Back me up here Muppets…its not just me right?

I recently got a comment that I absolutely must to respond to.  Not because it was bad.  Quite the opposite.  The commenter needs support, advice and to know that miscarriage isn’t like high school.  There aren’t a whole lot of mean girls behind her talkin trash and calling her fat.  While I’m kinda like the last person anyone should ever really listen to – which oddly seems to be exactly how everyone else feels as well – I’m going to dole out my best reply:

Dearest Emma,

Wow.  You have just gone through something gut wrenching.  It sucks ass.  The pain that you have experienced with years and years of trying to do something that so many people can do accidentally is only trumped by the pain of actually accomplishing it for a brief moment and failing to see it through.  I know.  I’m sorry.  While I know you have most likely been given all kinds of words of wisdom and advice about how you should feel, and how it will get better, and you’re not alone, and puppies and kittens and bla bla bla, I don’t really feel this is what you were asking me for.  Am I right?  We all know that nonsense and frankly, hearing it when we’re just a few weeks out from the death of our babies, we’d rather snap your head off your neck and pee in it just to get you to shut the fuck up.

When I lost Ashley, I was angry.  Nobody could make me not angry. All I wanted to do was hate everybody and make everybody around me go away.  This (kind of) included Mark.  While I didn’t blame him for our loss, I didn’t feel like he was doing a very good job of fixing it.  And after all, as my night in shining armor, damn it he should have fixed it.  It absolutely put a strain on our marriage and our communication went sour.

Part of me felt that I never ever ever wanted to intentionally put myself through that kind of pain again and didn’t think I’d ever see a future with a baby in it.  And yet, part of me was anxious to start the next cycle so that we could get this whole baby doin thing over with.  I only shared the former with Mark, but secretly wanted him to jump in and be Mr. Optimist pushing me to get right back on that horse.  He wasn’t.  We took a break.

It wasn’t long at all before I really really wanted to get started again and didn’t really see why we were waiting.  Seemed retarded actually.  And since Mark was going on his marry way waiting for me to say I was ready, I grew resentful of him.  Which, in turn, was retarded.

I’m not at all sure why, but for some reason I felt weird telling Mark I wanted to try again.  Like I was scared to even mention it.  I didn’t want him to be mad at me, not be ready and reject me, or judge me. (All while also resenting him for not figuring it out because…well frankly I’m complicated)  I kept it to myself for a long time.  I hinted, but would never flat out say:  WTF are we waiting for?

Here’s what I’ve since realized:

While you went through it together,

You: carried dead bodies inside yours.

He: watched his wife crumble in pain he never thought he’d witness and couldn’t do a damn thing about it.

Its tragic for both of you.  You will never be able to understand each other.  The healing of each of these experiences isn’t going to be the same or happen at exactly the same time.  He doesn’t understand you and also doesn’t want to hurt you.  He basically doesn’t know what to do.  It takes time to get back to normal.  To not want to kill everyone.  To have optimism again and see that the world has an excellent plan for you.  While you are still physically healing, you’re mentally healing too.  And so is your husband.  Its ok.  And when you’re ready.  Tell him.

Why couldn’t I tell Mark I was ready?  Because I wasn’t (even though I totally thought I was).  But with time, I did tell him.  We started communicating again.  It didn’t seem weird to discuss an actual future with kids and spaghetti-o’s and everything.

I’m so sorry that you have to join our club.  Just reading your comment took me right back to where I was a few weeks after my MC.  I think (you know, from my awesome therapy couch here in virtual therapist land where I totally know everything about you and have every right to tell you what to you) you two just might not really be ready to talk about it.  Its ok.  You will be.

Now I’m just really hoping your not getting ready to pee in my head…cause I kinda need it.  Well.  I like to think I do…


2 Responses to “Back me up here Muppets…its not just me right?”

  1. 1 Emma April 4, 2009 at 11:18 am

    first of all…thank you so much for all your advice and insight. it means the world to me.

    second…no, i do not want to pee in your head. quite the opposite actually. and you’re right…i don’t want anymore of the kittens dipped in glitter kind of advice. while it makes other people who are *trying to help* feel better, that isn’t reality.

    you’ve given me a very insightful perspective. bobby and i’s roles are opposite of your’s and mark’s. i knew a few weeks after the babies were born that i wanted to have more children. bobby, on the other hand, isn’t ready to go there yet. i process my thoughts out loud, where as he is very internal. as i’m sure you can imagine, this can cause some friction. sometimes my “thought processing” comes across as pushy and i have to take a step back so bobby’s head doesn’t explode.

