Trying to Make Sense of It All

I have been reading a lot of the posts on this site and can see my experience is a lot similar to many here. On some level that makes me feel better, as I often think maybe I am dramatizing the situation, by on another level it makes me feel equally sad realizing that grief is quite a difficult and annoying thing to have to go through. Perhaps I see it as a bit of an inconvenience.

2012 was a pretty shitty year. My husband and I decided we wanted a baby, well it was really more me than him, but he warmed to the idea, after all we were coming up to being 9 years together. But I just had these huge urges of cluckiness, constant, all the time. So wham — pregnant straight way within the first month.

This was exciting, as a friend also became pregnant nearly to the exact day, meaning I would have someone special and close to and we could experience pregnancy together, I was not alone.

The difference was she didn’t actually want to have a baby and she had been with her partner about 12 months so this was a big shock to her. She even tried quite a few techniques to miscarry, intense exercise some herbs etc… She was in total shock to start with. But that was all ok, the baby was staying no matter what, we talked a lot and we laughed a lot and we were super excited.

I was working full-time and doing long hours, which was tiring but I was super excited and felt like I had an important secret that made me glow on the inside. I was counting down the days to make the big announcement at work and of course it slipped out to a few very close friends and the parents. At week 7 I started bleeding, there was no pain just clear mucous with a bit of blood. I didn’t panic at first, but my husband and I decided we needed to go to the doctor.

I went to the doctor who had already printed out a six week scan which I hadn’t gotten around to doing yet and she said you need to go and get the scan. Of course, there was no heartbeat and I miscarried with all of that horrible, painful shit that goes along with it all, back cramps, excruciating internal pain and feeling like your bits are on fire. Followed by two weeks of bleeding or more, a nondescript medical certificate and my workplace being a total pain in the arse because I was taking two weeks off work with a “medical condition” and no further explanation.

I threw myself into painting the house, doing physical work. My husband had a huge big work case he was dealing with and he had to go away for a week. He was suffering with boils and the flu and threw himself into work quite a lot. I was actually grateful for the time alone as I actually just wanted to not speak to anyone for a good long time and I genuinely had a lot of fun painting the house.

I had some trouble at work, who despite saying that they are lovely, touchy feeling etc… etc… made my life difficult as I wouldn’t tell them what was wrong and my doctor had advised me I should try and cut down work. Indicating that “stress” could be a bit of a factor playing havoc in my life. Which I knew. So I cut down work to 3 days a week, although this caused a lot of drama and this was only on a six month basis as work would never agree to a permanent 3 day a week job, despite the fact that there was no reason not to. Rumors starting going around and I think people thought I had some life threatening illness like cancer. I was in two minds about telling them but came to the conclusion that it was none of their business and starting a family was a very personal and private thing for me. I had my personal life and my work time and I hated work delving into my private life ever.

It took a good three months to get regular periods back and I spent my days off continuing to renovate the house and just in general sort of nesting and building myself up to try again. I was still clucky and my husband was quite supportive and clucky too.

I knew I was pregnant again pretty much straight away, although work had turned into a nightmare, trying to work a full-time workload in three days a week – totally impossible. I went to the doctor saying “maybe I am having a nervous breakdown”, as I had done 2 pregnancy tests and they both came up negative, I was ridiculously tired and I was coming up to the time when baby number 1 would have been born. My friend was also having her baby. A week later,  I knew I was pregnant and the tiredness, emotional hormone levels had kicked in probably contributing to the “nervous breakdown” oh yeh and I am pretty sure work had contributed to that too.

The doctor said, “here take three months off”. I thought great, this is career suicide entirely, I spoke with a psychologist and navigated my future plans deciding that being pregnant and not being stressed was more important than a good career. Although feeling pretty bitter that my good career formed after 8 years study and 10 years of bloody hard work was getting thrown against the wall 1950s style (ie: Mrs M, we see that you are pregnant please be advised that the modern world doesn’t accommodate that sort of behavior and we will now devalue you as an employee so that you leave and we can replace you with someone who is not pregnant and therefore will be more profitable to our company”).  I got over the anger, knowing that things happen to us to make us grow spiritually and that intuitively the work hadn’t felt right for a long time anyway and it was time to push myself into new directions. I was quite proud of myself for being mature and for staying positive and calm.

