Not getting over it

Howdy, friends.

During my 400th session pumping today (my God, I forgot how much I hate that), I was reading the Motherlode blog on my Blackberry. Scrolling through, I found a post from a few days ago about the lasting emotional effects of miscarriage.

It talks about how some people continue to mourn the loss of their pregnancy while others move past it. And how outsiders view it, including trying to tell women it wasn’t meant to be, or this was nature’s way, or whatever people say when they are trying to be helpful but really are just uncomfortable. I don’t think people are trying to be insensitive when they say those kinds of things, they’re just at a loss, you know? I mean, it’s awkward, and nobody ever talks about it.

It’s one reason I’ve posted my story on this blog — it helped me to write it out, and when it happened to me, it helped me to read about others’ experiences.

But reading this Motherlode post kind of brought a lot of it back. It says in there that people don’t often ask women about lost pregnancies. That is so true. When I went to the hospital to have Jack, the resident looked at my chart and said, “Oh, this is your third child,” I think, assuming it would be an easy delivery since, you know, I had done this before. I know my chart said 3 pregnancies, 0 live births. I immediately hated that resident. I mean, if you can’t read a chart, asshole, then you sure as hell aren’t delivering my baby. (He didn’t — my beloved OB was there every step for what was an easy delivery).

I had two back-to-back miscarriages in 2007. After the second one, I decided to take a break from trying to get pregnant and run a marathon instead. I had run several before that, and knew I wasn’t in great shape, but I just needed something, anything to keep my mind occupied. (I ended up running a godawful Twin Cities on a record-heat day.) During training, I started to just feel awful — crabby, exhausted, out of it. All that could be overtraining (guilty as charged, all the time!). I went to my doctor and he gently asked about my year, and then just told me it was OK to mourn the loss of the pregnancies. He talked to me about how nobody acknowledges the grief that can cause, and that it really WAS OK to just let myself feel it.

My husband was awesome through that whole year, but I still felt a huge weight lifted off me when my doctor said that. Because I was still holding onto that grief. I remember going to a party for my brother-in-law after the second one, and I was just in a total fog. I felt awful, and couldn’t stand to be around anyone. My sister-in-law asked me about books — a topic I love to discuss — and I think I talked for like 30 straight minutes about what I had been reading. Just trying to avoid any and all other conversation. It was horrible.

I know a lot of other women feel the same, and don’t talk about it. It’s awkward, it makes others uncomfortable. Nobody knows what to say. I understand that. I really do. I also understand people who need to talk about it. I did, in my own way. And I still do, which is why I bring it up all the time — you never know when someone might be just looking for an opportunity to share their experience. And I guess I want them to know, hey, I will listen.

I am still grateful for my best friend, who listened to everything about my experience. All the gory details I felt like I had to spill out, just to process it all. She didn’t shy away. She wasn’t grossed out. She just listened. Thanks again for that, Laurie.

Happy running.


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3 Responses to Not getting over it

  1. Laurel says:

    Thank you too. I think it’s safe to say we helped each other through more pregnancy losses then we would like to admit. I still remember after losing the last one, I was in the parking lot of the Drs office, crying to you on the phone about the the girl who was showing off her U/S pictures to her happy family as I was alone, sobbing in the car about the lost pregnancy that was just confirmed. You told me, “You know, it’s ok if you want to go up and punch her. It’s ok to want to punch a pregnant woman right now.” Ha. Made me laugh when I needed it the most. 🙂

  2. Melissa Sievers says:

    Hi. I wanted to post a note to say thanks again too. I’ve emailed you about your experience before, from my work address. Our second miscarriage was in August. My husband and I don’t think of it too much specifically… except that I should be due at the end of this month. Around the time that we got pregnant, my husband’s aunt announced that her son and his girlfriend were expecting too. They had a baby girl last week. While we are happy for them, it’s hard to see photos on facebook and know that it isn’t our turn yet.

    Then even when people do begin the topic and show genuine concern and sensitivity – its sometimes hard to talk about. Somedays I am great, others I have to fight back tears yet. At least we don’t often get the “Why don’t you have kids yet?” question. We get asked by well meaning strangers just making small talk and the response, “We haven’t been blessed yet.” usually suffices.

    We finally get to try again next month after a laproscopy/laparotomy to fix a couple of issues. So, hopefully we’ve made enough of a change to tip the balance in our favor. We are optomistic, but I have a little anxiety too. I don’t think that it’d be normal to not be nervous, though.

    I find that I’ve been checking in on a few blogs and forums to see how other people have been doing. Thanks for sharing the story of your journey with your family!!

    • Melissa, I am so sorry to hear about your recent miscarriage. Gah. I hope the next month is your month. It’s good to hear from you again — I was wondering how you are doing. Please keep checking in. Sending big old hugs your way.

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