    in those few weeks after the babies were born, as i do with everything else, i was searching the internet for ideas and hope to help comfort my mind. along with some very inspiring blogs, i came across some information about transabdominal cerclages. it was like a ray of sunshine beaming from my computer screen. this procedure could mean the difference between my body being able to carry a baby to term or not. like you, i was also afraid to mention it to bobby. scared he would “be mad at me, not be ready and reject me, or judge me”.

    i still desperately want to have a baby in my arms. i know bobby does to…eventually. it’s the unsureness of it all that freaks me the f*** out. because we tried for so long unsuccessfully, i know there’s a good possibility that when we do try again getting pregnant isn’t suddenly gonna be easy. i don’t want to push bobby into trying again so soon, we definitely need some time. still, i don’t want to wait years either.

    i guess the way i’ve chosen to look at everything is, we’re moving forward with the babies here in spirit. that’s the most we get and i’ll take it. unfortunately, there’s no way to bring them back…if there was i would. but i’m trying to not let this take over my sanity, or what’s left of it anyway. i am afraid that he may resent me for this…his healing is so different than mine.

    bobby is most certainly my knight in shining armor. ok, maybe more like shining dress blues, but still (he’s in the air force). from a very young age he has protected his ailing mother and father. he’s lived the guardian roll his entire life with everyone he cares about. it’s only fitting that his career is saving lives in the air force. that mentality is engraved into his character.

    because of this, i realize that he must feel extremely out of control. helpless even. when the time came to protect the ones he loves more than anything, there was nothing he could do. and now, i think he must feel guilty for moving forward.

    we’re those people that nothing ever comes easy to. we climb mt. everest just to fall tumbling down the other side. yes, ultimately all these experiences have made us better people. still, it’s the “why do we have to learn this lesson AGAIN” questions that torment our thoughts. we would have appreciated life just as much if it hadn’t been ripped from our arms.

    everything combined, i certainly don’t blame bobby for being hesitant about even getting out of bed in the morning…let alone trying to have another baby. i do have faith that one day, in his own time, bobby will regain his optimism and will be able to come to me and talk about having kids again. i just need to be conscious of making sure i don’t seem like i’m pushing him. like you said, i may not understand, but the last thing i want to do is hurt him.

    thank you so much for your support and guidance. battling through a world of glitter dipped kittens is scary. you are most definitely not the last person anyone should listen to. reassurance is always appreciated, even if it is from an awesome virtual therapy couch!

  2. 2 Amelie April 8, 2009 at 7:22 am

    This is some of the best advice on loss I have ever read. I got right back on the horse after losing my baby at 19 weeks, becoming pregnant on the dead baby’s due date – my doc said that maybe that was g-d’s way of saying that everything was alright. But everything was not alright. My marriage was strained (but didn’t break tho it could have) and my mental state was not good. I was angry, and sad, and miserable, and probably not as kind to my DH as I should have been, because it was impossible for him to understand the depths of my despair. I didn’t even tell people I was pregnant until after the first time I went into pre-term labor. I didn’t enjoy one second of the pregnancy, and each additional complication (and there were many) made it more difficult to be functional, never mind being happy. Some time, some perspective, some true communication with my husband would have made things better I think. At least then we would have been fighting for the same thing instead of me fighting for the baby, and him fighting to keep me sane. And when I started talking about having another (4th pregnancy) my husband drew a line in the sand and made sure it wouldn’t happen. He said that he couldn’t bear the consequence to me if things went wrong again, that he was afraid that I may break, that although he didn’t (couldn’t) understand my pain that he could not bear to watch me suffer that way again. And in the end he was right. After a very rough start my “baby” is now 12 and strong and healthy, but I didn’t do her any favors in the early years when I was paranoid to have her out of my sight and worried constantly. Is her anxiety a result of mine? Probably. Of course it is easy to advise waiting when you already have a baby in your arms. But waiting until everyone is stronger, as horrible as that is, might have long term benefits.

    And Emma – I don’t believe that these experiences lead to making us “better people”. More compassionate maybe, but I get the sense from reading your post that you were “better people” before your earth shattering losses. I know it won’t be easy but I hope your dreams come true, that those arms will be full.

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