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Hopeful for the New Year

I, for one, am not sad to see 2013 go. It’s been a rough year for me. I haven’t been blogging about it – haven’t been blogging about much of anything, actually – and I think it is time for an update.IMG_5374 2013 started with a miscarriage in progress, finally ending with a D&C on January 4. I grieved that lost pregnancy openly on this blog. It was therapeutic for me to blog about it and to feel support from women who had had similar experiences, or at least had empathy for the magnitude of love and hope that comes with a pregnancy. I started to feel better. I was confident that I would be pregnant again soon, and that was the obvious way to fill the gaping hole in my heart.

In the spring, I watched seedlings poke through wet dirt. Our neighborhood burst with color and new life, and I felt hopeful. But as the days grew longer and hotter, I felt sadder and sadder.  I still wasn’t pregnant. My previous due date came and went, now just another day, but such a heavy one for me. Cee and I sorted through newborn clothes in our hot attic, not for a new baby for our family, but to lend to a friend. Cee asked to keep a few onesies for her baby doll. I showed her how to fasten the snaps and then sent her downstairs so I could cry.

In August, I had another miscarriage, this time very early. Then, another one in October, early again (and thankfully spontaneous) but far enough out that I let myself think ahead to another summer due date. That one really crushed me. I know miscarriage is common, and it’s easy to chalk the first up to bad luck. But by the third time around, I had really lost faith in my body. It has failed, repeatedly, to do one of the things I feel it was always meant to do. I’ve always wanted children, and the family that I have, for which I am exceedingly grateful every day, doesn’t feel complete. There’s still a gaping hole here, and it’s only gotten bigger.

Meanwhile, Cee turned three in November. I know my sadness has affected her, and it’s affected my parenting, because my emotional reserve is just plain depleted. I am working hard at being enough for her and at assuring her that she is enough for me. (And she is. She really is. I’ve come to terms with that, most days anyway.)

But Cee would be such an amazing big sister. She is obsessed with babies. She cares for her baby doll tenderly all day long. She also has a set of imaginary friends collectively known as “Baby’s cousins,” whom she visits and calls on the phone several times per day. And most days, Cee walks around with her belly stuck out for a few minutes, telling us that she has a baby in her tummy. Sometimes she rubs her tummy and then lifts a new baby out, like a genie from a bottle. She holds this tiny, invisible baby delicately in her arms and tells me that her name is Alice. “You want to hold her, Mama?” I play along, but it is such an eerie, painful game. I haven’t talked to Cee about wanting another baby, but she’s sharp, and she knows, through her three-year-old lens. It’s as if she’s trying to fill my emptiness with her play.

And, of course, this holiday season was tough. For most of last year’s season, I was pregnant and blissfully unaware that it was failing inside of me. As we went through the holiday rituals this year, my latest memories were of that pregnancy. I didn’t really feel like putting on a happy face for holiday parties, and nobody wants to talk about your latest miscarriage around the punch bowl. Passing the anniversary of the ultrasound showing my failed pregnancy felt like crossing over into the current reality. It was a relief. In December, we also did a few baseline fertility tests, and they basically looked normal. That was reassuring.

I haven’t been blogging about this, and I’m not sure why. I know that blogging about my first miscarriage was extremely helpful to me, and I hoped that by writing about it, I would open the conversation to other women. But there is still a dark undercurrent of shame around miscarriage in our culture. A recent national survey was illuminating: American adults believe that miscarriage is rare, and they pretty much place the blame squarely on the woman. Survey respondents thought that miscarriage occurs in less than 6% of pregnancies, when in reality 15-20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. When asked to name the major causes of miscarriage, the two most common answers were stress and lifting a heavy object. This, again, is not the reality; most miscarriages are due to chance chromosomal abnormalities and can’t be prevented. Miscarriage is misunderstood, and that’s a burden on women carrying this quiet grief.

I know that my silence on this topic is in part about shame and vulnerability. But it’s also just been a little too raw for me to share. I seek out support carefully, and blogging and social media often open unfiltered conversations that are just draining to me now. I have been turning inward, dumping my fear and frustrations into my journals. Sometimes this strategy works well for me, but sometimes it swallows me up in loneliness.

My experience, both online and in real life, is that when I open up to another mom about how I’m feeling, two things usually happen. First, my load feels a little lighter. And second, she feels safe to tell me what she’s struggling with right now, too. We all struggle with something, and pretending otherwise hurts us all. It’s always hard for me to hit “Publish” on a personal blog post, but I’ve never regretted it.

And now, I have a book to finish. The last six months of writing have been slow and difficult. When I signed the book contract, I was pregnant, and I envisioned completing most of the manuscript while I prepared for the birth of that baby, giving me a non-negotiable deadline and personal motivation behind my research. Instead, the cycles of emotion that come with trying to conceive, and loss, have made it hard to sit down at my desk and write about… babies. I am still happiest when I am buried in the science, trying to make sense of it all. I just hope that I have the chance to use some of this mountain of knowledge as a mom again. The book is coming along, and I think it will be really great, but it isn’t where I want it to be yet. The manuscript is due in six months, and starting today (yay, resumption of childcare!), I’m putting my head down to finish it.

Anyway, I wanted to write today to let you know where I’ve been and also that I probably won’t be blogging much between now and July 1. I need some major focus and momentum to finish the book well, and I’m still teaching a couple of classes each term. In the meantime, I have a thick folder full of topics for future blog posts, and I’ll be back to blogging regularly after I finish the book manuscript.

And also, I’m okay. I feel ten times better today than I did a month ago. I survived December and have lots of hope for the New Year, and that hope doesn’t even feel entirely tied to a baby.

New Year’s Eve afternoon was unseasonably warm and sunny for Oregon in December. Our little family hiked up a local trail to catch the last few rays of the year.

IMG_5378The sky filled with pink and orange, and I pointed out the colors to Cee. “I think someone much have gone up there with a paintbrush and painted all those colors,” she said. Curious, I asked her who she thought might have done that. “Baby’s cousins,” she replied self-assuredly. Of course. It made me smile to think of an imaginary pack of kids painting the sky.

IMG_5383We let 2013 go with the sunset.

IMG_5393Then we turned around to hike down in the waning light. We spotted the first star of the night, and I made my quiet wish.

107 Comments
  1. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

    January 2, 2014
  2. Patricia #

    Thanks for sharing Alice. 2013 has been a most difficult year for many reasons. I long to see Sayers and Margaret and I carry them and all of the Green family in my heart always. Life is a mystery.

    Love you, Pattie

    Sent from my iPad

    Like

    January 2, 2014
    • Oh, I know Pattie. Sayers’ illness is another thing that leaves me staring out the window for long stretches. Life is indeed a mystery, and it certainly isn’t fair. Love to you, too.

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      January 2, 2014
  3. I commented on your last post about miscarriage – I had 4 before my son was born. Now he is 2 and we are trying again- and another miscarriage. As mine were mostly super early, I thought seeing the heart beat meant we were safe, but sadly no. I am now also resigning myself to the possibility of being a family of 3 and not 4, and it is hard to think about. In this culture it is assumed a) you will have kids plural and b) it is ok to ask about where you are in the process. It was hard enough listening to the questions before I had my son, but almost harder now. Why is 3 not enough?
    So I feel your pain about all of it; it might happen yet, but also, you need to prepare yourself that it might not. And you need to decide if your emotionally capable to try again. I’m not sure I am, and that’s another kind of pain altogether. Good luck and I will be thinking about you.

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    January 2, 2014
    • I’m so sorry. I know this would have been harder for me had it happened before Cee was born. Now I just feel incredibly lucky to have her. But having her also makes it hard to explain how desperately I want another child. And it means that we are now surrounded by families with children, most of them on their second or third ones.

