Empty

by Jen on April 10, 2012

I’m sitting on my couch trying to decide which hurts more.  The lump in my throat or the sting in my eyes?

I miscarried our baby Sunday.  Easter Sunday.  At 10 weeks and 2 days pregnant, our baby, described as being the size of a kumquat with a normal growth rate and a strong, miraculous little heart, lost his way.

I don’t know why.  Probably there is a reason, but today, there is no reason that I care to hear.

I am not a religious person.  I don’t usually believe in miracles, and I have little faith in few things other than myself.  But finding out we were pregnant, pregnant against so many biological odds, was nothing short of a miracle.  And with that, I was given a sense of faith I’d never felt.  I felt such a confidence in my pregnancy.  How could I be blessed with such an unexpected gift only to have it taken from me?  I had faith, even after finding myself at the emergency room with bleeding at five weeks and again at seven.  I was a ball full of nerves and worry, but still, I had peace.  Or faith?  Or both?

Because of my subchorionic hematoma, I didn’t instantly panic at the sight of some minor spotting on Saturday.  I was told by my OB and the doctors I’d seen at my previous ER visits that unless I was filling more than a pad an hour, I was probably fine.  My bleeding was minor, so I got off my feet and tried to relax.

By Sunday afternoon, my bleeding was accompanied with some abdominal cramping that went from bad to brutal in just a few hours.  When we finally reached the emergency room, I struggled to stand.  A few hours after that, I felt I was being ripped in two and knew well before the ultrasound was performed there was no way our baby had survived.

Because of my previous LEEP, my cervix was sealed shut with scar tissue, preventing my body from being able to expel the tissue it was trying to release.  I was shaking and sweating and freezing and crying and pleading with thin air.  My physical and emotional reaction was completely unexpected and out of control.  I was in labor with no hope of holding our baby in the end.

A determined obstetrician stepped in and was able to manipulate my cervix enough to flush out a bulk of “the products of conception”.  That’s what they call the baby and the placenta.

Products of conception.

Releasing that pressure eliminated much of the burning, but brought to life the reality of our loss.

It’s a horrifying experience.  It was messy and painful and even though I’d experienced miscarriage through the eyes of so many of my friends, nothing could have prepared me.  The pain kept me in a blood soaked hospital bed in a blood soaked gown for far longer than was normal, and I wonder how George kept from getting sick.

I spent much of the day yesterday numb on pain pills and passing additional tissue, trying not to think too much about what my body was actually shedding.  I felt an overwhelming appreciation for my partner and what he’d just witnessed and wondered how any women could possibly endure this sort of loss without such a strong and sensitive hand to hold.  Had it not been for George, I don’t actually know if I’d have been able to leave the hospital.

But today, I have curled up inside myself.  I feel angry and empty and unsure of what I will do to occupy my mind.  I spent every second of my pregnancy thinking about names, staring at isolated features on George and praying our baby would be lucky enough to inherit eyes like his.  I spent hours contemplating ways to transform our one bedroom apartment into a space fit for our son or daughter.  I wanted nothing to do with diet coke and bloody marys and sashimi and blue cheese.  I took my vitamins like clockwork feeling such a personal satisfaction that those vitamins were helping to develop our baby’s brain and spinal cord and bones and chambers of his heart.  I watched my breasts swell with purpose and my belly protrude.  Meredith taught me breathing exercises that helped calm my prenatal anxieties, and I did them no fewer than ten times a day.  There wasn’t one moment of any day that I wasn’t vividly aware of the miracle that was taking place inside of me.

And now, I don’t know how I’ll distract myself.  I don’t know what I’ll spend my time thinking about.

I’ve heard people say, “Well at least now you know you can get pregnant!”

But really, that doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment or consolation to me if it leaves you feeling as empty as I do today.

My sister-in-law, who battled two miscarriages prior to giving birth to my most perfect nephew, once said that she could be pregnant thirty times, but if it never resulted in the healthy delivery of her child, it was torture.  I am torn.  On one hand, I never thought I’d become pregnant.  The bonding I did in just a few short weeks is incomprehensible.  I loved (love?) that baby more than I could have imagined.  On the other hand, had I never known pregnancy, I would have just speculated about what I was missing.  I’d have never really known that it really was as cool as I’d thought it would be.  Maybe ignorance would be bliss?

I don’t know.

My bleeding and clotting seems to be slowing today.  I feel an eagerness to get it all out of my system and a strange desperation to hang on to it.  My mind is a huge contradiction, obviously, and I have a feeling the hormonal roller coaster isn’t going to let me off for a few days.  Or weeks?  I see my OB on Thursday for a final ultrasound to confirm whether or not I was able to pass everything on my own.  That appointment sounds like a nightmare.

