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Thoughts On Loss

Just recently two of my friends have suffered the misfortune of miscarriage. One friend is a multiple miscarriage survivor and the other is battling through the unfamiliar territory of her first (and hopefully last) miscarriage. Its been an enlightening experience for me, watching from the sidelines, doing my best to offer both moral and emotional support. But its also been an odd experience, like dejavu, watching the emotions evolve as they both work through their grieving processes individually and yet the emotions are pretty much the same.

Its also stirred up some of my own feelings about my own losses over the past 7 years. Losses I thought I’d dealt with and moved on from, but I guess we never really get over these losses, they do become easier to cope with over the course of time, but they never really leave us completely. I try not to dwell on them because the sadness and sense of loss would be overwhelming and yet what I’ve lost would be impossible to describe.

I suppose what makes the grieving process of a miscarriage, especially a first trimester miscarriage, so unique is that its not something that the majority of the population can relate to, as a generally fertile society the feelings surrounding miscarriage seem to be largely misunderstood. People seem to think its something you recover from and you recover from quickly. Until I went for therapy about 2 years ago, I used to make excuses for the emotions I felt about my pregnancy losses. It was only when the therapist told me that I did not need to excuse my feelings of sadness and loss that it actually begun to sank in, that it was  a big deal, that it was terribly sad and that it was a massive loss.

Some people would argue that you can’t really call it a loss because how can you loose something you never truly had. Well for me, and I sure I speak for most miscarriage survivors, my sense of loss comes from the could have beens. From the dreams and aspirations I had for that child from the second I became aware of their existance.

That sense of loss, although not overwhelming anymore is always there. I wonder if it will ever go away, I wonder if the only thing that can take it away is a living, breathing baby of my own? I haven’t gotten to “the other side” yet, but hope to very soon, perhaps then I’ll know the answer.

But for now, I want to tell my friends and anyone else reading this who’s battling through the pain and emotions of a miscarriage, don’t let anyone make you feel that your feelings aren’t justified!

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16 Comments

  • Reply Susan

    I know exactly what you are going through. I was coerced into giving my son up for adoption, and I still grieve (even though it’s been 20 years later). The “could have been’s” will always be there for me. A loss is a loss, no matter what way you slice it.

    But now I use my experience to benefit others at http://www.WorthKeeping.net. You are doing the same through this blog. Keep up the great work!

    May 24, 2009 at 9:03 pm
  • Reply sweetshoney

    You have a beautiful blog… and I can identify with what you are feeling… I know its a cliche’ but there is much truth to it – God only gives us what he knows we can handle..
    Hearing about loss only reindles all those felings we may have felt when we may have experienced… deep breath…
    Another day comes along..
    My website – http://www.keepingfaith-sham.blogspot.com (I am still a novice at this tho}

    May 24, 2009 at 10:46 pm
  • Reply sweetshoney

    You have a beautiful blog… and I can identify with what you are feeling… I know its a cliche’ but there is much truth to it – God only gives us what he knows we can handle..
    Hearing about loss only reindles all those felings we may have felt when we may have experienced… deep breath…
    Another day comes along..
    My website – http://www.keepingfaith-shams.blogspot.com (I am still a novice at this tho}

    May 24, 2009 at 10:46 pm
  • Reply wifey

    I just have to say, as a fairly new reader of your blog, that I find you inspirational. Reading about your journey has given me hope that I can keep going. So, thanks for sharing.

    May 24, 2009 at 11:19 pm
  • Reply Rach

    Interesting post Shaz and one that makes me want to blog on the subject too.

    I think, in some ways, that first trimester miscarriages can be worse than miscarriages or losses later in the pregnancy.

    With a first tri m/c you’re grieving a number of losses not just one.

    The first is the loss of your child. No matter what stage of pregnancy you’re at, it IS a child you lose be it a fully formed one, one halfway on it’s way to being fully formed or one just developing, as soon as that sperm hits that egg, a life is well on it’s way growing, it’s just it’s appearance that changes over time but it’s a life nonetheless.

