The Dog Days of Recovery

Everything for weeks seemed directly related to my loss. Friends who didn’t call me back were avoiding me. Flowers that died were because I was a bad nurturer–no wonder the baby didn’t want to come. A simple question about how I was doing held the weight of an epic tragedy. I couldn’t hear what people were really saying–I just reacted out of anger and despair. For a time I thought my husband and I were not even going to stay together. We picked fights; I cried a lot.

Sometimes my moods would swing so fast even I couldn’t keep up with them. I would grow angry and throw any remembrances of the pregnancy in a box, then five minutes later I’d pull it all out, crying and hysterical. We planted a tree in the yard for Casey and I found myself out there all the time, wrapping my arms around the slender trunk. My neighbors must have thought I was nuts.

I’ve known women who got addicted to taking HPTs and would buy stashes online. Others obsessed over people who let their babies cry too long, or smoked while pregnant, or complained about their children. Many feel intense jealousy of pregnant women. Baby shower invitations are like hate mail.

Did you do anything that you thought was over the edge? If you aren’t comfortable putting it in the comments, you can email me.

My strangest moment came when I felt sure, I mean positive, that my baby was visiting me every night. One time he came all proud because he had learned to fly and wanted to show me. I lay in the bed, crying with pride and joy.

It didn’t make sense, but I didn’t care. Still don’t. My baby learned to fly!

12 thoughts on “The Dog Days of Recovery

  1. I think I am one of the few whom baby showers and pregnant friends didn’t bother. Perhaps becuase I already had one living child before my losses? I never felt any jealousy or hate or anger towards those things.

    In the beginning I wanted to stay in bed all the time and sleep, but I couldn’t as I had a toddler. He helped me so much in that I had to continue on and take care of him and he made me smile and helped me to get through that rough time.

    I didn’t talk about my losses much with anyone except the wonderful ladies on your boards. I even emailed my boss and asked her to tell everyone at work not to ask me how I was doing. If I wasn’t asked about it, I was okay. Probably not the most healthy way to deal.

  2. I was like you, Deanna, in that I related everything to my loss. I also loved and hated everyone simultaneously. My husband and I went through a very rough time after the second loss. In some ways neither of us has fully recovered. I want to talk about it, but he doesn’t.

    The only things I have from my 2 pregnancies are +hpt’s and a piece of frozen placenta (still in my freezer almost 2 years later) that I passed after the d&c. I’ve done other things like register their names at a website for babies lost to m/c because I wanted someone to recognize that I’m a mother. (I even had a brother recently tell me a story and then say, “You wouldn’t understand. You’re not a mother.” A group that our church is affiliated with is having a momument put up at a private cemetary to give grieving parents of m/c babies a place to mourn. I guess I do seek recognition of the fact that I’m a mother even though I have no living children.

    Holidays are hard, but Mothers’ Day is the worst for me. Maybe because I have no living children. I really don’t celebrate my birthday any more. My second m/c happened around that time, and I really don’t know how to celebrate.

    Another thing that I discovered was that every time another woman went through an m/c, I wanted to rush to her side and help her through it. There wasn’t anything I could do, but I really wanted to protect these women against what I’ve gone through.

    I haven’t attended a baby shower since my first m/c. Women at church often comment on how much they miss me at these events because I usually mc’d the whole thing, especially the gifts, with my quirky sense of humor. But I can’t do it any more because they’re having a baby, and I’m not. I have a hard time seeing the humor in it now, knowing that women like me have lost their children and maybe their only chance to give birth.

    I am jealous of some women who have babies but not all. It hurts to see women who don’t take care of themselves or their children and yet they seemingly have no problems.

    I often wear a bracelet that has what should have been my 2 babies birthstones on it. It’s really nice, and the colors look very contemporary together. I’ve gotten requests, especially from family members, to borrow my bracelet (which I never do). I don’t answer questions about where I got it. That bracelet is too special for someone to wear as a decoration. It represents my two little ones I had with me for only a short time.

  3. Oh, Melody, that’s it! The woman who runs the group, I picture her in her early 40s, sort of out of hope by now, never having had a kid and running the group for years because all the others have babies and drop out, and now you’ve added one final touch–she’s a jewelry designer, has a small shop, and only works with two gem stones–the would-have-been birthstones of her babies. She won’t work with any other colors, and these colors have brought her success. She’d rather have the babies, and sometimes curses that she makes her living off those colors, but it’s all she has, and it is her joy as well as her burden. Tell me the colors, and those will be the ones I use.