      Anyway, I think you’re right. Recovering from the October miscarriage, at least so that I could get my work done and function as a parent, meant coming to a place of acceptance that we’ll be okay if we don’t have another child. And we will, really. We will also keep trying, for now, even though I know that at this point we run a high risk of more heartache.

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      January 2, 2014
  4. Thank you for bravely sharing this part of your life with us. I wish you peace in 2014, whatever it brings. And I am excited to read the book when it’s out 🙂

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    January 2, 2014
  5. Thanks for sharing… Sending you healing & hopeful thoughts! There is a wonderful book of stories of grief & loss in motherhood. I would definitely recommend it – http://momshar.com/2013/10/28/sunshine-after-the-storm-book-review/

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    January 2, 2014
    • This looks great. Thanks for the recommendation, Shari. And for the good thoughts:)

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      January 2, 2014
      • You’re very welcome! Good luck with the book as well 🙂

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        January 2, 2014
  6. Hey, Alice, I’m so sorry to hear this. I haven’t experienced it myself, but I have several friends who were on the multiple miscarriage cycle, and who came through it to complete their families. Most stopped at two children, for reasons I’m sure you understand well.

    In most cases, they simply kept trying until one stuck, but one particular friend went through 4 – 6 miscarriages in a row and sought help from a fertility specialist. She would get pregnant every month, and miscarry by 6 weeks. Ultimately, her doctor put her on Femara, not for ovulation help but because he said there was evidence that it could be helpful in cases like hers. Her next pregnancy was the keeper.

    At any rate, I thought I’d mention it, because I know she (also a scientist) swears by this drug. And if all you want and need is support while you keep trying, I have that for you, too. 🙂

    Happy New Year. I can’t wait to see your book.

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    January 2, 2014
    • Hi Rachael – I’ll definitely look into Femara. I haven’t heard of it before, and it looks like it might be worth a shot. Thanks for sharing that info. It’s also nice to know that you have friends who have survived this process and eventually had healthy pregnancies. I’m not sure I know anyone personally who has had multiple miscarriages, but I know that in fact I probably do. We just don’t talk about it. Anyway, thanks for the support:)

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      January 2, 2014
  7. Sandra #

    So sorry to read about your miscarriages. All the very best in the new year to you. The year has been very stressful for me too, although for different reasons. I too am glad to let 2013 go. Cant wait to hear more news about your book. Take care!

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    January 2, 2014
  8. Thanks for sharing. First – be thankful you are in Oregon – I grew up there and miss it so much! Also, don’t give up – I have 4 kids but also had 5 miscarriages along the way. Happy new year!

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    January 2, 2014
    • I am thankful for Oregon! One good thing about this year has been that we bought a house and are really feeling settled here. I love this place more and more with each passing season. And it’s always nice to hear from moms that are on the other side of this! Thanks:)

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      January 2, 2014
  9. Jenny Urie #

    Lots and lots of love to you Alice!
    After having a miscarriage myself at 6 weeks, I found myself wondering why there is such a stigma attached to it. I wondered why I had to keep it so quiet and why did everyone give me that ‘look’ like I was some bad person cause I lost a pregnancy? I soon learned, after I decided it was stupid to hide it like some terrible thing, that opening up and talking about it enabled me to learn that so many women in my life had been through the same exact thing. 20% rate is probably a low number in my un-scientific study. Your line, “miscarriage is misunderstood, and that’s a burden on women carrying this quiet grief” really resonates with me. I am proud of you for being able to talk about it and for the love of Pete please don’t beat yourself up about this!
    Of course you always wonder ‘what if?’ but then again I have decided it was God’s choice and it wasn’t meant to be. Somehow I find comfort in that, and like you say, the fact is that sometimes the chromosomes just don’t line up in perfect order and dance the dance. It is reality and it is science!
    Love you and kiss that gorgeous daughter of yours for me!

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    January 2, 2014
    • 20% may be a low estimate. It’s hard to measure because so many pregnancies are lost before the woman even knew she was pregnant. Some estimates are much higher. I’ve seen numbers up to 50% when you count failure to implant. It’s actually kind of incredible that we have this sensitive system of biological checks and balances that help ensure that the babies we end up carrying to term have good chances at survival. Also, if 20% of recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage, but a mother has several children, chances are pretty good that she has at least one miscarriage in there.

      I agree – it is strange how we are expected to handle this grief on our own, when so much else about our lives is so very public. I’ve thought a lot about why that is. Writing about my first miscarriage was so illuminating and therapeutic because I heard from so many women, many of whom I knew, who told me that they’d miscarried as well. Anyway, I don’t beat myself up over it. It’s the other way around; it’s beating me up! I’m just frustrated and tired of not having any good news to share. Thanks for writing, Jenny. Love to you, and your little girl, too!

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      January 2, 2014
  10. Lisa #

    Pregnancy loss is incredibly hard. I had an early loss the first time around, followed by what I suspect was at least one more very early loss before I conceived again. It prompted me to do a lot of reading and research about miscarriage and, after all that, I’m amazed that ANYONE is able to conceive and carry a baby to term. It’s so complicated! When I finally did conceive again, the anxiety about keeping the pregnancy really colored the experience for us – and it stayed with me during the early months of my son’s life. Best wishes for your family & your new year!

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    January 2, 2014
  11. My heart goes out to the challenges you have faced in 2013. I am not a medical expert but it appears there is an imbalance in your life preventing another successful pregnancy. Looking back at the time you were pregnant will your daughter Cee, How does the experience compare to what happened in 2013? What was different? What was the same? By compare and contrast maybe you can identify a critical factor that changed the outcome. I do wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors of 2014 and hope all your desires and dream come true.

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    January 2, 2014
    • Thanks for the kind wishes. I know you’re trying to be helpful, but I have to gently point out that this response is implying that the miscarriages are my fault. Believe me, I’ve racked my brain over all your questions. I’ve tweaked my body weight and exercise intensity. I’ve optimized nutrition and given up alcohol and most caffeine for the time being (might be silly, but I figure it can’t hurt). It’s maddening to feel helpless in the outcome, but that’s how it is, and blaming myself won’t change that. Also, I had several early pregnancy losses before my pregnancy with Cee, so this is likely just a part of our biology (recognizing that my husband is the other half of our offspring’s chromosomes).

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      January 2, 2014
      • Just remember that it can take up to 1 year for a healthy couple to even conceive…. just keep it up and soon enough you will have success and a 2nd healthy child in your arms. All the best,

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        January 2, 2014
      • I am not blaming or finding fault in you. My idea was to look at things from another angle and maybe see something that you had not before. For example, increased geoengineering is adding enormous amounts of hazardous air pollutants & metal particulates in the atmosphere. The oranges & reds in the sky you described in your blog result from the sun reflecting off these metal particulates. Pregnant women exposed to hazardous air pollutants has been linked to Autism. Nobody precisely knows all the different chemicals the are spraying on the population. I did not mean to make you feel bad or think you are the direct cause. But hopefully help shed some light.

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        January 2, 2014
        • I know you weren’t trying to make me feel bad. I also know that this line of thinking would drive me mad eventually, so I’ve tried to reign it in, control what I can, and accept what I can’t. I’m pretty sure that air pollution isn’t causing my miscarriages, since my town is full of healthy pregnant women and new babies – all breathing the same air – these days (at least, that’s how it seems to me!).

