A few questions... — The Bump
Miscarriage/Pregnancy Loss

A few questions...

Hello ladies...

 I'm working on a paper for an English class, and I was wondering if some of you could help me out...

  I personally have lost a baby through an early term miscarriage, and then another through an ectopic pregnancy that ruptured. I'm writing my paper on the emotional side of early term miscarriages, and I'm specifically working on the interview portion of the project at the moment.

  My thesis is based on the idea that women who have early term miscarriages need just as much support and allowance to grieve as women who have had late term miscarriages, or have lost a baby at or shortly after birth.  

  I know that within this message board that fact is appreciated, but I personally experienced a lack of sensitivity from people who had never been through the same thing... Most people couldn't understand why I was grieving the loss of a baby I had never held, and "It just wasn't meant to be" was the most common response I got.

  I was hoping a few of you would be willing to answer some questions I put together. I'm not looking for you to agree with my thesis... All thoughts and feelings are welcome. I'm also not looking for an specific length to any of the questions. Please, feel free to write a two page response if that's what you have to say... It's been very good therapy for me to write this paper, and I wouldn't want to hinder the same on your side if telling your entire story would help your healing process. 

I'll list the questions below, and anyone who would like to respond can do so either as a response to this post, or in a  private message. Please let me know if follow up questions are okay/not okay. Thank you so much in advance for your help.

 

 

Would you describe your emotions about the loss?

Having not met your baby, what is it you are grieving after your miscarriage?

Do you think it would have been more or less painful to have lost your baby at full term/at birth?

Lastly, for anyone who has lost a baby through an early term MC and another at birth, what are the similarities and differences in the emotions you went through?

 

 Thank you very much again.

 

 

 

Re: A few questions...

  • I love this! I hope my answers help:

    Having not met your baby, what is it you are grieving after your miscarriage?

    Just because I haven't met the baby doesn't mean I didn't already love it. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I felt like a mother, overwhelmed with love for my child. Just because it was growing inside me and not fully formed and born didn't mean that it wasn't real to me and didn't feel like my child. I talked to my baby, touched my belly, imagined how my baby would look, googled pictures of embryos at each stage of development and felt excited as I imagined my baby was growing as scheduled inside of me.

    I am grieving the loss of the future. When I found out I was pregnant I immediately started planning, hoping and dreaming about the baby and how it would be, what it would look like, what we would do. We told people, made plans, speculated on which parent or relative the baby might look like, what the sex would be. We bought a few toys and clothes, imagined how we'd decorate the nursery and how amazing it would be to hold our baby in our arms one day. All of those hopes are ripped away from you when you find out the baby has died.

    It also brings about fears. Why did this happen? Will it happen again? Why did this happen to me? Will I ever be able to have children? It takes away the possibility of enjoying a future pregnancy because now you know that getting that positive HPT doesn't mean a thing and you can never again be completely excited about any future pregnancy.

    Do you think it would have been more or less painful to have lost your baby at full term/at birth?

    I think it would have been much more painful to lose a baby at full term, at, or slightly after birth. Although I think all of us who become pregnant feel like mothers and love our babies, there is still a sense, early on, that the pregnancy is in a tenuous, fragile state. We all know the statistics and know that before 12 weeks it's very possible to miscarry. Because of this I think we approach that first trimester cautiously optimistic, hoping nothing will go wrong but knowing it easily can.

    After you've heard the heartbeat and the pregnancy has progressed further, I would imagine that some of the caution would go away, you would start to feel comfortable and confident that you will have a take-home baby, which would make the loss that much more shocking and upsetting. No one expects to lose their baby, but I would imagine crossing the lines that all but promise you it's going to be fine give you a sense of calm and makes you feel like you can finally celebrate and relax. 

    At the same time, I think that those who lose term babies or have stillborns get more understanding and sympathy from the outside world than those of us with early losses. The very subject of your paper shows the prevalence of that idea. People know the loss of a child, even a very young one, is tragic and treat it like any other death. When you lose a baby so early in pregnancy, you didn't even really lose a baby, you're told that you just lost some non-viable tissue, a ball of cells, an embryo, a fetus, not a child. It wasn't a real person yet. You're just dismissed and told it wasn't meant to be. Your pain isn't acknowledged and you're made to feel wrong for mourning something that never was. You're even told to feel that it was better this way, that your baby was so malformed and sick that it didn't deserve to live and is better off dead, that you should be grateful it's gone now so you don't have to deal with a sick child. 

