Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bad Days

(I never really planned to write about this, but I'm hormonal and alone. So here I go.)

Today should have been the thirteenth birthday of my first child. He was never born. I lost him at four months. I don't even know if he was a he. But I called him Gus.

Some people think that a pregnancy loss that early is a blessing. They assume that you didn't really have time to become attached to the child. But anyone who has been in that situation knows the truth. That you have picked out names and cribs and colleges by the time the pee on the stick is dry.

When I started to hemorrhage I couldn't be grateful that I hadn't started to show or that I hadn't bought any diapers.

The miscarriage was bad enough. I wanted that child. But I think worse than the loss of the pregnancy, was the lack of support I got. The callousness, carelessness and even cruelty of the emergency room doctors. The coldness and distance of my husband -- we were young and he was as lost as I was. He didn't know what to say, so he said nothing. My family was far away, and I had no close friends. I didn't talk about it. I learned to never mention it because it seemed that whenever I did someone would say some asshanded moronic thing like "it just wasn't meant to be" or "you can try again" or the utterly ridiculous "God wasn't ready to let him out of heaven yet."

But that was ages ago. It occurs to me that if the same thing happened to me now, I would have someone to listen. The internet is a treasure trove of understanding. Whole communities of women who have suffered the same loss, and are willing to be honest about how it affected them.

I think, back then, someone suggested I go to the library and check out a book on loss and mourning. That was crap. No book would tell me it was OK to cry and yell and swear and hate the universe. Books suggested things like going to church or having a mock funeral for the child, then putting on a happy face and getting back on the horse.

There are people now, strangers to me, who would have fully supported my drinking binge, crying jag, and/or tri-state crime spree. They wouldn't allow me to blame myself.

But like I said. Ages ago. I do think losing Gus shaped the way I mourn and the person that I am.

There were other losses but I am a mother now. And I have recovered. Mostly. Although I haven't ruled out the tri-state crime spree.


  1. Is there an equivalent of the "like" button you can check when you read something sad or emotional that someone has expressed very beautifully but saying you "like" it is not quite the right thing for those reasons? If there were I would check that button.

  2. I want to wrap my heart around your heart in a hug. I don't know what to say that won't sound trite or shallow, but I am so sorry you went through it and that you had to do it alone.

  3. Because I know how it feels to look down when it starts and say "oh no" only to understand exactly what's coming I want to run back 13 years and give you a helping hand.
    p.s. tri state crime sprees are theraputic but troublesome in the long run.

  4. I'm sorry! It is very sad that you were so alone.

  5. Thanks guys. For reading. And for the support.

  6. I'm with Eric and Elly. There should be a big squishy hug button to click after reading this post. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. We lost our first 13 years ago as well, at a little past 10 weeks. We were both so young and lost. Your post has brought those memories back. Thank you. I don't like forgetting times like that. I'm funny that way. I like to touch my scars.

  7. Tom, thank you. I think about those losses less now that I have a family, but I never want to forget.


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