Wednesday, June 17, 2009

grieving room

the following post is pretty clunky - it is pure stream of consciousness writing which I have purposely not edited, but which I have written in clumps over a few days. Apologies for it's length and probably it's self-indulgence ... I just needed to get it out.

for thirteen-ish weeks now I have been writing a blog post in my head that was to be published a few days ago. In my mind the post was to start with a slightly blurred black and white image, and the title was always going to be, "my latest creative project". Funny and oh so clever I thought. I was literally busting at the seams to share this story. 

unfortunately that post is not the one I am now writing. Instead I have been battling with my desire to share this news and wondering whether it is something I should keep to myself. In the end I figured as I lay in bed wide awake the other night, that I would not be able to post about anything else until i had written this. Added to that is the very 'real' (in an unreal kinda way), connections I have made through this medium to some seriously lovely, kind hearted people who I trust with the fragility of this moment. 

my latest creative project was the baby I had been carrying for the past twelve and a half weeks - our early Christmas present due on December 19 (hence, our quick little 'mummy and daddy' holiday recently).
  
a week and a half ago we went out to breakfast with some friends who are expecting their first baby any day now and as I perused the menu looking for "baby-safe" options I chatted excitedly with my friend about how much she had to look forward to. I couldn't help but feel so grateful in that moment that I only had six months to wait until I too could again experience that crazy, hazy beautiful newborn baby time. 

but when we got home from breakfast I just felt weird, not tired, but I still felt the need to lay down - like, really lay down, in bed, door closed blinds drawn under the covers type lay down. I ended up falling into a really deep sleep for two hours and when I woke up I felt this low weird cramping on my right side. I got up and did a few things before going to the bathroom where I found some spotting. And I just knew.

suddenly it seemed to make sense that I had experienced virtually no morning sickness since about the eight week mark and had not really started to show as much as I had expected I would by this stage, especially considering it was my third pregnancy. I didn't tell Jamie about my symptoms until that night and even though he seemed pretty calm I was still fighting this overwhelming intuitive feeling that something was wrong. I called my doctor the next day and whilst she didn't exactly tell me not to worry she said there was not much point coming to see her, especially considering I had my scan scheduled for early the next morning anyway. 

waiting for that scan was torture and yet at the same time I didn't want to see what I knew I was going to see. And really nothing could have prepared me for the image of our poor little baby, so tiny and so obviously lifeless. I felt so sorry for the radiographer who would have known immediately what she was seeing and who went about measuring and recording stuff anyway. And when she did the measurement of the heartbeat and the lines just dragged straight along the bottom of the screen I felt my world just crumple in. What followed was that weird business like stuff - getting dressed, having to walk back through the waiting room full of expectant parents trying to hold back my sobs, having to wait to see a particular doctor and needing to make arrangements for surgery in the following days. 

I won't go into all the details of the surgery. I'm sure given the statistics of miscarriage there are many of you reading right now who have had to experience the nature of this procedure, not to mention the recovery. 

and yet in the midst of all this there have been so many opportunities for gratefulness. My beautiful, thoughtful, kind, strong and loving partner and husband who I know is feeling exactly the same way I am and yet who has had to be the one to make all the phone calls, make breakfasts and dinners, and today has even taken both kids to a party. My gorgeous children who I thought I felt grateful for anyway but who I now think are miracles to even exist. For my parents who dropped everything to come and sleep on our floor so they could be here early on the morning of my surgery. For friends who sent flowers or some soup, or even just the offer of help should we need it. For my sister who came down here to stay for a few nights to help me to look after the kids when Jamie went back to work. And finally for my dearest friend, Antonia who is just my tower of strength and who always knows just what to say, for sending me this message from a book called Safe Passage ...

"We need a grieving room for all of us who are mourning, a quiet, safe place of solace where emotion is sacred and the continual falling of tears generates the energy for our healing. We need a grieving room with thick walls to keep despair outside and hope secure within, and, on the floor, comfortable pillows to remind us to rest."

34 comments:

  1. Oh my dear, my dear. I am so sorry. Crying for you, grieving for you. I celebrate the life that you carried and I mourn for your loss. I wish I had better words for you; please know I am reaching across oceans, thinking of you.

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  2. Oh my beautiful friend, I am so sorry to hear this. Be kind to yourself during this time and I will send much love and light your way to give you strength. Much love to you and yours. xx

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  3. Oh, Mel, I'm so sorry to hear your news. All I can say is I am desperately sad for you, and I send you love from myself and my family. I know that is no consolation, I wouldn't expect it to be, but you are definitely in my thoughts and prayers this week.

