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Oct 15 2014

It’s Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

By at 1:09 pm

baloons

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Over the years, many of our writers have written poignantly about the heartrending experience of losing a child or pregnancy. For those who have experienced that pain, we hope these stories will resonate, provide comfort, and offer helpful suggestions for processing the loss. For those who haven’t, this might help you comfort a friend who has.

Here is a roundup of the most relevant articles from Kveller and our friends at Modern Loss about pregnancy and infant loss:

1. 17 Things to Say to Someone Who’s Lost a Child. It’s hard to know what to say to a friend who is mourning the loss of a child or potential child. A dad who has unfortunately found himself on both sides of the conversation offers some guidelines and suggestions. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 7 2014

My Miscarried Daughter Rests in a Good Place

By at 4:11 pm

tree-playground

My husband and I bought cemetery plots today. We are both only 42 years old and (thank God) in good health, but we are trying to do the responsible thing. My parents purchased plots when they were around the same age and we figured it’s always smart to prepare for the future.

Unfortunately, there were no available spaces right next to our family plots, but we were pleased to find a nice spot just a short distance down the pathway. In some ways, the location is probably just right–close to my parents and family, but not too close.

The thing that makes me a little sad–but also a little happy–is that (in 120 years) we will not be buried right next to our daughter. Four years ago this month, we lost a very difficult pregnancy at 21-weeks gestation.  Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 29 2013

The Anniversary of My Miscarriage

By at 4:25 pm

Every year, at the end of January, I feel a little sad. This began in 1997, when I was nearly 11 weeks into my second pregnancy and I miscarried.

There were so many reasons not to be sad–to be hopeful–then. I’d already enjoyed an unremarkable, full-term pregnancy, which culminated in the relatively easy birth of a healthy child. My daughter, a spunky toddler at 2 years old, was a source of great joy in my life. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 29 2012

Mind Your Own Business

By at 11:35 am

We truly are an entitlement-driven culture.

I’m not talking about welfare or tax breaks–I’m talking about people feeling entitled to KNOW things they have no business knowing. I could blame it on the internet, or too much information, or Facebook for encouraging over-sharing. Truthfully, though, this sort of butting in happened waaaay before the internet age made everyone experts on any number of things, including medicine, politics, and entertainment. My favorite examples, though, involve knowing (and judging) someone else’s childbearing decisions. Read the rest of this entry →

May 11 2012

Talking About My Miscarriages for the First Time

By at 11:02 am
keeping a secret

When I was younger, nobody talked about miscarriages.

For this Mother’s Day, one of our writers reflects on her previous miscarriages, and just how lucky she is to be a mom.

When I was pregnant for the first time, at 22 years old, I miscarried.

I had cramps, saw drops of blood, and waited. The next day, on the toilet, I felt something drop out of me. I flushed before I could look.

I had a D&C. My husband comforted me and I called my mother. I didn’t tell anyone else.

A month later, I found a lump in my breast. I had to wait four weeks to see if it was the result of an inflamed milk duct from the pregnancy. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 20 2012

What if You Want to Attach, But Can’t?

By at 2:56 pm

With Mayim’s book about attachment parenting coming out soon, I have been reflecting on my own mother’s experience. She has kindly agreed to let me write about her ordeal and I want to thank her for allowing me to share her story. (Please note that my interpretation of the events and the conclusions I have drawn are entirely my own). Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 1 2011

Everything is Suckier in Texas

By at 11:15 am

So here I am.  I arrived in Austin, Texas, just over a month ago.

We had a bid ready for a beautiful house.  I was committed to giving life here a 110% try.  We were just waiting for my husband’s written offer letter of employment.  He had already accepted verbally, but we needed it in writing.  We could not bid on the house without it.  We waited and waited and waited.  An email arrived asking for a call at the end of the day.  The Senior VP who wanted to hire my husband managed by consensus and allowed another executive to veto my husband at the 11th hour.

My heart hurts for my husband.  How dare someone disrespect him this way?  I wanted to hunt this man down and give him a verbal lashing.  Instead, I hugged my husband and said, “Oh well.  Just means something better is around the corner.  We’ll be fine.”

In the meantime, we have no place to call home, no job, and once again, no baby.  Yup, I had another chemical pregnancy.

We had our first date night in a long time last night. It was not one of our usual fun-filled evenings out together. My husband’s head is consumed with finding a job and mine is filled to the brim with pregnancy stuff. We are “go with the flow” type of folks, so I know it will all be fine and we will end up where we are supposed to be.  But I feel so alone right now.  I miss my momma friends in New York dearly.  A phone call or email is not the same, and who has time?  Meeting for a walk in the park or a quick cup of coffee was always so easy in New York.  I miss seeing Aiven play with his friends and I worry that he may suffer from the lack of interaction with other kids.  Time to get into a mommy group here I suppose. But I have no idea where to find one.

The Upper West Side of New York, with all of its Jewishness, good friends, easily accessible playdates, and really scrumptious food, consumes my thoughts.  I have been plunked down in a land of brown, drought highways, fast food, and nary a Yid for miles.  I used to pride myself on being able to spot a Jew at a hundred paces. I have to look a couple states away to really utilize that skill here.

