For National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I am sharing my story with you

It was a sunny Monday morning. I had just dropped my 4 year-old off at preschool. I had approximately 2 hours to get to my OBs office and have her check me and tell me nothing was wrong. As I lay there alone on the cold, hard table in the ultrasound room, I expected nothing to be wrong. I had some spotting, as I had with both of my previous pregnancies. Both times previously, everything was fine. I had overreacted. I was 10 weeks and 4 days pregnant with our third child. I just needed the ultrasound and the confirmation that everything was okay and I could continue on with my full day of errands. I wasn’t scared at all. That’s why my husband wasn’t with me. I was wrong.

The ultrasound tech made idle chit chat, apologizing for the wand of the vaginal ultrasound and any pressure that I might be feeling. Then her face went white. I knew. But it had to be a mistake. She continued on in silence. Then the words came, as if in slow motion from across the world, “I’m so sorry, I can’t find your baby’s heartbeat.”

I was in shock. All I could think was, she must have done something wrong. There is a heartbeat; she just doesn’t know what she is doing. I lay there for a couple more minutes, paralyzed and horrified. Embarrassed and humiliated, I wanted to disappear. I wanted to die. I wanted to be dead with no heartbeat, just like my baby inside me. I couldn’t talk. I didn’t cry.

I was interrupted from my internal psychotic break by the ultrasound tech taking my hand softly and telling me, once again, how very sorry she was for my loss and that she would take me downstairs to see my obstetrician “the back way”. I know it was so I wouldn’t have to walk through the waiting room filled with beautiful round bellies full of life. I knew. But it felt like, I was being taken down the back stairs because I was not worthy.

My body had failed my baby and me. There was malfunction and all I could do was take one step at a time and try not falling to the ground and crying forever. It felt surreal like I was watching this happen to someone else. I was outside of my body as I found myself in the Ob waiting room downstairs, not sure if I should politely smile or cry at the other expecting mothers. I was jealous. I was pissed. I was hurt. I felt like my initial reaction of surprise to this pregnancy had somehow made me unworthy to hold my baby. I could not speak. I saw my doctor. She explained the situation. I could barely hear her through my own thoughts. My head was so congested from holding in my pain. I was afraid to open mouth because all of the emotion would come pouring out and drown us all.

I was physically aching. My legs were shaking, my mind was racing, my head was spinning and I was alone; more alone than I have ever been in my life. I needed to hear my husband’s voice. He had to be told. I was the only one who could make that call. He knew I was at the doctor’s office. We’d been here before. We worried for nothing. It was always fine. Not this time.

I dialed the number through my blurry vision, I heard his jovial voice on the other end, “How’s our baby?” I was silent. “Is everything ok?” his concern was palpable. I started to speak, but it didn’t sound like me. It couldn’t be me speaking those words. I opened my mouth and the words came out like a death sentence, “ We had a M…………” and then I began to sob in an uncontrollable and animalistic way in which I have never experienced before. I could not finish the word. It was choking me. I could not say it out loud because then it would be real and then my baby would be dead. The promise of our baby would be broken. Life would be different. I would be different. It would all be less. I would never get to hold my baby in my arms because my baby was gone.

How do you survive a miscarriage? You don’t. You are changed forever. On the day that you lose a child, you lose part of who you were and become someone new; different. Your destiny is changed. You will never be the same. Eventually, you learn to breathe again, you get up of the floor, you stop crying and you somehow carry on.

 

Our babies who have gone on to heaven may not be here in our arms but they are always in our hearts. During National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, please remember what we can never forget.

October, National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

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gynecological misadventure, gynecological visit, mammogram, pregnancy, miscarriage, fibroids, mammogram, menopause, millenials

A gynecological misadventure is never fun, especially when they involve surprises and words like fibroids, pregnancy, menopause, miscarriage and mammogram all in the same visit. Last week, I had my “yearly” exam and mammogram because women’s reproductive health is my jam. And, I discovered the meaning of life or at least solved one of life’s great mysteries, why women start getting mammograms at 40 and not 25.

As the mammogram tech, the same lady who did my first mammogram last year, gingerly fondled my breast as she positioned and repositioned my very pliable breasts I realized, had I not given birth, breastfed and subsequently fallen victim to gravity, there is no way that she could maneuver my breasts into this machine. Mammograms are not a young woman’s game. Then I laughed because I remembered that I used to be known for my breasts and my legs. How’s that for irony? Broken and Broken. Check and Check.