    Parents of term or stillborn babies have the added comfort and pain of knowing the sex and name of their child. They have a real boy or girl to grieve, whereas those of us with early losses are grieving a nameless "it." A baby that is born can be buried, and talked about as a real person. Our early embryos and fetuses are disposed of in the trash, toilet, or hospital, just an indistinguishable ball of tissue and blood, so we have nothing to hold on to to know that it was real, that we were mothers. This is both more and less painful than the mothers who go through the pain of delivery only to hold a dead child in their arms. They have the joy of seeing and meeting their baby that we never have, but the immense pain of seeing what could have been and having to say goodbye to a tiny, beautiful baby. The visual must make it very painful. 


     

     

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  • BlakeGBlakeG
    Ninth Anniversary
    member
    image Rosesandlilies:

    Would you describe your emotions about the loss? Total disbelief, utter dispair, hopeless for the future, angry, jealous and the deepest sadness I have ever felt.

    Having not met your baby, what is it you are grieving after your miscarriage? You don't have to meet someone to grieve them.  It's a physical and emotional connection.  Feeling exhausted, hungry, nauseous, and knowing you are feeling these things because of your child growing  inside of you is a greater connection than merely meeting someone in person.  I am also grieving the loss of hopes and dreams.  As soon as I had a postive test, I started hoping and planning for the future.  You immediately become a mother and immediately miss your baby.   When you experience an m/c all of those dreams and expectations are crushed.  There is also the fear that maybe I will never be a parent.  If it happened this time, why won't it happen again?  Is there something bigger wrong with me that will prevent me from having a child?  For someone like me who has only dreamed of being a mom since childhood, I can't explain how terrifying that possibilty is.   

    Do you think it would have been more or less painful to have lost your baby at full term/at birth?  I think that any loss is painful and that the pain is not more or less but different.  It all depends how you internalize things.  On the one side you can say that late term losses are harder b/c you've bonded longer.  Having an early loss though, I never got to see a little HB on an ultrasound, I never felt my baby kick.  I didn't get to hold a baby no matter how tiny.  For me, I feel like I don't have any tangible memories to hang on to, just an idea of a baby and the 6 positive HPTs.  I wish I had something to remember my pregnancy by.  At the same time I can not imagine delivering a child and not getting to bring them home.  As I said, one is not more or less painful, it's just a different pain.

     

    Natural BFP - 2/13/10, Natural M/C - 3/9/10 (Missed m/c found at 8wks 4days) Prenatal B/W shows I'm a Beta Thal carrier & so is DH. Onto IVF w/PGD... Jan 2011 - IVF #1 - C/P Mar 2011 - IVF #2 - Day 5 PGD, no ET, 5 snow babies May 2011 - FET #1 - BFP!! Twins!!! 2/9/12 - Our precious miracles arrived! Baby A 7lbs 13oz & Baby B 5lbs 13oz
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  • Lkat17Lkat17
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    member

    Would you describe your emotions about the loss? I felt heartbroken, devastated, lost, and crushed.

    Having not met your baby, what is it you are grieving after your miscarriage? I feel like I made a connection with this little being for the brief time it was with me. I loved it instantly.

    I've told my DH that it feels like a death to me, like someone I knew and loved died. I don't think that anyone who hasn't gone through it themselves completely understands that. I definitely get the sense that no one in my real life (DH included) feels the same way. And I understand their point of view to an extent, because I think I would have had trouble grasping what this kind of loss feels like if I hadn't been through it myself. DH has made an effort to understand and listen, but I don't think anyone else gets it.

    Do you think it would have been more or less painful to have lost your baby at full term/at birth? I think it would have been more painful to lose a baby at full term or at birth. There would have been more time to develop a connection with the baby, to hear its heartbeat, feel it move, and hold it in my arms. I imagine that kind of loss would be utterly devastating. 

    I knew that the 1st trimester is tenuous and even warned the people I told that I was pregnant not to get too excited because it was still early and anything could happen. You still hope it won't happen to you and it was still devastating when it happened, but at least I knew the statistics. If I made to a statistically "safe" period in my pregnancy and lost the baby, I think it would have been that much harder to accept and understand. 

