Monday, August 22, 2011

belly baby

this post is not going to be entertaining and you will not leave here laughing your abs off. if you're not in the mood for some raw & honest emotions, feel free to click away, baby, click away.

when we had been married for a couple years, i decided that i needed to have a baby. i told that story over here, so if you're interested you can check it out. it took a couple years and a some fertility testing and treatments (including a sperm donation from my husband) before we eventually got pregnant with brooke.

we decided that if we were going to have the one, we would like her to have a sibling so she wouldn't be a bored, selfish only child, and we wanted that second child to be close to brooke's age, so our goal was to have the kids 2 years or less apart. almost as soon as brooke was born, we were ready to try again for baby number 2, but once again, we had no success at getting pregnant.

2 years went by with no luck, so we decided that as long as the kids could be 3 years or less apart, it would be fine. at least then brooke wouldn't be an only child. shortly after brooke's second birthday, i got pregnant. i was still doing the whole temperature charting, ovulation predicting thing, so i knew i was pregnant within just a few days of it happening.

i was looking forward to the time when i was far enough along to take a pregnancy test and see the positive results. i waited a few weeks because i was busy and i already knew in my mind that the results were positive, so there wasn't a big rush. then one day i started bleeding and cramping and i rushed to the store for a test. the result was a very weak positive, but it told me my baby was really there. unfortunately the bleeding continued and i resigned myself to the fact that was having a miscarriage.

i tried to block out the emotional distress. i went on about my life as if nothing was happening and i didn't talk about it very much. i took care of brooke every day, but i couldn't focus on anything except my lost baby.

three months later, i was pregnant again. it was 3 years to the day of when i'd gotten a positive result on a pregnancy test with brooke & that felt to me like a good sign. i was going to have 2 kids 3 years apart and one of my best friends had just found out she was pregnant a week earlier, so there was the extra excitement of sharing my pregnancy with her. i felt confident that this one was going to work. i didn't let myself dwell on the miscarriage, i just prayed and trusted that this was the who was going to complete our little family.

 a few weeks later, the bleeding started again. and it was painful. i went to a doctor who told me that yes i was pregnant, but that the baby had died before the heartbeat could be detected. i probably wouldn't need a d&c, i just needed to wait for it to pass.

this time, i was eaten up with the grief. i was devastated and felt like i'd been destroyed. i could hardly get out of bed. my child was left to fend for herself during many of the hours when chris went to work. she would sometimes hug me and kiss my stomach and say she was kissing my belly baby. she brought me her toys and snacks to try to cheer me up, but all i could do was cry and tell her that the belly baby was in heaven now.

i dreaded going to the bathroom because i knew that i would have to see the mess that was flowing out of my body. i didn't want to let it go. it was coming out of me in clots, so every time i changed a pad, i felt like i was throwing pieces of my baby in the trash. one night i sat on the toilet and held a used pad wrapped up in a wad in my arms and hugged it and bawled because it was the only chance i'd ever have to hold and hug my baby. i knew it was gross, but i just couldn't let go. just because it was small didn't mean it deserved to go into the garbage with old hair and q-tips. it took me a long time to leave it behind.

i ran a bath that night & filled the tub with a massive quantity of bubbles, then turned off the lights and climbed in. i dunked myself so far down into the tub that only my nose and mouth were out and i closed my eyes and thought about how i would never get to spend any time with my second or third babies. i'd never get to know them or see them or hug them. i thought about how maybe if i just ended my own life in the bathtub, i could go be with them and stop feeling like i was breaking all into little pieces.

knowing that brooke would be left without a mommy if i went through with that terrible idea was enough to keep my nose out of the water. barely. so instead i took that time in the bath, in the dark, and i cried out all my pain. i buried my head in a mountain of bubbles and imagined that my two tiny babies were in there with me and that they knew how much i loved them. i thought about an email i'd gotten from a friend's mom telling me that she'd had a miscarriage too and that she was consoled at the idea that her baby was being cared for and loved by Jesus in heaven. and what better babysitter than the king of the universe.

eventually the physical pain subsided, but the emotional pain lasted a lot longer. so many people said things to me that they meant to be kind, but were hurtful instead. they told me i'd have more children eventually. they told me it was God's will that the babies weren't born. they told me that most likely they didn't make it because they were physically defective and therefore, better off not ever being born.

i wanted to scream at all of them. i wanted to tell them that their child was dead and then pat their shoulder and with a trite little smile say that it was God's will. i wanted to tell them that they were defective and better off dead. i wanted them all to shut up. they had nothing practical to offer me and their words were brutal. i wanted them to stop asking if they could help and instead, come over and take care of brooke for me. i wanted someone to bring dinner to my house so that at least there would be something to eat for the family members who could still swallow food. i wanted someone to do the piles of laundry that were piling up that i didn't have the energy to wash.

but i didn't ask for help. i didn't ask for anything. i just slowly started picking up the pieces of myself and trying to put me back together again.

after that, i decided that i had enough children. one was going to be my perfect number. i was going to do everything i could to prevent brooke from becoming a spoiled, self-centered only child, but i was going to pour myself into her every single day and be thankful for her.

and i was never again going to offer stupid condolences that had no action behind them. i was going to send cards to anyone i knew who had a miscarriage, just like i would if their breathing child died. i was going to use my own awful experience to become a more sensitive person. and i was going to hug brooke. a lot.