Pert breasts could never do what these ever so gracefully aged, slightly used breasts can do. No way my 25 year old tits cold be placed into a machine as an entity in and of itself, separate from my body, as if I could remove them.., place them in the machine, walk out of the room and come back after pressing the imaging button. No way!!

Mature breasts have lived more and while they may be slowly creeping into my armpits because my hatred of bras has increased almost as much as my newfound love of full-coverage panties, they still have some life in these old girls… even if they are 3 inches lower than they used to be. You know the story, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

I thought my advanced maternal aged” pregnancy at 31 made me feel old, well… you can imagine what being referred to 3 times (by 3 different medical professionals) as menopausal at “my age” made me feel like?

It was like suddenly my lady bits dried out, shriveled up, got arthritis and no longer functioned. I felt old, like my uterus suddenly needed a walking cane. Like the fruit that were my loins had suddenly rotted on the vine. Hey ladies… Don’t you worry about my bits, they’re working just fine, every 28 days just like clockwork and my ovulation could give any 27-year-old a run for her money. The shark week force is still strong with this one. 

The gynecological inner workings of my lady bits were insulted and then my ego was grievously injured. Shot through the uterus. Menopausal? Jesus! Had my moisturizer stopped working? This was more embarrassing than the fu man chu incident of 2005!

I knew this exam was different because for the first time in my lifetime, the doctor didn’t have to grab for the world’s deepest speculum, you know the one that feels like my uterus is in my throat? Nope she was able to use the “regular” speculum, just like she uses on everyone else. Whomp whomp. In a weird way I took pride in that crazy deep cervix of mine, it made me feel special like a gynecological unicorn but alas, now I am “average”.

I balked. “Wait? Is something wrong down there?” My doctor, whose sense of humor is just as randy as my own, replied, ” No, sometimes this just happens to women when they get “old”. Their uterus begins to fall.”

Not “older” that bitch said “old” and then she giggled, signaling to me that she was in fact giving me a hard time. I mean, I’m not Michelle Duggar, my uterus should be firmly in place and this lady wants to play Chicken Little with jokes about my uterus falling! Did I mention she’s only 3 years younger than me? Hey now!

Luckily, she quickly followed that by, “It’s hormonal. At different times of the month it can feel differently.” That didn’t give me any relief. And then while doing the physical exam, she gave me the head tilt and ” Hmmm?” Not a combo I like to see at my doctor’s visit.

Wait! What’s going on? Is my fucking uterus actually falling? Nope, she followed with this, ” Well, your uterus feels about the size of a 10-12 week pregnant uterus.”

Dumbfounded.

Silence.

Silence.

Gynecological misadventure number 1; possible pregnancy.

If you thought an accidental pregnancy at almost 40 was scary, you can’t even imagine what one today would do to me.Whispering as all the color and blood rushed from my face, “What? I’m not pregnant! Am I?” I hoped she had the defibrillator near by. Obviously being “menopausal and of the reproductive age of retirement ” I was going to have a heart attack any second now. Then, my brain, “Booyah bitches! Who you calling menopausal now?” Strangely, momentarily, I felt reproductively vindicated.

Wait? Was I one of those morons who didn’t know they were pregnant until they went into labor? 147 IQ, you failed me. Oh God, senility is setting in, maybe I am menopausal?

Then she tilted her head the other way and said, “Hmmm” again as she manhandled my uterus.., “Nope! Have you been having regular periods? When was your last one?”

Gynecological misadventure number 2; a possible miscarriage!

“26 days ago. I’m starting again on Thursday.” In my brain, ” oh dear Jesus, I’ve had a miscarriage again.” Holding back tears, saying a rosary in my head.

More uterine fondling, this time it felt personal. She tilted her head back in the other direction, “Hmmmmm, nope!”

Silence

Silence

Waiting

Jeopardy music playing in my head.

“Probably just fibroids!”

Just fibroids?” Que loca? There’s no such thing as just tumors in your uterus.

“Just tell the front desk to schedule you for a ultrasound and we’ll take a look next time.”

Gynecological misadventure number 3; cancer?

I tilted my head, “Hmmmm, Nope!”  I suddenly staged a sit in of one. I refused to leave the building without knowing whether I was dying or not. Damn you webmd. Just like the 108-degree bronchitis fever incident in 2009. I’ll sit here forever. I’ve got nothing but time, lady. She knows that I’m was just crazy enough to do it.