During that pregnancy, I was careful not to rush to grand ideas of baby rooms and maternity clothes and I was actually feeling brilliant. Three months at home, a great social life, doing everything I had wanted to do, some artwork, exercising, eating well, reading good books. It was like the perfect dream, being pregnant, still getting paid (I had accumulated huge amounts of sick leave as I had been a super “good” employee never taking sick leave). I thought this is it, my life is perfect.

Then wham again, at the 10/11 week mark with such little time to go to the “safety zone”. I got these weird fluttering cramps and the next day I was bleeding and the back cramps started. Well, I didn’t need the  doctor or a scan to know what I was in for. Despite this we went to the doctor, then the doctor feeling really sorry for me I think sent me to an obstetrician the next day.

I was up all night with all my bits feeling like they were on fire again and having massive contractions. I remember lying on a bolster in front of the fire and praying to die and asking why, why, why me and why is this happening again. I also started making ultimatums with my life like, stuff this I am never having a baby, I am changing everything about my life, I am doing this that and the other.

The obstetrician basically said, this is normal, having 3 miscarriages is considered not normal so that’s when we will do further testing, my husband then pipes up saying that he thinks I am having psychological problems, like yeh honey of course I am, I am in pain and I just lost the baby x 2 do you want to degrade me any more. The whole process actually peeved me off more than having the miscarriage. It was so clinical and I thought stuff you, I want answers and don’t belittle me, this is obviously not normal as people have “normal” pregnancies all the time with no problems. I asked for the tests anyway, to which the obstetrician looked at me as if I was truly insane and went even further to say I would think you would come to an obstetrician once you knew you were pregnant. Um like are you serious, $250.00 later, what the hell is the GP for?????? Ah just another glitch in the medical profession. I am sure however there are good obstetricians out there, of which I will be looking for one.

Another two weeks of bleeding and some of my ultimatums came to fruition, I quit my job, I went on a diet, I did more exercise. I am pretty sure I went mad for a bit. I threw myself into three other jobs which were all quite physical and I cut off my ties with the corporate world entirely. I took a break from my husband on weekends to work for my family and this was nice.

Three months later, it hit Christmas time, all of my jobs wound up, I had made and implemented all of my ultimatums, 2013 the year of starting more study, the start of the year of being my authentic self and the year of no pregnancies, babies, plans of pregnancies or babies. No babies, none, none, none.

The week between Christmas and new years was the first time I actually stopped. An entire year of grief set in, losing two pregnancies, quitting my job/my career, changing my thought processes and becoming a new person with new ways of thinking. Well, holy crap was that one crap week.

I think I delayed my grief reaction by many months by focusing on making so many changes. This was probably a way of trying to “control” a situation that I could not control. Now, I am really struggling with the consequences of so much change. Even though I am super happy with my progress and feel like I have done a lot of soul searching, I feel like I am a totally different person so much so that I think I can’t identify with my husband anymore (as he hasn’t changed at all) and feel like I am going backwards if I try to conjure up my old self.

Some psychologists talk about the playing close attention to the “down” period, the period where the event has finished and life is just supposed to go on as normal.

What I am really struggling now with is ideas about:

  •  Is my husband really right for me,
  •  I don’t feel clucky anymore and after all that has happened I don’t even want children,
  •  Everyone just expects me to be normal and get on with i,t but do I really have the strength?
  •  This experience has really changed me, I have grown up and I am moving in new directions, how do I navigate this?

My natural inclination is to make the rest of the changes in my life, it’s like I want to cut myself off entirely from the old life to be new, change partners, change houses, travel, become a totally new person or the person that I think I have always been too afraid to be. A new and improved, stronger person who follows her heart and intuition.

Has anyone else experienced this and how did you get through it as I am really struggling?