          Like

          January 4, 2014
  12. Thank you so much for sharing. I also went through a similar situation during the holiday season of 2010. It was very much as you described. After some testing, we were told there was nothing wrong and to continue trying because we are young.
    We got a second opinion and I’m so glad we did. I actually tested for something called MTHFR, which was fixed easily by taking baby aspirin and deplin (folic acid). I have since then had two successful pregnancies and no losses.

    Pregnancy loss affects an entire family. I will be thinking of your sweet family during this time. Best of luck!

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    January 2, 2014
    • Interesting… It sounds like the jury is still very much out on a role for MTHFR and recurrent miscarriages – there aren’t great studies on it, and it sounds like it is commonly tested by some doctors but others completely ignore it. I’ll keep it in mind if we decide to pursue further testing.

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      January 4, 2014
  13. Gena #

    Your beautiful words have brought tears to my eyes. Thank you as always for sharing, educating, provoking introspection and pause in my work day. If it’s any consolation, since you’ve been blogging less, it only makes me more eager and excited to open each new post! Though the content here is certainly not cause for celebration, your spirit and philosophy most certainly are. I wish you and your family all the best for the new year, and every year. I wish on the first star I see almost every night, by the way!

    Like

    January 2, 2014
    • Thanks for the sweet comment, Gena. I’m glad to have so many loyal and caring readers, who stick with me even when I disappear for months at a time:)

      Like

      January 4, 2014
  14. jfc2001 #

    Hi Alice,

    Thank you for sharing about your year. I sincerely pray that 2014 will bring much joy for you and your family.

    Josette

    Like

    January 2, 2014
  15. Thank you for writing this, and about writing about the quiet grief. I had two miscarriages and struggled for a little over 2 years to have our second child (born this past year).
    What was always sad to me was the conception that news of miscarriage should not be shared; I concluded this after the thinking about the ‘don’t tell anyone you’re pregnant until after the first trimester’. I mean, I did tell a few close friends and family, but in general it feels sad and uncomfortable to keep it to yourself. So I wanted to thank you so much for sharing your struggle.

    On new years day, even, I was at a brunch with some friends who didn’t know our miscarriage and conception struggles and the discussion came to spacing kids and pros and cons of different spacing. My boys are 5 years apart and when the discussion was on spacing kids so far apart, people looked to me as part of the discussion, and I ‘thought I heard one of them getting into trouble in the other room’ and ducked out of the kitchen.

    Even though we have had the 2nd child we were hoping to have, the pain is still there. We have friends who have little toddlers the same age that our (8 week miscarried) baby would have been and it is hard to watch them play together, thinking that our child should be there with them too.

    I have been reading your blog for a while but have never commented. I appreciated your first about miscarriage post but I couldn’t comment at the time. For the rest of the blog; I really appreciate all the research and in depth discussions you present and look forward to reading more when you are able (and the book). Thank you for sharing your personal story. I will be hopeful for you too in 2014.

    Like

    January 2, 2014
    • Thanks so much for writing, Sally. I’ve thought a lot about how careful we are to share the grief of miscarriage, how we usually keep pregnancies a secret from most people until we are past the riskiest time for miscarriage. We will tell the world on Facebook that a friend, relative, or pet died, but it might seem strange to announce a miscarriage that way. I think that part of this secrecy is due to what I wrote about in the post, the underlying sense of shame. I feel like I’ve personally shaken that feeling, but that perception of shame associated with miscarriage is still held by many. The other side of it is just very personal, I think. It has taken me a long time to feel brave enough to write about this on my blog – to feel ready for the conversation. (Even now, I didn’t share this post on my personal Facebook page. It’s just weird to announce it to all my old high school friends, etc.) In early pregnancy, I tell the friends and family that I want to surround me if things go wrong. I don’t want to tell people who will start planning a baby shower or celebrating before I’m ready. We have to grieve on our terms, and I think we fear sharing the news because we’re worried that people won’t know how to react, which is true in a way, though probably not as much as we think (given how common miscarriage is).

      Anyway, thanks for being honest about how it continues to be hard. I wasn’t prepared for how hard the due date was or this last holiday season. Now I know that I’m probably going to feel twinges of sadness at those times of year for a while. It’s good to be prepared for that. My best to you, and thanks for reading and commenting.

      Like

      January 2, 2014
  16. Thank you so much for bravely sharing this posting. I am very much looking forward to your book, and hope that you do get to sneak in some more blog postings between now and then…. Enjoy 2014 – All three of you!

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    January 2, 2014
  17. I feel so sorry about your life situation and don’t know exactly what to say… I just want to wish from all my heart to you and your family a lots of blessings in the New Year.

    Like

    January 2, 2014
  18. Amanda #

    Thank you so much for sharing, Alice. I had noticed fewer blog posts from you but had assumed that it was because you were working on your book. Having had a 9.5-week miscarriage this past summer (with a 15-month-old daughter at the time, now 21-months-old), I understand why you’ve been drawing inward. I’ve found myself doing the same. The times that I have opened up with friends, family and colleagues about our loss, I have found healing as well. But it’s difficult to do so nonetheless.

    After a three-month hiatus, we’re trying for #2 now too, and I think we may have had an early miscarriage last month – I felt many of my early pregnancy symptoms for a week or so (smell aversion, implantation cramping, etc.), and then they were gone. I think the fetus probably didn’t implant properly. We’ll keep trying. I’m a little worried that my 41-year-old self may just not be as fecund as my 38-year-old self was. If we go another few months without conceiving successfully, we’ll go the fertility specialist route.

    I’ll share a few things that I have found helpful, in case they might help you or others too. Firstly, my massage therapist, who also happens to be a grief counselor, has told me a few times that the baby that I miscarried wasn’t meant to be here, for whatever reason, but my daughter, husband and I are. While this notion doesn’t necessarily help me accept what happened, it does give me some sense of peace about it. Secondly, while I put a great deal of stock in science, I am also a Christian, and I have a deep faith that I will meet my miscarried child/children in the next life. It gives me hope to think of God and my grandparents who have passed away watching over our little one(s), as does knowing that I will get to meet them someday.

    I’m not a Bible thumper, but I’ll share a verse that I use like a mantra when I feel in need of hope: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, that you may overflow with hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

    I wish you a New Year filled with joy, peace and hope.

    Like

    January 2, 2014
  19. This was heart-wrenching, but the hope is apparent. I can only imagine your sadness and am glad to know you have healthy ways of coping. I’ve been using my blog to get through some rough stuff with my kiddos and love the community here on WordPress. I am excited for your book and hope that you are able to find continued peace as you travel this rough road. Love and light.

    Like

    January 2, 2014
  20. Maria #

    My heart goes out to you and I truly understand your pain. 2013 started with me pregnant and excited only to have no heartbeat at the first ultrasound. I suffered a second miscarriage a few months later and it was devastating. I had one before my daughter was born, but two in a row felt ominous. I didn’t realize how much I was internalizing the pain until my friend who I don’t see often enough asked me how I was and I just broke down completely. I heard myself tell her I was terrified of becoming pregnant again because I just didn’t know how I would cope with another loss. Breaking that dam of emotion was really helpful for me. I was able to better articulate how I was feeling to my husband and we discussed what it would be like to have one child. I finally was able to wrap my head around the idea of one kid, and we decided we would give it one more go and if that one didn’t take we would be done trying. (I am in my early 40s, so there was also a time issue) I am currently pregnant with my second girl, due in 2 months. I am happy it worked out, but I also know that having the specter of loss hanging over me has made it harder to truly enjoy this pregnancy without some tangential fear. Until she is safe in my arms, I don’t think I will fully relax.

    I wish you the best in whatever happens. Being able to conceive easily, but not having the pregnancy stick is frustrating because there is no explanation. It just plain sucks. Best to you and your family and here is hoping 2014 is a happier year.

