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Bust a Myth! Miscarriage Marathon

28 Apr

Ok – I’m kind of over talking about the ectopic. I need a distraction, and I need to vent some bitter.

Plus – I wouldn’t be doing my blogging duty if I didn’t bust a myth in honor of NIAW.

I know. I’m taking a break from my miscarriage by talking about miscarriages. The irony is not lost on me. I enjoy irony.

So without further ado I give you my own myth busting – Miscarriage Marathon edition! All of the following are sentences that people have actually said to me. Followed by reactions that I was too polite to give them at the time. But screw polite. This is blogging. Bring on the bitter!

  1. Hey! At least you can GET pregnant! Um, yeah. So? My husband has super sperm. That’s awesome and all. But so far, no matter how many eggs his mega man-seed has managed to fertilize, not one of them has been willing to hang out in my uterus. In fact, two of them decided to skip my uterus altogether. This means that so far, we can’t bring a baby into this world without medical intervention. And unlike other conditions, there’s a chance this will never truly be resolved, and I won’t be able to carry a baby to term. Something that scares the bejeezus out of me. Hence – the pregnancies so far aren’t really helping us with the whole “becoming parents” thing.
  2. It was never really a baby – so why are you so sad? This one really makes me mad. And you’d be surprised how often I get this from people. The second a woman finds out she is pregnant – especially if that pregnancy is wanted and planned – the baby exists. She loves that baby. The baby has a whole lifetime of potential from the moment the woman knows the baby exists. Let me clarify. For me, this isn’t a religious issue. I’m a heathen, as most of my regular readers know. I have no real opinion as to when precisely “life” happens. But for me, the moment I knew there was a baby growing inside me, that baby was real and loved. And losing that baby was devastating. Even if it wasn’t “real.” In my heart it was real from the moment I knew it was there.
  3. Just relax! Yes – multiple miscarriers get this just as much as other infertiles do. Let me break it down for you: Once you lose a baby, whether it’s in week 3 or in week 30 (SM forbid) YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO RELAX DURING A PREGNANCY. I mean, you’ll try. You’ll go to yoga, you’ll get acupuncture, you’ll meditate, you’ll go to therapy, and basically, you’ll do everything in your power to relax. Heck – sometimes you’ll succeed. But guess what? Your stress level will have no effect on whether you miscarry or not. News Flash: Telling a woman who has miscarried multiple times to “relax” is a double blow. The first slap in the face is that she really can’t relax. The definition of crazy is to do the same thing every time expecting different results. Hence, for us RPLers (that’s repeat pregnancy loss), sanity means that getting pregnant will most likely result in yet another devastating loss. Not worrying about it is not an option.  The second slap in the face comes because telling a multiple miscarrier to relax implies that she has some control over the situation, and therefore losing another baby will somehow be her fault. This last go-round I was having a grand old time – not even aware I was preggo, and relaxed as all heck. Apparently a fertilized egg does not take your mental state into consideration when deciding where it should dig in. Heck – it could be that me relaxing told my little embryo: “hey there buckaroo – just chill. No need to move any more. This tube here looks nice and comfy, so dig in.”
  4. Well, at least you’re healthy! Um – no. Repeat pregnancy loss is a disease. This is why in every blood test order I get I have the words “patient under observation” stamped unceremoniously next to my name. In fact, in my case – with multiple ectopics, my life is at risk. I have thus far been lucky and nothing has burst on me. Hopefully my next little buckaroo decides to make it to the right spot. But if he or she doesn’t – it is life threatening. A tube could burst, causing internal bleeding. That’s scary, huh? Now maybe you get why I’m having a bit of a hard time with the whole relaxing thing.
  5. Don’t tell people you’re preggo until you hit the second trimester! Ok, this one really gets me miffed. After my first miscarriage, when I felt alone and scared and needed support, I actually had to make several calls to friends telling them: “I’m pregnant and I didn’t tell you and now I’m miscarrying and I need you.” How stupid is that? It’s that kind of misguided thinking that makes couples who go through pregnancy loss feel so isolated. It’s a stupid superstition, that perpetuates guilt and isolation. I was apparently surrounded by women who had miscarried, and I didn’t know about it until after I joined their “secret miscarrier society”. Let me tell you this: had anyone bothered to tell my husband and I that miscarriages are actually rather common, then maybe we would have been more emotionally prepared the first time around. Instead, we went around with stupid “we’re preggo!” grins on our faces and collapsed completely when we weren’t anymore. We felt isolated and alone. My husband and I have a very clear cut rule now: If you’re gonna tell them about a miscarriage, you may as well tell them about the pregnancy. And since we’re very open about our miscarriages, ON PRINCIPLE we tell people about the pregnancies. This way we have a support system in place in case things go wrong. And so far – they’ve just gone wrong. So that makes me think we’re on to something. Actually, I tell complete strangers about my miscarriages. Not only on this blog. And I don’t care if it’s creepy. It’s my little way of rebelling against this ridiculous, destructive taboo.
  6. You’re not really infertile! You don’t count! See number 1. Oh, and by the way, we’ve also passed the “trying for a year mark” with no successful pregnancy. So there.  And also: There is a common thread to infertility. There are common themes, no matter what your condition is. Yeah, I can get pregnant. But, like any other infertile woman:
  • I am a walking encyclopedia of fertility facts
  • I take so many pills and supplements, that yes – I actually do have an app for that.
  • I’ve seen more doctors and had more blood drawn in the last year than my entire previous thirty years of life combined.
  • I get anxious when my close friends get pregnant
  • I have a hard time seeing pregnant women in public.
  • I am jealous of women who get pregnant and give birth easily
  • I feel like my body has betrayed me
  • I constantly deal with the unknown in a very real, in your face kind of way
  • My hope gets built up and shattered on a regular basis
  • I feel like I have no control over my future
  • I will never have an “innocent” pregnancy
  • I sometimes feel like less of a woman
  • My life has veered away from the ideal fantasy I thought it would be.
  • My body has been tested and pushed to its limit
  • I feel like my body has betrayed me. Yeah. I already wrote that one. But it’s a pretty big one. Let me write it again. I feel like my body has betrayed me.

