Sunday, January 15, 2006

Revisiting Miscarriage

After my second miscarriage, a dear friend suggested to me that I try to be with the situation in a peaceful way. "Everything happens for a reason," she said.

I got angry. I hated the idea that people who had miscarriages are subjected to this kind of seemingly easy dismissal. The true and only reason for my suffering seemed obvious. Because of some physical limitation in my body and/or his, baby-making just hadn't worked for us so far and maybe never would. Besides, I was in mourning. "I'm sorry for your loss," or "Is there anything I can do to help?" was about all I could take in terms of well-meaning support.

But my friend's point did not easily leave my mind. It seemed to beg the question, "Is it possible that deep down, you don't want to be pregnant?" After all, I had my doubts. At the time, it didn't occur to me that this might have had more to do with my partner than it did my desire to become a mother. I saw my doubt as weakness. Now I see that not facing it was the weakness.

It also never occurred to me that one day I'd be grateful for those lives that came into mine, with A~'s ambivalent consent but at my invitation, even though they only stayed for a short visit. It was better than never being pregnant at all. Because I no longer fear pregnancy, nor do I believe there's no fate worse than never having kids. (I could have been living proof of that right now, if I'd never miscarried.)


ckmunson said...

I miscarried twins in October of 2004, and I was 17 weeks at the time. There were not many people who spoke to me about it. It was a big silence - and it was that that felt the most awful. Erick and I had genetic testing done and found that there was no reason for the miscarriage - it just happened. There were times when I wondered if I still would have been pregnant if I didn't wonder if I really wanted this pregnancy. When I found out it was twins I was afraid and thought to myself I don't want this. I had a lot of hurt directly after my miscarriage - and it all stemmed from those people in my life who couldn't acknowledge something monumnetal in my life.

Amy said...

How awful. My heart goes out to you in feeling so alone. Seventeen weeks is a long way into a pregnancy. And I can relate to your feelings about twins. I always wondered how I would handle it if I found out I was pregnant with twins. It would not have been good news for me either.

One thing that's been helping me a lot is what the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn says about communication. He says that it is an expression of true love to tell the people that you love that you suffer, that you need help, and/or that you are angry with them. There might be sadness in your voice, but it should be spoken gently, without rancor. Perhaps they withhold their love and support because they are afraid, or because they also suffer sadness at your loss and don't want to burden you with it... the other side of the coin, according to Hahn, is that when a beloved expresses their anger with you, you should make it you job to simply listen -- not to fix the problem, not to justify or defend or clarify or analyze -- but just to listen, because in listening you helping them relieve their suffering.

ckmunson said...

Thanks Amy. I did tell two people that I was hurt. One apologised and the other didn't even acknowledge that I said anything. The one that apologized I know apologized from the heart - and that was it. I wasn't angry - I was more hurt, it felt so "icky" for it not to be acknowledged. And then everything was fine - the silence wasn't deafening anymore.

About 4 months after I miscarried I got pregnant again - and things went pretty good. Grace was born in September and life goes on....

Miscarriage is a tough thing. I am glad you spoke of it. It was amazingly liberating to speak of it.

sistergirl-3rd grade said...

Hi Amy;

I think my point to you mostly; I don't believe I said(please don't quote), 'everything happens for a reason'....I said, "let it be"...." try to let it go to the wind and the earth and the sky". I mentioned nothing of the other. Just wanted to correct.
...good speaking with you this weekend.


Amy said...

you're right, sorry luv, you're right, you never did say that. In my mind I kind of combined something you said with something someone else said. Anyway, I appreciate your wisdom, dear, and your sister-friendship...