Friday, May 16, 2008


A few weeks ago, I was driving into work on a clear blue sky day. The windows were down and I thought to myself I feel good. Sun shinning brightly, a slight cool breeze, a beautiful day – how could I not?

That same day, I received an email from a friend from high school. She is a few years younger. She knows of our infertility. In the last few years our emails would include me explaining ART to her and what stage we were in. This email started off like every other, catching up, and then it twisted. She says, “I had a miscarriage.”

At first, I comforted. As the conversation goes on, she proceeds to tell me about the differences of a chemical miscarriage and a late term. I told her, “I may not have ever been pregnant, but I know very well what a miscarriage is and the differences.” I’m offended and I quickly end the conversation.

This conversation and my reaction bothered me. I looked at it as objectively as possible and I realize that I am jealous of people who have had miscarriages. (I can hear the gasp of WTF? And apologize in advance.) But, let me explain.

If I had a miscarriage, I would know:

the joy of telling my husband, parents, and sister that we were expecting.

the joy of life growing inside of me.

the hope and love which that brings.

the right to grieve.

And I know in my heart of hearts that it is ridiculous. In the same time, I feel like it would have been something to show for all of our hard work. Someone to mourn in a more tangible manner. It would be devastating. But, I would have that child to forever love and know that he/she would be waiting for me when I die.

Twisted, that is how I feel lately, twisted.


Wordgirl said...

Oh Dianne,

I understand. I have never, not once, not in my 18 years of sexual activity -- ever once even thought I was pregnant, nor was I. I grieve for that too...that hope, even if momentary.

I do understand. I wish I had the right words to say.


JJ said...

I do get it...I really do. You put this into a very well worded post--thanks for sharing it with us.
Hugs to you Dianne...

Morrisa said...

I totally understand, I felt the same way. I always thought at least people who have had a m/c know they can get pregnant. I think it is a normal feeling for someone who has never been pregnant. ((hugs)) Just know you are not alone.

s.e. said...

A month ago, I would have agreed with you. But I now know that not everyone who miscarries gets to feel the joy or love you describe. Some pregnancies start out bad and end bad. I am truly not offended but wish I knew before that things are not always how you picture them. I do agree the unknown is so hard to bear. You do still have a right to grieve for your unborn. Wishing you peace as you wait.

The Beauty Junkie said...

I feel you.

Alacrity said...

Dianne -

I completely understand your post, and your feelings.

I have never had a m/c, but I imagine that it must be one of the most terrible things that could happen to someone for whom pregnancy is the answer to their hopes and dreams.

So is never becoming pregnant when you want it so much. And missing out on some those moments you describe.

That's the thing - both situations can be so incredibly painful that it seems like nothing could be worse.

Hang in there

Pamela T. said...

Like those who have commented before me, I know exactly what caused your thoughts and emotions and the longing for what might have been ... those moments of joy, expectation and success which come with pregnancy ... if only fleetingly for some. I felt in a different sort of way that young hope and joy with each positive step along our IVF journey (e.g. seeing pictures our embryos), but those feelings were even more fleeting still.

You're not alone in wishing for that elusive pregnancy.

Kir said...

you said it so well, when we were trying I used to "wish" that all the time(yeah, I know that's stupid and wrong but hey IF makes you crazy). Something to show for all the trying. Like if I could get pg then we'd be getting somewhere and if I lost something (someone) then I could grieve that loss with others instead of trying to make them understand that not having a pregnancy I needed to grieve too.
Thank you for writing this , it was eloquent and so true.

battynurse said...

Very good post. I believe that even the continued negatives are a loss. A loss of hope for that cycle or whatever and while those around you may not ever understand that so many here do. You still have the right to grieve.

Jessica White said...

I'm right there with you. In a twisted way I think that if I had been pregnant, at least once, and miscarried I would still be a mom to someone and would have had those few fleeting joys.

luna said...

this is a very honest and brave post. I can understand the longing for that brief glimpse of joy, and also the frustration of the unknown.

having been there once and had it so cruelly taken away halfway to term, never to return again, I can say it does not make my grief any more, well, easier or better or clear. perhaps I know more vividly what I have lost, that I can connect that grief to the hope of that baby boy. but I continue to grieve my inability to conceive again despite our best efforts. this grief is intertwined and each makes the other more difficult to manage, if that makes sense.

you still have every right to grieve your unborn children, even those that were never conceived. my heart goes out to you.

loribeth said...