  1. I remember the pain we felt when our first baby miscarried. Overwhelming joy replaced by overwhelming grief. I'd say I know how you felt, but it's impossible to know how you felt. Luckily, we were blessed with two children who are better people than we will ever be.

  2. I'm sorry for the pain you endure for the loss of your baby.

  3. I'm so sorry Sherilin. It's stories like yours that make me hesitate to write the post I'm writing today. I don't want to bring any further hurt to those who have had to experience such loss.

    And I can understand holding onto that tissue, just to have something.

  4. Hugs to you, girl. I'm so sorry you had to endure such pain. I'm glad you have Brooke.

  5. I listened last week to someone talking about their miscarriage, and how hard it was emotionally as there was no funeral, no acknowledgement that their child actually was alive before death. It was hard for them to get over the grieving, until they held a little memorial themselves. Sending cards is a very good idea. Your Brooke is such a special blessing for you both. She's a beautiful little child who loves as much as her parents do.

  6. Oh Sherilin.......That brought such a tear to my eye. How incredibly painful this must have been and is for you. I have no words my friend except to say that stinkin overly used word of "HUGS"...

  7. Why do people say such stupid things? I can never fathom it. I think it's to lessen their own feelings of anguish by turning into yapping bobble heads, just to fill that uncomfortable void.

    So poignant about the trash with the hair and toothpicks. Ah, but we have to pick ourselves up again and again, don't we girlfriend?

  8. tooth picks! karen you ass, she said qtips. Damn crappy brain. Even thought I thought it my fool fingers clacked out something else.

  9. When I miscarried my ex mother in law said "You didn't want any more children any way." People are callous and cruel.

    All I wanted was a hug and someone to wipe my tears. I would do that for you. xox

  10. I love you because you are not afraid to be raw and honest, and that you are brave enough to write about the things that we all have thought at times in one way or another. Your sweet girl is such a treasure, both for you and for everyone who knows her. And you, my friend, are a treasure for me.

  11. So so sorry. That's a hard piece of life to endure and then share. I hope you find comfort in helping others going through the same thing. People need to realize that the best thing anyone can do is to just be there. When it happened to me, it was at a party. I had a 2yo. It was awful, but I'll never forget the hug I got from one of my friends, it was long and quiet and just what I needed.

    Hugs to you as you remember...

  12. you who have commented have brought tears to my eyes. it's been a day of too much emotion & i'm not sure why i'm feeling the need to rehash it now after 7 years. i guess i never said much about how i was actually feeling when it happened. maybe i couldn't then. but it seems that there are so many women who have been through this & felt themselves break when it happened. but for the most part, they feel alone & they suffer because no one wants to talk about it. the whole subject seems to make people feel generally uncomfortable and no one knows what to say. most women don't tell many people that they're pregnant til after the first trimester for this very reason, but then they don't have the support or love of their people if they do lose the baby. they're just isolated and broken. i wanted this post to be a way to share something that's not a rare event, but just a hushed up and painful subject. for those of you who've been there, i want you to know that i understand. and if you want to talk about it or just tell me your story, you can write it in the comments here or you can email me at if you don't want to talk about it publicly.
    and for those of you who haven't had one, count your blessings. and next time you hear about it, don't tell the parents that it's for the best. maybe that's true, but it's never the right time to tell someone that it's best that their child died, even if that child never had a chance to breathe air.

  13. This post is heartbreaking because while I myself have never experienced a miscarriage, I know people who have. I, like so many people didn't know how to react and while I don't remember saying any hurtful things, this made me realize that I could have handled the situation a lot better. You're right about it not being uncommon and it being a hushed up subject and maybe that's why people don't know how to react?? I am sorry that you had to experience it not once, but twice and am so happy that you have a beautiful daughter in Brooke!

  14. I have no idea what any of this feels like, because I've never had to do it, but thank you for sharing that part of your life. I'll hug my baby a little tighter because of it.

  15. How honey. How wonderful and brave, how honest and vulnerable are you?

    You're an inspiration.


  16. Wow...That was quite a story for you to recount and how amazingly brave you are to tell it! I have not experienced the pain of a miscarriage, but my best fiend did multiple times. I know that Brooke is one lucky girl and you are one lucky mom for you to have each other!

  17. I wish I had been close to bring both you and A meals and help when you went through these times. Condolences are always trite it seems no matter a person's intent. Actions truly speak louder than words. Thank you for opening our eyes to these feelings. Hugs and blessings!


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