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Sadness [Jul. 2nd, 2006|09:14 am]
[Current Mood |sadgrieving]

I just found out that my niece had a miscarriage. She was 11 and a half weeks along, and everything seemed to be going fine. I'm just so sad for them. They were really thrilled about this baby.

If you've never been through it, it's hard to understand how devestating a miscarriage can be. To the rest of the world, the loss is pretty much invisible, but for the parents, it's watching a whole future die. That child was manifest, in your life. And though it never drew breath, though you never even felt the flutter of life, it was your baby.

And now it's gone.

But people are uncomfortable with grief. They tell you that you should not feel the loss - after all, you can try again, and it wasn't really a baby yet, and it was probably for the best.

And, because you are polite and society discourages it, you don't punch them in the face for being so fucking stupid. You grit your teeth and nod, and try to hide your pain so that no one says, "I thought you'd be over that by now." Because when they say that, you have to work so hard not to strangle them. And it's best for everyone if you avoid that impulse.

But it still hurts. Your pain is multiplied by this lack of understanding. You're not supposed to feel this way, so it's hard to work through the fact that you do.

It's hard. I remember the Easter I spent in the foyer of our church, sobbing, because that should have been the day we were baptising our second child. By the next year, we were baptising a second daughter, and my heart was filled with love for her. But I remembered, even then, the baby who had slipped from our lives, unnamed but not unmourned.

And 15 years later, I still remember. And shed a tear for my niece.

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[User Picture]From: roadnotes
2006-07-02 01:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, gods. You and your niece have my sympathy. Would you mind if friends punched people in the face for you? (Somehow, the casual attitude people take towards miscarriages upsets me on a deep level. If the person wanted the pregnancy, then it's a loss like nothing else.)
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[User Picture]From: hugh_mannity
2006-07-02 01:40 pm (UTC)
If anything, the intangibility of the loss makes it harder. Because there's nothing concrete to say goodbye to.

I had a tubal pregnancy before I had my son. I only knew I was pregnant for 4 days, between going to the emergency in agony and having surgery (note: don't go to a Catholic hospital with a non-viable pregnancy, they'll still try to save it!) I wasn't planning to have a child. It was a very strange experience -- a huge psychic whiplash.

I too will shed a tear for your niece.
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[User Picture]From: heathrow
2006-07-02 01:45 pm (UTC)
I understand. We had a miscarriage prior to our first daughter. It's the most painful, private loss.
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[User Picture]From: raylenetaskoski
2006-07-02 01:52 pm (UTC)
Jeez I get depressed if my period starts when I've convinced myself that I must be pregnant because my period is 27 1/2 seconds late. I can't imagine what it must be like to actually be pregnant and lose it. My heart goes out to your niece. and you.

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[User Picture]From: saffster
2006-07-02 01:53 pm (UTC)
It is hard to deal with miscarriages, there is always the "what if" factor. =(
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[User Picture]From: ohhjuliet
2006-07-02 01:55 pm (UTC)
Thoughts and wishes to your niece and her husband that they find comfort soon. xo
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[User Picture]From: sacramentalist
2006-07-02 02:08 pm (UTC)
The death of possibilities is so hard to take. My ex's first pregancy (her previous marriage) ended in miscarriage, and after two wonderful children, she never forgot it.
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[User Picture]From: lyssabard
2006-07-02 02:20 pm (UTC)
My aunt tried again and again to have children when she was in her 20s and 30s, and each time had a miscarriage, and I can still hear the grief in her voice to this day, now that she is approaching 60.

My condolences to you, even now, and your niece.
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[User Picture]From: trianakvetch
2006-07-02 02:29 pm (UTC)
I went to the hospital for bad abdominal pains and that´s when they told me I had a miscarriage. I was only 2 weeks along, wasn´t planning on having children for a few more years, wasn´t even ready...but it still hurts.
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From: ex_leopardp
2006-07-02 04:08 pm (UTC)
I didn't know I was pregnant either. At first they told me I just had ovarian cysts and that the intense bleeding was just from a terrible period. Then, the blood test came back positive for pregnancy...and I felt like I had been dropkicked in the gut.
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[User Picture]From: butterandjelly
2006-07-02 02:42 pm (UTC)
I can't imagine the pain involved with losing a child, under any circumstances, after any amount of time. My heart goes out to your niece (and to you). I doubt there are words to assuage the pain but the thoughts and sympathy are there, however ineptly they are expressed.
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[User Picture]From: sirah_fires
2006-07-02 10:09 pm (UTC)

now that is a great statement

I would love to be able to save that quote and pull it out when needed since it is so very well formed, worded and presented... amazing wonderful lovely way of saying it and I wish more people could pull that kind of sympathy from out around the foot they are talking past.

1 miscarriage by period- 18 y/o
1 medically-needed abortion- 20 y/o
! Pregnant for my 29th b-day now w/ 7 week old infant- Kenneth Morgan
colic is hell but if I had miscarried I would I sent myself to hell.
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[User Picture]From: ser_kai
2006-07-02 02:47 pm (UTC)
I was in hospital last week. The woman in the bed next to me had just suffered a second miscarriage after three healthy births. We spoke about it a bit. She didn't seem to know how to feel and we went through all this-- stuff. Like, it isn't like she has no kids but-- I've had two early miscarriages(hers were 16 and 17 weeks) and I definitely was disappointed. It was like I was helping her try to figure it all out-- to understand her degree of grief. When she came in, she was very self-disparaging but by the time I left, I think she'd come to the conclusion that though it wasn't the end of the world, she needed space and time to grieve. I'm glad I could be a sounding board. I hope I was, anyway.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-07-02 03:18 pm (UTC)
It sounds like you performed real angel work there. Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: katzinoire
2006-07-02 02:49 pm (UTC)
Oh I am so sorry to hear that, she and little baby are in my prayers Gini. No one ever truly understands loss, it is like love, you can tell someone how it makes you feel-but they'll never know until they experience it themselves. Hugs
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[User Picture]From: cinema_babe
2006-07-02 03:03 pm (UTC)
Please accept my deepest sympathies to you and your niece.

