Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Loss of Babies

Okay, I’m depressed.

That’s why I’m not writing blog posts three times a week. Or answering many e-mails. God, I found some of your e-mails in my spam folder tucked between “Satisfy her with your jumbo member” and “Show her who the real man is”. Seriously, I could barely drag up the energy to move those e-mails from one folder to another. But I did. And you’ll hear from me, be assured.

There are many reason for my depression, which is minor and transient. I’m not having a permanent episode, no posts from the loony bin or anything. I’m not drinking vodka at 11am or lashing out at the children over who drank all the milk. In fact, I have over-compensated nicely. I’m still fun Mommy. Today, I did an awesome puppet show with Bert the Rooster that involved a sort of Rodney Dangerfield-no-one-appreciates-me-routine, smelling everyone's feet and cackling wildly in Spanish - I had the kids bent over screaming-laughing at their play date.

It’s a bunch of things - Too much bleak, gray weather, the need for Spring, for warmth, for sun. It’s partially my new life without a babysitter - which is actually pretty fun, hanging everyday with the girls, trolling the city - but leaves me little time to write and when I don’t write I get depressed, because I have no outlet, no sense of identity, no way to be sane, no way to purge or make sense of things, except for leaning on my husband, who is a rock, but he has a first wife who battled depression and I hate to scare the crap out of him. You know, maybe he thinks, I’ll be this way for the next six years or something.

There’s also the small thing of our recent miscarriage. (My mom doesn’t read this blog and I haven't told her about the miscarriage. There are a couple of you who speak to her, please do not share this with her. She has been ill recently and this news is the last thing she needs. I want her focused on recovering her health. Thanks.) To be honest, we were pregnant for about 7 weeks. This is a short period of time. Hardly anyone knew. That we lost this baby now, as opposed to several weeks or months from now, is a blessing. I get that. I get that intellectually. But still…

I enjoyed being pregnant for those few weeks, that old familiar feeling of knowing that something special was happening, something I carried with me all the time, was aware of all the time and that we had this secret between us that very few people knew about. It was like holding a special treasure. By the time, I went to the bathroom at Starbucks and found the blood, I was just getting used to the idea, picturing the five of us. You can’t imagine all the scenes playing out in my head. All rainbows and happy endings.

I will tell you that miscarriage has never been a big concern for us. We have been fortunate. As soon as the stick turned blue, we blabbed our baby news to anyone who would feign happiness. It was just one of those things that didn’t happen to us. Sure, maybe some hideous strain of cancer is running through our veins poised to reach out and flatten us, but not so in the baby-making department. Fertility was our thing. We were always grateful for it and knew how lucky we were.

This time, was different. We held our tongues. I was 43. This pregnancy had not happened in one month or three as with Lucy and Edie. It happened in seven. We knew, on some level, it was fragile.

I called David and told him the news when he was in Australia. He was staying with his dad. He told him the good news. He couldn’t help himself. He was smiling through the phone when I told him. When he came home, we told Lucy and Edie. They were beyond thrilled. We swore Lucy to secrecy. Not an easy thing for Lucy. Lucy had been telling everyone at the playground that we had been pregnant with twins for like the last year, so this was big news. the whole idea made her feel happy and big and important.

She wanted my belly to get big immediately. We took out pregnancy books from the library and I read to them about the baby in Mommy’s tummy. The night before we lost the baby, she and Edie leaned in to my belly button to talk to the baby. They wanted her to be a girl. They had all kind of things to tell her.

It felt pretty real. Like it might happen. We scheduled a doctor’s appointment. The due date would have been December 4th. I started imagining our Xmas.

I felt great. I felt pregnant. But no sickness. This was a relief. Both of my previous pregnancies were laced with sickness – I vomited everywhere, almost constantly for the first three months. My vomit is legendary. Once, with Edie, I had to bend over in a gutter outside my house with Lucy in my arms because I couldn’t be without a vomit receptacle for more than 15 minutes at a time.

This pregnancy was different. No vomit in sight. I vowed to Shred every day. I was furiously organizing and spring cleaning the house. I was a mound of productivity. I was awesome. I felt like a million bucks. I thought it must be a boy. That was the difference – Girls make you sick. Boys don’t’.

Little did I know, that this lack of sickness, this good feeling, was just a pregnancy that had never really taken hold. Little did I know that sickness was good.

