Monday, December 08, 2008

Last Year- Miscarriage

Last year Lauren had a miscarriage. It was her second one. All miscarriages suck, but the one she went through last year was worse than the first one she had a few years ago. What made it worse was the fact that we actually got to see the baby's heartbeat and ghost like images and shape on an ultrasound just a few days before the miscarriage.

She was 9 weeks along in the pregnancy when Lauren felt a little strange and there was some spotting. We immediately went to the doctor and they gave her the ultrasound and assured us everything was okay. They said they were 95 percent positive everything was fine. That was a Friday.

The following Monday I went out of town for a few days. I was on I-4, heading to Tampa Florida when I got a phone call that Wednesday. Lauren called to let me know that she knew something was happening and needed to go to the hospital. She needed to arrange a sitter for the kids and her mom was going to the hospital with her. I was 1000 miles away and was helpless. The sad reality about a miscarriage though is that everyone is helpless. There is nothing anyone can do.

I spent the rest of that day and night calling every half hour for an update. It was early evening when Lauren called me back to break the news. We lost the baby.

Did you see what I just did? I used the words, her and she when talking about the miscarriage but I used the word we when talking about the loss. That is just not fair. I did not get it at the time. When Lauren had her first miscarriage back in the fall 05 I was somewhat detached. Yes it sucked and I did what I could, but I just didn't get it. A few days after that first miscarriage, my dad called me and said, "Bill, make sure you mourn for that baby. Not for your wife or anyone else, but for yourself." I didn't get it.

The one last year. I still didn't get it. I flew home on Thursday and spent the next few days doing my best to help Lauren. I was sad for her but the whole situation still did not affect me to any extreme.

I know there is a lot doubt and regret and guilt that goes through a woman's mind when she has a miscarriage. "Maybe I should have taken it easy, this would not have happened." "Maybe I should have stopped drinking tea." "If only I would have eaten a bit healthier."

The thoughts are endless. These thoughts, combined with actual physical discharge of the baby as well as hormonal changes, can have a very dramatic effect on a woman. A man does not get it and never truly will.

A week after the miscarriage Lauren's father died. Three weeks after that, my father died. Somewhere in between all of that we had two boys to tend to and Christmas and work and, well, life. Lauren and I stayed positive through all of that. We usually do. I am a firm believer of casting away negative thoughts. But we kept looking for meaning in all the sad events.

One night, while talking about losing the baby, while I still didn't get it, Lauren said to me, "Bill, I can't stop thinking about the baby."

I tried to tell her there was nothing she could have done to prevent it. That is what everyone says. That is the cliché. That is supposed to be positive and take away the "woulda coulda shouldas".

Lauren then said something that I will never forget. Something that made me actually get it. Something that brought me to kind of understanding of a woman's thoughts when they have a miscarriage. She said:

"In some cultures and spiritual practices they believe that a baby chooses it's parents. I can't help but feel what is wrong with us as parents that this baby chose not to be with us."

I finally got it.

I started to question myself. I started to have doubt and regret and guilt. My thoughts were endless. "Maybe I am too hard on the kids. Maybe I am not a good role model. Maybe I am not cut out to have three kids. Maybe I don't deserve to have more. Why would this baby not want to be with me?"

I got it. And somewhere in between mourning for my dad and Lauren's dad and tending to the boys and work and life, I mourned for that baby we lost. I came to terms with the fact that we had a miscarriage. That it was our second one.

This year, December 2008, we are expecting our third boy. We are happy. Things are good. I have said it before, I am the luckiest and that too, I get.


Ali said...

After our first miscarriage, the week of our first wedding anniversary, I was so afraid to try again. It took me almost a year to want to start trying again. It's a hard thing to grasp, how to mourn someone you've never met.

I'm sorry for you losses. I've got two angels up there with yours.

Anonymous said...

Aah, thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

Poignantly written and hugely important as a read.
Well done, Bill.

Wishing you blessings in the birth of your new baby boy.

mrtl said...

I'm so sorry for your losses, Bill and Lauren, and am so happy for the joys you have and that await you.