    Like

    January 2, 2014
    • I can completely relate. As much as I desperately want to be pregnant, I’m also terrified of it now. Every bit of hope is balanced by bracing for loss. If I do manage to have a healthy pregnancy, I know that it will probably feel very different from my first. Best wishes to you and your growing family! I’m glad that things worked out for you and hope you can relax with that healthy little girl in your arms soon!

      Like

      January 4, 2014
  21. This is my first visit to your blog, and what an amazing woman and mother you clearly are. I have been trying to get pregnant for the first time for almost a year now, and have had no luck so far. That said, thanks to the willingness of the women in my life to share their stories with me, I have prepared myself for the possibility of miscarriage should I get pregnant. Not that it won’t devastate me, but knowing how common it actually is has allowed me to be as mentally prepared as one can be for such a thing. I’ve been pretty open with people about trying to get pregnant, which I feel is also still some sort of “hush-hush” topic. So strange. I agree that the more open we are, the better able we are to support one another and see that we’re not really so alone. Wishing you continued healing, happiness, and love.

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    January 2, 2014
  22. bit #

    *hugs* I had the exact same experience at times this year, without the additional miscarriages. I spent all of the 2012 holidays managing an ectopic loss, and life factors have made it so we haven’t really tried again since (and have been actively avoiding instead). Even knowing moms with multiple miscarriages, as well as moms with stillbirth and newborn losses didn’t mean I wanted to talk about how I felt. The anniversaries were particularly hard – the would-have birthday, and the repeat of the holidays, and compounded by a friend’s baby born within a couple weeks of my would-have been. Stillbirthday helped when I was first dealing with the ectopic, but I really haven’t been back there since.

    We moved in the middle of the year, and getting asked over and over if DD is an only child has been a big trigger as well. She likes to play sisters, and have a pretend little sister that she helps take care of (she even changes names so that she uses her middle name and the sister uses her first name), or play mama DD – both so hard when you are missing the baby you didn’t have.

    DH and I have discussed adoption at various points, and looked into it a little bit. We would have to do adoption from foster care, since we don’t have and aren’t likely to have the money for a private or international adoption, so there are extra complications involved. Would we want to do foster care as well? What children are available that we feel able to care for and how would they fit with DD? Would we want a sibling group or not? So many extra things to consider comparing to adopting a newborn privately or getting and staying pregnant.

    Everyone has different emotional and physical resources, and has to decide for themselves how many losses they can handle, and whether or not they want to continue to try, stop trying, or pursue something else (like adoption or fertility treatment). I hope you are able to get to the size you want, with a method that’s right for you, or find the right resources to help you be okay with what you individually are able to manage. *hugs*

    Like

    January 2, 2014
  23. Alison #

    Thinking of you Alice. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    January 2, 2014
  24. Shannon #

    I’m so sorry 😦 I don’t have anything to say. I have watched friends struggle with infertility and with miscarriages and it always breaks my heart because I know I can’t do anything to make it better.

    Not sure if you’re a Stargate fan – but Amanda Tapping who played Samantha Carter opened up this past year about how she’d had multiple miscarriages – two before her daughter was born and six after. http://www.wevancouver.com/news/206606891.html

    And. y’know, emotions are messy things. I think we can love what we have and still hope for more and it all be okay. We feel what we feel and I’ve never had much luck changing it as much as I’d like to sometimes.

    So. Yeah. That’s about all I have as a random person on the internet who appreciates your blogs.

    Like

    January 2, 2014
    • Thanks, random person:) Yes, emotions are messy things, and it sucks that I feel sometimes like I have to explain mine, because you’re right, they just are.

      I’ve been thinking about what other moms can do to help friends struggling with pregnancy loss or infertility. Maybe that will be a blog post someday, but the biggest thing is just to be there. The worst part of all of this is feeling alone. I have felt blessed to have good friends who have always been willing to listen and show their support, even though there’s not much any of us can do to “fix” things.

      Like

      January 4, 2014
  25. So sorry to hear about your miscarriages. Been there, done that. ‘Quiet grieving’ was precisely what I was told. I was even told it was ‘no big deal’. There is a baby that I didn’t get to know. And the loss of her was deeply disappointing (i was angry at god too actually). Thankfully, i had three more kiddos after that baby…so four in all for me. I met ladies from Texas and UK on-line. That was encouraging. Almost 11 yrs later and I still honour the expected due date & the day she was born into heaven. Now it’s all a bittersweet memory. A dream thwarted. And for me, a lesson in life (that life isn’t always good–i think our culture teaches us we must always be happy or we are doing something wrong–having said that i titled my blog: capturingthecharmedlife–life can be hard, so carpe diem). I pray you’ll receive the dream of your heart this 2014.

    Like

    January 2, 2014
  26. My heart goes out to you. How brave of you to write about something so intimate and painful. I know I appreciate it and many other women who’ve gone through pregnancy loss will too. I never had a miscarriage, but my dear sister-in-law has a very similar story to your own, and it’s so important for those who love and care about others who go through it, to try to have a better understanding of what the experience is like, what you go through. Your honest writing does just that. My sister-in-law now has 2 healthy daughters, after many miscarriages over many years. Although she is grateful for her girls, and the ache lessens with each year, she still recognizes with sadness those anniversaries, those ghost birthdays. She planted a tree on her property after every loss, and in taking care of those trees, lounging under them and gazing up at their budding leaves in spring, and watching her daughters have tea parties and picnics in their shade in summer, she has found hope and comfort. Wishing you all the best, and hope you keep on writing it out. ~Ilene

    Like

    January 2, 2014
  27. Thanks for all the thoughtful and helpful posts so we can all share in your knowledge and be better moms/friends/people. The people who gather on your site are my favorite support group. Big hug and wishes of kindness and happiness to you in the new year.

    Like

    January 2, 2014
  28. Char #

    You are a beautiful writer and are incredibly brave for sharing your innermosts thoughts. In fact, I am so very appreciative for this as I know it will help others in the same unfortunate predicament.
    I feel such empathy as I too have suffered from miscarriages, though I have been blessed with 3 children (2 birth and one stepchild which I normally wouldn’t single out but helps to explain our trying as it was difficult between our 2nd and 3rd child to conceive).

    To give you a ray of hope in this sadness and in looking at the bright future ahead, I will share that while I had a spontaneous miscarriage and one D&C, that we had no issues with the birth of our third child. Prayer, positivity and perseverance will get you through this. Many blessings to you and your family in the coming year.
    I am hopeful for you and wish to hear good news in your future posts!!!

    Like

    January 2, 2014
  29. Thank you again for sharing your personal story. You mentioned, “and I hoped that by writing about it, I would open the conversation to other women.” It certainly did for me. When I first read your post I was thankful to have never experienced a miscarriage. My first came just a few weeks later and it was so comforting to know that you had been through it and I wasn’t the only one. It helped me to open up to other moms and talk about it. That miscarriage was at 5 weeks and I had a second in May at 8 weeks. My husband and I were “leaving it up to fate” as to whether to have a second child and after two miscarriages he has decided it is not our fate and doesn’t want to try again. He is very happy and prefers a family of 3. I, though, feel the emptiness you describe. And like another commenter, I have friends that had babies around my due date for the second miscarriage and I can’t even bring myself to want to hold the babies.

    When I learned more about miscarriage and how often they occur when people don’t even know, it made me very curious about the statistics. It just seems that the rate is probably so much higher. Even my mom who previously claimed to never have had a miscarriage conceded that her Dr told her she probably did have several before I was born. They were under the guise of “irregular periods.”

