Thoughts On Having A Miscarriage

February 10, 2014

I’ve been through my fair share of health scares, financial setbacks, and disappointments in the years since I started this blog and for some reason, I never really blogged about those parts of my life.  I almost did in 2007 when Tim had a seizure in my arms on the streets of Brooklyn and I thought he was dying because I’d never seen someone have a seizure (yes, really). Many times since, I’ve been tempted to write about the monotony and insecurities of motherhood (since I do share the thrills and joy of being a mom). The list of possible topics to share is as long as it varied. But something always held me back, some sense that there were lots of places on the internet where you could read about heartache, stress and disappointments.  I’ve always wanted this to be an enjoyable place to come spend time.

However,  I’ve started to feel differently, partially because the internet has been wildly transformed from the chaotic tell-all days of livejournals and anonymous chat rooms.  Today, thanks in part to instagram and iphones, there is a relentless perfectionism to our online lives. An oppressive perfectionism that more often than not makes me feel bad about myself, my life, my choices and I bet makes some of you feel bad, too.  Lots has been written about this online “catfishing” and how it makes us feel (exhibit A: Facebook Makes Us Unhappy, Exhibit B Instagram Envy, Exhibit C blogger envy).  I guess I realized recently that a relentlessly enjoyable place stops being enjoyable after awhile.

So here’s where I decide this time to share with you that I’m in the middle of a miscarriage, from what is probably an ectopic pregnancy. I’m okay, but I’m not great.  The easiest, truest thing to say is that I’m totally uncomfortable emotionally and physically. Here’s one thing no one tells you about miscarriages: they can go on for a long time. The nurse is running out of “good” vein to draw blood, I’ve been to the doctor so many times in the last few weeks. It will be awhile (but the doctor can’t tell me how long) before I’m back to normal physically. My hormones are going crazy, it’s like I don’t fit in my body somehow.

The whole thing is bizarrely isolating, mostly because it’s so physically intense and full of uncertainty and I can’t go around telling the checkout clerk or colleagues or neighbors why I’m not quite myself today.  Even telling a few friends was exhausting, mostly because it puts such a burden on the other person to respond in some way. It’s uncomfortable and awkward to talk about it, which was part of the reason I thought maybe it made sense to write this post. Three friends had miscarriages this year (plus Natalie and Anabela who both wrote about their experiences)  and clearly miscarriages are more common than we acknowledge culturally.  And each woman I know experienced their pregnant / not pregnant moment differently.  So I don’t think there is any way to generalize when someone tells you they are going through something like this, and that’s part of what makes it so awkward. How do you know what to say?  For me, it’s all happened so fast, after many years of secondary infertility, that while it is of course a very sad moment, it is also a profoundly hopeful moment, too.  Complicated, painful, wonderful, chaotic life in a nutshell.

It’s getting late and I’m sleepy so I’ll sign off here with a quiet thanks for reading this and helping me make this a place that can be enjoyable and also full of real life, sometimes.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracy Laverty February 21, 2014 at 1:15 am

You are so brave and courageous to share what is going on in your life. You will get through this difficult time and help so many others in the process just by sharing your experience. I don’t know you personally,but send you a virtual hug and hope you heal soon. Thanks for being so real with us.

Mandy February 24, 2014 at 7:26 pm

thank you for sharing, Abbey! You are very brave and I appreciate that you share your difficult times as well as the good ones. I always enjoy reading your blog! Thank you.

Angela February 27, 2014 at 7:11 pm

This was such a raw post in a massive sea of way too perfect internet. You are amazing.

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