Monday, January 02, 2006

Miscarriage: How Do You Manage?

Another of my long-ago writings...

Someone once wrote to me and asked, "I would like to know how to handle this roller coaster ride, can you give me some advice on how you managed?"

I wrote back, How do I answer this, when I haven't completely resolved this myself?

Even in women who never experience a loss of pregnancy, the biological urge to procreate is strong. The urge to have another baby after miscarriage, I believe, is intensified by nature... to ensure that we will try again.

However, in the booklet "What's Next", by Sherokee Ilse and Susan Eng, it says, "The time immediately following such a devastating loss as the death of a child is one of uncertainty and pain. It is common to think that an immediate attempt to conceive again will somehow cure, if not at least diminish, the hurt. However, things are not always so simple."

It further says, "Many parents find that a subsequent pregnancy and new baby is a bittersweet experience. The pregnancy may seem long and worrisome. When the new baby is born, it can bring both joy, plus a painful reminder of the baby who died."

Each tiny baby lost has left such a large empty hole in my life. Lately, I'm trying to appreciate what I have right now. Learning to live in today, not in all the tomorrows!

In the past, I have tried to fill the emptiness, this wanting for another child, by doing day care. But I found that a frustrating experience. They were not MY babies, and I had to abide by their parents' dictates, which did not often coincide with my own thoughts, as an attachment-style parent.

I started up a business, selling baby products by mail - to account for my haunting of baby stores and baby catalogues. Keeping up-to-date with the latest in baby needs did help fill a need. Except that it continued to set me up for wanting another baby. All the wonderful gadgets I could buy!

I became very involved in my friends' and sisters' pregnancies. To the point of coaching a friend's birth, and even getting to hold her baby first! But all those babies went home with their moms... No baby left for me.

I volunteered on the hospital maternity floor, helping new moms learn to breastfeed, and cuddling crying babies. I volunteered at a teen moms' group, but always my ideas conflicted. And it all just intensified my desire for my OWN baby. But still, all these things helped to pass the time till, at last, I WAS able to have my own baby.

Yet, after 10 years, I had my own baby, and found he still didn't fill my need. Oh, I loved him, loved him so dearly! I still can't believe he's finally here!

I think, for me, the last part of Marion Cohen's poem, "Women Who Have Lost Babies #2" (in her book Counting to Zero) sums it up. "And women who have lost babies - want to give birth continuously - to babies who are not lost - Yes, women who have lost babies - need to GAIN babies - again and again and again."

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