    I also wanted to add that I did share the news of the first pregnancy with our families and when the miscarriage happened, I felt pitied. I hated that feeling and made a point not to share the second pregnancy. It felt better to let people know about it on my terms rather than them asking about how things were going.

    Best of luck to you in 2014. May it be a happier, healthier year.

    Like

    January 2, 2014
    • Dear Holly,
      I’m so sorry to hear of your miscarriages, your current grief of those losses, and your struggle to come to terms with your family size. I say that I’ve accepted that things will be okay if we don’t have another baby, but I haven’t honestly come to terms with that as a reality. These are really difficult waters to navigate, and I’ll be thinking of you this year as I navigate my own. And it does make me happy that my writing about miscarriage last year was a help to you. That’s HUGE to me. I hope to someday write much more about miscarriage for those who are struggling with it and those who are wondering how they can support a grieving friend. It is such a hard thing, but to me it is made a little lighter by talking about it and connecting with others who understand.
      Big hug,
      Alice

      Like

      January 4, 2014
  30. mt #

    I am so, so sorry for your losses. I also am very glad to hear that you are feeling better, even if it’s a slow process. Coming out of grief is hard—sometimes we have to really, really reach and even fight for our healing, but there’s no rushing it either. “One day at a time” is my family’s motto (my mother has been recovery some 25 years), and while some of those days can be real doozies, it makes the work of healing a bit less overwhelming and reminds us that we simply *can’t* do 25 years of it in two weeks. Also, I just have to say I’m so amazed at Cee’s sensitivity. It’s incredible how she has such intelligent empathy even if she doesn’t fully comprehend that’s what it is. It’s a testament to your good rearing that she pays such close attention to others’ feelings (even if that can be hard for you at times).

    Finally, thanks for speaking about your experiences. I think our society is too quick to assign blame (especially to women) and the lingering stigma surrounding miscarriage is part of that. But I am seeing more and more women speaking openly about their miscarriages and publicly reaching out to each other. It makes me hopeful–that’s how we lift each other up.

    You are in my thoughts, and best wishes for a bright 2014.

    Like

    January 2, 2014
    • Thanks, mt. And I know, I’m blown away by Cee. All of this could be a coincidence, but I doubt it. I’m actually grateful that she hasn’t really turned her baby obsession on me. She doesn’t overtly ask me for a sibling, for example, and that’s a relief because then I would feel like I was really letting her down. But I do feel like she understands a lot, and I struggle with how to explain my sadness to her without putting that burden on her. Right now, I’m just trying to let her “play it out” and to give her lots of reassurance that I’m okay and that my love for her is unshakeable.

      And yes to one day at a time, with firm deadlines for book tasks attached:)

      Like

      January 4, 2014
  31. mandy f #

    I am so sorry for your losses that you have gone through. I have never had a miscarriage myself but i have many friends and family members who have had numerous miscarriages. One of my friends had seen a specialist and learned that she had a uterine septum. It seems this is extremely common and a major reason of infertility or miscarriages and alot of women dont know about it. Its a very easy thing to correct but is time consuming but she had the procedure done and she just welcomes a baby boy right before christmas after getting the procedure done. She said her doctor said that many women who have trouble getting pregnant have this issue and never even know about it since doctors dont usually check for this unless they are specialists. A uterine septum doesnt always affect pregnancies unless the embryo attaches to a certain area in the uterus where there is not enough blood flow to survive. this is a link to some information about it…http://www.center4fertility.com/blog/2013/03/18/what-is-a-uterine-septum-123360

    I honestly hope that one day that you and your family have another child and are able to feel complete! You never know but this might help you as well as others reading this blog! Good luck!! and this procedure is covered under insurance!

    Like

    January 2, 2014
    • Thanks for the idea. We have checked for uterine abnormalities, and that isn’t a problem. And unfortunately, that procedure wasn’t covered by my insurance.

      Like

      January 2, 2014
  32. Fay #

    I’m really sorry for you. I went through that too. I share, what helped me. Maybe that helps you too.
    I always wished for a healthy (!) baby and after each misscariage I was sure that the fetus was’nt healthy and so I had to lose it. I was so sad of course but I didn’t change my wish to ‘just’ having a baby. 2013 a healthy, bautiful little girl was born. I am so grateful. And I am somehow sure, that that happend, had to happen…
    Fay

    Like

    January 2, 2014
  33. Pap #

    Dear Alice, thanks for sharing and I am really sorry to read about your miscarriages. I too went through one at 6 weeks and it was quite devastating at the time, especially because it was following fertility treatment and before having had any baby, so you can imagine the blow to our hopes. It was also difficult to share because we had been keeping a low profile about our treatment too. However, once i told a friend, i was so surprised to hear about how many other common acquaintances had been through it as well. But as you say, people don’t share such news. Anyway, i would also like to tell you that i have known several women who suffered more than two miscarriages and nevertheless went on to have more than one kids. I also remember our fertility doctor telling us that in a way my miscarriage was great news because it meant that we could actually get me pregnant. But also that even with the most advanced forms of assisted reproduction, there are factors that we cannot control between fertilisation and a successful pregnancy. I suppose that is what we call ‘luck’ and, unless there are known reasons explaining infertility, it’s only with repeated attempts that we can get lucky. You have proof, your daughter, that you and your husband have what it takes to create and deliver a healthy baby, so hang in there. I wish you all the best for 2014, loads of persistence for finishing writing up the book and i look forward to your resuming writing in your blog more frequently.

    Like

    January 3, 2014
    • Yes, I feel lucky that I’m facing this after the birth of Cee and not before. Emotionally, I think it would have been much harder if we were trying for our first, and Cee is a great solace to me. I also find some reassurance in my ability to get pregnant, although the tradeoff of the grief of miscarriage is a big one. It’s impossible not to feel a little hopeful at the beginning of a pregnancy and to be knocked down pretty hard by the loss. Sigh. But so it is. I hope you’re right that we have what it takes. Thanks so much for the support and good wishes!

      Like

      January 4, 2014
  34. Alison #

    I have been in that dark place of wanting a child and wondering if it can happen. I feel your pain. It worked out for me and I hope it will for you too.

    I love your blog, which I just found. As a scientist I love the facts and citations!!! Not being in even a life sciences field I couldn’t read this literature and I really appreciate your lay-person-but-not-idiot summaries!! Thank you!

    Like

    January 3, 2014
    • I’m glad you found me and that you appreciate the science! I am looking forward to posting more regularly again after finishing the book, so stick with me for a few months, OK? And I’m glad that things worked out for you and your family. It’s so good to hear success stories!

      Like

      January 4, 2014
  35. I shared your entry on my facebook page and received a lot of good in return. Reconnecting with old friends going through hard times, current friends finding relief that they aren’t alone. Thank you, thank you for this post.

    Like

    January 3, 2014
    • That makes me happy – that you shared my post and that it started conversations on this topic. I hope it helped some of your friends to fee less alone. Thanks for sharing it!

      Like

      January 4, 2014
  36. Donna G #

    Thank you for sharing your story, & I’m truly sorry for your loss. We went through 10+ years ttc through various methods when we found that we were miraculously pregnant w/twins, who are 3 now. Last month we found we were unexpectedly pregnant, only to realize a week ago that there was no heartbeat @ 10 wks….now waiting to miscarry…..so your blog, while I’m sure was incredibly painful to write, was very timely. Thank you again for sharing, & I hope & pray that you get the desire of your heart.