    The second is the time frame and the experience of “being pregnant”. When you find out you’re pregnant you expect to be handing your life over for 9 months to this growing person inside you. Your life becomes theirs, everything you do, you do with them in mind, every action you take, may have a subsequent reaction for them or from them. When you suffer a m/c you suddenly have to face having those 9 months back, you’re body isn’t needed now and that can take some time to adjust too. You were expecting to grow a belly, to need to pee alot, to feel like throwing up everything in sight, to feel a little human kicking inside you and then *WHAM* all of a sudden, thats taken from you, and you find yourself grieving for that loss too.

    The third is the “what might have been”. You’ve just found out you’re about to become a Mum. You’re going to be responsible for bringing another life into this world, for shaping their young life, for teaching them wrong from right. You’ve got to make important decisions such as what to name them, how to bring them into this world, how you’re going to mother them. And then the m/c happens and all that is snatched from you. Your future, your offspring, your ‘family’ is not to be. Of course you’re going to grieve for that.

    You grieve on multiple levels for multiple losses with miscarriage, regardless of how far along you are but to some extent perhaps even more so with a first tri miscarriage.

    And only those who *unfortunately* have experienced miscarriage will understand how that feels, those who haven’t can’t even begin to imagine what it feels like…..

    May 25, 2009 at 12:42 am
  • Reply CeCe Garrett

    My lovely friend! You have such an amazing heart. I know that with such a gift as yours… one of fellowship amongst those of us who feel broken, a soothing salve for the shattered hearted, and compassion for everyone…. with these gifts, and an avenue to share them through your blog.. I know you have touched so many of us. And that is an awesome thing. But tonight, I feel led to remind you… for possibly no real reason evident… that when you feel like you are being attacked from every angle? when you feel consumed by chaos and darkness? Is the exact same time that Our Daddy is preparing you for your miracle. SO if anyone seems to be on the attack with you? If you feel like you can’t keep your nose over the waves? You’d better know that YOU are being set apart. In some very awesome ways.

    I love you.
    CeCe

    PS: just got home from the airport… wedding was awesome… lots of preggos and babies.. I test tomorrow and know it will be negative… and yet? I am actually ok. weird.

    May 25, 2009 at 6:19 am
  • Reply Lea White

    I think it must be so incredibly hard and difficult no matter when it happens!

    And I agree with some of the comments above – you have a really good blog. Love reading it and you are such an inspiration!

    May 25, 2009 at 6:54 am
  • Reply Invivo

    Shaz, I think your losses will forever be part of the texture of the fabric of what ur made of as a person. You should hang on to the beauty of that uniqueness and what it built into you, your compassion for, and protection of the frail and intolerance of those who are insensitive is part of that. To forget would be a loss. A friend of mine recently commented on his status: “My loss is also my gain”

    May 25, 2009 at 10:57 am
  • Reply Abbey

    Thank you Sharon, I really needed your post today. You always post what I need to hear when I need it the most! ((()))

    May 25, 2009 at 12:11 pm
  • Reply Denise

    Sharon, I have to disagree with one comment you made. I don’t believe that a m/c indicates something we never had or could have had – those babies were real and existed and had souls. Maybe they never took a breath in this world but I believe they were as real as you and I.

    May 25, 2009 at 12:28 pm
  • Reply theworms

    Great post. I don’t think it ever goes away, I haven’t had a m/c but DH and I can’t have biological children and I am mourning that loss. I’m so sorry for your losses and your friends.

    (((HUGS)))

    ICLW

    May 25, 2009 at 6:42 pm
  • Reply Sue

    That was a really lovely post.
    You’re right, a loss is a loss and it is hard to deal with at any stage.
    Hugs
    S X

    May 26, 2009 at 4:45 am
  • Reply Sonja

    Beautifully written!

    Sonja
    ICLW

    May 26, 2009 at 5:34 am
  • Reply monica lemoine

    Great post, Shaz. So true. Yes, the loss of a miscarriage is really hard to define and talk about…it’s just so easy for others not to view it as a loss. But it is, and – you’re right – the grief that goes along with this loss is valid and profound.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:49 pm
  • Reply Elize

    Beautiful post hon. I think the sense of loss will always be there, even when we to eventually give birth to healthy live children.

    May 27, 2009 at 6:08 am
  • Reply stacey

    I’m going back to read all I’ve missed lately…

    Thanks for this post. Well said, as always.

    May 30, 2009 at 12:31 am
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