A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Backsliding; or, Having the Hard Conversations

Last night was rough. Very, very rough.

It started with the revelation that Lawyer Guy's 26-year-old cousin is pregnant with her third unplanned pregnancy. It ended with an hour-and-a-half of tears and soul searching in bed.

Despite my best intentions, pregnancy announcements knock me on my ass. I recover eventually (even quickly) and suck it up and smile and muddle through. But the first day I hear about a new baby on the way? Let's just say "poise" is not a word I'm worthy of in those moments.

This announcement was especially bad for several reasons: I'm deep in an increasingly pessimistic two week wait; I'm the only one of the 4 married cousins on that side of Lawyer Guy's family to not have a viable pregnancy in the past year; everyone in his family kept this a secret from me for over a month.

Yup, my husband has known about this since before we left for our cruise on January 14th. He's so worried about my mental fragility, he hid this from me for six weeks. And the worst part is, he's right. Learning about it sent me into a tailspin.

And about that mental fragility-- there's been a major backslide this week. I underestimated the psychic stress of getting back into trying to conceive after a miscarriage. My longing to get pregnant is even greater than it was before (if you can believe that) because it feels like the only thing that will make my miscarriage bearable. The waiting has worn me down over the past six days. I'm increasingly in despair (that's not an overstatement), increasingly convinced that this cycle is hopeless, increasingly convinced that I'll see red at the end of this.

So I've been moping a lot and crying a lot and generally in a funk. But I know that this is only the first cycle and that while getting my period sucks, I'll come out optimistic and hopeful (even if scared) the next cycle, and the next, and the next.

But for my husband, this backslide has been very upsetting. And last night, as he came into the bedroom, he told me that "I don't seem happy in our marriage."

Cue copious tears. Our marriage is the only thing that makes me happy. Our marriage is the rock that holds me up. So we talked and talked, and cried and cried and both said things we've been thinking for a long time. Ultimately, he said he's been scared by something I said in the days following the miscarriage: that I don't think I'll ever be happy until I'm pregnant again.

And while I don't feel exactly that way three months later (I'm happy sometimes, even frequently), I know there's a sadness in my heart that won't be erased until I have a baby.

And maybe not even totally then. Maybe I'll always have this sadness, but counterbalanced by joy.

We didn't come to any resolutions, but it was important (even though stressful) to share these feelings with each other.

I just hope the failed cycles are more tolerable with time.


  1. Oh honey, I'm SO sorry. I relate to so much of this. DH has hid so many pregnancy announcements from me for the same reason. . . I pull myself together pretty quickly, but he doesn't exactly enjoy watching the initial hit :)

    I'm so glad you and your husband were able to have such an honest talk last night. It sounds like he'd held onto some thoughts for a while now, too.

    It's hard to help people understand that we will *always* carry our experiences with us. In my opinion, we *will* be (at least mostly) happy, eventually - but we will always carry that other part . . . I think that idea scares people! But we know that we will learn to live with it. . .

    Thinking of you, honey. Wishing you so much luck.

  2. I'm really sorry you're having a tough time. It seems very natural - a miscarriage is a devastating experience that takes time to heal (not that I speak from experience...but I can only imagine). I think it's very good that you and your husband are open with each other and have these difficult conversations. Hang in there...hoping that you have happy news in a few days.

  3. Awww, I just want to give you a huge hug and tell you how much I understand. There is something about getting pregnant again that makes me feel like I can finally put the miscarriage behind me. Sure it will always be there, I will always remember it...but it won't be the thing that defines me in my ttc journey. And the only cure in my mind is a healthy pregnancy resulting in a perfect baby. And I know I've said very similar stuff in a moment of sadness that wasn't necesarily true outside of that moment. And while I understood that, I know it made hubby worry like crazy about me and if I could ever be happy again. Glad you were able to get it all out with yours and have a good talk. Hang in there, still holding out for you this month!!!

  4. He needs to understand that you were deeply grieving when you said that. You are and WILL be happy again. When you do have a baby, you will still have some sadness, of course, when you think of what you lost, but your joy will far outweigh that.

    I went through just a few of these awful TTC after Loss cycles and they are awful, just awful. I felt as if I couldn't BREATHE from about 10 - 13 DPO. I became a POAS-aholic. If it offers you any hope whatsoever, I usually actually felt the most normal when I started my period. I was disappointed, but after the first day or two, I was optimistic about the next cycle and I wasn't peeing on anything (either to determine ovulation or pregnancy). I wasn't living in limbo. It was actually my "favorite" part of the cycle.

    I am hoping you do not have to worry about this month and you'll get your BFP.

  5. I am hoping that you don't have many (any?) more failed cycles that you have to bear. It is good that you and your husband had a good talk, but sorry that it took you being so upset for it to happen.

  6. Sometimes the heaviest conversations with our DH's can lead to the deepest understanding of each other. I know that your DH is hurting too, but not in the same way as you are. It totally makes sense to me that you can't see yourself fufilled until you are pregnant and have a baby-- a new baby will never take the m&m's place, but it will fufull your dreams of being a mommy. I know that deep down, DH feels the same way.

  7. I could have written this post myself and I know how painful it is. I'm so sorry you're going through this.

    Pregnancy announcements knock me flat on my ass also and my family also hid the premature birth of my SIL's baby from me. We shared the same due date from my first m/c last year and then, to add insult to injury, she gave birth (prematurely) on the same day as the D&E from my 3rd loss this year.

    Seeing a great therapist has helped me quite a bit (which you may or may not already be doing, but I'm a relatively new follower) and I'm also going to try out a support group, although it's been tough to find one where I live.

    I'm just so sorry you're going through so much pain. Just know that you aren't alone. (((HUGS)))

  8. I can totally relate to your reaction to the news of the cousin's pregnancy. I was knocked flat by the news of TWO cousins simultaneous pregnancies this year, one accidental (& her second child), the other after trying (& being married) for 3 months. It's hard to hear about someone else easily getting what we want so much.

    I scared DH with a similar comment shortly after our miscarriage. I said, "If we can't have a baby, I don't think I'll ever be okay." I was wrong, though. I still long to have my hubby's baby, but since we adopted our sweet baby boy 10 months ago, I've discovered so much joy in loving him that I am, mostly, okay. Still a little broken from the whole 3.5 years of TTC, still a little fragile when news of others' pregnancies strikes, but okay. Happy, even frequently overjoyed. I guess what I'm saying is, even when it looks darkest, there IS light in your future, perhaps even from an unexpected source (we hadn't even started talking about adoption when I made that comment, for instance).

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope things look brighter soon.

  9. PS: My college roommate lives in & loves Park Slope--what a great area! Also, I too was an English major, though for grad school I did a creative writing MFA because I don't have the endurance for a PhD, though I admire those who do! :)

  10. It sounds like you guys were able to talk honestly and openly, and that is so important. Perhaps the silver lining in this tough week is that it allowed you and Lawyer guy to open up to each other.
    I hope things look brighter for you soon.