    Like

    January 3, 2014
    • I’m so sorry, Donna. So sorry. Sometimes I just wish I could send a real hug across the Internet, because I don’t know what to say. HUG! Motherhood asks so much of us, and sometimes the wanting a child and losing a child part (or even fear of it) are the most heart-wrenching parts, even if our homes are filled with healthy children and our lives consumed with daily tasks of parenting. I’ll be thinking of you and sending you strength.

      Like

      January 4, 2014
  37. Tonya #

    Thank you for writing this post. It was beautiful and heartfelt.

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, as I’m a new mom and am always hungry for a clear take on the many decisions that come up. Thank you for the writing that you do!! It is extremely helpful!

    Best of luck on the book!

    Like

    January 4, 2014
  38. Best wishes x

    Like

    January 4, 2014
  39. I know it may not help… but I feel your pain. 2012 we started infertility treatments, and in 2013 we went full force with treatment after treatment… month after month… with always failed results. Once they thought I could have miscarried, but it would have been too early to tell for sure. Each month it felt like we lost a child and each time my heart ached more then I can express. In December we had to give up any further infertility treatments as it is no longer covered by my insurance and it is way too expensive for us to pay for it on our own. It was a hard decision and felt like a hug loss all over again. It was compounded by friends having babies and with my job (as a mental health therapist) I was seeing so many women who didn’t want to be mother or very bad ones who were referred by CPS or other services due to their actions. It just made me hurt worse. I still fight daily not to get too sad about things and long to join the mommy club. I just keep praying there will be a way for us before I am too old to really be a good active mommy. I am sorry for your loss and hope Cee will be a comfort to you in this time.

    Like

    January 5, 2014
  40. Amy #

    Dear Science of Mom,

    Though I do not know you personally, I have felt a certain kinship with you as I followed your blog over the last couple of years. As a fellow mother of a child who is almost three, with a scientific background, your clear, lucid, well-researched posts are so much more my cup of tea than vast majority of parenting information online, where sources are never provided, actual studies are not described, and the same guidelines are repeated time and again, without any explanation of how they were derived, how they weight the relative costs and benefits. Your posts make me feel enlightened and curious to learn more rather than skeptical, irritated, and frankly, infantilized.

    It was with some sorrow, then, that I wondered why you had been less prolific on your blog over the last year. Was the book you had agreed to write sapping up all your energy and free time? Had something happened to your family? Or had your interests simply wandered from pregnancy, toddlerhood, and nutrition as your daughter grew older?

    Your post today provided an explanation: over the last year you had experienced three successive miscarriages. I am so terribly, terribly sorry. I am going to try to give you words, even for something for which there really will never be any words, certainly not the right ones. And while I do not presume to know how you personally feel, having had trouble getting pregnant before, I know how awful it can be. How it can make you envy other women’s apparent ease at becoming pregnant. How it can render you incapable of being happy for even your dearest friends as they become pregnant and give birth. How guilty you feel for these feelings, and how inescapable they are. How difficult it is to distract yourself, to focus on the good aspects of your life. And although I do not know this personally, I can imagine how successive miscarriages must be particularly heartbreaking.

    But my main reason for writing this letter is not to commiserate with you, but to applaud you for taking the time to share your experience, to come forward with something we often keep out of view. Really, it is just downright odd that infertility is something we are not supposed to talk about freely, something revealed only our closest friends, if at all. Fundamentally, it is irrational that your fertility feels tied up with your identity, you worth as a woman, your virility as a man. Or that we fear others will see it that way. For fertility problems are extremely common. 1 in 6 couples are estimated to suffer from impaired fertility. Perhaps, like homosexuality in this country until very recently, because no one talks about it openly, it still feels rare. And although this is anecdotal, I can tell you, that as my network of friends learned we were having trouble conceiving, so many people came forward me to share their stories: a work colleague had had three miscarriages before conceiving her son, another friend’s husband had a low sperm count, another friend from work and her husband were unable to conceive for unknown reasons, another was not ovulating, and so on. Lots and lots of people I knew personally had trouble having a child. In some ways, it was really wonderful to be in on each person’s “secret”. It gave us a point of emotional connection that enhanced our ability to trust each other and eventually expanded our friendships.

    But the best part of this experience has been that we, and they, are all now blessed with beautiful, healthy, happy children. Which is not to imply that all such problems are surmountable–I know they are not. But I will say this, getting help from true reproductive specialists and not general practitioners really matters. We, and everyone we know, eventually went to specialists, and it made all the difference. For fertility problems, the scientific literature and the diagnostic guidelines lag far behind what most clinics are capable of. This is the result of many systemic issues, lack of training in fertility issues for general practitioners, little government or other sources of funding for fertility research, small sample sizes for clinic-run studies, and poor insurance coverage for many fertility problems.

    Obviously, this is an extremely personal decision, involving your own risk tolerance (e.g., what hormones might I be willing to take, with what possible future consequences), your financial resources (what kind of help do I need and can I afford; IVF is expensive and seldom reimbursed), and your own comfort level with reproductive assistance. Many people feel reluctant to seek help.

    All of this is to say, in a very long-winded way, that I really appreciate your post today, and that I would like to leave you with a message of hope. I have seen this sort of thing work out. Please do not feel ashamed of wanting another child or of having trouble having another child, and most importantly do not let that complex mixture of shame and fear that you may feel keep you from seeking out real help. Basic tests are often wrong, and can be downright misleading.

    Wishing you and your family all the best,
    Amy

    Like

    January 6, 2014
    • Alice,

      I want to echo Amy’s comment above. If you (or anyone) wants to pursue medical support for fertility, it behooves you not only to see a specialist, but also to seek the most-effective reproductive endocrinologists you can. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offer a data clearinghouse with the success rates of clinics that perform assisted reproductive techniques (ART):
      http://www.cdc.gov/art/

      My husband and I wasted more than two heartbreaking years working with the biggest, well-regarded IVF clinic in our city, only to realize later that they have HALF the success rate (measured as live births per cycles attempted) as the smaller-but-best clinic in town. We had to switch doctors in order to successfully produce our twin daughters.

      Hope this helps,
      Robin Holzer
      Houston, TX

      Like

      April 11, 2014
  41. Ceridwen #

    Thank you for sharing your story! I’m currently pursuing a PhD in Bioinformatics and am the mother of an 8 month old girl. Your blog always seems to strike a great balance of science and common sense that really appeals to me.

    I went through a long, drawn out, miscarriage with my first pregnancy in 2012. It felt particularly tough at the time because we weren’t really sharing with anyone that we were trying to have a baby (what with it not being the most acceptable thing for grad students to do). I ultimately wound up with a D&C when the miscarriage did not complete on it’s own after weeks of waiting but we still didn’t share with anyone but our roommates and family (who live a very long way away). It wasn’t until I was pregnant again that we actually told people. And at that point I realized that I regretted that and wished we’d been more open about it.

    My next pregnancy went better, but I bled for almost 10 weeks, which was very stressful for me because of the similarity to my miscarriage. When the bleeding started I was sure the pregnancy was a loss again. The nurse who answered my call to my OB’s office told me to go home and wait to lose the baby. I’m always the calm, rational scientist but I was absolutely beside myself for those days of waiting. By the time we finally got to go see a (different) nurse at the practice in person I was crying so hard I could hardly talk trying to explain what was going on. Ultimately blood tests and ultrasounds demonstrated that the pregnancy was viable but I remained at a higher than usual risk of miscarriage. Those 10 weeks of bleeding were some of the most anxiety filled of my entire life. We’re starting to discuss when to have our second child now and while I’m thrilled at the idea of having another baby, the thought of dealing with miscarriage again definitely gives me pause.

