Wednesday, March 12, 2008

thank you, you are amazing

Thank you all for your comments here and for your emails. This is such a wonderful community of people, enlarging many times my community of friends and family, and I feel very surrounded by warmth and caring during this hard time. And for those who have shared their own stories, thank you. It's one thing knowing the statistics of miscarriage, which are so terribly high, and quite another thing to hear someone's story, and another entirely to experience it. Even the word, "miscarriage," has a new sound to me. I hate it. It is so wrong a term for the loss of a beloved life-to-be. It sounds like something a machine does when it ceases to function properly, like a gun or an engine gone awry. I looked up its etymology, because I just couldn't stand the sound of it, and apparently it has had this meaning since the 1500s. I expect we will not be rid of it any time soon.

When I have heard in the past that someone I knew of had a "miscarriage," I knew what it meant but didn't know what it meant. You can't know until you've gone through it, and of course, every woman's -- every couple's experience is so different. A loss at 8 weeks is not the same as a loss at 15, is not the same as a loss at 19, and so on, and even two women losing their babies at 14 weeks will not have the same experience. For me, at almost 15 weeks, it was the worst thing that has ever happened to me in a life blessedly devoid of bad experiences.

Like bad experiences have a way of doing, it has reshaped my perspective on some things. A few weeks ago, full of anticipation and excitement, Jim and I watched the documentary "The Business of Being Born," produced by Ricki Lake. It is focused on the relative absence of midwife care in America versus the rest of the developed world. It is a movie to watch, not just if you are pregnant, but if you are interested in the way our medical policies are shaped in this country. Suffice it to say, the movie is pro-midwife. Which is not to say it is anti-obstetrician. It's not at all. Its contention is merely that OBs are surgeons and as surgeons, their expertise lies in intervention into troubled pregnancies, not into waiting patiently through healthy, natural births. And though the absolute necessity for OBs is not questioned, I suppose after seeing the movie I felt a little smug in my choice to have a midwife instead of an OB, because I of course had every intention of having a healthy, natural birth. I also, I admit, started thinking of the word "pitosin" as kind of a nasty word, because the role it plays in the movie is not benign. It is a drug given to induce labor, and it seems it is given a little freely by health-care providers who don't feel like waiting out the hours of natural delivery.

Well, I still hope for a midwife-assisted birth in the future, and I still hope to avoid pitosin, but after spending several days in the hospital -- my first time ever, in my entire 36 years, as a patient in a hospital -- under the care of a very wonderful OB, with the very necessary intervention of pitosin, I see things differently. I bless obstetricians for what they do, and I bless chemists for synthesizing drugs like pitosin that can make the body do things it needs to do but does not want to do. I still hate the pharmaceutical industry, but I am so grateful for scientists and researchers with their truly awesome brains. And still, I hate pitosin and hope I never, ever experience it again. And though the nurses were amazing, truly amazing, some of the warmest, most wonderful women I have ever met, I hope I never again have to meet them like that, as I fervently hope I must never again be a patient in a maternity ward for any reason other than to give birth to a full-term, healthy baby, and especially, that I never again have to walk out that door empty, carrying only flowers.

That's the overwhelming feeling. Empty. I'm grateful for the many stories from your emails -- the overwhelming message is that after this, most likely, there will be healthy pregnancies; there will be babies, and that is what we are telling ourselves as we try to merge slowly back into our lives. We're okay, we'll be okay. Thank you so much, everyone, for your warm wishes and for your confidences. You are amazing.

26 comments:

Kim G. said...

Thanks for sharing your heart Laini. It's good for those of us who haven't had to live through this tragedy to get a glimpse of what you are experiencing and how we can encourage others in this difficult time. I love the fact that you looked up the history of the word miscarriage - that is so how I imagine you and your brilliant mind dealing with just a part of this sadness - seeking understanding and knowledge through research. I hope that this and all the other things that are comforting you at this time bring healing to your heart. Praying for you guys - take care!

Amber said...

Oh, Laini. :(
I have been thinking of you today. I am glad you came here and shared your thoughts and some of what I know are many difficult feelings.

I wish I had some magic words...

Just know people are thinking of you guys, and praying for you.

:)

Natasha said...

I really appreciate you so much for sharing how you feel. A loss of life in this way a lot of people do not want to listen and I have felt quite alone. I do agree that a loss at different weeks IS very different. If mine came a week later I would have had to sign a death certificate. How can a week make so much difference.

I really hope you have your hearts desire. I'm really happy you feel loved and have heaps of support.

Deirdre said...

I don't know what to say other than I'm thinking about you both and my heart holds you.

Amber Lough said...

I wanted to email, but I wasn't sure that anything I could say would make you feel better. This post was phenomenal, and shows how strong and level-headed you are in your most trying time in your life (and in most people's). My heart goes out to you and Jim.

Jeri said...

beautifully written...I wish you wonderful health and healing and to one day be leaving with a new, tiny life in your arms.

