Archive for suicide

Letters to Readers: World caving in

I never share private notes written to me, but sometimes I like to post my responses, as often what I say applies to many situations, and a keyword search might lead you here.

This response was for a woman who after years of infertility and a husband who did not seem to want a baby, got pregnant, then lost the baby despite going off the meds she feared would harm it, even though she needed them for mental illness.

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Let’s first start with why you are feeling so awful.

1. A very sad and awful thing has happened, and you were both taken by surprise, and pushed and pulled back and forth for a bit before you knew for sure.

2. Your body, during this process, changes your chemistry to go from pregnant to non-pregnant, stripping your brain of very important chemicals that normally help you cope.

3. You are off medicines that normally help you, so problem number 2 in your case is much much worse than in other women.

That right there is enough to send ANYONE off the deep edge. I’d be peering over cliffs and testing ropes for sturdiness too!

But you have more.

4. Unsympathetic family. Forgive them. They just don’t know any better.

5. A situation that was unexpected from the start–you’re infertile, you’re not, you’re pregnant, you’re not. No wonder you want more meds. Hey, pass the bottle, I need some just worrying about you!

6. Some discord between you and your husband. He didn’t want a baby. But he had adjusted. That’s a sign of a good daddy-to-be. He’s said some things that aren’t so great about grieving. But that’s okay. He’s grieving too. Life isn’t anything like he expected, and he’s as bewildered as you are at how to handle it. And he’s withholding things from you that would comfort and heal you both, mainly sex, which is just fine and safe with condoms and would actually HELP this process along both physically (to encourage cramping) and emotionally. I urge you to help him see this so you can go back to a loving, take-care-of-each-other relationship. Right now it’s not good at all.

First, let me tell you, miscarriage is never your fault. Never, ever. If it were, no one would ever have babies, because all of us, at some point, doubt our abilities to care for one, or if getting pregnant were wise, and if we are in a good relationship, and if it’s a good time. ALL of us do this.

The main thing you need right now is to give yourself lots of space to behave any way you need. Don’t let anyone tell you how to act or when to be better. Realize much of this is physical bones-tissue-blood-chemistry and NOT a personal failing. Don’t pull this into your head, make it about your character. Mother Nature is often not a mother or nurturing. She’s a cold hearted witch with a capital B.

You’re doing fine. You’re reading, researching, learning, and reaching out. You’re going to get through this. And on the other side of it, when your sadness is a part of you but not ALL of you, you’re going to see the life this baby has given you, the changes that will happen due this tragedy. It may never make sense, but you will see its impact.

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Deanna is the author of Baby Dust, a novel about women going through miscarriage. If you need help right away, remember she has a secret Facebook group you can join.

Letters to Readers: On suicide thoughts

I never share private notes written to me, but sometimes I like to post my responses, as often what I say applies to many situations, and a keyword search might lead you here.

This response was for a woman considering suicide after her third miscarriage that she felt was her fault due to an infection she had.

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Dear Mama,

Of course it makes sense to feel like the only good place is to be with your babies. I remember feeling exactly that same way. There is a lot of pain here, and sometimes dying feels like the only way to make it better.

I want to tell you that I don’t think the infection killed your babies. When an infection is to blame, you go into labor too early and the baby generally dies during the birthing process or shortly after. The infection makes your water break and preterm labor begin.

Otherwise, infection is actually pretty common in pregnancy, because we have a lot of yeast and our body temperature is warmer, helping it grow.

So the guilt—let that go. If anything, now that you have had two losses at about the same time, I would say you need to see a specialist, as I would be willing to bet that the shape of uterus might be the culprit here—something corrective surgery could fix. A test where they shoot dye into your uterus and xray it will tell us.

So here is my suggestion to you. Separate out the emotion of what has happened, which is super sad and feels like punishment, from the medical issue—from the FIGHT. Be ready to fight to be a mom. Figure out where you have strength, and work that strength like a muscle. Get angry that you have to do this fight, but know that this is what will make you strong. And learn what you need to know to get that baby you want so much.

Because let me tell you this—right now your body seems against you. Not only have the babies died. But in this period after a loss, your brain is literally robbed of chemicals—important ones that help balance out your moods. So this feeling like you want to die—it comes from those stupid chemicals. And the good news is, these chemicals WILL straighten out very soon. One day you are going to feel as though a cloud as lifted, and you can smile again. Then you will be upset—your babies have died and you just smiled! But it will be a sign that your babies are a part of your life, but not the focus of it. And you will get better. And you will be ready to fight. And you will get to the bottom of these losses.

And you will beat it and win.

And the babies in your future—how sweet that will be. How much more joy you will feel. You will never take it for granted.

Feel sad for those moms who complain about motherhood, who ignore their children. You will never be that mom. It ‘s the gift your babies are giving to you.

So hang on, mama. Fight this feeling until your body recovers and helps you cope. Then be ready for the battle of your life—getting answers and moving toward that family you so want.

Deanna