Dec 8 2014
From the moment I discovered that I was pregnant, I was ready, working to ensure that my baby would be as healthy as he or she could be. Yes to lots of fruits and vegetables. No to nitrates or cured meats or sushi (a particularly difficult one for me). No to Caesar salads, yes to the flu shot (after wonderful advice from my doctor). Yes to telling immediate family. No to telling anyone else… yet. Yes to dreaming up names and possibilities for a future my husband and I could only imagine. Yes to the excitement and even the sense of overwhelming responsibility of the enormous tasks that lay ahead. Each step pondered, considered, and thought out.
From the moment I discovered I was pregnant, it was all about control. Control over what I ate, where I went, and the plan I set for the future.
How different the world looks now, almost six years since my first pregnancy. The initial moments of my pregnancy were all about embracing that control. Our lives now, however, are anything but. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 3 2014
I miscarried my first pregnancy.
In those days, the 1970s, nobody talked about miscarriage, so I grieved in silence. Only my husband and my mother knew.
In those days, doctors told you to wait a few months after a miscarriage before trying to get pregnant again. During those months, I found a lump in my breast.
In those days, the doctors recommended waiting a few months to see if the lump would go away by itself–maybe it was an enlarged milk duct from the pregnancy, they suggested.
It wasn’t. It was a tumor. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 1 2014
It has been over 10 years since my journey to motherhood began. I know I am lucky that my three perfect daughters are healthy, and I am living the life I always wanted.
So why do I still cry when I hear a friend is pregnant? Why do I still cry when I see a newborn in her mother’s arms? Why do I still feel jealousy when people complain about their accidental pregnancies that came unexpectedly and proceed uneventfully?
When my husband and I decided that we were ready for kids, it seemed that the path to becoming a mother would be an easy one. I was pregnant within months. We were elated. But elation was replaced by shock as I miscarried a month into the pregnancy. This was not supposed to happen! Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 25 2014
It finally happened. Six years, 14 IVF cycles, eight pregnancies, and we finally took our little girl home. She’s healthy, happy, and growing like a weed. In my wildest dreams (and there was plenty of time to dream!), I never imagined the amount of happiness and peace we would find in our tiny daughter.
But while our daughter fills a special place in my heart, we are still struggling with our faith. Though my husband and I were raised Orthodox, as I’ve written before, the last six years have made both of us lose our faith in God. For our one daughter, we’ve had to say goodbye to 10 other babies. That makes it too damn hard to believe that there is a God who is in charge.
With our first diagnosis of severe male factor infertility, we didn’t question God. Infertility was a challenge, but that kind of thing happens. Everyone has some kind of challenge. We were lucky to have each other, a happy marriage, and stable finances. No one can skate too easily through life, right? IVF was a mountain, but not insurmountable. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 6 2014
I will never forget how I felt the first time a friend told me she had a miscarriage. We worked together and were leaving the office to get coffee one day (about 12 years ago). Before we even reached the elevators she blurted out, “I had a miscarriage yesterday.” I just stood there speechless, staring at her with what must have been an extremely odd expression on my face. I was truly shocked. In my social circle we did not talk about things like that so openly.
I gathered my courage and attempted to summon up inspiring and helpful words but good lord, nothing came. I had no idea what to say to her!
We finally made it into the elevator and she kept talking which made me more at ease. SHE had to make ME feel more at ease.
When I returned to my desk, after what seemed like hours, I started to do research on miscarriage. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 15 2014
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 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
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
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
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 →