Gomomyourock said...

Thinking about you. Just got back to reading and came across your loss. I'm so sorry.

S R Wood said...

Laini -- You've held a mirror up to us with your writing; now you've done it with your life. Thank you.

I've never understood why there is pain in life and the only comfort I can offer is this: you are not alone.

Whenever I've passed through that pain it has seemed like a betrayal that birds still sing, stars shine, wind blows, the world keeps going as if nothing happened. But then other times I see it not as a betrayal after all, but defiance or determination, a shout of normalcy in the wake of tragedy.

Robin Brande said...

I am so grateful for scientists and researchers with their truly awesome brains.

It really is wonderful that so many smart people are out there trying to figure out how to make the human experience better in whatever ways they can. Nothing can ever take away the pain and loss and emptiness, as you said, of losing a child, but what a blessing that the physical part was helped along by big-brained scientists who thought about what was needed.

I agree with what everyone here has said: How generous it is of you to share your life with us, especially during such a hard time. But I hope you do understand the tremendous love you're getting in return. We're all thinking of you and Jim, and want nothing but happiness in your future!

Sustenance Scout said...

Hugs and prayers and well wishes from Denver, Laini. Thanks so much for sharing so much. K.

Frida said...

I've sent my love by snail mail. Thank you for posting - I've been thinking of you and Jim a lot and it is good to read your words.

I agree 100% about the word "miscarriage" I don't like it and won't use it. It is a terrible euphemism.

When the words are inadequate I have to rely on just sending love.

x

lizardek said...

Bless you both, Laini. You're amazing.

HipWriterMama said...

Laini,
Miscarriages are so difficult and painful. You are amazing to share this with us.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and Jim. Hugs.

Tone said...

YOU are amazing. Big hug.

Earthmamagoddess said...

I am just so very sad for you. 15 weeks is far along.

so much love and light....

megg said...

Love in all forms to you both!!!!

I am so sorry. I wish I could say/ do more. Know I am sending you both SO much love!!!

xoox

tinker said...

Oh Laini - I am so very, very sorry!
Though it's been many years since my own miscarriages, I remember the anguish - sending you and Jim much, much love and many wishes for healing in all ways. Be gentle with yourselves~XOXO

Anonymous said...

no, YOU are amazing.

AMAZING--

~bluepoppy

Steph said...

Oh, Laini. My thoughts are with you...

Alex S said...

YES, you are amazing too Fattyfat and you and Jim are going to be amazing, psychadelic, over the top parents to the biggest, most joyous baby that has ever existed ever. It seems very possible to me that baby spirits are fighting this very moment to have you two incredible people as parents. As sad as i have felt for you two this week, I feel so sad for this baby because you two are just crazy loving, thoughtful souls, the best of the best.
(This now makes an even '20' comments.)

tinker said...

I came back to check in on you - isn't that silly? Like I can see through the screen or something...but also because I realized my middle of the night insomniac comment, probably didn't sound very uplifting - I did go on to have healthy, happy babies who grew up, one of whom has her own now...So many other women who are close to me have gone through similar experiences - though it's not something that everyone talks about openly - but maybe we should, so we give one another hope. You are amazing and wonderful to share about this experience - perhaps there are others out there reading who won't feel so alone now.
The right time will come...for now, try to rest, relax, read, write - do whatever rejuvenates your body and soul - that is the best way to get prepared for the right time to come - and that time will come, Laini...
May all be well and all be well, and may all manner of things be well - that is one of my favorite quotes - it's almost like a mantra or a little prayer, and it's seen me through a lot of dark times - I hope it gives you some comfort...
Many ((HUGS)) to you and Jim - and Alexandra - hugs to you all.
Now someone else needs to comment, because it's not an even number anymore :)

Melba said...

you are a bright star in this mysterious world of ours.

thank you for sharing your story and wisdom.
love to you always~

XO,
melba

lkmadigan said...

Oh Laini.

I hadn't stopped by your blog lately, so I didn't know. I'm so sorry for your loss.

I miscarried my first pregnancy, too. I had no trouble getting pregnant and carrying my son to full-term the next time.

{{hugs}}

Lisa

Colorsonmymind said...

Laini-

I am truly sorry you and Jim have lost your baby.

It is something taht is so unique per person and per pregnancy.

At least for me it has been.

I wish you a beautiful healthy pregnancy and baby soon.

Deb R said...

Laini, I haven't been making blog visits as frequently lately, so I'm only just now hearing about you and Jim losing the baby. I'm so sorry that happened to you. You're in my thoughts. You'll be a wonderful mother someday soon.

Lisa Schroeder said...

Laini, I haven't been here for a couple of weeks, so am just now seeing this. What a terrible thing to go through - I can't even imagine. I'm so sorry for your loss. You guys will make amazing parents to some very lucky baby someday soon.

I'm sending healing, loving thoughts to both of you. Take good care.

~Lisa