I lost a child to miscarriage too and still can't make some people understand the hurt and sense of loss I will always carry with me. I too know what it's like to stand in the church foyer with tears in my eyes. This is one of the handful of times in all of my years lurking and posting on LJ that I have been so deeply moved by a post.
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[User Picture]From: littlebuhnee
2006-07-02 03:06 pm (UTC)
I'm very sorry for your niece (and you). This was well written. *hugs*
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[User Picture]From: brujah
2006-07-02 03:16 pm (UTC)
There's no explaining to anyone how it feels. There's no reconciling it, yourself, without wondering if you caused it to happen by carelessness or something you'd done or not done.

It's like someone reached into your breast and plucked away a piece of your soul. You never get it back. Time does heal the hurt, but it never makes you whole.

I'm so sorry for your niece and for her husband. And for you. And me, and the other families who've realized what it's like to have something so precious slip away.
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From: ex_leopardp
2006-07-02 04:04 pm (UTC)
"It's like someone reached into your breast and plucked away a piece of your soul. You never get it back. Time does heal the hurt, but it never makes you whole."

Yeah...that's a pretty damned accurate description of how you feel. Incomplete. That pretty much describes how I feel since my miscarriage in May.
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[User Picture]From: dydan
2006-07-02 03:47 pm (UTC)
Had things worked out, I'd be blogging about the joys of pre-school antics.

I remember when the miscarriage happend, thinking I'd be ok. I wasnt that far along and at the time nobody knew I was even pregnant. I mourned alone and in the months that followed I completely fell apart. It was a long and lonely road back to sanity.

I dont think I'll ever stop missing what should have been....
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-07-02 03:51 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry.
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[User Picture]From: throbinson
2006-07-02 03:49 pm (UTC)
Hugs to you and your niece, and to everyone who's commented here. People should learn to be more understanding about other people's losses. They don't always follow our own timetables or conform to what society thinks we "should" be feeling.
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[User Picture]From: ithildae
2006-07-02 03:53 pm (UTC)
I am blessed with a faith that teaches that you will not lose that child forever. __quietude_ has never miscarried, but some of her cousins have great difficulty bearing children to term. The loss is not lessened simply because you never got to hold the child. We almost lost Moose when she was six weeks old, I cannot describe what I was feeling at the time. This is much the same. Take time to grieve.
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From: ex_leopardp
2006-07-02 04:02 pm (UTC)
I took my miscarriage in May alot harder than I let on in my LJ. I didn't even know I was pregnant when it happened...and yes, I have had 5 kids (my oldest is 20 and my baby is 10). But losing this one literally devastated me because it was Josh's baby. I have never felt such a sense of loss with past miscarriages. I didn't even realise I had wanted that baby until it was far too late.
Now, I keep finding myself wandering around the internet looking at pregnancy web pages and feeling...lost.

No one understood what I was going through, Gini. You're right. I still get people going, "Whew! Aren't you glad you're not pregnant AGAIN? You got lucky, this time!". I just smile and nod, but inside I'm torn up by what they say.

And I want to say, "NO!". Because this baby, unlike my other five children, was conceived in love with a man who is my hero and my soulmate. Who loves me and treats me like I'm something precious. Who treats his children and my own like the gifts they are.
I keep joking to everyone that I wish I'd met him years ago, because all of my kids would have been redheaded, fat lipped drummers, just like him.
And I mean it!

I shed a tear for your niece today, too. I'm glad she has someone as loving and caring as you are for support during this time. It makes the healing happen alot faster.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-07-02 04:15 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry that I didn't see your journal entries about miscarrying - my flist reading is pathetic these days. I mourn for your loss as well, dear. I wish you peace and healing.
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[User Picture]From: dhimahi
2006-07-02 04:18 pm (UTC)
I've been through it twice, and I will always feel that emptiness within. I always feel so blessed that I have my Cait.

I wish your niece and you peace and unending love. *hugs*
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[User Picture]From: yndy
2006-07-02 04:23 pm (UTC)
My deepest sympathies to your niece.

People don't handle grief well... and some use platitudes when they find themselves at a loss for something useful to say - especially when there isn't anything useful or helpful that *can* be said.

Anyone who has ever miscarried understands - anyone who hasn't, never really will.

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[User Picture]From: cathawk
2006-07-02 04:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, how sad...

I agree that people just don't understand that this is so painful...and the isolation from that lack of understand just compounds the grief.
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[User Picture]From: wolflady26
2006-07-02 05:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about your niece. My sister-in-law went through the same thing. She carried her third child to term, but it was stillborn. She experienced the same lack of understanding, with people wondering why she considered it a "real" death. I don't know how people can be so heartless.
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From: ex_leopardp
2006-07-02 09:37 pm (UTC)

Re: Apologies for the angry comment; I'm violent when I first wake up.

The best thing to say is, "I'm sorry" and then , if that person is ok with it, give that person a hug, because at that point, they probably really need it.
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