Posted by: Karen (Betty Bear) | December 2, 2011

miscarriages, part 2

I am really touched by all of you who commented on yesterday’s post. It means a lot to me. As I said in one of my comments, I didn’t think I knew anyone who had had a miscarriage until I did. Then I found out about all kinds of people who did. Turns out, it really isn’t that uncommon. But even though it isn’t uncommon, it’s still really painful.

After the first two miscarriages, I was depressed. Depressed enough to seek out a therapist. The therapy was a really good thing for me as we ended up dealing with some other issues as well. At the time I could see no good in going through such a horrible experience. Later, much later, I can see how it made me grow. I understand, in a much more real way, that many, probably most, people are walking around with wounds, either visible or invisible. I understand better the pain of thinking I would never have children. I have an enormous amount of sympathy for people who are struggling with infertility that I probably wouldn’t be able to have on such a visceral level without experiencing these losses. It may even have made me appreciate the children I have more than I would have. I think it made me a kinder person. So for all that growth I wouldn’t have otherwise had, I am grateful. I don’t know what would have happened had I not ever had children. I may have become embittered or I might have grown in some other directions.

The quote from yesterday I will repeat here: “Everything happens for a reason or Everything is perfect are beliefs born from a decision to see life as a school room.  When we choose to become students of life who learn and grow from our experiences, everything does, in fact, happen for a reason.  In this way, we make our most difficult moments mean something by using them to our spiritual advantage.” It is extremely hard, if not near impossible, to embrace this belief during or soon after a tragedy. It is really only in hindsight that we can see how a tragedy can be used for our spiritual advantage. Although I did gain spiritual growth from having miscarriages, I still have some lingering bitterness and I can’t see how to get over, around or past this: I cannot fully take joy in a pregnancy. When I was pregnant with the boy child, not only did I expect to miscarry, a part of me expected he might die as a baby. It was many months before I could have him nap without having a niggling bit of my brain expect to find him lifeless in his crib. I’m cringing as I type those words because they are so awful, but there it was. When someone tells me they are pregnant, I can’t rejoice wholeheartedly ever again. I know too much now.

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Responses

  1. I wasn’t here yesterday, but I’m another who can empathize. I’ve had several miscarriages (three miscarriages losing a total of five babies), and needed fertility treatments to get pregnant in the first place. It’s not an easy thing. I was fortunate enough to have my mom, who’d had miscarriages of her own, as well as having lost my sister at 6 weeks old. But I was also unfortunate enough to have my MIL, who’d never lost a child and thought the reassurance that I could “try again” made everything better. As you know, it doesn’t. Oh, and you’re not alone in expecting to find a lifeless kid. My oldest are almost twelve and I still can’t sleep unless I’ve physically checked them. Morbid, perhaps, but there it is. Maybe someday I’ll get over it. Maybe not. Either way, these posts have been tremendously courageous. *hugs*

    • Thank you Delia. You had the additional sorrow of having trouble getting pregnant which I was spared. “You can try again” and “Maybe you just need to relax” were some of the more thoughtless comments made at the time. *hugs* back again!

  2. Not morbid or terrible, a very natural reaction to what we’ve all been through. And what we know to be reality in the lives (which includes deaths) of us all.

    I still check on mine when they are in the house… and you know how old MY kids are.
    Julie

    • I don’t think I’ll ever stop worrying about them!

  3. I didn’t have miscarriages, but I had that gut-grinding fear that I would look in the crib and my baby wouldn’t be breathing. Maybe all moms go through that. Thanks for sharing these two posts, Karen. You were brave then and you still are. 🙂 And thank you for pulling out those words of Julie’s. I skimmed over them and didn’t really think about them (Sorry, Julie!). But you’re right, they’re brilliant. It’s not that things that happen have intrinsic meaning, it’s that we choose to see them that way, as a school room where we learn and grow. which, as you said, is difficult to do in the midst of heartbreak.

    • No worries, I toss out nearly a thousand damn words a day, it actually surprises me when anyone DOES read them all. (I hope folks do, but I’m realistic too. 😉 )

    • It’s beginning to sound like most moms have that fear. I’m glad I’m not alone; I thought I was really weird or morbid for having it. And yes, it is the choices that we make about what happened to us – that is what I was trying to get at.

  4. I do the “check” thing too … and I was a nervous wreck until I had the baby in my damn arms … even then I was still a scared! I’m glad we all seem to have such similar reactions … it makes me feel less alien.

    • Not alien at all!

  5. Me too with the checking. Our three-year-old has a little cold. He slept past the time he usually wakes up and I was sure I was going to find a cold…you know, I don’t even want to say it. It is comforting to know that other moms do it as well. Makes it seem less morbid.

    I used to drive over the bridge to Seattle wondering how I would manage to get the boys out of their car seats when we went over. Okay, maybe that could be considered a little morbid, but I prefer to think of it as proactive. 🙂


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