Processing Loss During Pregnancy and Learning to Live

Wisdom

While attending SoFabCon, an amazing blogger conference that taught me how much I was truly lacking, so to say I was motivated is an understatement.  I was moved so much that I learned from so many sessions.

One that made an impression on me deeply was the closing keynote speaker, Jasmine Banks.  She is a real, genuine person, a blogger and an Arkansan. She was actually an impromptu speaker, but she spoke as if it came naturally and was planned for weeks.  She wasn’t trying to impress us, she was sharing her story and inspiring all of us doing so.  In the end, I was not only impressed but it touched my heart.

The blogging world is something that has taken me such a long time to truly feel that I understand. Some days I feel things are going awesome, other days I feel that they are falling apart.  I realize one of the biggest things that I am missing from my blog is myself.  When I started my blog it was for me.  I needed something to throw my heart and soul into and I did just that.

Over time I have slowly phased out me to share about toilet paper and shopping.  Not that those things are going away, because that is what pays me but in doing that, I seem to have lost my voice so to speak.  I have stopped sharing about myself and our journey.  Since that is why I started my blog, I know that I need to start sharing more of my story again, starting now!

Jasmine encouraged us to start sharing our #ThisIsMe story.  To put ourselves out there, the real person behind the blog and not be worried about receiving criticism or always making others happy.  She encouraged us to share our stories, what makes us tick, who we really are down deep.  After three full weeks of starting and deleting I would start my #ThisIsMe story by sharing my difficult and painful story of becoming a mother.  Be prepared, This is Me opening my heart to share my story and struggles.  It is real, it is long, but this is me!

This is Me and My Struggles to Have a Family

Growing up in a large family with four other siblings, I knew I wanted a large family.  I was always a second Mother to my younger siblings.  I yearned to babysit for friends and was elated that I was paid to watch babies and young children; I would have done it for free.  It was my heart’s desire to have children one day.

I received my curse when I was only ten years old and within a short amount of time I learned that it would truly be a curse for me.  I was beyond irregular and so ill during those times.  My parents wanted to try natural methods to help me, we tried so many things.  I was open to almost anything in hopes something would help.  Spending two to three days a month vomiting each cycle was so difficult.

By the age of sixteen I was told I had endometriosis and also had very imbalanced hormones.  After giving it great thought, I decided I would take the risks that come with hormones so I could have quality life.  I thought things were great!  I finally felt normal.

Fast Forward to Married Life

In May of 2002 I met a tall, blonde, curly headed guy named Bryan.  I wasn’t looking nor was I interested in starting another relationship, having come out of one about six months before that I wasn’t over yet but that didn’t stand in the way.  We started dating in July, were engaged at the end of December and were married in March of 2003.

We had goals, we had plans and one day that included having a family.  Bryan joked he wanted seven girls!  Well, the chance of seven girls coming from this wife wasn’t likely but having been an only child, Bryan also wanted a large family down the road.  Little did I know how hard it would be for us to begin our family.

Getting Past Lost

One day at work I started bleeding, not just normal bleeding, even as heavy as I had always been this was so different.  I knew something wasn’t right.  I later found out I likely suffered a miscarriage. We were not trying to get pregnant, far from it at the time.  I wasn’t sure how to deal with it, so I didn’t.  I swept it under the rug, went back to work the next day and acted as if nothing happened.  I tried to not give it a second thought.

Fast forward over a year later and something very similar happened to me again.  My mind automatically went there but I kept thinking how could it be possible?  I was very faithful to take my birth control and we were not ready to start our family.  But the second time around I couldn’t help but think something must be wrong with me.  Again, though I didn’t deal with it.  I didn’t process my loss, I just ignored that nothing happened.

Pretending something didn’t happen does not make it go away!

About 18 months later it happened again, but this time something felt different.  I was having a yearning to start my family.  All I could think about was that I could have a baby in my arms, one to love and hug and kiss, one to call my own.  But my arms were empty and my heart hurt.  I cried from the heart without tears.  It was at that time I started to become depressed.

I never once became angry with God, it wasn’t his fault.  But I did become mad, resentful and angry at life.  Working with the public I saw so many women having babies that didn’t take care of them, had too many children or just flat out didn’t want them.  During the time I would spend working with patients in my field, it was amazing what they would tell you.  I would see pregnant women smoking or drinking or even worse, using during their pregnancies without second thought to the baby they were entrusted with because they didn’t want to be pregnant.

