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So, Ava has been gone for pretty much as long as I had her with me.  And the pain of her loss hasn’t gotten any less, I’ve just gotten better at dealing with it.

I have so many mixed emotions.  I feel bad that I struggle to be happy for people who I know who are pregnant.  I sincerely am happy for them – I just have a hard time associating it with our loss which is selfish of me, I know.

I spilled my guts about how I am feeling in an email to my cousin Melissa – it was about a lot of stuff that not many people know.  She wrote me back the most amazing message that really lifted my spirits and made me feel better.  Still, I hate it that those moments don’t last as long for me, because I go right back to dwelling.  I talked about it with Audrey, too.  She understands everything I feel, so she never makes me feel like I’m being stupid or neurotic, even though I believe that I am.

There were so many things we were looking forward to – of course, Ava was the biggest anticipation.  But I was looking forward to taking Christmas pictures this year with a big ol’ preggo belly.  Does that sound dumb?  I guess it is a pretty lame and superficial thing to look forward to – but I wasn’t looking forward to it because I thought it would make a good picture; rather, it meant that as soon as Christmas was over, that would mean that she would be here in a month and a half.  Ahh, depression….we’re good friends these days, aren’t we?

I’m gonna stop writing now.  There I go again feeling stupid….

Again, I want to say thank you to all the people who have left me messages and comments telling me that they found my blog and that it has helped them get through their own tough times.  I’m so glad to be of help. 

Many of you keep asking me how to get through this.  The thing is…I don’t know how.  Life goes on, and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of Ava.  But you learn to start doing other things again.  I guess with time, things eventually get better.  Still, there is always a part of you that is up in heaven with your baby, and there’s no time frame you have to follow that says when you are supposed to stop caring about them or remembering them.

And speaking of remembering them, I wanted to post up something I received from The Church of the Holy Innocents, a Roman Catholic church in New York, NY.  My good friend Alicia, who lives in New York, told me about their website at http://www.innocents.com right after we lost Ava.

They have what they call The Shrine of The Holy Innocents.  The following is an excerpt from their site:


The BOOK OF LIFE  rests between statues of the Holy Family at The Church of The Holy Innocents 128 W 37th St. NY, NY 10018

The Shrine is dedicated in Memory of the Children Who Have Died Unborn.

Often children who have died before birth have no grave or headstone, and sometimes not even a name. At The Church of The Holy Innocents, we invite you to name your child(ren) and to have the opportunity to have your baby’s name inscribed in our “BOOK OF LIFE”.

Here, a candle is always lit in their memory. All day long people stop to pray. On the first Monday of every month, our 12:15pm Mass is celebrated in honor of these children and for the comfort of their families.

We pray that you will find peace in knowing that your child(ren) will be remembered at the Shrine and honored by all who pray here.

Below this message, there is an online form you can fill out, and they will send you a Certificate of Life through email that looks like this.

I think this is a really beautiful dedication, and it is something that everyone who has gone through this loss – whether you are Catholic or not – can do to help ease the pain.  It’s just nice to know that there are others out there who are thinking good thoughts towards you and your angel. 

I hope this helps some of you out there.  Take care and God bless.

When I had my miscarriage, I thought it was the end of the world.  Not long after I started writing in this blog about our loss, I started getting contacted by many, many women who found my blog one way or another telling me that by me talking about and sharing my experience, it has really helped them out.  Let me tell ya, I found just as much comfort in their words as they did in mine. 

I hate to think how common this is, but I am seeing more and more just how often it happens.  At my job, everyone was joking about there being “something in the water” because all of a sudden, lots of ladies were getting pregnant!  And lots of guys were getting their wives pregnant.  It was a really happy time! 

And then I feel like I started a chain reaction with my loss.

A few weeks after I lost Ava, another girl that works in our company lost her baby.  Another gal was having complications and had to go on very early medical leave for the rest of the pregnancy (I believe she is only 3 months along?) – fortunately, she is still doing good.

Today, I got some bad news from Audrey – one of our co-worker’s wife just lost their baby over the weekend due to complications.  He and I hugged and laughed when I told him I was pregnant because at that moment, he told me his wife was pregnant, too – and we came to find out that we were due at the same time!  When he found out about my miscarriage, he hesitated to tell me anything about the pregnancy, but I really wanted to hear from him how things were going because the look on his face every time he talked about his son was just wonderful.

My heart is just breaking for them.  This is their first child as well.  To my friend “A”, if you’re reading this (hmm…I kinda hope you aren’t reading this), DON’T WORRY.  Your pregnancy is still going wonderful, and don’t find some way to relate this to your own son.