I’m not sure when or how this will ever make sense to me.  George and I will survive.  I know we will.  We will be strong for one another, and we’ll get back on the saddle and try again someday when we feel the time is right.  I have a life worth living despite the emptiness I feel today, but I don’t feel guilty grieving. I don’t feel rushed to put this past me, and I don’t feel ashamed to admit I’m hurting like hell.

Time will heal this pain.  Please let it heal this pain.

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarcasm Goddess April 10, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Oh, I am so so sorry. My heart aches for you.

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2 XLMIC April 10, 2012 at 6:13 pm

My heart truly breaks for you. I'll not say any of the trite shit that is actually pretty true. I just wanted you to know that I am here. I know. And I am so deeply sorry you are going through this. Love to you. Love and strength and peace. But mostly love.

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3 Meredith April 10, 2012 at 6:24 pm

You have an ability to “be with what is” that I both admire deeply and want to unplug for you right now. At least until you can look back, only loving the miracle that also happens to hold faded scars.

Wish I could hold you both to my bossom.
Love you completely.

Buff.

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4 mamamash April 10, 2012 at 6:29 pm

There are a lot of broken hearts out there this week for you guys. Many of those hearts have endured the same pain, and while some are still healing others are made whole again by time and hindsight.

This is your journey to motherhood. This is your hurt to work through and share with others later who experience the same pain. And you're in the middle of it and it's awful and I'm so sorry, so I hold my breath and wait for you to get closer to the other side where I know you'll be ok and ready to try again.

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5 Bonnie April 10, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Jenn,

You are such a talented writer. Your descriptions are vivid and transcend me there every time I read your blog. Today I immediately I began to feel a tug on my heart after reading the first few lines and the tears began to pour out. I love you to death and you do not deserve this to happen Jenn. I wish more than anything that this didn't happen to you and I wish I could walk over to your house and bring you chips and salsa and hold your hand through this. I cannot fathom what you and George must be going through but I do know that you and George are the strongest couple I have ever encountered and I have no doubt in my mind you will get through this and come out only stronger and will be blessed with another little miracle. I know that nothing I can say will change anything at all but please know you have all of my sympathy and I am so sorry this happened to you. I wish there was more I could do. I LOVE YOU. I miss you…

Bonnie

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6 Joann April 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm

You gave your baby life. It was a short one but It was life and I believe we are eternal beings and sOmeday you will meet your precious baby again. I’m so so sorry for your loss. I’ll be praying for you.

I’m really hoping I haven’t said anything trite.

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7 christina April 10, 2012 at 7:19 pm

no no no NO this did not happen to you!!!!!!! holy mother of i'm so upset and disgusted by this! you're not alone, just know that. and absolutely take your time grieving. this is REAL MOFO LOSS here. no matter what the doctor's call it. i'm so glad you have George and he has you and you have your pups, too, to hug super hard. oh man, Jen, i'm SO SOOO saddened by this news. so so so very sorry for your loss. i will be thinking of you even more so than normal…

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8 Chelsea April 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Jen,,,
I wish I could hug you,,be there for you and reassure you that this will pass and you didn't deserve this. Your support system is huge and we will all be here for you when your ready. Continue to have faith because there is no doubt in my mind that you will an AMAZING MOTHER someday. Thank you for writing, your such a strong person and as I continue to pray for george and you I know no matter what you guys will be okay. I love you and so does Penelope 🙂

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9 Renea April 10, 2012 at 7:53 pm

This is so horrible and you should grieve for as long as you need to. There is no time limit on the suffering of a love lost. You are strong. Love to you and your husband.

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10 Alison@Mama Wants This April 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm

I'm grieving with you, my dear sweet friend, and holding you in my heart. Words cannot say how sorry I am for your loss. Love you. xo

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11 logyexpress April 10, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I have nothing I can say that will help at all, but I just want to say how sorry I am to hear this.

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12 MarthaCole April 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I cannot even begin to tell you how very sorry I am for your loss. I have felt your joy for the last few weeks, and Lynne's joy, and now I feel your hurt and sorrow. Like you, I am not a very religious person, but I can only hope that God had a good reason for causing or allowing this to happen. I pray that He will find a way to ease your pain, both physical and emotional. Again, I can only say I am so very sorry.
Sincerely, Martha Cole

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13 Amandad335 April 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Awww Jen!! You are so strong to be able to share this story with everyone! LOTS of HUGS and LOVE as you go through this difficult time!!