Needless to say, I was seen immediately for my transvaginal ultrasound. Suddenly, I found myself pantless in stirrups having trouble breathing. Then I remembered the last time I was in this room, on this table, I was told, ” I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat.” The day that all I could do was cry.

Gynecological misadventure number 4; fibroids?

As a middle-aged tech, at least 10 years my senior explained to me that fibroids are common in women who are “menopausal” I nearly lost my shit. If only I could breathe. Then she showed them to me, my fibroids. All 3 of them. I had gotten my first one with Bella, a second with Gabs and I’m assuming a third with the pregnancy I lost. I wanted a tattoo to commemorate the baby I lost but instead, I got fibroids as a parting gift.

So, I go upstairs and wait to see my doctor again. She confirms that I’ve got the fibroids (guess its better than hemorrhoids?) but it’s nothing to worry about. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I quietly asked her the question that we’re all dying to know the answer to, “Am I menopausal?”

Gynecological misadventure number 5; menopause?

She giggled, no hmmm or head tilt this time, “No, you have no symptoms and you are still regularly menstruating and ovulating. Some women do start the process at 35, though. But no, you’re not menopausal.”

I felt like she should have handed me a damn t-shirt saying as much. I felt reproductively spry. Then, I gave her a hug bye and said, “Can you pass the word along to the rest of your staff and… I’ll take that referral for a vasectomy for my husband now. You know since obviously, I’m still fab, fit and fertile!” My uterus is a millennial even if my breasts are looking middle-age ish these days. Damn you breastfeeding.

And we both laughed.

Have you ever suffered a gynecological misadventure or (any doctor for that matter) and how did you handle it?

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miscarriage, loss, grief, May 1st

Is there a right or wrong way to experience loss? Is there a time limit on grief? I don’t think so.

May 1st is my annual day of mourning. I don’t know if this is normal or not but it’s what is normal for me. My miscarriage changed me forever. It’s how I get through this. It’s the one day of the year that I am completely still and I allow myself to feel all the feelings because quite honestly, this week just knowing that the anniversary of such a terrible event in my life was approaching had me walking around feeling like an exposed nerve. I changed forever on that day and I‘ll never be the same. No matter how hard I try or pretend to be.

I have cried at song lyrics and at the sound of the giggles of my daughters, knowing that one is missing. There is a hole in my heart that will never be repaired; not for my entire life. When my littlest daughter cuddles into me at bedtime and asks me for baby brother or sister, I hold my breath, push down the lump and pray I can hold back the tears long enough for her to fall asleep. Most days it’s a tiny little ache that I hardly even notice anymore but other days, it’s a sharp shooting pain that steals my breath away and others that confine me to my bed and the space in my head where I am allowed to dwell in my heartbreak.

It’s just one day and it doesn’t seem enough but at the same time, how do you quantify loss?

When I had my miscarriage, I wanted to die. All I could do was cry.I wanted to sink into one of my deep, tear stained sleeps where I had sobbed myself into exhaustion and never wake up. I was given pain killers and sleeping pills to help. I can’t tell you how many times in that first month that I mixed them, hoping to “accidentally” not wake up. The only thing that kept my weary mind and body grounded in this world were my girls and the Big Guy. I’ve never told anyone that.

May 1st is the day that I had my D & E. Two years ago, I went in to my obstetrician’s office for a little spotting, just like I did in both pregnancies previous. Today was the day that my entire world crashed down around me. Then, it became real. My body failed me and my heart shattered into one million tiny scattered pieces. May 1st is the day that I lost my baby. I was 10 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I will mourn that day for the rest of my life.

I feel like people don’t understand; not my family or my friends and certainly not the general population. I feel like people are thinking that I should get over it. After all, “It” was just a pregnancy. It wasn’t like I had a child who lived and then he died. The thing that I feel people fail to understand is that “IT” was not an “it” at all. It was my child; it was a Bella or a Gabi. In my heart and in my mind, I loved that baby just as much as I love the two I get the privilege of kissing good night every blessed night.  I lost everything and I won’t ever get over that.

