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The Grief Still Remains

2 Jan

I have a friend who I’ve known for almost 17 years. We have been close from the time I was a stupid 16 year old, and for some reason he’s stuck around, for which I am eternally grateful. Our friendship isn’t a day-to-day affair, but when we talk, our conversations are always meaningful. He knows me as well as anyone could. As I know him.

I’ve mentioned him here before – Ababaderech. He and his partner of 14 years have started to pursue parenthood using a surrogate and donor eggs. When they were revving up for their first foray into IVF, I felt useful, spending hours waxing philosophical about fert reports, egg retrievals, and transfers. When he needed help navigating the waters of parenthood through ART, I am proud to say that I helped him as much as I possibly could.

When they started the journey, Ababaderech decided to blog about it (the blog is in Hebrew – sorry English speakers that you won’t be able to read his amazing writing). He told me at the time that the blog was inspired by me. I was honored to know this. He writes so beautifully, and I am moved by the fact that I somehow helped bring this man’s amazing words to light.

Two weeks ago, he and his partner were PUPO for the firsttime. Yesterday, we spoke and he told me that their first transfer ended in a chemical pregnancy.

I spent most of our conversation being technical. Talking about beta numbers, chances of success with the type of transfer they opted for, bla bla bla.

But I wasn’t really present in that conversation.

A few minutes before beginning this post, I caught up on Ababaderech’s blog. His latest post talks about the chemical pregnancy, and quotes me as saying that a baby is a baby once the hope of it begins in your heart. And quotes me again as saying that our children are out there, waiting for the right time to come into this world and meet us.

Then Ababaderech writes beautifully, in words far more eloquent than I have ever been able to find for my own losses (I’m paraphrasing while translating): “I drive while my partner nods off to sleep next to me. He opens his eyes every once in a while asking me if we are close to home. I don’t tell him ‘No, it didn’t work and we have to try going home again’. I tell him ‘yes my love, we will be home soon’….”

Reading these words I doubled over in tears and a grief that hasn’t gripped me in months. Grief for their two little embabies that didn’t make it. Grief for my friend, whom I didn’t support enough yesterday when I heard his bad news. Grief for my own babies, which I have been suppressing for months in an effort to make it through this pregnancy.

If it wasn’t so late over here, I would have called Ababaderech immediately and apologized, telling him how I love him, how I’m sorry I wasn’t more connected to him when he told me the news yesterday. But it’s past midnight, and I’m sure he’s asleep. And so instead I’m writing here – knowing that he’ll find this post in his inbox tomorrow morning and he’ll know how much he is loved, always, and how he inspires me to be better.

I have floated through the last three months in mostly a detached haze. I try to be happy. But little things remind me of the fear of loss and the grief that still lay beneath the surface. The panic attack I had last night while worrying about the upcoming scan. The moments in the day sometimes when I run to the doppler just to hear my baby’s heart one more time, just to be sure. Is it any wonder that I barely speak to any of my friends? Post here less and less often? Comment so infrequently on all of your posts? Have mostly meaningless conversations with the people who mean the most to me?

Ababaderech just pulled me back down to earth with an enormous crash. It took his repeating my own words to make me feel this fear and this grief fully once again.

So here I am, doubled over in grief for my three babies, for Ababaderech’s two. For JM’s failed transfer. For Kelly’s. For Marie’s loss. For Courtney’s unimaginable 4. For PM. For SLC. For Starfishkitty. For Esperanza. For MySkyTimes. For Mrs. Brightside. For EmbracingtheRain. For Slowmomma. For Elphaba. For BIBC. For Misfit Mrs. For the Advocat. For St. Elsewhere. For Kristen. For MJ. For ADSchill. For A. For AlexMMR. For Chon. For Missohkay. For thePortofIndecision. For Stinky. For Kristin. For so many more of you that I follow every day. For every one of you who has lost a baby, whether real or fantasized about. Whether embryo, or a follicle, or born too soon or with too many complications.

Pregnancy doesn’t “fix” grief. I am not “better.” I am coasting, trying my best not to let the fear of loss swallow me each and every day. As each and every day I love this baby more and more. I get more attached to the idea of him or her entering our life in June. And with that the fear continues. Statistics may be in our favor, but we here all know how much statistics are worth when we’re on the bad side of them. That is the curse of the ALI community. There isn’t a bad statistic we can’t get behind.

