Thursday, June 6, 2013

Loss of Control

It has happened three times now.  Laying on an ultrasound table, waiting for the wonderful moment that you should see your new baby for the first time, and then nothing.  Quiet.  The silence descends upon you like a wet blanket, the eyes of the ultrasound tech look desperately for any sign of life, and then you know.  Or at least I know.

Three times.

The blog has been quiet for the past 6 weeks.  I have been feeling tired, sick, and happy.  We found out I was pregnant again on my 32nd birthday in April.  It was sooner than we were expecting, but we are both well aware than any pregnancy is worth celebrating - timing be damned.  We both felt like our family wasn't complete and were so excited for another set of tiny toes, smiles, and of course dose of craziness and chaos that kids bring.

Everything was normal.  I was extremely sick, tired, and took some solace in those symptoms.  With my previous losses I had been worried because of bleeding or other clues that made me doubt.  I had no doubts this time.  This loss has hit me like a freight train.  I had no idea.  How can a woman not know what is going on in her own body?  How can her body hide such a loss?  I feel betrayed and out of control.

I have been pregnant four times.  I have experienced the incredibly isolating dark ultrasound experience three times.  Two singletons and Kate's twin.  It isn't fair.  I don't understand.  I feel completely alone.  I know I'm not alone.  Pregnancy is terrifying - like playing Russian roulette with my heart, only for some reason my gun seems to have more than one bullet in it. 

Miscarriage is extremely isolating and that is probably why I am writing about it.  Because the loneliness I felt going in for my second D&C the other day isn't something women should have to endure.  There is something very cruel about the emotional and physical ramifications of loss, but then the societal expectation that it be hidden beneath a thick family veil.  Nobody wants to offend the masses with something so raw and misunderstood. So women suffer in silence, careful not to step on the toes of people who aren't in their intimate inner sanctum.  I am ashamed to say that I even feel shame.  I know that isn't fair to me.  But there is a societal value put on pregnancy and babies and fertility - like I am less of a woman for my struggle. 

I have this desperate desire to take back control of my body.  To force myself to be happy with my children and move on.  Even the nurse in recovery said (in an effort to be upbeat) that I am so lucky to have two kids "a boy and a girl even!" and should take solace in that.  I do take solace in my children.  Believe me that their little faces have brought me out of the deep fog much faster than anything could have done when we had our first miscarriage in 2007.  But Kate and Connor, as wonderful as they are, cannot erase the deep sorrow I have for the three babies I have lost.  And for the potentially brutal realization that we might, because of our loss history, be forced to not build our family how we desire.  That Tuesday's ultrasound will be my last ever.

Control.  Something that women who have ever had problems conceiving or carrying to term wish they could harness somehow.  Like if I wish and pray and hope and visualize it enough, it will just happen.  Close my eyes and wake up to the sound of a newborn crying in the delivery room, safe in my arms, devoid of the terror I have surrounding pregnancy.  I have this huge urge to go run and run and run until I can't physically take one more step.  Just to exhaust myself because I said so - not because someone else has told me my child is no longer living.  This is exhausting emotionally and impossible to describe accurately to people lucky enough to be on the happy side of the statistics.

If you are struggling with infertility or loss, you aren't alone. 


Dot and Sam said...

There aren't any words that can convey the loss you feel from losing a child, whether it is one that you have known for 30 days or 30 years. You are never the same again and this does define and change you for the future. Yes, we are lucky that we have other children, but that is not the same but it can help pull you through. Please know that there are many people, the silent ones, that have gone through this and will continue to go through this. Just remember, Kate and Connor need you now more than ever and their hugs and kisses will help pull you through this. And remember, Johnny is going through this also. Now is the time to cling to him and to count the blessings that you do have. We love you all!!!

Courtney said...

I'm just so, so sorry for you loss, Jill.

I'm so proud of you for putting this out here so bravely. It is isolating. It is lonely. And so many women don't have anyone to turn to or talk to while going through something as tragic as this.

I am praying for your family. All of you.

Cindy Foreso said...

Jill, this took a lot of guts to write and share. I have always held you in the highest regard and now, even more so. You are an extraordinary person. Ilove you, Johnny, and those darling kids.

Anonymous said...

You are so brave to write this. I hope you are able to find a little corner of peace knowing that you helped other women with their grief. We will keep you in our prayers.

Anonymous said...

Jill I am very sorry for your loss. I am not a mother, but it's my number one goal in life. I know it's very scary. My prayers are with you.

Pam said...

So sorry for your loss, Jill.

Kimber said...

Your blog post brought tears to my eyes. I just had a second miscarriage and am still dealing with complications from that (it was a partial molar pregnancy). I am so sorry you are going through this. It is so hard. I still think about how many weeks I "should" be now and I feel like sometimes I'm the only one still carrying this loss. I hear a lot about focusing on the children I do have. I love them to pieces. I just also miss the children I never got to hold.
I'm sharing a link to my blog post about molar pregnancy with you. I posted a few other blog posts about the miscarriage and the molar pregnancy, if you want to look through.
I'm sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to stare at the ultrasound screen and wish it were different. Prayers.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing and for being brave enough to write about it. You are right..most suffer in silence. I hope you are able to find peace and the darkness lifts soon. So sorry for your loss.

Krysti Flynn said...

I just misscarried last week again too :(. Second time in four months. Even though I have two kiddos as well it doesn't make it ok. I know what you are going through. I'm going through it to. Praying for both of us.

Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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