Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hello from a train!

I'm riding on a train from Basel to Munich, as we make our way to our last stop. This will be our 6th stop, 3 nights in Munich, with the primary goal of Oktoberfest. It's been a wonderful trip, lots of wonderful sights, food and drink. Very glad we did this. But I keep thinking about how this trip should have been different, or perhaps not at all. 

I've eaten so much wonderful food, most of which seems is on the forbidden for pregnancy list. And that does not even include the many glasses of wine and beer, including the upcoming Oktoberfest weekend! And I've done a ton of walking, hiking, some of it quite strenuous. Would never have done that if I was 5 months pregnant as planned. But I have had a wonderful time being able to enjoy those things. 

The real reason I'm taking some time out of my vacation to write a post, something I swore I wouldn't do, is I want to write about my conversation last night with my friend M. She lives in Basel, and 8 weeks ago she lost her baby when she was 4 1/2 months along. She started leaking amniotic fluid, checked into the hospital for bed rest, was monitored for over a week, hoping the hole in her sac would heal, but watched her fluid levels continue to decrease. Finally she had to make the heart wrenching decision to deliver the baby. I guess she could have continued the pregnancy, but the doctors guaranteed that the baby wouldn't properly develop, that it wouldn't be healthy, and it was likely that M would get an infection that would likely hurt her chances of future pregnancies. And so she chose to induce labor. 

I spoke with her via text while she was in the hospital and the day before the delivery, after the decision, but I hadn't really talked to her about it since, at her request. But last night, after dinner, I pulled her aside from our men, and asked if we could talk about it. 

She said she's doing fine now. She took a month off of work, and now she's back, and they're trying again for another child. She was showing quite a bit before she lost the baby, and they had done a huge announcement when she was 3 months along, so the worst part was telling everyone. Of course different people responded differently. Some of our mutual friends didn't respond at all-not a note, text, nothing. She was very disappointed in them, and doesn't know what to do about them. I told her about how some people don't know what to say, are very uncomfortable about pregnancy loss, but trying not to give excuses for these friends of ours. 

It was a really good conversation, but I couldn't help having negative feelings. She barely asked about me, and I had told her I was pregnant earlier this summer, and I had told her about my miscarriage at 9 weeks. I don't think she views our losses as similar. I know there are different opinions about 1st trimester or 2nd trimester losses, or even 3rd. I know that what she went through, being in the hospital for so long, having 2 1/2 months longer to bond with her baby, and then having to deliver it, this is so much worse than my experience. And it's not a competition of who had the worst loss or something terrible like that, but I really didn't expect to have her gloss over my miscarriage. 

She kept repeating that she didn't have a miscarriage, that it was different, that she was tired of having to console other people who were sad about her baby (this is after I teared up while she told her story). I asked her about the sex of the baby, she said she didn't know, she didn't want to know, that the sex or seeing the baby or holding the baby after delivery would make it more real. I don't understand this, as I would give anything to know more about the baby I lost. I keep trying to tell myself that everyone's different, that I need to accept her feelings, not judge them, but I just don't understand. 

She seems so strong, so able to just pick herself up and move on. She kept talking about how wonderful her life is, with or without a baby, and she'll be fine without one. They are trying again, and she's very confident it will work. She can be confident - it took her 2 months to get pregnant!!! 

Maybe that's the difference between M and me. Infertility has changed me. Yes we both have gone through terrible things, but I have to go back to treatments, and continuing to wonder if it will work. I've been fighting this battle for 1 1/2 years, and I'm exhausted! I can't just pick myself up, I don't feel strong, instead I feel bitter and jealous of my friend who just lost her baby. Which then makes me feel worse. 

Thanks for listening to me, as always. Sorry for the super long post, but I had to get it out.  I  have really missed blogging. It feels better just to have put my thoughts on paper, or rather the Internet... 

Will be coming home on Sunday, can't wait to see what all of you have been up to! Talk to you next week!


  1. Glad you're having fun on your trip!

    I think your friend maybe isn't as "moved on" as she indicates, and maybe that's why she glossed over your miscarriage, and why you think she doesn't view your losses as similar. Maybe she's afraid of not being able to get pregnant again so easily and wants to keep the distinction between your situations.

    That's my armchair psychologist read this morning, at least. :)

  2. Your trip sounds so fun!!! I hope you post pictures when you get back.

    As for your friend, I agree with BraveIVFgirl that it sounds like she is definitely in the 'denial' stage of grief. IF she doesn't get pregnant again right away, she'll for sure pass through all those other, awful stages.

    It pisses me off, too, though, that if she does get pregnant again right away, she may not have to fully cope with this loss (or maybe not until later in life when time will have mellowed the blow anyways). I read an article a few months ago, back when infant deaths in baby slings was making big news. One lady was interviewed whose 8-day old baby died in a sling as she was walking across the costco parcing lot (and did not once check on her 8 day old baby during the walk! Can you imagine not checking on a baby that young every SECOND?). She was interviewed as saying that she was ok becuase she was pregnant again... As though one baby were interchangeable for another!!! Yeah, that attitude totally pisses me off. I think that even if these women 'suffer' a loss, it isn't the same as it is for people who love that individual child with every fiber of their being.

    BUT, maybe she did, and she just can't talk about it. It doesn't seem like that is the case, but I'll try to give her the benefit of the doubt.

