Welcome to the Tales of a Kitchen Witch Blog.
When I posted my opinion on breast cancer games, y’all had lots of opinions. I received comments and emails from people who thought we all need to “lighten up” and how you had a miscarriage and it didn’t upset you so the argument must be moot.
I was talking about this with a friend and she explained to me why it upset her. Her story made me really sad. I asked her to write a guest post on what pregnancy loss means to her so that maybe we can all learn to be a little more understanding.
I suffer from infertility, something called RPL, or Recurrent Pregnancy Loss. RPL is often called “habitual abortion.” Isn’t that a nice term? .34% of women who conceive will suffer RPL. Often there is NO ‘reason’ found for these losses. (Which means the doctor gives up, tries to convince the woman that her body just doesn’t work, and pushes her towards IVF.) They also like to blame this on obesity, PCOS, and other lovely things. For treatment to even happen the woman has to undergo horrible invasive testing. The worst for me was an endometrial biopsy. I was awake for that and it really sucked because they couldn’t get the “flexible soft tube” through my cervix to scrape my walls. I am so glad I get to be so special.
Everyone has SOMETHING that sucks. There will always be someone who has it worse then you. It’s just how it is. But we can’t relate to people who have it worse. We can empathize we can TRY and understand, but if you haven’t been in that persons shoes, there is no way you can “get” it. We can only know our own stories, after all.
When people hear that I’ve had a loss, quite often they will tell me about when THEY lost a pregnancy and how horrible it was for them. How they cried for weeks and how painful it was and how people just don’t understand. I really do understand that. I get it because I have been there. I lost one. And then another. And another. Then twins. . . When all was said and done, I have lost 10 babies. Ten. Babies.
I try and help others through their loss. (Joni here- she has really, really helped me. She was there for me and supported me and she is amazing.) I try and make light of what I’m dealing with but in all honesty, sometimes I’m a sobbing mess inside. I want to be seen as this “strong” individual. I don’t want people to feel bad for me. I don’t want to make my friends uncomfortable. So I put a smile on my face and I don’t talk about it.
But when I DO talk about it, this is what happens:
Friend: Oh, I want to sell my kids! They are driving me insane!
Me: at least you have them…
Friend then whispers behind my back: “She isn’t over them yet.”
So I really, really don’t like to share my feelings or talk about it. What’s the point when it just makes people uncomfortable? I am viewed by friends as the broken bitch. I’m the person who rains on their parade of bitching about their kids when I would give just about ANYTHING to have a few of mine survive. I would give ANYTHING. And here they are complaining about them. Granted, they have a right to vent, just like I do. But it is hard to vent when my friends walk around me on egg shells. It’s just not fair that they get the babies and the bitching rights!
There are times when I want to joke about it because if I DON’T joke about it, I’m going to go insane. But then the same thing happens:
“You know, cuz I’m the Michelle Dugger of miscarriage…”
I really need to laugh sometimes. I need to. I need to cry some times. I need to be able to talk about it without worrying if I’m making someone uncomfortable. My family thinks I should be over this by now. Some of my friends think I’m too angry about it. Honestly? There are days when I’m really AM angry about it. There are days when I want to scream about how unfair it is that I have to live like this.
You know what? If you want to do something for someone that has lost their baby, or babies… Just remember. Remember what it feels like to have those hopes and dreams while cradling a baby in your belly. Remember their little people who never made it Earthside. And for cripes sake, stop saying stupid shit like “it was for the best” or “god will give you a baby when you’re ready” or (my personal favorite) “you just weren’t ready.”
Rule of thumb: Imagine your mother or your spouse has died. What would you want said to you? This is the same thing. Someone losing a baby is losing a baby. It is horrific, it is tragic, it is real and it hurts. And if you don’t know what to say “I’m sorry” is just fine. Be a friend. Just listen. Bring them meals. Or a plant (preferably a perennial or tree) and plant it in the babe’s honor. Be yourself. I know this is a taboo subject. I know that pregnancy loss is the thing no one wants to talk about or think about, but it’s real. And for people like me… It’s my life.