It is also causing a lot of havoc in my marriage. We have now been together for 10 years, but I am just not feeling anything towards my husband anymore – there is no sexual spark and I often just feel harassed for sex. Sometimes I wonder what the foundation of the marriage even is and whether the wanting to have kids was a way of keeping the relationship alive when it has fizzled out.

We still have sex regularly (once or twice a week) and I have made extra special efforts on occasions because I know that it is important but I often just feel harassed and not up to it. My husband is also not intimate, he doesn’t like to make eye contact during sex so I kind of feel like shutting this part of me down, maybe as a defense mechanism and especially as I feel like I have given so much to him, my body, my soul and bled for weeks with not just mine but his baby. I am wondering how any of you may have dealt with this as well?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated it.

 — S 

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  1. I think the part of your story that struck me the most was wanting to cut yourself off and start fresh. I have done this many, many times in my life…just up and left and started new when something wasn’t working out, or I was sick of the people around me. It’s a great feeling, to just leave everything behind…but I’ll tell you, in my experience, it never ends well. When you run away from loose ends, they catch up with you, no matter where you are, what you’re doing.
    If you feel you need to, then move, start a new life, but your old life will always be with you, because it’s a part of you. Tie up the loose ends before you go, if you go, otherwise you will be hit with that wall of grief again like you were just before Christmas.
    I hope that you decide what to do about your relationship with your husband, and I hope that you get at least some of your cluckiness back. 🙂
    Miscarriage changes us, after we experience it, we never get to be that same person again that we were before, but it doesn’t mean that the new version of us isn’t just as awesome!

  2. When I got married I was really young, 19 and we had our first child.when he was about 14 months old I became pregnant with our second baby, and we were almost 2 years into marriage. We always had a very solid relationship and a connection from the very start I knew I wanted to spend my life with him.( we had known each other since we were toddlers and I knew his family, even working with his mom as a teen) I went on to have 3 more miscarriages over the next few years. He was going through a lot of very intense life and work issues that would affect anyone ( search and rescue) so dealing with the loss of children and a very stressful and intense job at young ages led us to become very distant to each other because neither of us knew how to handle any of it. Having shut down our communications we were basically just living with each other and it was really hard because he’d leave months at a time for his job. Our last miscarriage was very diffuclt because he was gone and had to be home for the surgery when I went into a complicated labor and then he left again shortly after. Not only did I feel a lack of feelings toward him I harbored resentment. I felt like I was going through everything alone and taking care of our toddler alone. I was so completely wrong. The feelings for him weren’t gone I shut them off so that I could protect myself from more hurt.he did the same. It took a very long time to work all of this out, 3 yrs if basically silence. When I became pregnant with our daughter we had moved again and I never was living close to family or friends, for support. I was so happy but felt not ready and not where I wanted to be with my husband even though everything was improving with him. I delivered her a little early due to a gene defect that is easy to treat but causes m/c and pregnancy issues. We continued to work on us and it got better as we went. When she was 9 months old we adopted a baby( we found out about him a week before he was born,best day ever he is the love of my life and the love is equal too having a biological child i felt nothibg differently:)we always planned on adopting even before the losses. I was there for the birth and took him “home” with me three days later. I was out of state for the adoption and had to live with family with my kids while we were wrapping up adoption legal work. My husband stayed back for his job because he had to. I think back on the past 4 years and think about if I had given up on my marriage. It’s really hard to think about because I have this amazing family and so much to be thankful for. Today my marriage is so much stronger for the storms it has had to endure. We started trying for a fourth last year and I miscarried again last month, I have to re manage my mutation and I have a lot of guilt for that like I should still be pregnant and the answer was simple.I tried to treat it before I got to the OB but it was too late, the info I needed ma stronger treatment came too late.
    Because Every marriage is different Im not trying to say you should for sure try and stick it out. I’m just saying it definitely takes effort and making changes to improve how you feel and he has to be willing to relight that spark for you. It isn’t just on you for how you feel. I just want you to know it can get better even amazing! If that’s what you both want:) I really hope that you can find hope and strength to carry on and fight for happiness! From this post I can tell you have moxy, and then just ask yourself if you have the fortitude to keep trying. I’m sorry for what you are going through. I have been there when the doctors are rude and use terms like oh 2 miscarriages normal or 3 or 4 we may never know why or it’s just bad luck…noone especially your doctors should be that insensitive to you so I wish you the best in finding a really good one soon:)