It hurt, period.  It was a slap in the face.

I was hoping that they could have been wrong.  I didn’t ever have a DNC so I tried to convince myself that was the case, they must be wrong, I reasoned.  Again, I didn’t really process it. Let me tell you from experience, that is so not the right thing to do.  Eventually it all comes crashing down and when it does, it isn’t pretty!  Don’t be ashamed to talk to others.  Find others in your area or online that have experienced a loss for support.

My brother and his wife were pregnant at the time.  It was bittersweet.  I was so happy for them but inside my heart hurt for me.  When my sister in law went into labor I headed to the hospital with my sister.  About 30 minutes before my niece was born I left.  I regret leaving to this day because it was selfish but I couldn’t keep myself together.

There are not words to truly explain just how you feel.  I was empty, lonely and scared.  I had a great relationship, a great husband and one piece was now missing, a child.

After coming to the reality I may not have a child of my own and starting to become okay with that realization, I found out I was pregnant.  Clearly birth control was not working for me.  But this pregnancy would be different; this pregnancy would bring me my miracle baby.  I would truly come to understand “love at first sight” and just how much I had been missing.

I had no idea the roller coaster that lay ahead but the outcome was amazing!  Next week I will continue to share my “This is Me” series about the difficulties that came with my pregnancy and delivery that ended with the my miracle baby boy.

7 thoughts on “Processing Loss During Pregnancy and Learning to Live”

  1. I just found your blog, and I really like it.
    I totally understand the loss and am so sorry for your pain. I myself have had 2 miscarriages both at 12 weeks pregnant. My second miscarriage was the day before Xmas. I had to endure 3 baby showers during that time and I cried and prayed, for the strength to put on a big beautiful smile before I went to each shower.
    However, I refused to to keep it in and I told everyone, in appropriate circumstances of course, whether I knew them or not, that I had 2 miscarriages. I was mostly surprised by strangers responses which were “Oh me too, but I never told anyone” and so we would chat more. I realized how many people kept all that inside. So, YES talk about it, its nothing to be ashamed of, we are not less womanly or worthy. Some are really simple solutions too. Also I personally found a lot of help with chinese medicine, and a book “the Fertility Cure” DR. Radine Lewis, was very insightful and educational, also there is another book (a must for every woman especially young) Taking charge of your Fertility” Toni Weschler MPH, which is about understanding your female body and fertility, I was blown away at how little us woman are taught about our own female bodies. Please ladies find out more about your bodies, the female body, which is so intelligent, has the ability to give life and work so beautifully for you if you understand more about it.
    And congratulations, on this new little bundle of hugs and kisses coming your way…

    1. Thank you Coral! I think it is hard to talk about at first but once you do, you realize it is something you share with so many others and we are not alone. Thank-you for your kind words and the date of our 3.0 is drawing close!

  2. I remember when I found out I was pregnant for the first time and I cried and cried because I didn’t want to be. 3 weeks later when I had my miscarriage I cried and cried because the sense of loss was so strong and I was so confused. I kept my feelings all to myself and now, upon reflection, really needed someone to talk to. You’re opening that door for someone. Thank you for sharing your post and if I haven’t told you lately, I really heart you. 🙂

  3. As if I didn’t already love you, I just want to hug you because I love you even more. I don’t know the feeling of losing a baby, but I cannot imagine the hurt. I do know the feeling of failing at TTC (and I know this is different) and I’m glad you are willing to talk about it, process it, and help other women. You are a beautiful person, inside and out!

    1. Janet that is very kind! And as a society, we tend to look at the outside and judge not really understanding what others are going through. Going through this made me realize that even more! On the outside to everyone else they would have never known what I was going through. It is something we should talk about, talking and finding others for support is the only way to cope successfully!

  4. Losing a baby is so very hard… and something I do not think you can fully understand unless you have been through it. When I had my 1st miscarriage I shut everyone out. Fortunately for me, I had 2 friends who refused to stay away. They stopped by and shared their own stories of loss. That helped me more than I could even understand at the time. Knowing there was someone else who understood. Thank you for sharing your story. Somewhere, there is a mom who needs to read your story… and know that she is not alone. {{HUGS}}

    1. Thank-you Staci! This is something that the longer is goes, the easier it is to talk about. And I think for me during that time, I did exactly what you should not do, not share what happened or your feelings with others. I know that now and would love to help others to realize they are not alone. Their feelings are real but there are so many others that have been there that can help!

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