Anyway, I found this on another site just talking about grief over a miscarriage, and I wanted to share it with any of you who find my blog (I really don’t know how you all find me, but I’m glad you do – feel free to leave comments!  I see that you’re reading, and I’d love to know who you are).

7 Common Misconceptions about Grief about Miscarriage:

(c) 1998, 2003, 2007 by Dr. Joanne Cacciatore an excerpt from the book Dear Cheyenne

The younger the baby/child, the less your pain will be

Truth: It may be true that society grants us less of a right to grieve for infants and stillborn babies, however, the truth is that the love of a parent is not contingent upon the amount of time we had with our child. Love simply cannot be measured in time. Some may try to “pro-rate” our grief. That is, if a ten-year-old dies, it is worth “x” amount of pain… if a one year old dies, it is worth “y” amount of pain… if a one day old dies, that is worth only “z” amount of pain. It seems ridiculous to bereaved parents. Consider this… Would it be easier to bury your child when you did or would it be easier to bury them one year later? It is an impossible question to answer. There is no easier time, no lesser pain. It is horrible whenever it happens.

It has been six months, you should be over this

Truth: The truth is, you will never “be over” this pain. The pain never completely leaves. We will grieve our entire lifetime for the child we should have with us. When others think we should have gotten over it by now, they are confusing the significance of the death of a child with an event of much lesser significance. You get over the loss of a job, a broken bone or a friendship gone awry. The death of a child, at any age and from any circumstance, is a life changing and tragic event that will never be forgotten. You will however, eventually learn the skills necessary to assist you in dealing with the pain. Day to day life will never be “normal” and may never feel the way it used to, but time does help to ease the pain.

Another baby is the answer to your grief

Truth: Your deceased child’s life is worthy of all the pain you feel. While another child will fill your empty, aching arms, it will never replace your other child. Allow yourself time to grieve your child. Do not rush yourself. Another baby may add more pressure on you, your surviving children, your spouse and your new child. Be cautious not to venture into an unprepared pregnancy, too soon after the death of your beloved child.

You need to forget your baby / child and move on with life

Truth: Many people will ridicule you if; photographs of your deceased child are placed in your home, if you still attend support group meetings or if you memorialize your child years after his or her death. Your faithfulness to your child’s memory is to be commended! Do not let others discourage your gift of dedication. The truth is, twenty years after the death of Elvis Presley, the whole country stops to recognize him with candlelight vigils in Graceland. The event is televised worldwide on CNN and every other news station and television station in the country. This is a completely acceptable practice which millions of Americans, young and old, partake in. Yet, the same communities would have grieving parents questioning their own sanity when they chose to participate in an event, quietly memorializing someone far more important in their life- their own child. Remember your child. Do not let others determine what is right for you. Remember and do not be ashamed!

Support Groups are for weak people

Truth: The truth is, that the death of a child is the most isolating and lonely event in a human’s life. Many grieving parents say that friends become strangers and strangers become friends. The reason for this is clear. How can any one else possibly understand the depth of this pain if they had never experienced it before? An analogy I like to use is related to weight loss. Let’s say I struggled with obesity all my life and finally made a decision to do whatever I needed to lose weight and become healthy again. Courageously, I check myself into a weight loss clinic. However, the mentor and counselor assigned to help me through my struggle with weight is 110 lbs and a size three, and she has never been overweight a day in her life. How in the world is she going to understand your pain, your struggles and your fears? She never can. It is unlikely that you will even feel comfortable relating to that person. Support groups are a safe haven for parents to go and share the deepest of their pain with others who have experienced the same feelings. Many support groups are full of strong and compassionate people who are dedicated to helping newly bereaved parents find hope and peace in their life.

You will soon be yourself again

Truth: The truth is, you probably died with your child. You may have remnant pieces of the former self remaining; however, you are unlikely to become exactly who you were before. Get to know who you are once again. Your child’s death has changed many things about you and you will need time and patience to reacquaint yourself with the new person you have become!

Am I going Crazy?