K said...

We've lost 4 lil ones during our battle with secondary infertility...a miscarriage, a double ectopic twin pregnancy, and Max's twin. (I have a tiny, empty heart tattoo for each of them.)

I think you explained it so beautifully, this feeling of almost rejection, feeling not good enough, that we moms who m/c feel.

I'm so so sorry for your losses. We had Max after our losses and he has been such a healing force in our lives. Your new son will be too.

Autumn said...

I agree, very well said. I'm so sorry for the losses in your lives. I also have to angels up there with yours, unfortunately a lot of my friends do as well.

These little beings that bless us for each day they live with in us, they're amazing. There is nothing quite like knowing you are growing a wonderful little being.

My miscarriages were around 5 weeks, and like Lauren's, one at 9 weeks, almost 10. Absolutely gut wrenching to know you've "made it" that far and it's all ripped away by 3 little words. "I"m so sorry" or "There's no heartbeat". Mom dies a little inside too.

One thing that helped me greatly was reading, and re-reading a chapter from one of my favorite books, Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent. It happens to be an excerpt on her website, it's called "Spirit Baby"

Many blessings to your growing family.

Anonymous said...


You are so right... for so long, the words of that resident echoed in my head: "You were able to see a heartbeat on Friday? Unfortunately, there is no heartbeat today".

Devastating. But, as you can see, there has been a light at the end of the tunnel... :)

Patience said...

Yes, I think you now 'get it'. And of course it cannot impact you as it does Lauren, but the loss is yours as well.

Your boys are your blessings! And your wife is your biggest blessing!!

ewe are here said...

I'm sorry for your losses... I can't imagine how hard that must be.

But congratulations on the third wee boy on the way. I''ll be finding out in January if we're going to have a third wee boy or our first wee girl. (We know the odds. ;-) )

Anonymous said...

I guess the reasons why some women miscarry are many, some can be explained and most can not. I do know that those two babies would have been very lucky to have you and lauren as parents.

Bogart said...

Thanks for always, your writing gives us a glimpse of who you are and yet we keep coming back.

Anonymous said...

Bill and Lauren-

Addicted lurker here! :)

Just had to comment, as I have had two miscarriages and our daughter was stillborn at 36 wks. It's still hard to wrap my brain around it so I can't imagine how hard it is for the father to "get it". What's great is that you opened yourself up to "get it". What has helped me all these years later is to look at my 3 beautiful living children and think that I would not have them if I didn't have my previous losses! There is a reason for everything...even though it's hard to remember that while you're struggling through a loss! Congrats on the soon-to-be little one...any baby would be blessed to have you guys as parents!

Anonymous said...

This post stopped me dead in my (reading) tracks. I too, suffered a miscarriage a couple years ago and although its true what they say about blocking out painful memories (for the most part) every September since without fail, I am reminded of that painful time in my life. Sharing your story puts one more stitch in my ever-healing wound. Thank you.

Unknown said...

What a powerful post, and great reminder to cherish what we have. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Just Jan said...

I haven't been "blog visiting" in such a very long time. I thought today would be a good day to stop by a few blogs that I haven't been to. I have been missing a lot it would seem. This post was clearly written from your heart. I have never experienced a loss such as yours and Lauren's. My heart goes out to you both for all the losses. Congratulations on not only the upcoming birth of your 3rd son, but on the realization of "getting it". I have to go and dry my eyes now, but I will be returning more often as I truly Love reading your blog.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your (plural) losses. Very well written, thank you for sharing something that most people keep quiet. We miscarried with our first pregnancy, and it was horrible. My husband didn't really 'get it' until we were pregnant again. Then he got it. After she safely arrived, and were later pregnant for a third time, he really got it.

I think it's especially difficult for a woman (and hard for others to understand) is because up to that point, it's really just been her experience. She feels different, has changes, etc. Everyone else just sees the pee on a stick, and maybe a fuzzball on an u/s, but usually not.