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  4. oh Mel, I so so sorry and saddened by your loss. My thoughts are with you at this time. I wish I could find the right words to say to you but I think your amazing friend Antonia has definitely found a special passage. Take care of yourself, I'll be thinking of you

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  5. I'm so sorry to hear of your sad news, thanks for sharing and I hope that soon you will be feeling a little better.

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  6. We carry so much around inside us - life, energy, laughter, tears, memories. Sometimes those things inside are allowed to come out, and sometimes they remain hidden deep within us. For each of us thought that you touch - with words, or writing, you leave a piece of you alongside us all. So that we may be there for you too, even if it is to just listen when you need to speak.

    The quote is beautiful, and very true. Find your place - and grieve as you need to.
    xxx

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  7. I said a prayer for you today. May you receive good health, healing and may you see the rainbow after this storm. Sending you hugs!

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  8. dearest melanie,
    i am so so sorry for your loss. my heart crumples for you. i hope you are warmed by your own amazing words and strength, and the loving support from those you cherish. xoxo

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  9. I found your blog today via the sunday stash and I have been reading your post with tears in my eyes.
    My condolences to you and your family. It may not mean much for a stranger to say that they think they know what you are going through and I don't want to offend you. But I have been through a similar experience. After having one ovary removed we were overjoyed when I fell pregnant. I too started spotting and had a scan. There was no heart beat and I ended up having to have the surgery too.
    I know it will take a long time for the grief to settle. It took me a long time to accept it all, but it still brings tears to my eyes. But I am lucky enough now to have a beautiful baby boy.
    I wish you all the best. I'm so glad you have had such loving support.

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  10. To you and your family, I am very sorry for your sad loss. I don't know you, but I can certainly identify with you. Take care, and I hope you are feeling better soon xoxox

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  11. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I lost my son's twin when I was 11 weeks but managed to keep him to full term, and I have always felt like he was a complete miracle. Take comfort in your other children, they are all so precious.Take care of yourself. x

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  12. I found your blog just now, via Red Pepper Quilts, and I am sobbing. Sobbing for your loss, and for my selfishness. I am 35 weeks with my second and have been complaining for weeks now how I want this to be over with, as I have not enjoyed being pregnant at all. I am sure that you would give anything to carry that precious little one to term and over if you had to. Thank you for sharing your story and giving me some well needed perspective. Again, I am so sorry for your loss and my prayers and thoughts are with you and your family!

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  13. Red Pepper sent me; I'm another stranger wishing you healing and hope. Use those kids of yours, a hug from a child has immense power.

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  14. You sound as if you have a wonderful family and support system to help you get through this hard time. You can only take one day at a time. Stay strong and know that there are people praying for you and your family.

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  15. Red Pepper also directed me your way...
    You are in my prayers, and I will be forwarding this moving post to a few friends of mine who have experienced the same loss.
    We currently are trying to get pregnant (will be our 1st) and I can't image the thought of losing that little life. I'm trying to hold back the tears here at work. Thanks for your honesty, and sincere words.

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  16. Another visitor from Red Pepper.... you are in my thoughts. I hope writing this post has brought you some comfort. The loss of a baby is still such a taboo subject, but it should not be - it happens more often than people think. I do not say this to try and belittle what you have gone through but to let you know you are not alone. Be gentle with yourself whilst you grieve - there is no right or wrong way to come to terms with such a happening. Forgive my clumsy words - I am writing to you as a stranger but I hope you see them as coming from a friend. Blessings xx

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  17. Another Visitor from Red Pepper..So Sorry to hear of your Loss..Glad you put it down in writing I think helps...
    Hope you are Feeling Better Soon.
    Take Care.

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  18. also from red pepper.
    your news is very sad. I've been through a similar experience and it was terrible. The time that you carried the baby, I'm sure you gave and received from each other so much love. To feel such overpowering love is a beautiful thing, even if for a moment.
    my thoughts are with you!

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  19. Through your grief take comfort in your wonderful family and friends. After my second loss, my best friend grasped my hands tightly, staring into my eyes, past the tears, both hers and mine, into the struggle of somehow understanding. “I’ll cry with you,” she said, “until we run out of tears. Even if it’s forever. We’ll do it together.” There it was…a simple promise of connection. The loving alliance of grief and hope that blesses our breaking apart and our coming together again. Know that you are not alone and a million strangers grieve with you and share their hope.

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  20. I saw a post about your situation on Red Pepper. This instantly tugged at my heart as memories come flooding back. I lost my sweet baby on the last day of my first trimester last year. I am so sorry for your loss. I pray for peace and comfort to your souls.