    If you have any interest in additional reading material, I highly recommend the book Coming to Term (http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Term-Uncovering-Truth-Miscarriage/dp/0813540534/). It’s a good look at what we know (from a scientific standpoint) about miscarriage, written for a lay audience. It’s getting a bit old and the evidence for some of the stuff he discusses has changed a bit, but overall I think it’s a solid read for those who are interested in the scientific side of things. I don’t know that it made me feel better about the miscarriage exactly, but it gave me a lot of insight into how OBs approach miscarriage that really helped me feel comfortable with my care during my second pregnancy.

    Like

    January 6, 2014
    • KT #

      Coming to Term is amazing! I read it after my first miscarriage and it’s reassuring statistics and comforting words helped me through two more miscarriages.

      Like

      February 4, 2014
  42. Rose #

    I blog completely anonymously simply because I can’t discuss my miscarriages with my family or friends 😦 Online I have found so much support and encouragement, and the very act of writing things down seems to clear my mind. I am so sorry for what you have been through. My 4 year old says my baby turned into a butterfly and flew away – it breaks my heart when he says it. They are wise beyond their years. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2014 X

    Like

    January 7, 2014
  43. A tough year, but wonderful of you to share. The more folk talk about miscarriage the easier it gets for all.

    Like

    January 7, 2014
  44. Colleen #

    Thank you for sharing. Many blessings your way in the new year – I am so sorry for your losses, but I admire your willingness to share with us.

    Like

    January 7, 2014
  45. I can’t begin to imagine how difficult miscarriages are. Thank you for sharing your story!

    Like

    January 9, 2014
  46. This is a brave and candid post that will certainly bring a level of comfort to other women. It is true to the spirit and mission of your blog that you are breaking the silence associated with part of reproduction that, while tragic, is actually quite common.

    I have just recently discovered your blog and think the premise is outstanding. It’s both engaging and incredibly useful to readers.

    Best wishes to you and your family in 2014.

    Like

    January 11, 2014
  47. I like the blog

    Like

    January 11, 2014
  48. Alice, like so many others, I want to thank you for sharing your experience here. It has been very powerful and comforting for me to read your words. 2013 was a year of sadness and frustration on the fertility front for us as well. Like you, I have a 3 year old who is the light of my life. But, like you, I still feel our little family is not quite complete for reasons that sometimes are mysterious to me. As 2014 starts I’m working on remaining hopeful, while also trying to accept that this is something that is largely out of my control. Perhaps, one day, I’ll be brave enough to share my experiences on my own blog. I have found that when I open up about this with friends or family, I find so many others who have had their own experiences with infertility and through these conversations (and your writing) I feel less alone. Wishing you a peaceful 2014 full of blessings. Best, Heidi

    Like

    January 11, 2014
    • Dear Heidi ~ Thanks so much for commenting, and I’m sorry to hear that you’re experiencing similar frustration and sadness. It’s really hard, but posting this, and reading all of these comments, has definitely helped me to feel less alone. I’ve decided that this is one of the most helpful things to me – just to reach out to others and have them reach back, and to know that we all have our struggles. Lots of love, peace, and maybe a little luck:) to you and your family this coming year!

      Like

      January 16, 2014
  49. Elisabeth #

    I’m sorry for your losses. My mother and grandmother both had miscarriages. My aunt had so many that she didn’t even tell her mom she was pregnant until she well into her 5th month with her daughter. Therefore my husband and I are very grateful for our little 2 month old, especially because he was conceived on the first try with IVF. That same procedure means little K had, very briefly, a twin. The other heartbreaking part is that we wouldn’t have been able to afford the IVF if my mother hadn’t died and left us some insurance money. I suspect Mom would consider that a fair trade, but i can’t let myself think about it much… Thank heavens for the sweet children we do have and for friends and family when something goes wrong

    Like

    January 11, 2014
  50. maggie #

    I know depression and lost hopes are debilitating, so I thought I would share this with you.

    I work in a large engineering firm, and most of my collegues are nerds. Three of the young men have had their first baby this year, and I directed all three to your blog. One of them (with a 3 week old) came to me this morning and said “Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is hte first thing I have seen that isn’t fluff and ‘I feel’. I stayed up all night reading that blog, especially the studies about infant sleep! I’M NOT ALONE!!!”
    Your research based reporting is making a huge difference 🙂

    Like

    January 16, 2014
    • Maggie, thank you SO much for sharing this story. It really makes me feel good about the work I’m putting into my book to get feedback like this. And I love that fathers are finding my blog useful! I’m purposefully trying to write my book so that it will appeal to dads as well as moms, so this is encouraging to hear. I saw your comment first thing this morning and it definitely gave me a boost in my work today, so thank you!

      Like

      January 16, 2014
  51. izzy #

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 12 weeks (a horrible first ultrasound…) and we went on to have 2 kids (and a good number of additional miscarriages as well). Because of really bad nausea, most of my pregnancies were quite public early, and so were their end. It was hard to face the work but it was also a relief not to have to pretend all was well. Best of luck. It happens much more often than we think and should be viewed as a natural part of having kids,

    Like

    January 16, 2014
  52. dee #

    You are courageous to shared your life so openly and freely with the world at large. Thank you for a great blog and heartfelt insight into miscarriage. Good luck on the book and hopefully the darkness will reveal the light soon.

    Like

    January 16, 2014
  53. Im so sorry to read about you rough year – I myself had a miscarriage many years ago – it didnt hit me till 6 months later when i found myself sobbing for what seemed no reason. when my husband asked me what was wrong – suddenly i knew – and i shouted “I really wanted that baby”
    My thoughts go out to you

    Like

    January 16, 2014
  54. KT #

    Thank you so much for sharing. Our 2013s mirror each other in a startling way. I too had a missed miscarriage followed by two early losses (both chemical pregnancies). Three back-to-back losses rock you to your core.

    A few things are helping me to slowly make my way back to a place where, as a book I recently read stated, I can actually face the grief of what happened head on. The first has been my faith – I know that is something that looks different for everyone. But the second was switching from working with my OB to a reproductive endocrinologist. My OB did a fairly thorough job with recurrent pregnancy loss testing, but I wasn’t 100% comfortable with the level of monitoring they proposed for their treatment plan. The reproductive endocrinologist offers a lot more hand-holding in both the getting pregnant process and the first trimester. If you have time while writing, you may want to investigate the TLC method for treating recurrent loss. Several studies have shown marked improvement in the rate of live births for women who have had recurrent losses and are given extra care by their providers in early pregnancy.

    Like

    February 4, 2014
    • Hi KT – Thanks for writing. I’m sorry that you’ve been going through this as well. Those losses do take a serious toll, and it is good to recognize that. I’ve heard from others that switching to an RE really helped them as well, and we will definitely consider that. How interesting that TLC helps with recurrent pregnancy loss! There is so much we don’t understand about all of this. Good luck this year:)

      Like

      February 15, 2014
  55. Lisa Majewski #

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve thought about you since reading your blog last year and I’ve wondered how you are doing. I have found your blogs so incredibly informative and helpful. Cee sounds like such a sweetheart and you are lucky to have such a wonderful family! I look forward to your book coming out and wishing you the best!

    Like

    February 20, 2014
  56. kim #

    Thank you for sharing this courageous post. I miscarried last year and a year later my sister miscarried on the day my baby was born (quite cruel). I don’t think it was shame that made us both shrink a bit inside, but true sadness. A sadness that is hard to explain, but so palpable it rises in my throat as I read your experience and every day when I think how my sister has her own unique sadness. I am a believer that writing is very therapeutic, so whether it be on this blog, your book, or a private journal – encourage yourself to write about it.