I don’t linger in my loss anymore these days. I live each day knowing that a piece of my heart is missing and it hurts when I think about it. I give myself this ONE day of the year. I don’t need permission or to explain it to anyone. I just need this one day to not buckle under the weight of my own heart, to not choke from the lump in my throat, to cry until there are no more tears left and to be mad as hell that where my baby should be, my arms are empty and will always be.

The pain of losing a pregnancy or a child is like no other pain. If you’ve never experienced it (and I pray that you don’t) just take that all-consuming, unimagined love that you felt for your baby the first time you held her and then multiply that by a million in the opposite direction. That is what I feel like on May 1st, like I am being hit by a Mack truck and the worst part is that I know its coming.

I know I’ll always take pause in remember the day that my world was shattered. Some years the anniversary will hurt less and some years it will hurt more. But every year, on May 1st, I am giving myself the day to feel all of my feelings , even if I feel absolutely nothing but flat exhaustion. Or maybe one of these days, I will be happy dressing my daughter for her wedding or witnessing the birth of my 1st grandchild  and I won’t be overcome with grief or even tinged with sadness. No matter what I feel, it’s okay but I have to do this for myself.

Part of me shut off that day. I pushed it down, way down so I could function but it’s there bubbling beneath the surface. There are feelings that are so overwhelming that I’m afraid to let them in and that is what today is for, to sit still, alone and feel whatever feelings come up.

Can we ever truly recover from loss?

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Throat punch Thursday

Throat Punch Thursday~Abortion Billboard edition

Today’s Throat Punch Thursday~Abortion Billboard Edition goes to the 35 year old Greg Fultz,a New Mexico man who said he was upset that his ex-girlfriend had an abortion bought a highway billboard on which he accused her of killing their baby.

 

Throat Punch Thursday~Bad Break Up Edition

 

First of all, have you seen this man?What a freak. I imagine he is so upset because that may have been his one and only chance of ever being a father. Seriously, how many rufies were needed for him to get anyone with a vagina into bed?

I can only assume that she came to her senses and decided that it would be a disservice to bring the offspring of this monstrous asshole into the world.

Fultz’s ex-girlfriend calls the billboard harassment and invasion of privacy, and has taken him to court under the New Mexico Family Violence Protection Act. But Fultz says he’s exercising his First Amendment rights, said his attorney, Todd Holmes. Harassment? That’s an understatement,if I’ve ever heard one.Thank God he didn’t put her name on it, as well.

“Citizens have the right to express their speech through any media and he chose a billboard,” Holmes told Reuters on Tuesday. “We feel a billboard fits within the First Amendment even if it’s offensive to some.” Offensive to some? He offends me about as bad as those awful anti-abortion bumper stickers and right to life billboards with the photos of dismembered baby bodies. As if I want to explain these sorts of billboards to my children!!!!

A petition filed by Fultz’ ex-girlfriend said that Fultz had a pattern of stalking and harassment, including posting “intimate cyber shots of me from one of our cyber dates,” she wrote. The domestic abuse petition also requested that the billboard be removed and online harassment stopped. This doesn’t surprise me in the least. A creepy ass, ugly  pedophile resorts to stalking a female. He seems the sort who would get his hooks into a woman, by any means possible ( including putting her in a hole and withholding food) and then never let go.Can you say,Fatal attraction?

In a hearing last week, a judge ordered the billboard to come down by mid-June. Holmes said he plans to file a motion to keep the billboard up, but he said his client is ready to face prison if necessary.

“That’s how passionately he feels about protecting his free speech,” Holmes said.No,I’m pretty sure he’s just a really vindictive asshat.

According to Holmes, when Fultz and his girlfriend, who was then 18, found out they were going to have a baby, she wanted to get married. Fultz refused, Holmes said, and during a church camping trip there was a “discussion about an ultimatum. Either you marry me or I’m not going to have this baby type of thing.” So, he’s 35? She’s 18. By some mishap, he actually met a woman child who was willing to have sex with him, she got pregnant and HE REFUSED TO MARRY HER??? I’m baffled.Perplexed. Befuddled,even.

The girlfriend later flew to Wisconsin for work and when she returned she was no longer pregnant, Holmes said. She did not explain what happened, but Fultz suspected she had an abortion, Holmes said. He only suspected? He has no actual proof and he is slandering her on a billboard and now nationally , thanks to the media.

“I know it’s her body,” Holmes said. “But his statement is more along the lines of ‘Hey, you know what? Dads have a decision in the process too.” Sure, especially Dads who are involved in the relationship. Father’s who are married to the mothers. What did he think, he was like some prized stud siring a baby with no strings attached?