Truth: Every parent who has gone through the death of a child feels as if they are crazy. The vast array of emotions can overwhelm us. Many of us feel emotions we never knew we could feel. It is frightening and shocking. The usual routine of day to day life suddenly annoys us. We feel out of place even amongst the closest of family and friends.. We cannot attend baby showers or birthday parties. We may feel too weak and drained to get out of bed in the morning. Once enjoyed activities become dreaded tasks for us. Some parents are unable to perform at work, while others may become completely absorbed in their jobs as an attempt to escape the pain. Some parents express that the grief has become so unbearable, that they prayed God would take them while they sleep. It is a roller coaster ride. Some days we are able to laugh and feel joy again. While other days there seems a black cloud hanging over us the entire day. Who wouldn’t feel crazy while undergoing all of these many emotions? You aren’t crazy. You are a grieving parent, simply missing what should have been in your life. Be patient and kind to yourself. While the longing for your child will never disappear, time grants us moments of peace in between the tidal waves of pain. Allow those peaceful moments to bring you closer to your child’s love and the gifts they have left for you to discover

So, my doctor’s appointment went well.  I was a little annoyed at first because she was 45 minutes late, and I had to get back to work.  When the nurse walked me in, I could see my doctor through a slightly open door consoling a woman who was crying hysterically.  I felt horrible, because I remember being in that girl’s position.  I was no longer angry that she was late. 

She did an exam on me and said everything looked and felt normal and that she thinks we should start trying again as soon as possible.  I kinda wish people would stop telling me that.  I know they’re trying to be encouraging, but I just want to wait a little more.  We’ll know when the time comes to try again.

I was concerned, though, because I haven’t gotten my period yet – go figure, this time I want to be PMSing! LOL  She said it will take anywhere from 1 – 2 months to get back on my normal cycle and for me to start ovulation, and that I shouldn’t be concerned.  Now, if it’s January 2008 and I still haven’t gotten it, then yeah, I should go back in because that could indicate scar tissue, but she is doubtful that there are any complications.

I’m relieved.  And now I’m celebrating with a Sugar Free Pure Vanilla Ice Blended from Coffee Bean.  Fabulous!

So, tomorrow I have a doctor’s appointment with the doctor I was seeing while I was pregnant.  It’s for the 6 week follow up after “delivering” the baby.  I still think it’s horrible that they call it a delivery whether you had the baby or had a miscarriage. 

Anyway, I’m anxious.  I don’t want the doctor to say something is wrong with me and that I can never have children ever again.  I don’t want her to do an exam on me.  I don’t want her to ask questions about how I’ve been coping with things.  I don’t want her to ask if I’ve thought about seeing a grief counselor – friends are better than any psychologist I could see, anyway. 

Basically, I don’t want to go see her.  I hope everything is alright with me. 

So when I first found out I was pregnant, the nerd in me came out of course and turned to the internet for information.  The first thing I did was go on forums to try to see what other women were going through and to read up on questions and answers.  On one particular site, I found two girls that I connected with.  “J” (who just gave birth to her gorgeous little girl) helped me out with a ton of questions that I was having, and “A” was right along the same timeline as I was. 

I found a lot of comfort in talking to both of these girls.  “J” put my mind at ease with a lot of my questions, and “A” had (unfortunately) been through what I’ve been through, so she knew what it was like to worry. 

When “A” found out I had a miscarriage, the things she said to me made me feel like I was finally being understood.  While I appreciated all the kind words and gestures from everyone (which, no doubt, helped Ed and I through it), for some reason, I kinda just clung on to “A’s” messages.  She told me how she didn’t feel like getting out of bed or changing out of her PJ’s just to go to the store, and that sometimes she just felt like dying so she could be with her babies (I’m sorry I’m letting all this out in the open, “A”, but that’s why I’m not using your real name! =] ).  That is exactly how I felt/feel.  I’m still dealing with a depression that only really seems to materialize when I’m alone with my thoughts.  “A” reminded me to grieve as long as I wanted and that no one should expect me to get over this anytime soon. 

Someone that I was talking to about all this told me that it’s probably easier for me to deal with, since I wasn’t that far along (in my opinion, though, I think 3 1/2 months is pretty far) and since the baby wasn’t even alive yet.  I can’t talk to this person like I used to.   

The baby wasn’t even alive yet?  Of course she was!  If she wasn’t alive, I wouldn’t have these wonderful memories of her kicking her legs and moving her arms on the ultrasound screen.  I wouldn’t have felt nauseous day in and day out (which, I think now, I was making out to be less worse than it really was).  I wouldn’t have felt all the symptoms of pregnancy if she wasn’t alive inside of me

Anyway, “A” has been a great friend and support while I was going through pregnancy, and while I was going through the miscarriage.  I remember when she first told me she felt the baby kick her back after she poked her tummy – I couldn’t help but think that since she and I were due the same time, I’d probably be feeling the same thing.  Then when she found out that she was having a boy, I thought to myself that even though I know in my heart our baby was a girl, I would’ve had confirmation of that right now.