So now I cry and grieve and let myself feel the weight of my losses. For Ababaderech and his beautiful outlook, his amazing peace and acceptance – something which I have always loved and envied him for. For all of the women who I follow, and speak to, and read. For all of the women who come to this blog every day.

I hope our children are all helping each other find their way to us. I hope we get to watch them play together one day.

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22 Responses to “The Grief Still Remains”

  1. mrs. brightside January 2, 2012 at 02:13 #

    Okay, now I’m sobbing. I’m starting to feel a little unbalanced from the drugs and teetering on tears all day, and here they come. I’m touched you thought of me — seeing that list of all our names just broke my heart in two. So much collective pain, sadness, determination. I’m sorry for your friend and their disappointment, and the long road home. I hope we all can get there soon.

  2. Alissa January 2, 2012 at 02:17 #

    This was a beautiful post. Thank you for thinking of my babies and for dreaming of our future ones.

  3. chon January 2, 2012 at 02:33 #

    oh god I am work and have tears in my eyes and holding back the full on sob. Pregnancy after loss doesn’t fix anything it doesn’t make you forget the 5 failed transfers that could have been babies if we had identified NK cells earlier. As I get closer to my original “due date” I am thankful every day that I have this baby on board but it doesn’t make me forget about the one I lost so unnecessarily. And please don’t ever say that your writing is not eloquent it is beautiful as so aptly displayed here. Big huge massive hugs for our ALI sisters and brothers.

  4. slcurwin January 2, 2012 at 03:15 #

    Our initial reactions aren’t alays what we wish they would be. Its hard. Others in grief always reminds us of our own. He would understand.

  5. jell jell @ I'll Sleep When They're Grown January 2, 2012 at 05:30 #

    That was wonderfully written and I hope therapeutic for you. This touched my heart.

  6. Christina January 2, 2012 at 07:02 #

    I’m straight up *Balling* here. If your friend is far more eloquent and better writer than you, I’m kinda glad I can’t read hebrew. I would be a full-blown, sobbing, snotty mess.

    don’t beat yourself up over retreating into your little “bubble”. It keeps the world from making your drag yourself across the ground. It is nice to view pregnancy with some “blinders” on, actually get some enjoyment out of it and keep the fear at bay for a bit. Heck, I’m on the brink of meeting our LO, but the fear, loss and grief are still there, still fresh and raw if I take a minute to actually think on it.

    I’m also sure that Ababaderech is aware of how much you love him and that you weren’t just blowing him off (especially not after this post). I am very very sorry for his, his partner and the surrogate’s loss. I think “chemical” is such a harsh and impersonal term for early, early pregnancy loss. I hope they are able to try again and the 2nd time results in all their hopes and dreams coming true.

  7. jjiraffe January 2, 2012 at 08:15 #

    What a lovely, beautiful post. It’s hard to see all the names of those who are mourning losses, but I’m so glad you recognized them: so often our miscarriages aren’t seen as something to mourn at all by friends and family, but I know that I will mourn mine until the day I die. And I am so sorry about your friend. (((Hugs)))

  8. Heather January 2, 2012 at 09:56 #

    A beautiful post, Mo, and a wonderful tribute to your friend and all of us who have experienced loss in some way or another. You are a very special person who can acknowledge grief and be real and yet still leave some hope. Sending more hope and hugs your way.

  9. St. Elsewhere January 2, 2012 at 15:19 #

    Before anything else, I just sent out a prayer for Ababaderech and his partner, and their surrogate, and the embryos that did not make it.

    His ‘driving home’ incident really sends the pain home…

    I am glad you have each other…that you can talk to each other, and offer meaningful support to one another.

    This curling up and hitting the ground…I know what that feels like Mo. I attempt to be a normal pregnant. But I know that I know far too much to be a normal pregnant. Maybe we are all dented that way.

    That when people tell me smilingly that God won’t be cruel twice, I don’t know if I should agree to that unflinchingly…it’s just all too complex.