New Mexico’s Right to Life Committee initially endorsed the billboard, but has withdrawn its support because it received a number of emails from people who said Fultz’ ex-girlfriend had a miscarriage, not an abortion, said executive director Dauneen Dolce. Maybe she had a miscarriage? He has not even checked his facts. Can you imagine if she did have a miscarriage and he is harassing her like this? What a piece of work!

Throat Punch, Chuck Norris, Thursday, Greg Fultz

To you Mr. Fultz and your offensive billboard I bestow the super Chuck Norris infused round house kick to the neck. I hope it knocks the glasses and mullet right off of you. You , sir, are of the lowest denomination of mankind…even lower than Weiner!

 

throat punch thursday, greg fultz

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loss, miscarriage, stream of consciousness, pain, pregnancy

loss, miscarriage, stream of consciousness, pain, pregnancy

Loss~ Sometimes it crashes over me like a giant wave; swallowing me up and drowning me.

I am all alone with this secret sadness.

Everyone thinks I’ve forgotten & that I’ve gotten over my miscarriage.

My pregnancy that I never got to share with the people I love.

My baby who I never got to welcome into the world; into our family.

Life carries on but I can’t forget. It’s always right here with me.

It’s in my heart and bubbles to the surface and almost chokes me on certain occasions.

When I see a pregnant woman who is about as far along in her pregnancy as I should be; my heart silently breaks.

I am not bitter. I am envious that she does not know the pain of loss.

I would not wish the loss of a pregnancy or a child on my worst enemy.

I am sad for my baby that I will never know. I feel cheated.

I am pissed that this happened to me.

I long for what I should be experiencing too.

No one hears me. When I lie awake at night unable to sleep & one of my daughters comes into get me, I lie there looking at my 2 beautiful babies and I yearn for something I’ll never know, someone I’ll never meet: my baby.

The little life that lived inside me for only 10 weeks, who I loved more than words can ever convey.

Loss is not fair.

Why did this happen to me?

Everyone gets to move on with their life but I can’t. I’m stuck in my loss being swallowed whole and I don’t think I’ll ever break free.

I feel like everyone has forgotten; no one remembers or cares to remember the little life that almost was but my heart breaks and yearns daily to feel my baby in my arms and at my bosom. I never will.

I try to carry on & be strong because that’s my nature. I’m not the victim who sits around and lets life happen to her.

Though my miscarriage immobilized me completely for a month.

Loss has crippled me emotionally.

I pack my pain up in a tiny box & push it way, way down.

I try not to drone on or linger too long. No one likes a Debi Downer but I’m down, down in the pits of hell alone.

Not every day or constantly but the pain of loss lingers just beneath the surface; haunting me from within.

Crying into my pillow in the middle of the night. Screaming, yelling hating the pain, wishing I didn’t know this pain so intimately.

I don’t know how people carry on normally after their loss.

I don’t know how or when life feels normal again. When does my heart stop aching?

When can I stop pretending to be okay and actually be okay?

There will always be a hole in my arms where my baby should be.

There will always be a part of our family missing in my heart.

I will never be the same.

I will never be okay.

My loss is my constant companion.

Photo

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pregnancy, loss, miscarriage, how to know when you're done

We are on baby watch 2014. My brother-in-law and his wife are in the hospital, as I type, being induced with their first child. I am so thrilled for them to welcome their little girl into the world. It brings back all those nostalgic excited feelings of expecting our first and then our second and then abruptly ends with a little pain in my heart that fills the hole left by loss. The hole is getting smaller but some days it’s a little rawer than others; a little less compact and clean. Some days it’s messy like the days when my 6-year-old begs me for a little brother or sister and I find myself not completely opposed to the idea.

Gabi is back on her “I want another baby” kick.  She wants to be a big sister in a big way. I tried. I really did and then we lost the baby and it scared me off the entire thing. Only now, when I should be planning a first birthday, I am trying to explain to my Gabi that I just don’t think a third baby is in the cards. She’s begging me. She spent the entire 30 minutes that we were cuddling before she fell off to sleep last night bargaining with me to just try just one more time. “Just try one more time mommy and if it doesn’t work. I won’t ask again!” Only I get pregnant if you breathe on me too hard, the scary part is the staying pregnant part.