So yeah. I count. I’m an infertile. And you know what? I’m proud of the title. I think I earned it with my sweat, cramps, tears and blood (oh so much of that) in the last year. It’s a badge of honor. I’m proud to wear it. Though – you know – for other reasons it kind of sucks. But it also means being a part of this community. And that in itself has completely changed my life for the better. So you know, it’s neither here nor there. Or it’s both. Or maybe it’s just ironic. Now I’m rambling.

Oh – one more thing – I usually don’t ask people to do this. But what I wrote here is really important to me. I think it’s important for people to know about it. Please click on one of the lovely share buttons on the bottom of this post and help me bust a myth! (Cause honestly I’m still in a bit of pain from the ectopic and busting a move is kind of hard, and I’d like to bust something. Myths are better than household objects, don’t you think?)

And also – if you want more information about infertility, please do visit resolve.org’s wonderful resource: http://www.resolve.org/infertility101

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33 Responses to “Bust a Myth! Miscarriage Marathon”

  1. Christina April 28, 2011 at 02:02 #

    Way to bust that myth! It’s crazy that people actually say these things. Infertility isn’t just about conceiving. It’s about a reproductive issue that keeps you from delivering a happy, healthy baby.

    I agree with you about the ALI community. I feel like a whole new woman after finding all these people going through similar struggles. It’s personal growth and interconnection all at that same time.

    Wishing you continued recovery. XO.

    • Mo April 28, 2011 at 20:42 #

      Thanks!

  2. missohkay April 28, 2011 at 02:49 #

    Excellent, excellent post. I have thought about blogging all of these things – esp. 2, 3, & 6.

    • Mo April 28, 2011 at 20:43 #

      Thanks hon. 2 and 3 really get to me too. People can be so stoopid.

  3. Kristen April 28, 2011 at 03:29 #

    Great post. I’ve heard all these things (except #6, but I’m totally with you on your position about that). None of them are helpful.
    And regarding #5…it’s funny, I’ve told a number of people about the pregnancy/miscarriage that I hadn’t told I was pregnant…so I guess it didn’t make any sense to keep the pregnancy to ourselves for the first trimester, huh?
    Hope you’re doing OK today…
    xo

    • Mo April 28, 2011 at 20:45 #

      #6 was told to me by a close friend the other day. She was in shock that I called myself “infertile”. Thanks for thinking of me *hugs*

  4. Esperanza April 28, 2011 at 03:58 #

    I love that you busted just about every myth in the book! Thank you! I think you’re the only other blogger I know who tackled miscarriage (like me). I hope someone who’s said those things to you reads this and learns something.

    Thanks for posting this!

    • Mo April 28, 2011 at 20:45 #

      Wow. I’m blushing. thanks!

  5. Kristin April 28, 2011 at 04:19 #

    Although infertility isn’t something I’d wish on anyone, it is a title I fully accept. You’ve definitely earned that label too and it sucks.

    {{{Hugs}}} and great post.

    • Mo April 28, 2011 at 20:46 #

      Sucks yes. But also freeing and empowering on a lot of levels. *hugs*

  6. zygotta April 28, 2011 at 04:21 #

    thank you for this post

    my closest friend lost 4 pregnancies over the past 2 years (and her tube actually did burst…) – it really helps me better see what’s happening inside her

    personally for me in my early stages – #5 was especially eye-opening. I will stick to the “if you’ll tell them about a miscarriage, tell about a pregnancy” rule.

