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

Monday, February 8, 2010

Conversations; or, Confessions

I've been talking a lot about the m&m recently. Immediately after the miscarriage, I felt like this wall of silence was put between me and the people around me--I was grieving harder than I'd ever grieved in my life but I felt like I couldn't tell the people I interacted with on a daily basis--not my students, not my classmates, not my teachers, not my Junior League committee members.

That was probably smart. I found it hard to even think about the baby without sobbing--talking about him or her was probably beyond my ability at that point.

Now, however, I've been telling people about the miscarriage frequently (though I hope not indiscriminately and not in detail--merely the fact that it happened). And with each person I tell, it's like a little weight is lifted off my chest. I hate the burden of secrecy. I hated not only feeling loss and sadness but having to hide the source of those feelings.

I know why others choose to keep their emotions private and conceal their pain. But I've learned how healing it is for me to share my experience, and so I refuse to feel guilty for talking about this. I'm also lucky that none of the colleagues and friends I've told have given me the crappy, standard post-miscarriage responses. They've all responded with compassion and understanding.

I've learned that my former Junior League chair had a miscarriage two years before her toddler daughter was born. I've had a fellow grad student, the mommy to two little girls, tell me that the mommy part of my life has started now, even though I don't have a baby yet. I've had lots of hugs. And even when all I hear is, "I'm so sorry," it feels nice to be open and honest, nice to acknowledge that there was a baby, a baby who is gone now, a baby who left a sadness behind that will always endure.

So for my gals out there starting that long walk back to recovery after a miscarriage, I don't suggest you do things my way. But sometimes it's good to give people the opportunity to surprise you with their kindness and sympathy.


  1. I am glad to hear that sharing is helping you. Sometimes it's met with indifference or a dismissive remark, but when you get the true, "hey I know what it's like" sympathy and empathy from someone (esp. when it was previously unknown or unexpected), it has such a profound impact. It can be healing, or at least make you feel not quite so alone.

  2. It's so amazing to me how we all deal with infertility in different ways, and how are coping methods change as time passes. When I started blogging I hadn't even told my mom about our struggle. I finally opened up to her, but it's been a real struggle for me to talk to anyone else about it. I hope to get there soon as I'm sure the weight lifted that you describe is comforting.

  3. I am so glad you have gotten some hugs and support. Isn't it amazing how something like that can make you feel better. My friend Susan and I recently opened up to each other abt our struggles (her recent m/c and my IF)...I honestly couldn't believe how cathartic it was to have someone who knows me and my husband so well tell me she was so sorry I was going through this. It doesn't make it "easier" but it makes it less awful. If that makes any sense at all. I am not ready to tell everyone I'm friends with, obviously, but in some instances, it's exactly what you need. ((hugs))

  4. I am really open about my experiences too, although I think it is a little different when you already have a child. People are nice about it generally though. I fell better acknowledging it and every so often someone shares their story and it makes me feel less isolated.

  5. I share it when appropriate as well. I have never been as lonely as I was when going through my miscarriage, and I hope by talking about it I'm doing my part to remove some of the taboo.

  6. As time went on, I became more and more open. At first, I was. . . ashamed is the wrong word, but embarassed maybe? I also didn't want to offend or hurt people by telling them about our losses. I kept quiet and endured a lot of comments that hurt me without speaking up. As we had more losses, I found it harder to keep my mouth shut. Like you, I found healing in sharing our story, and also fellow IF/loss sisters. I still got the occasional craptastic remark that hurt, but I was more outspoken about those, too, correcting people when I would have bit my tongue before. I saw myself defending not only for myself but others that suffered in silence. I had people thank me for my openess and honesty as it helped them see infertility and loss in a whole new light.

    I hope you continue to find comfort in sharing your story and soon get to express your joy as well.

  7. I'm glad that sharing your heartache has helped you heal, I'm just starting to get to a place to where I'm may be ready to share the miscarriage with more people than knew about the pregnancy --- friends, neighbors, etc.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  8. I am so happy that sharing this very personal part of your life is getting you some much needed support. It's amazing-- you never know what other people are going through until you are brave enough to tell them what you are going through. Proud of you, hon.

  9. I totally feel the same way. I haven't told everyone about my miscarriage, but of the people I have shared with I did feel that sense of relief. Relief that they knew what I had been going through, that I didn't have to pretend not to be hurting any longer, and they did offer amazing support that I so needed.