  4. Hi
    Like you guys I lost a little angel.I was only 16 yrs old.I was 24 wks with my first born.Not knowing what to expect with I went into labour.My little angel was born 9pm on sept.17/74 and lived only five hrs. I didn’t get to hold mt angel or even see him only in a picture. I named him Dwight Glen.He as always been in my heart I piece of me feels like it is missing. There are time I still cry about the baby I’ve never forgotten.
    I’ve been to a physi he told me my bad days are because I didn’t have any closure with my son.I have gotton a in memorial orament that will adorn my christmas tree this yr. every other yrs as long as I live. It as a picture of my angel in it.

  5. my first m/c hit me hard. I wouldn’t say any harder than my second one but I honestly thought I was going to die. Everyone knew we were so excited that we couldn’t keep our mouth shut! I remember my husband going by my work that Friday after we left the drs. office finally getting our confirmation that the baby was not there after a weeks worth of u/s and blood work and I kept thinking of him having to tell everyone at work when he went to get my check. I was embarassed. Embarrassed that I couldn’t have a baby. I sobbed all the way home. I honestly thought I was going to die. That sunday morning I woke up and demanded my husband take me to get a tattoo so I would always have our baby with me. I don’t think I’ve ever been more devasted in my entire life of anything. God only knows I didn’t think this would happen to me a second time. But 5 months later it did. This time it didn’t start out with bleeding like the first had I went for my first u/s and there was a baby with no heart beat. I was told maybe it was too early. But that early I thought? My dates couldn’t be that off. They gave me false hope for 2 weeks, b/c at my 2nd u/s the baby had grown but there was still no heart beat. My god I thought this can’t be happening…maybe the u/s machine is just old. I prayed for that baby to hold on and to be there when we went back to the dr. But the sunday before my appt. I got angry and decided I would just get the m/c process on the roll. I cleaned frantically, washed my car, moved the furniture. I was so pissed. My husband came in and said my mom asked how I was when he saw her at the grocery store and I lost it. I fell into his arms and just wailed. My heart was ripped out. I was ashamed I was not a woman. He bought me a bracelet that year on mothers day before our 2nd miscarriage. It’s the pregnancy/infant loss awareness bracelet. I don’t wear it everyday but the days I do wear it I wear it proudly and lots of people comment on how pretty it is and ask what it stands for…I proudly tell them it’s for the women who’s lost their little ones. My husband is/was my strength during all of this. He only broke down with me once. Although I know he wanted to so many more times but he said he had to stay strong for me. I would never have made it thru such angry, sad times without him.

  6. When I had my miscarriage a little over 5 weeks ago, I had a blighted ovum and chose to wait for a natural miscarriage. I had lots of bleeding and clotting and finally passed the sac and placenta.

    The very bad thing is that I was at a friend’s house when it happened, and my husband and her husband were waiting for us in the car to go on a little trip out-of-state. This friend had suffered 3 miscarriages herself and they knew what I was going through. But I passed the sac and looked at it for just a few minutes to make sure there was not a baby in there – there wasn’t. She gave me a grocery sac to put everything in and we put it in her garbage. I felt fine the whole trip, I had no bleeding or pain, and didn’t even think much about it, other than I was thankful everything had passed and I did not need surgery.

    When my husband and I got home a few days later, I became obcessed with the sac. I was so upset that he hadn’t seen it, even though he kept said he did not want to. I became convinced that it was not really empty, that my baby was in there and I just had not looked hard enough. In the middle of the night, I wanted to go to our friends’ garbage and dig it out, even though it was summer and very hot and the sac had been in the garbage for several days at this point. I lay on our bed crying and screaming and repeating, “It was all I had and I just threw it away. It was all I had, It was all I had…” My husband asked me what I was going to do with it, I said bury it or keep it in the freezer or even just take a picture of it and then throw it away again. I really just wanted my husband to see it. I wanted someone else to see it to confirm that I really had been pregnant.

    Another strange thing that I do is think about my baby as an adult. I am certain my baby was a boy. But I don’t usually imagine what he would look like or act like as a baby. I don’t think usually think about raising a baby or feeding him or holding him. I obcess over who he would have been as a grown-up person, how he would have turned out, if he would be successful and happy, etc. I have even caught myself examining and staring at different young men on the street, men my own age or younger, if I think they look like my baby would have look as a young man.

    I regret comments I made even just a year or so ago about not wanting any kids b/c I didn’t want to be bothered or I thought I wouldn’t make a good mother. I would have died for my baby to live. After feeling that feeling, I know I’ll be a pretty good mother.

  7. I was proud of myself for being able to sit with my dead baby in body and watch families through baby dedication Sunday. Wow, I did that! But later, when my husband graduated, I lost it when I saw women who had all been at my table at a picnic and were sharing pregnancy woes with me…all had their little ones and I didn’t. I had ruined my husband’s day thinking about myself.