    I appreciate that the women here understand that even though our experiences may be different, we are all experiencing a profound sense of loss. It's the one place that I feel totally understood when I share my experiences around the m/c.

    Feel free to ask follow up questions here or through PM if you'd like. And good luck with your paper!

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  • Background: I had an early miscarriage in April 2009, then we experienced infertility trying to get PG again. After fertility drugs, we got pg again in April 2010 which was ectopic. Right tube ruptured and was removed in emergency surgery.  We also terminated a pregnancy in college....that experience has colored my griecing experience a LOT.

    Would you describe your emotions about the loss?

    For our first loss, I was sad. DH has wanted to start our family for awhile, and I had put him off. That loss made me realize how important to me having children was. I hated seeing DH grieve for that loss. I also wondered if this was my "punishment" for the pregnancy we terminated.

    For this most recent loss, I was devestated. This was the pregnancy we worked so hard to acheive. I had already struggled with the feelings that came with infertility, and the first round of meds we got negative tests and what I thought was my cycle (more grief over "failed" attempts). I had pain in the middle of the second round that I thought were cysts from the meds. We went to the ER when the pain was SO bad the doctor told me I was pregnant and 12 hours later I was in preop waiting to have my pregnancy removed. I blamed myself for the termination and also because I had said that my worst fear would be getting pregnant from fertility treatments and losing it again...

    Having not met your baby, what is it you are grieving after your miscarriage?

     I phrase it like this: I am grieving the "loss of the promise of a child". I am grieving that DH and I won't be parents for a while longer...that we have to start over again at ground zero with fertility treatments...wondering if we are doomed to fail at having children.

    Do you think it would have been more or less painful to have lost your baby at full term/at birth?

    I think more...much more. I wouldn't just be grieving the loss of my hopes and dreams...but also of a real person that i could hold in my arms. THat I had listened to the heartbeat of etc.

    Lastly, for anyone who has lost a baby through an early term MC and another at birth, what are the similarities and differences in the emotions you went through?

    N/A

  • Cool! Answers below!

    Emotions:

    Grief. Grief like I didn't know was possible. Grief to the depths of my core and pain in places I didn't know I could feel pain.

    What am I grieving:

    This might sound really weird, but I'm grieving my loss of control. I'm one of those Type A people and I feel like I had it all planned and that I totally failed...I lost complete control of this "project."

    I'm also grieving all the months I imagined being pregnant and all the stories I created in my head.

    And of course, I grieve our son...who I don't even know to be a son but I just felt like it was a boy...

    What would be more painful:

    If an early loss is this painful, I cannot imagine how I would cope with a later loss or a stillborn.  I have so much respect for those women. Their courage to carry on is inspirational.

  • Would you describe your emotions about the loss?

    - confusing and complicated; devistated; numb; strangley justified that I wasn't crazy for feeling something was wrong all along, yet devistated that I couldn't be wrong, just this once; ripped off and robbed of the preganancy, the baby, our happiness; betrayed by my body (tricked by blighted ovum); concern, helplessness, and guilt that I couldn't do anything to truly comfort DH (though no real guilt that the M/C itself happened in my body); moments of being relieved it happened as soon as it did and not at a later point when I would think it could be harder to cope with; shocked that at 1:25pm my life was continuing to unfold in an exciting new way, and then at 1:30pm it was all threatened; resentful of others around me; suddenly aware of those around me who may have also struggled with this and/or IF

    Having not met your baby, what is it you are grieving after your miscarriage?

    - the expected future we would have with that child; the "highs" of going through my day carrying something so wanted and loved already and hiaving this special secret from waking until sleeping each day; the way DH would look at me, or kiss my belly goodnight; the loss of our innocence and the (anticiapted) loss of our ability to relax and enjoy any future pregnancies; belonging to the ever-growing "club" of mommies around me; the grandchild for our families who just beamed with excitement and love

    Do you think it would have been more or less painful to have lost your baby at full term/at birth?

    - without a doubt, more painful

    ~ M/C April 28/10 @ 10w2d ~ ~ M/C Sept. 14/10 @ 5w ~ Image and video hosting by TinyPic Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Thank you ladies so much! You have been wonderful help, and I have enjoyed reading your stories (kind of... in that weird way you enjoy reading sad stories that you relate to).

    I will most definitely try to quote you each at least one once, so please know that you're voices have been heard.

     God bless.

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