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14 Rach DonutsMama April 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm

I am so very sorry, Jen. So sorry. This is a pain that I hate for anybody woman to experience. It truly is amazing how you love this little being that you didn't get to meet. But I'm really glad that for as long as he/she was here, that you celebrated that little life and took joy and happiness in it and allowed us to do the same. I know you'll be ok, you'll be stronger and gentler at the same time. You will heal. It takes time, but you will. I am here if you ever need to talk or just need a voice to get you through the day.

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15 Steve Parks April 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm

I do not know what your grieving is like. I cannot imagine the depths of your sadness.

I do have faith. One of my favorite passages is in Lamentations 3:25-27. I hope the first part helps renew your faith. God is amazing and has a purpose. I find I often don't understand it until about 5 years later. I hope that you find it sooner.

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16 alison April 10, 2012 at 10:09 pm

I'm brokenhearted for you and your George. This is so desperately unfair, and I wish like mad that I could say something to make it different. If you weren't like a zillion miles away, I'd drive to you and give you a big squishy hug. Internet hugs aren't as awesome but they'll have to do. Beaming you love. xo

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17 Farah April 10, 2012 at 10:13 pm

I am so very sorry

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18 Michelle April 10, 2012 at 10:13 pm

I am SO sorry for your loss. It just absolutely sucks. Be assured of my prayers.

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19 Kristen April 10, 2012 at 10:21 pm

I just opened this post and got sick. I have been hoping and praying that everything would go well for you and George since you first announced your pregnancy. Is it okay to say that I am mad that this happened to you? That I want to yell out, "Why Jen?!"
Don't rush through your grieving. Only you know what your heart needs. It is comforting for me to know though that you have George by your side through all of this.
I'm so sorry, Jen.
Much much love, Kristen

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20 Dipitie April 10, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Oh no, I am so sorry 🙁 I understand the disbelief, the overwhelming grief, and the questions. Sending you hugs and strength xoxo

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21 Runnermom-jen April 10, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Oh Jen…there are no words. Holding you in my thoughts and prayers and wishing I could give you a giant hug right now.
xo

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22 ace1028 April 10, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Oh, my heart is breaking. I have been meaning to email you as I was worried about you and seeing your post title I just felt like curling up into a ball for you. I send you much love and as many hugs as you can stand right now. There are no words to truly express what an outsider like me is feeling as I see you go through such a loss. I'm so sorry. Please know that I am here – we are here – to listen and to stand beside you and hold your hand however long you need us to. xo

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23 Amy April 11, 2012 at 5:43 am

I am so saddened to hear that. You're in my thoughts as well.

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24 Andrea April 11, 2012 at 7:39 am

I am so sorry 🙁
Sending lots of love, strength & hugs.

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25 Kimberly April 11, 2012 at 8:16 am

I don't have any words that will comfort this immense loss.
My heart breaks for you and George.
Know that you are in my thoughts and I'm sending all the strength I have to you.
Much much much love. Take care of you.

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26 Lance April 11, 2012 at 8:18 am

From my family to you, I genuinely give you our hearts. I'm sorry for your great loss. Thank you for sharing this but damn I'm sorry, Jen.

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27 NPRMommy April 11, 2012 at 8:20 am

I'm so sorry for your loss. I miscarried a baby at 17 weeks. Talking and writing got me through it. Sending prayers and positive vibes your way.

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28 TheKirCorner April 11, 2012 at 8:20 am

I read this this morning, and just started crying, I've been tearing up since then. I am so sorry Jen, I don't even have words for how sad and heartbroken I am for you. Your miracle is coming, it is…I used to tell my infertile sisters..I would "Call the Angels" (the song I listened to a lot when I was TTC was Calling All Angels from Train, that line …"I won't give up, if you don't give up" was my mantra) and so today…now and until you are holding your child, "I am CALLING THE ANGELS" for you. xoxoxo

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29 Sarah April 11, 2012 at 10:06 am

I am so sorry for your loss. I have walked in those shoes it is brutal. It is a club none of us wanted to join.

For me, there were a lot of wine and cookie dough days as I tried to process it all. The best advice I got was that whatever I felt was ok. And to give myself permission to feel whatever that may be.

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30 Alana April 11, 2012 at 11:45 am

My heart aches for you and George. Do whatever it is that you need to do to heal, with no apologies or exceptions to anyone. Nothing matters but healing. I miscarried after a minor car accident years ago and hadn't even known I was pregnant until that day. Sometimes I wonder if knowing would have made a difference, but I remind myself that that's not how it happened and I had to deal with what did happen. You and George will get through this together. Take care of yourself, above all else. Prayers for your physical pain to end and your emotional pain to heal.

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31 MommaKiss April 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I am going to say something similar to Sarah, that being part of this club is nothing I'd ever wish upon anyone else. And every single loss is different for every single person. So – live in the feelings for as long as you need, this is your grief. And George's grief. Know that others are thinking of you and would do anything they could to take away your pain.