    Take Care of yourself, and the baby…and I hope that there will be a positive breakthrough for Ababaderech and his partner. But his heart will remain broken for these lost possibilities. I know that.

  10. Kristen January 2, 2012 at 21:08 #

    Oh, wow, this is such a beautiful post. And thank you so much for mentioning me. I’m glad you are letting yourself feel these things. I’ve been having such a hard time with greiving my past losses (instead I just try not to think about it) and trusting that everything can and will go right in the future. I’ve been laying awake with awful scenarios of how everything might go wrong…but lately I’ve been trying really hard to picture everything going right, and that’s been really good for me. I just picture 2 happy healthy babies that we LOVE having (this is the only thing I really care about), nursing going well and no post-partum depression (2 things I’m afraid of) ,a good job for my husband once he graduates, a beautiful house we can afford, friends and family…there’s no reason all this won’t come true, right?!?
    I’m so sorry about your friend’s loss…
    XO

  11. nobabiesyet January 2, 2012 at 21:31 #

    That was absolutely beautiful. Thank you do much for writing and sharing. I’m so thankful that you continue to mourn and grieve for yours and others losses I sometimes feel like I’m holding onto the pain but that’s all I have from my lost baby so I’m holding on to that.

  12. bodegabliss January 2, 2012 at 22:04 #

    I’m so sorry for your friend’s loss. That was a heartbreaking quote from his blog. I will send my thoughts and prayers to them as they go through this.

    This was a beautiful post, Mo. Thank you for writing it and for recognizing those of us that have had loss. I’ve been thinking a lot about you and how you’ve been so good at trying to stay positive…I knew the fear had to still be there, but I’ve been proud of you for being able to overcome it to a point. I just wish it were easier for you all around. You deserve that. I can’t tell you how happy I am that you’re as far along as you are…I know I haven’t said it much, but I truly am (and I know you know that).

    Thank you for this honest and real post. Love you times infinity. xoxo

  13. Emily @ablanket2keep January 3, 2012 at 02:10 #

    I am so very sorry for your friend’s loss. That quote from his blog was beautiful and brought me to tears. There is so much hope in his words.

    That was a beautiful post. I obviously can’t imagine what all of you have gone through, but I am glad you are able to let it out. Your last thought is so nice and I can just picture it.

  14. Esperanza January 3, 2012 at 07:12 #

    This was a truly beautiful post Mo. Thank you for sharing this.

  15. Rachel @ Eggs In A Row January 3, 2012 at 21:51 #

    Gorgeous post. And also HEARTBREAKING. I’m so sorry for Ababaderech and also for the many names you wrote…and the even more hiding in the background…

  16. slowmamma January 4, 2012 at 02:19 #

    Such a beautiful post. I’m so sorry for Abadaderech and all of us who have had to endure this heartbreak. What you say about our relationship to statistics rings so true. It changes you forever and, even once on the other side, with a baby to bring home, it simply refuses to go away.

  17. Mrs. Corrock January 4, 2012 at 04:20 #

    Beautifully written. I find myself crying out of no where every once in a while… what could have been. no memorial. no consequence. no physical remembrance. Makes those miscarriages harder.

    Thinking of your friend.

  18. cattiz j January 4, 2012 at 16:12 #

    I’m so sorry for your friend, for you Mo and everyone out there who have had the awful experience of loss. Not fair at all. This is a really moving post.

  19. RelaxedNoMore January 4, 2012 at 16:46 #

    Big hug for you, and big hug for your friend, his partner, and their surrogate.

  20. SRB January 4, 2012 at 23:53 #

    I *heart* you. Like, a lot.

    My heart still aches for all of us. A big hug, and then another one, for all you no matter where you are on in your journey in this moment.

  21. embracingtherain January 5, 2012 at 06:13 #

    Mo, I’m crying now too. So sorry to Ababaderech and his partner for their loss. I’m in grief with you for all of us. Thank you so much for writing and sharing this post. (((((hugs)))))

  22. internalplumbingissues January 6, 2012 at 12:51 #

    Wow just wow, beautiful post, anyone who has been through this will understand, you have articulated what I have felt yet again Mo, thankyou x x x Lou x x x

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