I was talking to another friend about “A” and my friend asked me if it was hard to hear about all the things she’s going through, knowing that it should have been me too.  The answer is no.  In fact, it’s the complete opposite of no – which kind of surprises me, because I’m the type of person that can get jealous of what others have when I don’t have it.

But the thing with “A” is that she has gone through what I have gone through.  Twice, I believe.  And now, her little miracle is growing strong inside of her and all I can feel are thoughts of overwhelming happiness and joy for her – and hope for me.  I pray for her and her baby boy all the time because I really belive prayer is a powerful thing.  She and her husband are going to be great parents, and I am sooo sure that “A” was made for motherhood (she wanted to be a preschool teacher like I was, after all, so she loves kids as much as I do!).

We’ve never met, but her mom lives near my in-laws, so we’ve agreed to meet up one day and go shopping – I plan on spoiling her baby boy rotten =]

“A”, if you’re reading this, I want you to know that I am so excited for you and that I am glad we are friends, even though we’ve never met in real life =]  I wish I could tell you to stop worrying everytime you go to one of your appointments, but worrying just shows how much you care.

Just think, in a little over 4 months you’ll get to start drinking your Mountain Dew Code Red and your little guy will be here.  God bless!

Just got a call from a nurse at Kaiser calling to schedule an ultrasound for me.  WHAT IS THEIR DEAL!?!?!?!  In my anger, I was rude to the nurse and said “I had a miscarriage in August and yet you guys still keep calling me to schedule all these appointments!  What is your problem?”  She said she was very sorry, and I caught myself before I was any meaner to her, and asked her to take my name off of their list. 

I’m so angry I could cry.

It’s been about 2 weeks since the last D&C (3 weeks since the first one) and I am still feeling a little twang of pain here and there in my abdomen.  I’m scared, but the twangs of pain are few and far between so it’s not really too alarming.  I was also bleeding yesterday.  It wasn’t a lot, but it definitely wasn’t spotting – it was as if I was on my period again, but I know I’m not.  It did stop, though, so I’m glad about that.  I thought this was all supposed to cease a few days after the procedure?

My main worry is that they perforated my uterus, but I’m pretty sure it’s not that.  The symptoms (at least, from what I’ve read – does anyone know more about it?  I couldn’t find much) are that I would have so much pain that I couldn’t walk and that I’d be running a fever, and so far I have had none of that.  I just worry because that was the main risk with having a D&C, since the uterus is so soft when you’re pregnant and it’s possible that they could accidentally cut me.

I still haven’t heard back about my insurance (switching and all), and I have a doctor’s appointment next Thursday.  I’d rather say to hell with Kaiser and be done with it, but I also want to make sure that there are no further complications or anything that would prevent me from getting pregnant in the future or put the baby at risk, so I’m gonna keep the appointment.

You know what’s lame (I just remembered it and I laughed to myself)?  So, I got a call from a nurse on the August 17th (4 days after the procedure) and when I answered the phone and found out who she was she proceeded to say “We here at Kaiser just wanted to say congratulations on the birth of your child and that we do a follow-up appointment 6 weeks after delivery for all mother’s to make sure everything is okay.  What date works best for you?”

I was stunned.  She was calling to congratulate me?  On delivering?  So I said “I’m not sure you’re calling the right patient…” and she confirmed my medical # and everything and sure enough it was me.  I proceeded to ask her why she felt it was necessary for me to have this appointment, and she said it was for the sake of my good health and to make sure everything is okay and that this was a standard check up.

I then proceeded to ask her if she knew if I had a boy or a girl.  She said “Excuse me?”  I asked her again and she said it didn’t say – she was just going off of a list.  So I said she should look at a different list with my information and after she does that, call me back.

She didn’t call me back.  Another nurse I was working with did though, and she apologized about the whole situation and said I still needed to have that appointment to make sure everything is okay.  She also said that even though I had the miscarriage, that it is considered by them to be a delivery and my name just went on a list for that nurse to call, because she is the one who schedules the follow-up appointment for all mothers who just gave birth.

Idiots.

I Would Die For That – Kellie Coffey 

…by Jan Cosby

Nobody knew you
“Sorry about the miscarriage dear, but you couldn’t have been very far along.”
…existed.

Nobody knew you
“It’s not as though you lost an actual person.”
…were real

Nobody knew you
“Well it probably wasn’t a viable fetus.  It’s all for the best.”
…were perfect.

Nobody knew you
“You can always have another!”
…were unique.

Nobody knew you
“You already have a beautiful child. Be happy!”
…were loved for yourself.

Nobody knew you
…but us.

And we will always remember
…You.