But the good news is that my plan to escape Texas has legs!  The difference now is that my husband is on board.  Austin is not the Austin of his college days.  He is not the boy of yesteryear.  Requirements change and he sees that now.  He has been applying to jobs (mostly mostly management consulting in technology or finance, for those of you who want to help him out) in different parts of the country, and I can tell he is excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. Right now things are hard, but it won’t last indefinitely.  I know that our new home is somewhere over the horizon.

Jul 28 2011

When Life Gives You Sour Dough, Make Challah

By at 9:38 am


Where do I begin? The last few days have been a blur. Emotionally draining, physically exhausting, and a bit of medicated numbness to top it all off. I have seen many beautiful sights in Ireland and one horrible sight as well. The stark, vast landscape of the Burren in particular took my breath away.  So did the ultrasound picture showing an empty sac.

When I last left you, I was pondering what the next few weeks would bring. I did some research on the radiologist who looked at my ultrasound because I had a weird feeling about him. It turns out he was embroiled in a scandal last year. The 58-year-old doctor’s 25-year-old pregnant-with-his-child, lap-dancing girlfriend died from binge drinking. It’s a terrible story, but it gave me hope! Perhaps the lack of judgment in his personal life extended to the professional. Maybe he read my scans wrong and there was still a baby in my tummy.

But I knew there was no baby inside of me. As I struggled to comes to terms with it, I consulted with experts back home: OB/GYN, midwife, and friends, in particular Tamara, a fellow blogger here on Kveller who recently experienced the same thing. I discovered that to miscarry naturally could take a few weeks, potentially involving excessive bleeding and/or extreme pain. I was advised that if I wanted to go that route, I’d better get my hands on some serious pain medication. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 25 2011

When There’s No Fetus in the Sac

By at 9:54 am

Cara's 10-month-old son, Aiven, taking a break in Ireland.

Scheduling an ultrasound in Ireland was not so easy. It took a while to locate an ultrasound office — we found one in Limerick, an hour away. They wouldn’t accept me as a patient without a referral, so I had to contact my OB/GYN in New York to email me a prescription for a pelvic ultrasound.

So off we went early this morning after a restless night. It was a dark, dank drive into Limerick (the locale of Angela’s Ashes) and thankfully we gave ourselves an hour leeway to find the office. We were only lost for half an hour, which is quite an accomplishment for us. The waiting room was occupied by a humorless couple who refused to acknowledge Aiven’s existence, spoiling our usual fun of showing him off. They were ahead of us in the queue, and we did not have to wait long for their appointment to end.

According to my fertility charting skills, I am eight weeks, six days along in my pregnancy. Therefore, I expected to see a bean on the screen. I knew that I shouldn’t expect to see too much just yet, but I expected something. I did not expect an empty sac. My hopes deflated like that empty sac. The most disappointing things in life aren’t accompanied by a crash of cymbals or a flashing screen that says “Game Over”. It happens silently, painfully, on the inside.

The Doctor advised me my dates could be off (they aren’t) and asked that I come back in 10 days for another scan (probably pointless). There is no baby. It’s a blighted ovum – another name for what Tamara experienced. And it sucks worse than the name.

Of course the moment we came home, I ran to the computer to look for comparable images. Nine-week ultrasounds clearly have a fetus in the sac. I also found out if you have an inverted or tilted uterus, it may be more difficult to see the baby before 10 weeks. I emailed my midwife from Aiven’s pregnancy to ask if I have one of those because as much as I can rationally understand this baby was not meant to be, my heart still really wants the pregnancy to still be viable and thriving.

This wasn’t like my previous chemical pregnancy. I was never emotionally invested in that one because I was spotting the entire, albeit brief, time. But this one I felt good about. And nine weeks into it, you believe.

Two miscarriages in three months is tougher than I could have expected. As I mentioned in earlier posts, I really want Aiven to have a sibling, and I do not have time on my side. I need to have another baby soon. Later is not an option. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 22 2011

Miscarriage: To the Women Who Have Cried With Me

By at 11:03 am

There was time, not long ago actually, that women never spoke (let alone blabbed on the internet) about things such as cancer, infant death, miscarriage, or infidelity. They had these horrible things happen to them and were expected to pin a plastic smile on their face and sip tea while the world spun around them. Maybe it was because society wasn’t ready for that kind of pain, maybe it was because women thought it was somehow their fault their baby died/they got cancer/their husband was a cheating bastard or maybe just because they never found the words.

The day we were supposed to hear our baby’s heartbeat for the first time, I read this post and while I was still trying to be hopeful, I let myself contemplate what was soon-to-be our loss for the first time.  Not long after that, Cara posted of her chemical pregnancy and I shared in her sadness. By reading their stories, I was touched and grateful and inspired.

Sharing my loss was almost as hard as going through it and there were fleeting moments where I regret opening myself up about something so personal. But I couldn’t find a suitable smile to hide my pain, so I found the words. After posting my story I was instantly lifted up by heartfelt comments, emails and Facebook messages. My friends cried with me, our family enveloped us in prayers and strangers reached out to me.  But what was most surprising were the women who shared their own stories of loss.  Friends, family – women I’ve known for a minute and women I’ve known all my life dug down into that place where you put the memories that hurt and brought them up to help me heal. From those stories new tears and old tears mixed together until we were just women who share yet another thing in common. I am in awe of each and every person who has reached out to me over the last week. Read the rest of this entry →

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