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  21. I found your blog via Red Pepper. Your post brought tears to my eyes as I, too, had the same exact thing happen to me. I'm sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family.

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  22. I am so sorry for this great loss. I am heartbroken with you as I have experienced this kind of loss as well. Please know you will be in my prayers.
    Rebecca

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  23. Another visiter from Red Pepper. My thoughts are with you. thanks for being real in your writing of this.

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  24. Coming via Red Pepper.
    I'm really sorry for you... Really!
    I have experienced the same loss 2 years ago... twelve weeks...
    It took me a long time to overcome this loss and until I won't get pregnant again, I don't think I will ever totally overcome it...
    I wish you a lot of courage, Mel, and above all don't ever think it's a kind of taboo!!!
    It isn't... look at all these comments above...

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  25. I am so sorry for your loss but am amazed at the kindness around you. This is a story to help us remember all the blessing we are surrounded by each day. Thank you for being so brave and sharing such a personal moment.

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  26. I too come via Red Pepper, I am so sorry for your loss & want to commend you for writing about it. I suffered 2 miscarriages close together & found that talking about it & acknowledging it really helped. It is so much more common than we realise. I think that it is often a hard thing for others to grasp, it is after all you who carried this being, no one would have known from the outside but that connection is there from the very start. It has been 7 years now & at times I wonder how different things would have been if I hadn't lost those babies. Take care of yourself & give yourself all the time you need.

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  27. Sometimes we need angels to sit on our shoulder. The ones that we carry but never meet. I have mine, now you have yours. If I could hold your hand I would, if I could wipe your tears I would but in cyber world we say our little prays and hope you have loved ones around you to do the things we can't. My wish is that air will come back into your lungs little by little and soon you will breath again. Love to you and yours xx

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  28. I was going to write the story of my journey to motherhood here, but realized that the only thing I can really say is that I know how you feel. I'm glad you can share with the women who read your blog.

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  29. So, I'm looking at my keyboard puzzling over how appropriate it is for me to comment here. It's my first visit and I am battling with a 'what right do I have' moment. At the same time, I can't just whizz past without saying that I so feel for you and yours with such awfulness. Nikki of You Sew Girl recently told me that she calls cutting fabric 'Think music'. I can imagine needing to cut a whole great lot of quilty goodness.

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  30. My heart aches for you sweetie. I had my own loss at 22 weeks and there is no one that can understand the pain a woman goes through. You are definitely in my thoughts and prayers.

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  31. I'm so sorry. This is my first time to your blog, & I just ache for your loss. Like so many others, I have experienced the pain of losing an innocent child. The pain is unreal & can only be understood by those who have gone through it - & continue to go through it. It really does make you realize what a miracle life is. I pray for your comfort & peace, but know that sometimes you just need to mourn.

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  32. Only this morning I met a child who was born on the date of my 'one that got away' and it was in my mind when I read this post. Your story was so similar to mine; the third pregnancy, the wrong feeling, the lying in the dark, the spotting...only I called Bren who was in Melb at Ikea and went psycho telling him to turn around and drive the 1 and a half hours home that instant. It is soooo hard when you are in the middle of it but all the cliches are true, it wasn't meant to be and time will heal the pain. We waited a few months before making our third and at 21 months she is divine and we love her to bits. I'm so, so sorry for your pain and am pleased that you have such a beautiful family to comfort you. Take care.

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  33. Well written. hope that some peace came with writing. I lost my second. A missed miscarriage apparently. I thought i was pregnant till I was gone 4 1/2 months but always had a niggle of doubt. Long grieving. Much writing and still hopes of more writing. A topic so close to my heart as I feel we could do so much better by mothers and families who lose a child. Our society does not grieve well in general. Hope you have at least one friend as I do who just kept asking how I was. Kept asking. It just doesn't get fixed after the societal alloted time. I am due to have my nowbabe in the next week or so and it was a journey that was felt so differently because of the grief that came before. A long time before really. Hope there is much support and love in your world for time to come. Do grieve - it helped me to. It is such a journey of isolation I found but a journey upwards in general. Go well.
    x

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  34. I am so sorry for your loss, but also very thankful to you for sharing... I have several people close to me who have been through a similar nasty experience in recent times and they felt so alone and inadequate. I have since discovered that it is not uncommon by any means, it just seems to be a taboo subject. It can happen to anyone, people who do everything 100% right... It seems so horrible and shouldn't happen to you.
    Thankyou for sharing and I hope that your two other children and your husband bring you joy everyday to help heal the grief.

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