    • Mo April 28, 2011 at 20:47 #

      Thanks zygotta. I’m really glad I can foster some understanding with this. ESPECIALLY #5. I hope you go by that too when you get your BFP!

  7. Libby April 28, 2011 at 04:55 #

    People say the dumbest stuff. We adopted and people ask if we ever still are going to have a baby “of our own.”

    • Mo April 28, 2011 at 20:47 #

      OMG who are those people and can I please hit them?

  8. Mrs. Gamgee April 28, 2011 at 04:55 #

    Thank you for writing this post! After two losses and a rather challenging (but ultimately successful) pregnancy, I have still had these insensitive comments thrown at me. In fact, I’ve had #3 twice in the last week…

    Sending hope and prayers for your recovery and journey on this road.

    • Mo April 28, 2011 at 20:48 #

      Thanks hon. Much love to you!

  9. Shmerson April 28, 2011 at 07:50 #

    look! between your legs! is it lube? is it mucus? IT’S SUPER SPERM!

    sorry. had to.

    • Mo April 28, 2011 at 20:48 #

      Shmerson you is a crazy.

  10. Fucking Infertility April 28, 2011 at 10:24 #

    Right on. After three ectopics I got an official diagnosis on a piece of paper: STERILITY. Infertility is NOT just about being able to make embryos. Those embryos are getting you nowhere if your tubes don’t work!

    • Mo April 28, 2011 at 20:48 #

      Hell to the yeah!!!

  11. slcurwin April 28, 2011 at 10:46 #

    The closest I’ve ever gotten to the “it wasn’t really a baby” was the Dr in emerg that during my second miscarriage that seemed set on convincing me that there had never been anything there. REALLY!? then why am I miscarrying, hey? I love me some great dumb-ass lack of logic.

    • Mo April 28, 2011 at 20:49 #

      A doctor?!?!? seriously? Wow. people can be such idiots.

      • slcurwin April 28, 2011 at 21:00 #

        Ya, I was more shocked by the sorce than anything else too. Asshat.

  12. k April 28, 2011 at 14:40 #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I stumbled upon your post from a RT while lying on the exam table after an IUI. Which also happens to occur on the first anniversary of a loss. Thank you so much for posting this- it came at the right moment for me. I wish you all the best in your recovery.

    • Mo April 28, 2011 at 20:49 #

      Wow K. Your comment literally had me in tears. I’m glad that the timing was right and I could help a little. Wishing you much luck with the IUI!!! xoxo

  13. Reusethematerialgirl April 28, 2011 at 23:14 #

    Thank you; you really put it into words. I know people mean well, but their comments can be so misguided. One of the worst parts of RPL, as you said, is the loss of “innocence” about pregnancy- our own and of others. Along with that I think we lose some of our suffering of fools. It’s why I’m grateful to have found “community” through blogging about these issues. Keep sharing and “busting!”

  14. marriage20 April 28, 2011 at 23:50 #

    Awesome, awesome post, Mo!! Yes. You are right on with this. Thank you!

  15. Mrs. Brightside April 29, 2011 at 01:44 #

    You said it, sister. And your timing could not be more perfect. I may have to link to this from my page, because it says all the things I don’t have the energy to say right now, and all the things I need to hear and be reminded of before I totally lose myself in a pool of self-blame and shame and despair. Thank you for your comment on my blog, and I’m just so sorry that this has been a really shitty week (and then some) for both of us.

  16. eighteenyears April 29, 2011 at 02:43 #

    My sister had a hard time getting pregnant, then lost a tube and almost died because of an ectopic pregnancy (and one in the uterus). She almost died and lost both babies. It was heartbreaking. Your post really captured so much of what people don’t understand about miscarriage. Thank you.

  17. jjiraffe April 30, 2011 at 10:04 #

    Did someone actually say number two to you? That’s awful. Great post.

  18. C April 30, 2011 at 17:42 #

    :::standing ovation:::

    From another Fertile Infertile. Or Infertile Fertile. Or whatever.

  19. sushigirl April 30, 2011 at 20:58 #

    I so know what you mean with number 6. I was so frightened of having another ectopic after my first one that getting my last tube out during my second ep was a relief. I am still terrified that I will have a corneal ectopic.

    And if I’d been more ‘relaxed’ about it and not given a dozy doc a kick up the bum by insisting on a scan and monitoring when I started bleeding heavily, then there’s a chance I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this!

  20. Stinky May 1, 2011 at 08:31 #

    wow, great post, but shite that you have had all this resources to make it.
    I often see mc and infertility as hand-in-hand, although struggled to put myself in the ‘infertility’ camp (Mr Stinky carries a translocation and has low count) – am infertile by proxy.

    Love to you

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