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32 euregirlsandboys April 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Oh, Jen, I'm so, so sorry. You should be grieving. My loss occurred at 6 weeks, and I felt logically like it shouldn't be as hard as it was because the baby was already so real to me. I've been wondering how you're doing, and I'm so sad for you.

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33 jenn April 11, 2012 at 3:27 pm

There aren’t words I can say to express how my heart hurts for you guys. I will light a candle for your precious child. Thinking of you both.

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34 Jessica April 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I don't know you, but I've been lurking since before your move to NYC. I'm so sorry…I was so excited for you guys and amazed at what happened. I'm STILL amazed and I'm STILL excited for you. Losing the baby doesn't make it any less amazing or real, and there will always be cause for celebrating his little life. I wish I could hug you, and I really wish I could take your pain away.

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35 Suzy April 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Oh Jen. I am so sorry. I saw your post on FB and my heart just broke into pieces. This baby was loved by so many. Many of us who have never even met you and George.

Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. The words I'm sorry just aren't enough right now. But I am so very sorry things ended this way.

Lots of love to you both.

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36 Rose from Oz April 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm

I read, I listened……I'm here too with all the other wonderful people whose lives you and George have touched. We can't walk in your footsteps but we can walk very close beside you. Be kind to yourselves Jen with that Pen and Gorgeous George. All my love………

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37 christine April 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm

I am so very sorry. More sorry than I can even express. You and your husband and your baby are in my thoughts and prayers.

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38 chosenchaos April 11, 2012 at 10:19 pm

I'm in shock and beyond sad for you Jen. I've had two miscarriages and they are not easy. No one knows the right thing to say – not even me that's suffered them. You don't want people to feel bad for you but you want to feel bad for yourself. With the first realizing that the damn sun kept shining was so irritating to me. There is no manual for how to get through this. And we all get through it differently. Write your own, hold on to George, and keep breathing. One foot in front of the other.

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39 Sara April 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Oh, I worried about this when you hadn't posted. I am so sorry for your loss.

I'm not going to tell everything's going to be okay. You have to grieve this baby and take the time to do it. If you feel crying, then let yourself! If you want to curl up in a ball and do nothing, that's okay too. Grief is what is it and it doesn't matter how old your baby was. So, let yourself be sad or cry. Grief has its own time schedule, but I can tell you from experience, it does get better..

Be patient with yourself. My thoughts are with you.

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40 greta April 12, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Oh, Jen. I’m so sorry.

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41 Tam April 13, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I found your blog 2 weeks ago and am therefore new here. I normally don't feel I know you well enough yet to leave a comment. However sometimes the norm has to be broken.

I have no words to heal your heartache. So I wanted to send you and George huge hugs from over the ocean. Your post broke my heart. I will be back to listen.

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42 myownbrandofcrazy April 14, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Jen I have no words to express how very truly sorry I am for your loss. Hugs to young& George. xoxox

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43 Amelia April 16, 2012 at 2:04 am

I am so sorry. From my heart to yours I send light and love.

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44 Michele April 16, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Here from LFCA. Sending warm thoughts and hope. I am so sorry.

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45 Debbs April 16, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I'm sorry Jen!

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46 Renovation Girl April 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Here from LFCA and just wanted to say how sorry I am…I just had my fifth miscarriage a few days after Easter (although we knew the Wed before that the baby was gone), so I can totally relate to so many of your feelings that you so eloquently write about. I wish you healing and the friends to support you through it.

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47 Jo. April 16, 2012 at 8:32 pm

That was a beautifully written, heartbreakingly painful explanation of what a miscarriage is like. I am so sorry that you have had to experience it.

In my experience, time DOES heal the pain, though it never leaves completely. I didn't want to hear that when I was in the thick of it, though.

Take care of you.

Big hugs,
Jo

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48 Katie April 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm

(((hugs))) Jen. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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49 Nity April 17, 2012 at 9:24 am

I'm so sorry for your loss.
Here from LFCA.

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50 Lori April 17, 2012 at 10:38 am

Here from LFCA also…and lost our baby at 12 weeks last Tuesday. Absolutely knowing what empty feels like and heart breaking for you. I'm so sorry.

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51 Very Bloggy Beth April 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I'm so unbelievably sorry to hear about your loss. I suffered a miscarriage over Easter weekend 2011. I actually thought to myself, "I will never be happy again." That thought actually crossed my mind. But, I was wrong, so wrong. It's almost been a year for me, and while I'm not 100% healed yet, I'm so far from where I was. I am a new reader as of today, can't recall how I stumbled upon your blog. But instantly I was drawn into your story. I want to tell you that you will heal. It will get better. I promise.

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