I understand both your point & S.E.'s. My one & only pregnancy was far from perfect (totally aside from the fact that it ended in stillbirth). Dh always describes it in support group as "hell." I would describe it more as a "rollercoaster." I started spotting almost immediately, so the starry-eyed phase lasted maybe a week before dark clouds started creeping in around the edges. But when all is said & done, I am grateful for those roller coaster six months. I wouldn't trade them in a million years.

SAHW said...

You've summed up so eloquently what I have been thinking and feeling in my "twisted" from IF mind too...of course I would never in a million years wish to have a miscarriage or wish it upon anyone...yet somehow it seems that a miscarriage is more understood, more accepted - that if I had a miscarriage, people would understand the pain we are going through, that those outside of the IF world understand miscarriage in a way that they just don't understand the pain of infertility, of never being having conceived.

Rachel said...

Visiting from Friday Roundup:

While I wouldn't wish a miscarriage on anyone, I appreciate where you are coming from. I am sure that wasn't easy to share.

Annie said...

I have to echo what s.e. said. As someone with 3 miscarriages, it doesn't do me a lot of good to get pregnant if I can't stay pregnant. And telling other people becomes so hesitant. I don't want to let all my friends and family down again with the news of our loss a few weeks or months later. Miscarriage really sucks the joy out of pregnancy. Instead of felling joy for the life growing inside of me, I feel daily terror and anxiety, wondering if my baby is even alive, checking obsessively to see if I am spotting yet, wishing that if this baby wasn't going to stick that it would just end now instead of the tortuous waiting for it to be over. It gets harder after each loss. Hope is hard to hold onto.

That said, I can understand what you mean about at least you would be able to mourn in a more tangible way and have the right to grieve--although I think you have every reason and right to grieve as well. But I imagine that it is harder when other people don't understand why you feel grief and mourning and seem to suggest that you haven't lost anything when you clearly have.

But the other nasty truth about miscarriage is that a lot of people don't feel there is anything to grieve with miscarriage either, or if there is you should be able to get over it quickly. People don't want to hear about it. People don't treat it like an actual death. In my experience I haven't found people to be very understanding or accepting of miscarriage at all outside of the IF world or others who have experienced it themselves.

But at the same time I can see why you would just like to be pregnant, even if it didn't end well. I certainly can't understand all the feelings that go along with being unable to get pregnant, but I imagine that it is heartbreaking and a loss of its own. Our struggles, our pain, they are all different--but no matter which way it goes it's just a horrible and difficult thing to go through.

Your post was very brave and I appreciate your honesty. I have so much respect for you for saying it even if it can be a bit difficult for me to read. It was beautifully written and made my heart ache for what you've been through, what any of us who have struggled to get pregnant or stay pregnant have been though.

annacyclopedia said...

What resonated so deeply with me in your post was this: "the right to grieve." The pain of grieving losses that are invisible to others or ourselves is so lonely, and it is very hard to be granted or to grant ourselves the space to mourn them.

Thank you for posting this very brave piece of writing. I understand what s.e. and others have said here, too, but I really understand you and where you're at in this post. Wishing you much peace and some space to become untwisted.

Sara said...

I know just what you mean. Somewhere deep in my heart, I'm pretty sure I felt the same way sometimes.

I do think that fertile people that have never experienced miscarriage don't always treat it as the tragedy that it is either, though.

Kami said...

I am here via the roundup.

I get it too. I have had miscarriages and an early infant death and when I get frustrated trying to explain the hardship of infertility, I will pull those out. I have even said, "Losing our son was very hard, but in many ways not having a viable pregnancy afterwards took a greater toll."

I think it helps the rest of the world "get it" a little bit more. It should not be the case, but in other's views, it does seem to legitimize the grief.