And I totally second Jari's comment. Babycatcher is my all-time favorite book, and her section on Spirit Babies helped me so much through the hard times. I was lucky to find solace in an online support board, and four years later, we're all still together, and have each gone on to have a baby.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. So many people go through their pain alone because so many others do not speak of miscarriage.

princessbride said...

I am so afraid of having a miscarriage...I almost didn't read your entry. I consider myself very lucky. I am so sorry for your loss.
But congratulations on the upcoming addition to your family!

joanna said...

Wow, these were some wonderful thoughts. So many ups and downs in life. I'm very glad for you & Lauren to be having this third baby. I sometimes wonder if when a woman miscarries, the baby's spirit has a chance to come back later when the pregnancy works out. I don't know these things for sure, of course. I hope Lauren finds some peace. I have never been through a miscarriage but I can see how it would feel like a real loss, like losing a loved one you've known your whole life.

OhTheJoys said...

William. This was a great post. Thanks for writing it. Thanks for sharing it.


Rachel said...

I can not imagine you as parents thinking that anything that you have done raising your other kids or living your lives would make that little blessing from God not want to be with you. You both are WONDERFUL parents and that is obvious by the maturity and sincerity of your boys. Do not ever forget that!

Spilling Ink said...

Remember me? If it helps, I'm pretty darn certain that we have no say in who our parents are. You're a good father. Please don't blame yourself.

Merrily Down the Stream said...

Mmmmmm... what a thoughtful post - I had 2 miscarriages and mourned them both. I am going to pass this on to my sweet husband who didn't come to some of the realizations you did. thanks and many blessings on you and yours.

sari said...

I'm so sorry for both of you, for both of your losses.

I've been reading your blog for a few years now, I can't believe that either of you would not be a completely wonderful parent to any child.

sari said...

You know, after having our third, I can say that he's just been a joy, and he's made us appreciate and love the other two all the more. Best of luck with your new little one!

Sorry for the two comments, but I wanted to say that part too!

jaacs said...

'I'm sorry, your uterus is empty' are words that will haunt me for a while, I'm sure. I just had an ectopic pregnancy that needed to be removed this past weekend. It is fresh for us and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. My husband and I do believe quite strongly that this baby is still our own and that we will be reuninted once again. For now, we take great comfort in that while we mourn the loss of our little one in our own way.

While it is a sad subject, I very much enjoyed reading this. I know Dad's who are sad when their wife loses a baby...but I've never heard any of them articulate it this way. Some parents do feel detached and some feel a very personal loss. Thank you for sharing this with the rest of us. It was beautifully written.

mamabrown said...

What a beautiful and sad post. Sorry for your losses, it is so hard to not wonder why. Someday we will unite with all our the our loved ones that we lost. Won't that be a joyous day?

April said...

You are an amazing man Bill. I wish you and Lauren lived next door.

Ann Fisher said...

I'm a lurker/avid reader ..........
Anyway, only you can make me laugh out loud one day and be in total tears the next.
I too have suffered a miscarriage and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sweet words.

Melanie said...

Thank you for writing this. I've lost two as well after seeing a heartbeat and I sometimes wonder if my husband processes it the same way I do. It hits me at the strangest of times. I'm going to send this post to my husband to read :)

The Maid said...

You rock...both of you. ;)

I'm glad you choose to share many sides...the serious and touching, the ridiculous, the funny, the perverse (think hard salami at the deli counter story)...and as Bogart says...we keep coming back! :)

Good luck with this new blessing. And I'm with you on the birthing trophy...I'd finally have a collection of something other than children! LOL

God Bless!
The Maid

Unknown said...

I realized just recently that there have been days this year I have not thought about the baby I lost. It seems strange to me. Thanks for sharing, and THANK YOU for your words of empathy, even if you did or didn't get it, when I was going through it. Honest to God it meant something to me, when you emailed me.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear all of that happened. But it is such a releif to realize I am not the only one who have been through so much. I was 13 weeks when i miscarried. Two weeks later my grandmother died. I beleieve that she went up to heaven so she could hold my baby. It is hard, and I am glad to hear that you grieved. So many people don't understand why you need to grive for someone you never met or held. But it is so important to do so!Congrats on your new little one!