Part of me wants to say yes. We are supposed to be five and we are only four but part of me is overcome with logic and memory and says hell no, remember that pain? To win big you have to be willing to lose big and I am not sure that the risk is worth it; for my heart. But still, my Gabi, my sweet dear child, has been asking for a baby to love for 3 years.

I thought maybe my new niece could help fill that space in my Gabi’s heart but she wants what she wants and she won’t let it go. She doesn’t know that with every ask she reminds me of my failure. How could she? She only knows that she loves me and a baby brother or baby sister would be a piece of me that she could hold in her arms and care for the way that I care for her. She really is an amazing child. Her heart is bigger than I could have imagined and her brain, she is wiser than most adults I know. If I could only give her this one thing. If things were different. If I were younger. I’d do anything for her.

For a long time after we miscarried, I thought anyone who tried again must be mad. How the hell can your heart take it? Mine couldn’t. I swore to myself that my heart couldn’t take it but I think I was wrong. We said the only way we would try again is if Gabi asked, if she meant it. I think her little heart broke as much as mine on that day I miscarried. She was able to verbalize her pain, even better than I was. I tell you, that kid is amazing. I wish I could do this for her but I don’t think I can. Not because I am afraid of losing but because there are so many things that could go wrong; so many ways to fail. The stakes are too high.

I’ve only miscarried once and it was after already having given birth twice so for me, losing my pregnancy was not losing a fetus, it was losing my child. As soon as I knew I was pregnant, the pregnancy was a Bella or a Gabi, not some far off could be someday, he/she was here and he/she was loved and when I lost him/her, it left a howling, primal pain in my heart that scared me. It scared me because I preferred to die than to live with that pain.

I am more cautious now because I know what it feels like to lose a child. I am overprotective and I worry a lot. Every potential threat is treated like the enemy because I don’t know who I am without these children. They complete me. I am broken. I will never be completely whole for the rest of my entire life. I will know that part of me is missing. Still, my head tells me that another child is not a possibility but my heart, my heart wishes it could grant my daughter her one wish.

After the miscarriage, I had convinced myself that I was done but there has always still been that little part of me that holds tightly to what if. I know many women just know they are done. I think it is something quite different to feel that you have no choice. It’s the difference between choosing to walk away and being turned away. One is a choice the other is a rejection; a failure; an unanswered question. How do you reconcile a decision under these circumstances? Is it wrong that I am looking forward to the day when I actually don’t have to think about the answer to the question of whether I am done having babies or not and just know that I am?

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? How did you deal with it?

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los, grief, national pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day

It’s been a crazy emotionally draining few weeks. The kind  that makes you take stock in who you are, where you are and what your life has become. Weeks that makes you stop and catch your breath and reassess what is important to you.

On Tuesday evening in casual conversation, I asked a my daughter’s ballet teacher when she was due. She said Thanksgiving and just like that, I was punched in the gut. Thanksgiving last year was my due date, this year I should have a one-year-old sitting on my lap. I don’t. It’s not fucking fair! I just want to collapse into a pool of snot and tears and cry until I can’t cry anymore.

It all started last week when the Big Guy and I were having a conversation about the big things in life, already happening. He feels like all the big things have already happened for us. He specifically mentioned our children and though he never said it, I felt that it was unspoken that maybe our loss was on his mind, even if he didn’t realize it. This made me sad because, I already blame myself and on some days the loss is too much to bear.

Then I had to take Bella to the hospital for passing out cold in my arms and for those split seconds I thought she was dead. I really did and my whole world exploded like a nuclear bomb went off and wiped me off the face of the earth. As I sat there in the emergency room waiting to hear the results, my mind went back to that moment on May 1st, 2012 when I sat on a stretcher waiting for them to wheel me back for my D & E. I remember seeing a mother holding her 18-month-old daughter on her lap as they awaited surgery for the child and I said to the Big Guy then, “At least I am not here with my sick child!”

I was thankful not to be sitting there with a sick Bella or Gabi waiting for them to be wheeled back to get surgery when in fact I was sitting there with my baby in my belly with no heartbeat. I had completely separated myself from the situation and that is how I’ve survived the loss. The Big Guy looked at me like I was crazy. I probably was but when I sat there with Bella on that Thursday morning, I felt more helpless and useless than I’ve ever felt before.