We had just met up with friends at the Starbucks in our building. I made the kids go to the bedroom, one more “empty bladder” check. I decided to go myself. That’s when I saw it. Lucy was sobbing, her friend had a pack of bubble gum and was willing to share with everyone, but Lucy wanted her own. She staged a fit. She was hysterical in the bathroom in Starbucks. I was bleeding. Friends who didn’t know I was pregnant were waiting at a table outside. Everyone wanted to go to the zoo.

I had no idea what to do. I do what I always do when I don’t know what to do, when I am immobile. I call David. Lucy screamed about bubble gum in the background. Edie was rubbing her hands all over the public toilet. We talked about seeing a doctor, but with the kids it was going to be hard to shift into that mode. I decided to tell my friend what was happening, retrieve some maxi pads from my bathroom, calm my tantruming child by buying her whatever pack of bubble gum she wanted and just move through the day, see what happens.

I vowed to get to a doctor in the afternoon. But it didn’t matter. By ten o’clock I had to change maxi pads three times. There was blood and tissue. By two o’clock, I was running around on the monkey bars, chasing Lucy, and I noticed that I no longer felt pregnant. It was over. That feeling of treasure inside had just ebbed away, like a low tide. No doctor was going to fix this. It was over. The baby was gone. I just moved through the day. It was good to be busy.

I was sad. We were sad. We had to tell the girls and they were sad. Lucy had so many questions. She cared. She was so interested, concerned for this little sister she had envisioned in her head. But that same week, two bloggers that I didn’t know, lost their babies. You should check out their stories and their beautiful babies - Maddie and Thalon. These were not near misses. They were living, breathing, babies that people had connected to and loved and cared for in the real world, not just in their fantasies, and my sadness seemed small and inconsequential. And it is.

And there are all the people who have tried to have babies and have never known the effortless fertility that we have been blessed with. The folks who don’t have two gorgeous, healthy, completely average girls sleeping all around them now. So, I have this all in perspective. Really, I do.

But I’m still a little blue. Not quite myself. But writing saves me. My husband saves me. My kids save me. You save me. Thanks for letting me talk about it. I feel better now.

Xxoo YM



Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Oh, Kim. I'm so, so sorry. You have every right to be blue, and don't worry about us, we'll still be here when you feel like writing again.

Molly said...

Oh, Kim, no. I'm so sorry. What awful news.

We lost two in the last two years. It's an awful thing to have happen. It took me a year to get pregnant with the first one I lost, and it was awful.

I'm 29 weeks pregnant with this one, and it's only been in the last couple of weeks that I've even been able to start getting excited about a new baby. I've just been sure it would all be the same: we'd get excited, tell a few people, and then a month later, we'd have to tell them that it was over, I'd lost it.

It's a rough time. Thanks for sharing with your readers. Hope you start to feel like your old self (or some acceptable version of your new self) again soon.

Anne Stesney said...

Hey Kim-What a heartbreaking loss. My heart goes out to you, David, Lucy and Edie. Take your own sweet time in feeling better. Sometimes fighting feeling depressed only makes it worse.
As for your writing, Lisa's right. We'll still be around.

Cali said...

so sorry, i know what you are going through having been there myself. you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.<3

Christine said...

Oh Kim, I am so sorry. It truly and honestly sucks. Maddie and Thalon are tragedies and they are different, but that doesn't make your very real loss inconsequential. You, David and the girls are in my thoughts.

Take care of yourself. We'll be here when you get back and miss you in your absence.

Be well.

Anonymous said...

You don't need to explain that you have perspective or anything like that--having two children already, losing a child to miscarriage (as opposed to an already-born child)--nothing minimizes the fact that you are experiencing the loss of what would have been the third beautiful child you brought into this world. You and your family have every right to mourn and grieve. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

Take care of yourself, and let yourself feel all your feelings.
And by the way, first time I've commented, but I read you all the time. Love you and your family!

May I ask where that lovely painting you use in this post came from? It really touched me, for a bunch of reasons.

auntjone said...

I am so sorry for your little family. I am blessed with 2 sweet boys and have never experienced what you're going through. Please know you're in my thoughts and prayers as you heal.

GiGi said...

I am a long time reader, but it's the first time for me to comment on your blog. I am so sorry for your loss. There is another angel watching over you now. {{hugs}}

Krysta said...

oh shit kim. i am so sorry... words will never do...

your grief is not inconsequential. don't you ever think that. it was a child you wanted so so much and that in and of its self makes it a big deal. oh sweetie i wish i was there to cook for you and give you hugs... please take care and even though i'm on the other coast if you need someone to talk to you know how to reach me. much love, k

SaintTigerlily said...

Ick. Not right. Not fair.