  3. First, i am so glad you are enjoying your fabu trip. although, I know that bitter sweet feeling of what should have been follows us every where.
    I am so sorry that your friend was insensitive like this. I am not saying I agree with her actions, but I do understand them in some way. I, like her, ended a pregnancy after a fatal prenantal diagnosis. I could related to people who had miscarriages but I felt there was something different or extra in my experience. I also know that I became so consumed with my own grief that it was impossible to feel anything for anyone else. My own emotions just took over. In time, this has changed for me so I hold out hope for her too, although I can understand why it might be hard for you to be around her especially if she becomes pregnant again easily. It is interesting to think about the point others have made about how IF makes us have to mourn our lost babies instead of moving or replacing with another baby or pregnancy.
    Hoping you enjoy the rest of your trip.

  4. Oktoberfest! I am so jealous. I am sorry for this lack of support on your friends part. It's hard to understand how folks will relate. On to beer and food and fun. I miss the wonderful pretzels and chicken! Give Munich a wet sloppy kiss for me!

  5. So glad that you're having a good trip!

    I know that must have been hard. And, while her loss is horrible, yours is also significant and horrible, too. I know I feel humbled about my loss when looking at women who had even more time with their babies and lost them or had to make a decision to let them go. But, I also feel like what I've gone through was valid pain. It is hard not to look for some support even when you know that what she's going through is horrible. And, we do all react differently.

  6. Glad you're having a great trip Alex!! Enjoy Oktoberfest and tell us all about it when you get back!

    You've had so many great comments already re: your friend and I think I agree with others that she is so caught up in her own grief and working through that that she can't wrap her mind around yours. It's not okay, but I hope with time she realizes her error and reaches out to you.

  7. First, I'm glad you're having fun on your trip!!

    This is interesting about the conversation with your friend. How horrible what she went through. I'm sorry though that you felt like she glossed over your loss. You're right that IF changes us and if she got pregnant so easily, well, I don't know. Perhaps that's where her perspective came from.

  8. I think the key may well be in the 2 months vs. many, and perhaps also in the way we all deal with loss differently. I would also have felt stung at the fact that she did not bring up your loss. My guess is that if she's a good friend, she's probably already feeling badly about that. Or maybe she's had to encase her heart in steel in order to muster the courage to try again. One way or another, though, I do think that it's good that you brought it up and acknowledged it. (And, especially decent of you given that you are dealing with your own loss).

    Glad you're having fun! Enjoy Oktoberfest and travel safely!

  9. Hi darling,
    I have really missed you. Can't wait til you are back. With your friend, I have to agree with the others that she just isn't able to share her true feelings. I think maybe deep down she hasn't moved on and is feeling anxious about trying again. I'm sorry your feelings were hurt though. Your losses are not "less" or easier to get over. They are just different. So that was an unfair thing for her to say, but when you are grieving, you're not really yourself, IYKWIM? Enjoy the rest of your trip & pop over when you can to see my news!! xxxxoooo

  10. arghh I had the longest comment typed out then leaned on my laptop and somehow erased it!! D'oh

    Ok lets try and make it less verbose this time Suzy:

    I can sort of understand where your friend is coming from. Firstly, I get the not wanting to console people. I remember when people would cry in front of me I became so irritated, like they had no right to be upset, like I owned the only rights to grieve for my boy. It was totally irrational,, but thats grief for you!

    I do know lots of people who lost their babies in the late 2nd tri, and they really hate their loss being referred to as a miscarriage, and fight for the right for their babies to be legally recognised (however, they all held, named and loved on their babies - I dont understand why she wouldnt, but like you said, its not for us to judge). But perhaps that may have been why she glossed over your loss, because society views is as the same as hers, and she does not.

    But darling there is no pain olympics. Her loss is not greater than your loss. We cannot begin to imagine that one loss is worse or harder than another.

    Perhaps she is just feeling so much pain over her loss, she cant see outside of that to acknowledge your pain? Grief is a terribly selfish process.

    Much love to you, enjoy the rest of your trip!

  11. I was thinking of the work denial....and as I just skimmed down I see that is what alot of people have put in their many ways people grieve and or lack of...we are all programmed so different and for me I dealt with each of my loses differently and that fact she didnt ask a lot about you tells me she is still consumed with her loss whether she likes to admit to it or not....either way a loss is a loss period....its hard to deal with in whatever trimester:( Take care and enjoy the rest of your trip...I miss not hearing from you

  12. Alex hugs to you. It's hard to hear of other peoples losses and especially when your own were diminished at the same time.
    You described it so well. The fact that she sees her loss as an isolated event that she can put in a box and just move on and have confidence that she'll get pregnant again easily shows the differences. You on the other hand have to deal with the grief of loosing a baby (any loss is a loss) as well as the uphill battle of getting pregnant again.
    I hope you're doing OK , I know from my own personal experience that hearing of other peoples losses can make my own resurface again. Thinking of you.

  13. Alex, great to hear from you, I have missed you! Good to hear you are having a GREAT trip! I am so glad you are making the most of the places you are visiting.

    I am sorry your friend couldn't have taken a moment to ask how you were doing. It hurts because when it happens you feel let down in a way.. maybe it's all too recent for her or maybe like you said she did not see your losses as the same kind of loss. Whatever the reason, I am thinking of you and hope that blogging about what happened has helped releasing some of the bad energy.. Sending you a big hug and cannot wait till you are back! Enjoy the Oktoberfest!

  14. A loss is a loss at any point. I'm glad you are having a good trip. It sounds great.

  15. The fact that you took the time to check on your friend and ask her about her loss shows you are such a kind and thoughtful person. Not everyone is like that, sadly. I am sorry your friend wasn't able to reciprocate the gesture. The other commenters have all given so many good reasons for why that could have been. But would have been nice for you to get some comfort in your pain.

    Hugs to you. I hope the last leg of your trip continues to be relaxing and fun!