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story. I have also had two miscarriages in a short period of time. I also feel completely out of my mind. I could not tell you the last time I had a fun night out where I let go, stayed up late, laughed, had too much to drink. I have found myself making lists, worrying all the time, uptight, and honestly not myself. Don’t feel alone in the madness. I am chalking it up to the roller coaster of hormone levels, piled on top of grief. I am considering talking to someone.

    Regarding your husband. Along with the madness, I have not been able to relax and enjoy intimacy. I think this is because of the madness. I would talk to your husband honestly and tell him how you are feeling. Even though it sounds like it has been hard for you two and your marriage, there is love that has been fostered for ten years. Try turning towards each other instead of away and into distractions. If it is hard, maybe consider marriage counseling as well? People often go once things are really bad and should go when things are “kinda bad.”

    This is my two cents and please take with a grain of salt. Please cut yourself a break, give yourself time to heal, and take care of yourself. Again, sorry for you loss, and keep your chin up.

  4. I am so sorry for your losses. I hope you are faring better now, a few months later. I have suffered two miscarriages, and so much of what you write is a mirror to my own tale. E.g., right now, my coworkers believe I am battling cancer because of the mysterious sick leave I have needed to use (both miscarriages were a bit complicated, medically speaking… though is there a “normal” one? sigh).
    My two cents: FIRST off, you must find new doctors. Immediately. This is one of the “quicker fix” things to deal with. Two miscarriages are not normal or flukes. The “you need to suffer three times and after that we’ll see…” rule of thumb is outdated and cruel.
    Second: Your issues with your husband are wider in scope, but I can share some of my thoughts on what m/c did to my marriage: my husband used to place blind trust in the medical establishment, and frankly, I believe he was pretty dismissive of my “opinions.” If you wear a white coat, chances are he’d listen to you. He also dealt with me when I suffered from PPD after the birth of our first child, this might have colored his view of me in some way. When I claimed to believe things were horribly horribly awry during my pregnancy and after what ultimately was m/c #1, he told me I was overreacting. That pregnancy turned out to be a Partial Molar Pregnancy, the kind that can lead to trophoblastic cancer (so in some ways, my colleagues at work aren’t far off). The D&C from that m/c actually caused Asherman’s Syndrome, where your uterus is scarred shut by scar tissue. I wasn’t getting a period and demanding tests. My doctor (and my husband) thought me insane. long story short, I found the right support group, who led me to the right doctors and found the surgery I needed to at least heal my broken uterus. And through that journey, where I vocalized each step and misstep, my husband came to realize that when in a doctor’s office, listen to YOUR WIFE. I feel like I had to go through hell and back (and that was after only 1 miscarriage) to get to this point, but we were able to achieve a healthy enough marriage to endure the misery of m/c #2.
    Third, your mental state: The madness is real. I lost myself in it multiple times, but I also managed to find my way back. Pregnancy loss is grief, with all five of its stages. It is heightened by the hormonal imbalances. Do not take this lightly. I am quite sure I suffered from clinical anxiety after both losses, and a very real sense of fear and inability to cope with my present surroundings. For me, after m/c #1, I did reinvent myself – I became a zumba instructor of all things. I kept my day job, but a few nights a week I would force myself be this fit, high-energy smiling freakazoid in cargo pants shaking my ass to salsa music. I honestly attribute my current state of mind to this reinvention. In my case, incorporating something I loved (dance) into my daily life stabilized my fitness levels and brought me some good endorphins to keep the depression at bay. You too can find your own reinvention, and it doesn’t need to mean chucking your current life entirely. Also, the disconnectedness you felt from your husband: this sounds like a true aftermath of your grief, not odd at all. I am hoping that in the past few months you have been able to come to answers that bring you peace.

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