I just wrote a whole big thing and erased it because I don't know what to say. Hugs to you and everyone: I'm so sorry it happened that way.

rita said...

Kim - I'm really so sorry. I still remember our talk last Summer at your mom's garage sale. We sneaked out to the glider and among other things, you told me you and David wanted another baby to love. You were beaming!! I know how you feel because I had 2 miscarriages before Andy was born. I wondered if something was wrong since you hadn't posted in so long. In fact, I almost called you one day. It's not easy,but you'll get through it. Hugs, Rita

melissa said...

You're amazing for even sharing this with us and I thank you for that.

I adore you Kim and I am really sorry this happened. *BIG hug* I'll be thinking about my favorite little family and sending tons of love.

Smashley said...

:( I'm so sorry you and your family had to go through this.

I almost shit my pants when you said you are 43 - NO WAY! You don't look anything near 43...whaaaat?

Anonymous said...

Kim just wanted to tell you how sorry I am. I read your blog religiously but have never commented before.
I know how you feel - I lost my first baby at 10 weeks. You hold so many hopes for the future and when they are gone there is such a feeling of emptiness. I think the hardest part is that although you are experiencing these feelings of loss so many people don't know what you are going through. Take the time to grieve and don't minimise your loss. I'm really impressed with your strength at being able to share this here.

SteamyKitchen said...

Big hugs to you....

Chiara said...

Kim, you have all my support. I'm not that good with words, so I guess I'll stuck with a recipe, called "riso col latte". It's a very simple traditional recipe we use in the country, here in Italy, and I make every time I'm blue. My kids adore it, too: just bring some full milk to a boil (1 liter-2 pints for 2-4 servings), then add risotto-rice, salt to taste and cook on low heat until not liquid (15-20 minutes). You need to stir frequently otherwise the rice will stick to the pan.
You are strong, and it's good you shared with us. Even better you admit you need to relay on your husband and love for your kids. You taught me a lesson.

Big Hug

Farnés said...

I'm so sorry for you, Kim. I'll be thinking of you.

Elizabeth Cobb Durel said...

Gosh, Kim, I am so sorry to hear this. I hope you'll be feeling better soon. You all are in my thoughts.

ntsc said...

I'm so sorry.

As others say, don't worry about us, we will keep checking when you want to write again.

Anonymous said...

Big big hugs to you.

The Mulligan Family said...

Sending you big hugs! You have every right to mourn and grieve this loss. It is real - and it is important you allow yourselves to feel it, so that you are able to move on.

As I said - sending you big hugs!

Veronica said...

I'm so sorry. Big hugs.

Cheryl Arkison said...

That fuckin' sucks. No matter when, no matter where, it hurts. Wallow in your family and take pleasure in brownies (or ice cream) and approaching spring.

vegetablej said...

I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my cheeks because you have to feel this, because so many of us have these sorrows every day, whether it is the loss of a baby still unknown, or a grandmother we have known for 99 years, or a sister, mother, or dear friend. It is always so hard to let them go; we always want more time.

Still, we go on doing whatever we have to, bravely putting on the faces that can stand up to daylight, caring for those we love who are still here, realizing that we can take some comfort in that caring, and that the love and tears we spend are not forbidden, but essential to our being able to feel everything we must if we are to live each day. Sadness is not an enemy, and it needs its fair share of time.



Corrie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss

it really does hurt. I had an ectopic pregnancy and losing that little baby just broke me and my heart! I cried so hard for days, in the shower, at night, didn't want to hear about babies and wondered would I get better and would i have another baby.

6 months later I conceived twins but still keep a little place in my heart for that little baby

Sending you lots of hugs and hope


Le laquet said...

big, huge hugs to you all!

Jennifer said...

Oh my, I'm so sorry. I also miscarried at 7 weeks (while in Africa) right before my current pregnancy happened. It sucks. There's just no getting around it. I'm really, REALLY sorry.

Grapefruit said...

So sorry to read about your loss.
I had a missed miscarriage at 10/11 weeks last April.
Reading your post reminded me of everything that we went through.
Initially I was shell-shocked but super-positive and just holding it all in and staying completely together. But I began to unravel a couple of months down the line and for a very long while it was as if I saw everything through a very thick fog.
Nothing really mattered any more - other people, things .. even my own husband and kids seemed a little far-removed. I guess, even when you gracefully accept what has happened to you, in the face of such a huge loss other things fade in significance.
It took me at least the next 6-7 months to get over my emotional turmoil and am just now beginning to feel like my old self once again, and it no longer pinches to think about what happened.