    Like

    February 20, 2014
    • Oh, that sounds hard! It is difficult to watch the families of your friends and family grow while you wait and hope and wonder if it will ever happen for you. I should also say that there isn’t shame in what I feel; it’s more of a societal assumption that that’s what I should feel. Mainly it’s sadness, and I do think that’s part of the quiet around miscarriage too. Best wishes to both you and your sister.

      Like

      February 22, 2014
  57. verushka #

    Thanks for sharing. I wish you all the best !!

    Like

    February 21, 2014
  58. Wow……What a year you have had. I can’t imagine this grief you are experiencing.Women don’t talk enough about miscarriages, but when it is brought up so many women have a story about it. Thankyou for sharing yours 🙂

    Like

    February 25, 2014
  59. I just found your blog and I’m so glad I did – for two reasons.
    First, my daughter was stillborn at 23 weeks in June 2013 so ending the year was bittersweet for me as well. I had a subsequent early miscarriage and now I’m 26 weeks pregnant. I have no living children and I’m so afraid of losing this one too. As much as I wish this only happened to me because I don’t want anyone else to have gone through it – it’s good to know I’m not alone. Writing has been very helpful in my grief journey. I write about stillbirth, grief, and pregnancy after loss at http://rememberingada.wordpress.com/
    Second, I’m a scientist and I’ve noticed a real lack of science-based information on pregnancy, birth, and parenting. I’m looking forward to reading your articles on those topics. My expertise is plant breeding and genetic engineering, which I write about at http://biofortified.org/

    Like

    February 28, 2014
    • So nice to meet you, Anastasia. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your daughter, and I hope that your pregnancy is going well. I will check out your personal blog, and I already know that the Biofortified site is very useful!

      Like

      March 7, 2014
  60. Mrs_D #

    Alice, I’m a long time reader, first time commenter.
    I am so truly sorry to hear about your awful year. Thank you for sharing your story. I cannot imagine what it’s like to go through what you’ve suffered and my heart goes out to you. You made and carried Miss Cee without a hitch, why can’t the body work like it did before? I don’t feel like there’s anything I can say to make things better for you, except to add that my best friend had eight miscarriages over about eighteen months between a healthy daughter and a healthy son. They (her, her husband and their medical team) don’t know how or why, but the toll on her body and heart was devastating. All she knew was that she wanted to keep trying and eventually her baby boy ’stuck’. I wish for you all the good things in the world that it takes to add to your beautiful family. (That sounded clunky, but I don’t know another way to put it!.) Thank you so much for this wonderful resource and all the best with finishing your book. You are a treasure!

    Like

    March 8, 2014
  61. Irene Suwarno #

    Thank you for having the courage for sharing with us what you have been through. but I am happy that you feel much better now.

    Like

    March 16, 2014
  62. Hello, Alice:

    First, I am new to your blog and I appreciate it. Thank you for applying your scientific expertise to sifting through the monumental heap of parenting views and lifting up meaningful information. I look forward to reading your book, and your blog if/when you have time and energy to take it up again.

    Second, thank you for sharing your personal story of pregnancy loss here. Something like 1 in 8 US couples struggle with infertility and many feel isolated and alone, lacking knowledgeable or empathetic resources to help deal with it. My husband and I struggled more than 7 years before our twin girls were delivered, and it’s important to me to make my story accessible to other women who may be in the same painful predicament. I blogged about infertility, both as a journal exercise and also as a freely-given lifeline to other struggling couples. I appreciate that you’ve done that here, too.

    I wish to offer you a reading recommendation. Of the many, many infertility-related books I read, the most powerful is by Harvard researcher Alice Domar: Conquering Infertility: Dr. Alice Domar’s Mind/Body Guide to Enhancing Fertility and Coping with Infertility:
    http://smile.amazon.com/Conquering-Infertility-Domars-Enhancing-Fertility/dp/0142002011

    Domar observed that infertility is profoundly linked to stress and depression. Further, stress and depression suppress reproductive function. What she finds next is powerful and hopeful: social support (either in a group setting or individually) and mind-body techniques like yoga and meditation, demonstrably improve reproductive function. More importantly, with or without another pregnancy, they are effective ways to be happier and healthier. For me, a support group led me to a wonderful social worker who specializes in women’s reproductive issues and a half dozen “fertility buddy” girlfriends, which have been invaluable.

    You may already be plugged in with good fertility support resources. But in case you’re not, it looks like Resolve (the national nonprofit infertility support and advocacy organization) has both peer and professional resources in Oregon. Maybe someone is near you:
    http://www.resolve.org/support-and-services/support-group/oregon-support-groups.html
    Either way, I hope you can enjoy similar support as you continue your family-building journey.

    Best wishes,
    Robin Holzer
    Houston, TX

    Like

    April 11, 2014
    • I just reread what I wrote above and wish to clarify one point. Dr. Domar found that struggling to conceive *causes* profound stress and depression, which *in turn* suppresses fertility, in an ugly vicious cycle. I hope it didn’t sound like I was diagnosing or blaming the (unknown) cause of your struggle. Sorry!

      Like

      April 13, 2014
      • Hi Robin,
        I understood what you meant. Thanks for the lovely comment, book recommendation, and sound advice. I feel like both my mind and body have been taken hostage by infertility, and I’m working on taking them back:) Yoga is a big part of that for me right now. A support group would be wonderful, once I finish this book:)

        Like

        April 16, 2014
  63. Beautiful…that was a really wonderful and honest story. Thank you for sharing it.

    Like

    April 17, 2014
  64. Hi there Ms. Callahan,
    I was recommended to your page on digestion of starches in infancy and was really glad to read it. Then I clicked on the homepage and said, “I’ll be danged, I think that’s the ridgeline trail! I don’t think that’s Spencer’s…” Well, you can tell me for sure but either way, say ‘Hi’ to my hometown for me. 🙂 I’m so sorry to hear about your losses. I’ve had at least one myself, and it took IVF to get pregnant a second time. Luckily that time took, and like you I’m worried about being able to make a second happen. All my wishes are with you for your family to grow as you deeply desire it to–I know that we don’t always get our wishes but if hoping helps make that happen, please add my hopes to yours.

    Like

    May 12, 2014
  65. I don’t know how I missed this, but I’m excited that you may be returning shortly! I hope you had a great time writing, teaching, and mothering.

    Like

    June 24, 2014
  66. Katie #

    I am a late comer. I got hooked to your blog after reading the series about sleep because I am currently trying to get my 3 1/2 month old to sleep better. This post was so honest and open and so makes me empathize. Wanting and not being able to have children was the hardest trial of my life. I am thankful for IVF which made my daughter possible. I hope you find some solace in all the other mothers that have experienced similar things. Wishing you a future healthy pregnancy and all the other wonderful things you deserve this year.

    Like

    June 28, 2014
  67. Thank you for your bravery and openness. I just spoke with a dear friend yesterday about her miscarriage and your discussion of the shame and rawness affects so many women I know. Sharing your story helps others feel less alone.

    Like

    July 6, 2014
  68. Karl #

    Today is my first day on WordPress in probably years, but I just felt the need to stop by. This blog was my first stop completely by “accident”, or maybe not. After giving birth to three beautiful healthy children, my lovely wife lost 2 in 2 years almost to the date. Both were missed miscarriages, one at 14 weeks and another at 17 weeks. My wife experienced the hardship of carrying this little one for weeks after the miscarriage. It’s something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I’m so glad that you courageous ladies are out here talking about this, and I’ll be sure to pass this on to my life-partner. I truly hope more people will start embracing these not so easy topics, because the pain is all too real, and no one should go through these tragedies alone.

    Like

    August 4, 2014

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