Tag Archives: mother

That time my humble blog post went viral

I have a very humble blog, which before I wrote this post had about four readers, one of which was my mother. But a few days after I wrote that post, my email inbox was flooded with notifications that people had commented on it. I was floored. I had no idea such a post would resonate with so many families. Apparently that lady in the elevator and I were very much not alone in having to bear rude and impertinent comments from (sometimes well-meaning) strangers about our very personal decisions regarding our families.

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How to comfort and be there for someone experiencing a miscarriage

A dear friend gave me the inspiration for this post. Many women suffer through miscarriages alone because they are afraid of what their friends and family will do or say. And for good reason! Some people said the most outrageous things to me after my miscarriages, like, “maybe you should just go ahead and get your tubes tied,” or “when are you going to just get over it?” Or the worst one: “At least you didn’t lose a real baby!”

Before I begin on how to comfort someone dealing with miscarriage, let me first describe to you how she might be feeling about the whole thing right now. As anyone who has been pregnant knows, you feel an instant connection with the little human in your womb from the instant you see that positive pregnancy test. You love him/her (them!) already. From the moment you realize you’re pregnant, it consumes 99% of your thoughts and feelings. And when you realize you are miscarrying, you feel like one of your children has died. Probably because one of your children has died. And I’m not comparing it to when someone has lost a child who had already been born because that is ludicrous. You don’t see mothers who have lost 20 year olds trying to compare their grief to mothers who have lost 5 year olds. It is incomparable other than the fact that they are all grieving. My point is that mothers who have experienced miscarriage should be allowed to grieve too. Which brings me to my first bit of advice:

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Our struggle with miscarriages

When I got married, we were avoiding getting pregnant because we were still in law school and wanted a few years “just to enjoy each other.” Because I am Catholic, we were practicing natural family planning . Well, since the failure rate of NFP is strictly human error and we were newlyweds, I ended up getting pregnant much sooner than expected. Two months into our marriage, in fact. Due to our culture’s attitude toward pregnancy (namely, that if you aren’t a 35 year old married millionaire, your Life. Is. Over), I was duly horrified and grief stricken.
I informed my husband and our family, and was pleasantly surprised that everyone was really happy and excited about it. It is amazing how after the initial shock of discovering you are pregnant, you really start getting excited about it yourself. At about six weeks pregnant, I started bleeding. After a pretty traumatic trip to the ER, I was informed I was miscarrying. I felt like I should be relieved to hear that (I mean, I was so upset about finding out I was pregnant in the first place), but all I felt was incredibly sad. I grieved the loss of our baby.
Some friends and family members were very kind and supportive after our miscarriage. They brought us food and sent us sweet notes. Others were noticeably confused by my reaction. It made me feel confused at how sad I was, which made me feel even worse.
After about a year, I was overwhelmed by an irresistible case of baby fever. My first pregnancy had transformed me into this baby hungry woman that never in my wildest dreams I thought I would be. I was going to be a lawyer, for heaven’s sake! My husband and I got pregnant a second time, and I was ecstatic.
Eight weeks into the pregnancy, I started bleeding again. My heart sank into my feet. We went to the ER again. Tears filled my eyes in the waiting room as I asked my husband the question I was terrified to ask out loud, but it had to be said. What if I can’t have children? My husband assured me that we would deal with it together, and adopt if that is what we feel called to do. I nodded, knowing that was the perfect answer, but the tears wouldn’t stop. The ultrasound tech turned the screen away from us, and refused to answer any questions. All she said was, “are you on fertility treatments?” “No,” we answered, confused. They sent us home to make an appointment with my OB, befuddled and scared.
My OB informed me I was pregnant with eight week old twins, and there were no heartbeats. He was going to give it another day to measure my hcg levels to make sure the twins were dead, and if so, schedule a D&C. My levels dropped, and the D&C was scheduled. We went to the hospital for my surgery, and a nun walked into the room while I was being prepped for surgery. We asked her to pray for us.
Everyone was just as kind this second time. I was so grief stricken, I didn’t know what to do. I never in a million years would have guessed that we would struggle with recurrent miscarriage. I scoured the internet for answers and asked my OB what we should do. He told me I could spend lots of money frustrating myself trying to figure out our underlying issue, and quite possibly never find any answers. He told me that before I tried that, to follow his advice. I agreed and here is what he told me:
1) Gain weight. I was about 103 lbs at the time. He advised that I gain about 20 lbs. That seemed IMPOSSIBLE at the time, but I managed 10 lbs drinking 1 Boost a day.
2) Wait at least three normal menstral cycles before trying to conceive again. This also seemed impossible, but we waited.
3) When we got pregnant again, he immediately put me on progesterone supplements, just in case it was an inadequate progesterone level problem.
4) I also took low dose aspirin every day once I found out I was pregnant (internet research suggestion). My OB said that this was a total placebo, but let me do it if it made me feel like I was helping.
5) My OB was sweet enough to let me come in every other week of my first trimester just to watch my baby grow on the ultrasound.
6) I didn’t consume any caffeine the first trimester (another internet research suggestion).

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