The baby that we lost has been on my mind a lot lately; practically daily. Maybe its because its fall and I know that the due date is right around the corner. Maybe it has something to do with seeing beautiful pregnant women everywhere I go. Maybe it has been triggered by the losses of my friends in the past few weeks. Or maybe I have still not yet let it go.

When I first lost our baby, I was terrified of ever feeling that pain again. I still am but every once in awhile I see a glimpse of what if? I allow myself to wonder. But I’m older now  and so are the girls and it feels like the gap is unsurmountable. That part of our life has been forcefully surrendered and I know I could not survive another loss. That I know for sure. It put me in a very dark place that I never want to revisit. But still it hurts, I don’t know if it will ever stop hurting; the loss of our unexpected blessing.

When will I stop marking time by events of loss? I feel like I am coping well and not dwelling on the sadness and then just as suddenly, my heart is in my throat and BOOM! emotional time bomb.

Maybe we should have tried for another baby. Maybe it would have helped take up some of the room in this hole in my heart and then I realize, no, you can’t fill that void. I just have to learn to live in my loss and not being able to give my daughter a little brother or sister. When will I stop feeling like I need to be still and hide on these annual occasions of conception, miscarriage and due date?

It’s all I have. I never got to hold my baby in my arms. I cling to these tiny milestones like they are my last breaths. When will I be able to exhale?

Our babies who have gone on to heaven may not be here in our arms but they are always in our hearts. During National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, please remember what we can never forget.

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angels, national pregnancy and infant loss awareness month, miscarriage, parenting, friendship

angels, national pregnancy and infant loss awareness month, miscarriage, parenting, friendship

Sometimes something unexpected happens, when you least expect it. Awhile back, my dear friend, Jessica Watson, asked me to join in on a pregnancy and infant loss memorial. I was happy to join in but when it came time to contribute my photo of me holding the last ultrasound of the baby that we lost, I just couldn’t do it. I’m still muddling through the muddy waters of loss and just when I think I may be getting to a point where I am less affected by our loss, I’m slapped  upside my head with the realization that it’s still actually a gaping wound on my heart. But this is not about that open wound, this is about the amazing women who have held my hand, cradled my heart and come to my rescue. There are angels among us.

I’ve known these women for quite some time. Mostly we know one another through our blogs and social media. We’ve never met in person. I’ve never had the honor of hugging them or thanking them for what they have done for me. They are beautiful, humble and genuine to the core. We are connected, some through our shared wound and some who just have hearts so big that they completely envelope you when you are in animalistic pain and they soothe your soul with their kindness and caring.

They don’t know me. Not really. I am practically a stranger by most standards but it didn’t matter. They are not restricted by time and space, they are angels. What have they done, you ask? They are the type of women who see past what you are saying and see what you are feeling. When I had my miscarriage, so many wonderful friends online and in real life, sent me condolences and cried for my loss. They shared their stories and they eased me gently back into the world of the living when all I wanted to do was curl up and disappear. You can’t imagine how badly I wanted to just disappear from existence. I just felt like part of me had died on that day.

But these women have never forgotten. They check on me periodically, ask how I am doing and genuinely care what my response is. Erin (@ErinMargolin) is my first angel. This lady has done so much on so many different occasions that I will never be able to repay her kindness to me. There have been cards to make me smile when I thought I never would again.We may have never met but make no mistake, she is my sister. She is truly one of the most amazing human beings that I have ever known. You all know I don’t gush, so you realize that she must really be someone special and I am sure if you know her, you know this already. She is just a really great person. I don’t know how else to explain it. She is the standard by which all people should hold themselves to.  @mommaKiss sent me a card, in the mail and to my house. I know it sounds like such a simple thing but for someone to take the time to choose a card, sign it and mail it is a big deal these days. It meant so much to me and it made me feel connected when I felt disjointed from the world. Jessica (@JessBWatson) this dear and beautiful soul, who deals daily with the pain of her own loss, made time in her life to check on my during mine and , more importantly, to check on me still. She knows the lingering pain of loss. Sunday night, she participated in a lantern launch in memorial for our babies in heaven and I had no idea that she was going to include me until I received a photo via tweet of the lantern this sweet woman launched in memory of our baby that we lost before we ever got to hold. This small gesture has renewed my faith in humanity. It meant  more to me than words can ever convey.

Believe me when I tell you that my online friends are real and there are angels among us.

Photo Courtesy of Jessica Watson/ Four Plus an Angel

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