    While my baby was in my body I was afraid he was really alive and the d&e would kill him. I made the doctor listen for a heartbeat before the laminaria was put in just to be sure. She was very understanding. After the surgery, I regretted not having a sonogram to double check. Speaking of sonogram, I have obsessed over the fact that I didn’t get an actual sonogram photo of my baby when it was taken. I just thought they wouldn’t give it to me so I didn’t ask. I later asked if I could have the ones they had in my file, and was disappointed to see they were only the femur and the white oval of the head and not the beautiful profile I had observed when the heartbeat was not found. I still have copies in my little envelope in my underwear drawer, along with the pregnancy test and hospital bracelet.

    I obsessed over medical bills that came that recorded the “events” and also insurance statements. I kept many of those, reading them over and over again.

    I mentioned burying stuff I found on the toilet paper in the yard when having my 3rd miscarriage. I told a friend and she asked if I thought the dog would dig it up! I also beat my breasts when they still felt “pregnant” long beyond the loss. I recall just being mad at my body for failing, mad at my body for not recognizing the losses I had experienced. I remember having difficulty with sex after my losses and actually stopping midway and just crying. I also struggled with a real period. It reminded me of my losses, and brought all the memories right back again. I wrote poems and songs…all depressing. I called the hosptial asking about the remains, and when they said “they went out with other medical waste”, I complained. I read everything about miscarriage I could in a frenzy. I watched for shooting stars, thinking they were some kind of sign from God (still do), swore that I saw a baby in God’s hands in the clouds, and desperately searched the scriptures opening my bible and reading the page it randomly came to…begging for more children. When I was trying to become pregnant I discovered charting, cm, and internal cervical checks. I still check my cervix for changes more like an obsessed person than using it as a birth control method. I want to be pregnant again (though I have a 14 month old…who is my 5th born). I didn’t do cervical checks ever before my miscarriages. I think I just want control!


    I have been strugglng to accept that we were never meant to be together for very long. Everything that happens to me seems as though it is about her even when my rational self knows that it is not. I wonder why women who don’t want babies have them, and why I couldn’t when we’ve tried so hard and waited so long.
    Right now I don’t think I can try and get pregnant just yet. We’ve been very careful with birth control. I am too scared. That I would be too sad about this loss and lose the next one because of that, or that I would be too scared about this loss and obsess over thenext one and lose that baby too. Ultimately, I am convinced that I have to wait until I have come to terms and accepted that she was never mine before we could try and get pregnant again.
    I still don’t get why those who would rather not have babies get pregnant and give birth, while I who waited so long and tried so hard had to lose mine.

  9. The colors for my babies are purple (amethyst) for February and green (peridot) for August. Oh, thank you, thank you!

  10. I saw your website and said to myself, “I will never be able to write anything on there. I don’t need that.” Well, it was August of 2004 when I found you and I’m still checking your page almost daily. It’s almost like if I let go of your page I’m letting go of my babies. I think you need to explore the fact that online is really often the safest place for us who miscarry in this day and age. We can find each other. There is no moment of uncomfortable silence that would exist in a support group. There is no time when you feel a person is taking all the limelight, or when you are afraid you are talking too much. There is no time when you are afraid you’re offending another (at least most of the time). I know in our church a woman has tried to reach out to moms who miscarry, offering a support group, and no one shows. We did meet one time, and it was very awkward. Talking about shared pain outloud when we’ve not been allowed to do it in our lives is difficult. None of the women were like me, online with grief. I was very outspoken to the point that I think I stepped on toes. I also was the one with all the kids. A few had miscarried without ever having any children, so I think I was really a pain to have around. I’ve seen these women all go on to have anther baby, but they are often uncomfortable talking about the issue of miscarriage. I know that’s the real connection I have to them, where I’ve met them. I think I’ve become part of their memory with the death of their baby(ies). I spoke at church right in the midst of my grief to the whole congregation, and they all recognized me from that. Still, if you’re not annoyed by anyone in a group, you gotta start to wonder if you’re the one who annoys everyone! Online I found a safe place to say it all and not feel I said too much. Of course, I think I can come to the computer too much. Some of us blog our pain also, not just come to the support group online. I write poetry and events on my live journal. The search for information is relentless…

  11. Because it took me so long to get pregnant there were and still are lots of things I don’t do and won’t do especially now that I have lost my little one to heaven. I don’t do mothers day. I don’t do fathers day. I don’t do baby dedications. I don’t do showers unless they are very close friends and then I sneak drinks throughout. I very rarely look at my friends websites for their kids.

    I do sleep with a blanket that was meant for my little one. Some nights I don’t need it but other nights I have to hold it tight throughout the night. I do surround myself with those who understand where I am and avoid those who have no clue.

  12. Oh one more thing, there will be no holidays this year. We have to go to my parents to meet my nephew but it will be a very fake time for me. I will not have a tree this year with ornaments and all that jazz. I have skipped fall and all my decorations that go with it. I just can’t seem to celebrate anything when my heart is so sad.

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