Motherhood and Loss

  • On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from November 2007.

I’ve just had another miscarriage. This is number 5 or 6 . . . hard to keep track. It followed the usual course: late period, positive test, but low hormone levels, followed by a quiet week of me getting my hopes up, and then bleeding, cramping, confirmation, and tears.

This is my first miscarriage since adopting Jafta. I was able to carry India to term (this latest miscarriage is just another reminder of what a miracle that was). I am still devastated, but I am finding the experience very different. First of all, it’s hard to grieve with two kids running around demandng your attention all day. Previously, I would spend a week or two on the couch, moping and wallowing and shaking my fist at the sky. Now, I don’t really have time to think about it. It catches me off guard, especially at bedtime, and I feel the slow, sinking feeling of dread and sadness come over me. But during the day, I am distracted by playdates and board books and all things kids.

But I also think the experience of miscarriage is very different as a parent. My arms are full now. They felt so empty before. Last night, as I lay in bed singing with my two kid, I just felt the fullness of being a mom and let that be a balm for my loss. My arms are not empty. My spirit grieves, and yet my heart is full.

Motherhood and Loss

On Thursday’s I post from the Vault. This post is from November 2007


I’ve just had another miscarriage. This is number 5 or 6 . . . hard to keep track. It followed the usual course: late period, positive test, but low hormone levels, followed by a quiet week of me getting my hopes up, and then bleeding, cramping, confirmation, and tears.

This is my first miscarriage since adopting Jafta. I was able to carry India to term (this latest miscarriage is just another reminder of what a miracle that was). I am still devastated, but I am finding the experience very different. First of all, it’s hard to grieve with two kids running around demandng your attention all day. Previously, I would spend a week or two on the couch, moping and wallowing and shaking my fist at the sky. Now, I don’t really have time to think about it. It catches me off guard, especially at bedtime, and I feel the slow, sinking feeling of dread and sadness come over me. But during the day, I am distracted by playdates and board books and all things kids.

But I also think the experience of miscarriage is very different as a parent. My arms are full now. They felt so empty before. Last night, as I lay in bed singing with my two kid, I just felt the fullness of being a mom and let that be a balm for my loss. My arms are not empty. My spirit grieves, and yet my heart is full.

Just get pregnant, then you’ll adopt

Most women who have any sort of fertility issues have heard this statement before:

“Just adopt, and then you’ll get pregnant.”

I get this one a lot. Especially since it pretty much happened that way. And now here we are, adopting and expecting again, too. So I get why people say it. It’s one of those things people just kind of say. A conversation piece, I guess.

Now, if you are reading this and you’ve said this to me, don’t worry. You are not alone or a bad person. Someone says this to me a couple times a week. Seriously. I’m not wanting to single anyone out to run a guilt trip. I know it’s not said with ill intent. But to be candid. . .

This statement always makes me bristle a little bit. In part because I know that most people stuggling with infertility will not get pregnant after adopting. Statistically, it happens to a very small few of us.

Maybe it bugs me because I always wanted to adopt first. Mark was more keen on trying the old fashioned way first. I was ready for the homestudy well before I was ready to say goodbye to the pill. But I deferred to Mark. Because I am such a submissive wife.

Okay, stop laughing at me. I did submit. This one time.

But seriously, the reason this little cliche bothers me the most is that it could imply that pregnancy is a prize or consolation for having adopted. Like adoption is a means to an end. That maybe if you do it you could then get to have your own child.

(Okay. Another pet peeve. An adopted child is your own child.)

India was not the “prize” for having adopted Jafta. Jafta is the prize for having adopted Jafta.

So I suggest that we do away with this little statement altogether. That we let it fly away on the wind with other statements you should never say to adoptive parents. Like “are those your real kids?” or “how much did he cost?”. Or my favorite, when I was asked if I run a daycare from my home.

So for people considering adoption:

If you adopt, then you will be a real parent.
If you adopt, then you will be abundantly blessed with a child.

Two Pink Lines

Yep, that’s right. I’m feeling nauseous, tired, and yucky, and it’s not giardia this time! We are excited, nervous, elated, scared, freaked, and most of all . . . shocked.

In case you don’t know my history, this is my 7th pregnancy. I have two kids, and only one came out of my own va-jay-jay. So if you do the math, you can see that most of my pregnancies have not had happy endings.

I have a condition that the medical community refers to as “recurrent spontaneous abortion“. Now this title seriously makes my skin crawl, and if I had the energy and gumption I ought to petition the medical board to call it something else. I hate that this term is written all over my medical records because I’ve had so many miscarriages. It makes it sound like I am this impulsive woman who keeps running out and getting abortions on a whim, over and over again.

“Omigosh, ya’ll, last night I went out and got another abortion. I didn’t even plan on it. It just kind of happened. I just keep getting these abortions. I’m so crazy like that!”

Sheesh. So not the case.

It’s weird to be writing about this, but I’ve decided to try something new. With all of my pregnancies, I’ve kept things really quiet. I’ve followed the conventional wisdom that says not to talk about a pregnancy until the 10th or 12th week. You know. In case that thing happens. But the result of this old-school decorum is that I end up feel alone, isolated, and unsupported every time I miscarry, because nobody knows about it. And then I end up kind of confessing it to people, which is uncomfortable to announce that you were pregnant but not anymore in one breath. But I always end up telling because I feel like the people around me need to know why I’m weepy and not leaving the house for weeks at a time.

So, this time, I choose transparency. I don’t think miscarriage, or early pregnancy, needs to be something coped with under a cloak of secrecy and shame. I feel hopeful about my pregnancy, but if it doesn’t work out, the blog world (and my real world) will know about it. And maybe I will feel a little more supported, no matter what the outcome.
And, now I can shamelessly ask everyone I know to pray, pray, pray that I get to carry this baby to term. Yes, that means you. Shoot a little petition up to the Big Guy upstairs, would you? I could use it.

Motherhood and Loss

I’ve just had another miscarriage. This is number 5 or 6 . . . hard to keep track. It followed the usual course: late period, positive test, but low hormone levels, followed by a quiet week of me getting my hopes up, and then bleeding, cramping, confirmation, and tears.

This is my first miscarriage since adopting Jafta. I was able to carry India to term (this latest miscarriage is just another reminder of what a miracle that was). I am still devastated, but I am finding the experience very different. First of all, it’s hard to grieve with two kids running around demandng your attention all day. Previously, I would spend a week or two on the couch, moping and wallowing and shaking my fist at the sky. Now, I don’t really have time to think about it. It catches me off guard, especially at bedtime, and I feel the slow, sinking feeling of dread and sadness come over me. But during the day, I am distracted by playdates and board books and all things kids.

But I also think the experience of miscarriage is very different as a parent. My arms are full now. They felt so empty before. Last night, as I lay in bed singing with my two kid, I just felt the fullness of being a mom and let that be a balm for my loss. My arms are not empty. My spirit grieves, and yet my heart is full.