Not everyone was insensitive, thankfully, after my loss. Many people at work or at church would call or email and tell me their stories of miscarriage. I ended up with friends in the most unexpected places.
Shortly after Emily was born, a woman I only barely knew brought me a candle she had made. The glass holder was hand painted with Emily’s name and encased in pink netting.
Then she pulled a second one out of the bag. “I couldn’t forget Casey,” she said.
My knees buckled a little as I looked at the second candle, this one with blue netting and Casey’s name. I’d thought everyone had forgotten about him in the joy of our finally having a baby, but not this one woman. She knew how important it was to not forget.
What wonderful things happened to you? What surprises?
5 thoughts on “Friends Indeed”
This is like a “miscarriage self help book.” It’s taking us through our memories, struggles, and bringing us to the good things that come from loss. I cannot wait to see what other questions you ask, how we slowly heal.
Three things stick out as wonderful things/moments.
1. My ob recommended me to a partner in her practice for my surgery. When I was just about to go in, he came back to meet me (I had refused to let him do the laminaria, I knew my own female ob and didn’t want a male for such a procedure). He asked me if I had any questions, and told me he knew this was difficult. As he was about to leave, he squeezed my toe. I know that’s weird, but it gave me comfort. It didn’t cross over into a hug (which I would have balked at with my nerves before surgery). After the surgery when I was in recovery, he went to talk to my husband personally, and told about how his wife had miscarried, and he also encouraged us to try again. He told my husband it was not my fault or his fault our baby had died.
2. My third miscarriage was announced by a nurse who told me on the phone that I had a blighted ovum, and there wasn’t a baby anyway….
Well, when I told my ob she insisted that I should not let the nurse tell me that. She said that my baby, no matter how early in the pregnancy, was my child. I had a right to acknowledge that and to be frustrated. She promised to talk with this nurse.
3. A friend of mine was very moved by my loss. She has so far been infertile (with her husband) and they’ve struggled. She gave me an angel figurine holding a baby in it’s arms. In the box, she had a card with a smaller envelope in it. It stated in the card that we could open the envelope and take the gift back with the receipt if we thought the gift was inappropriate, or we could throw the receipt away and keep the gift. That angel sits among the photos of each baby I have birthed. It was very healing to have someone care enough to give me a memento like that. She also, upon introducing me to strangers, has said I am the mother of 8 (though I have 5 born). She doesn’t bat an eye at that, it’s just normal for her to acknowledge the three I’ve lost.
I agree with Dawn–it is like a self-help book, and that’s what I was thinking about when you talked about crying so much the other day. Sometimes our crying and sharing is more healing than we know.
My mother has supported me throughout this time, and I don’t know what I would have done without her. She’s given birth to 10 living children and as far as she knows never experienced a m/c. But she seems to be the one who’s understood the most. She bought me a necklace after I lost my second for mother’s day. It’s a dogtag style charm with my babies’ names engraved on it. She’s also given me two willow tree angels, one for each. She had bought a precious little photo album after I told her about my first pg, but she never showed it to me. After I lost the second one, she gave it to me because she wanted me to make the decision about whether to keep it or give it to someone else. I really appreciated that even though I had nothing to put in it–she still let me decide. My husband was taking a class during the time of my second m/c, and he couldn’t afford to miss any day. But my mom went with me for my d&c, and she was there for me through it all. She was 81 at the time–I really admire her.
This past mother’s day my sister sent me a card, and it meant so much to me. It was a mother’s day card from my two little ones. She wrote on it that they spoke to her from Heaven and asked her to send it, so she did! These are the only two people who have really acknowledged that I am a mother, in spite of having no living children. I don’t know if either one of them knows what it meant to me to have that acknowledgement,
Yikes, I’m crying again. That is so sweet, Melody–the card from your babies as well as your mom. 81! Wow! And Dawn I’m glad you spoke up about that nurse. It reminds me of another story–when I was in birthing class for Emily the instructor said something so horrible I walked right out of class and didn’t go back (thankfully I had a C and didn’t need to breathe!) I don’t think I ever told anyone at the practice. I should have. I’ll make a blog post later called “outrage” and we’ll maybe discuss that.
I’m so happy you find this helpful for working through the issues. I just tried to cover all the various facets of loss. I hope people who read the final book will have the same experience. That’s what it is for, even though it’s not technically self help or medical.
One of the most wonderful things that my friends did for me was acknowledge Mother’s Day. My first Mother’s Day was just a few months after my loss and the difficulty of it really blindsided me. I thought for sure I’d be pregnant again by the next Mother’s Day but I wasn’t and I was devastated. After a few drinks one night I started bawling to my two best friends that nobody understood or cared that I was a mother already. But when Mother’s Day rolled around the next month, one friend sent a card and the other called me. I also received cards from another friend and my mom. It was so wonderful to know that they had really heard me and cared enough to do something about it.
I’m not sure if I’m too late to add this or not. When I had my missed miscarriage at 12 weeks, I was on a business trip in Quebec. I had minor spotting and went to the ER, when I was waiting to see the triage nurse, there was an elderly french woman ahead of me who was being examined for some kind of heart problem. After my ultrasound confirmed the baby had died at 8 weeks, I was sent back out to wait in the ER waiting room. I was alone and crying and this same lady came and sat beside me and asked me in a combination of french and a couple words of english what was wrong. I tried to explain what had happened in my limited french and with gestures. She had tears in her eyes and squeezed my hand and tried to comfort me. From what I could understand, she said something like “it is part of being a woman” and I believe told me she had also lost a baby. She was only with me a couple minutes as the nurse came to get me, but it meant so much to me that this kind stranger who was obviously dealing with some big health issues of her own took the time and made the effore despite the language barrier to reach out to me.
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