Monday, June 23, 2014


The most annoying post-miscarriage activity on the planet is any kind of social event.  That is because social events are usually comprised of a few people you don't know. Strangers if you will. And those strangers are the biggest landmine known to man.  They will ask you question after question not realizing how uncomfortable you are in your own skin at that given moment. Of course I can't blame them; they are doing their job as a guest, attempting to feign curiosity. I, however, have zero interest in them. Maintaining a smile and pretending to be impressed by anything they have to say is utterly exhausting. Usually what bothers me most is this line of questioning: Oh is that your husband? Oh you guys are cute, how long have you been married? Wow! Do you guys have kids? Oh. Why not? Don't you want children?  Now, it usually depends on what kind of mood I'm in and how annoying the person asking the question is. If he/she (usually a she) is particularly irritating I may for a split second think of answering honestly just to make them uncomfortable; my little way of getting back at them for their obvious lack of etiquette. But most times I just stand there and stumble my way through some sort of coherent answer. Can we just agree that asking someone why they don’t have children is one of the most distasteful questions in the book? Maybe next time, if I am feeling particularly frisky, I will ask the offending individual why her mother didn’t teach her better manners.

- Jennifer

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Body is a Wonderland?

Last week I read an article about your body after baby when there is no baby; the ordeal of losing a pregnancy only to realize that parts of you still look and feel pregnant. It got me thinking of my own experiences, one in particular which occurred after my 18 week pregnancy loss. Following a harrowing surgery, two blood transfusions and an iron count so low I was unable to walk without assistance, I woke up one morning and as I was about to step into the shower I glanced in the mirror. Imagine my surprise when the image that gazed back was... Malibu Barbie? Oh yes, it seemed that overnight my breasts had suddenly become D-cups. For a split second I thought how cool God, the universe, whoever, was for this incredible consolation prize. Sorry about the miscarriage, but here is a new set of boobs! Then I looked down and realized what was actually happening. The leaking milk was the not- so- subtle clue that this was no party favor; my body believed it had delivered a baby and responded the only way it knew how. In that moment I was both horrified and amazed. Horrified, not only did I not have a baby, but now I must be subjected to walking around with breasts engorged for the sole purpose of feeding a newborn. Amazed, that despite what occurred; my body knew exactly what to do. It checked off all the boxes; baby out, breasts full. The sadness that swept over me was all consuming; I broke down and wept in the shower for what seemed like days. I wept for the baby I didn't have and for the dreams that seemed to get sucked right down the drain. After my breakdown I made an emergency call to my doctor. I needed help; I needed my boobs to go back down to the small B's they once were. I couldn't face the daily reminder that I didn't have a baby to feed for one more minute. She empathized and said that at least my body reacted in a way that was healthy.  I was instructed to place bags of frozen peas on the cantaloupe- sized boobs that were now suddenly bestowed upon me, in the hopes that after a few days’ time things would appropriately deflate. So, for the next week I steadied myself and walked around my apartment with frozen peas stuffed into a sports bra that was definitely not built for that kind of work out.
Once the misery subsided, I remember the anger that took over. Why hadn't anyone informed me this would happen? After I left the hospital I was instructed of the bleeding and other "side effects" that could be experienced after a miscarriage, but it would have been nice if someone filled me in on the possibility that my breasts would grow to the size of my head and leave milk residue on all my shirts.  After a pregnancy loss you must process grief, pain, sadness, physical discomfort, but also the image of a post- baby body without the newborn. It all seems like a cruel joke at times doesn't it?

- Jennifer

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Space Between

I've been thinking a lot of the space between pregnancies. That horrendous time when you feel the rug was ripped out from under you, when it feels as though the last few months were a waste, when you are full of questions about what the hell just happened and what is in store for you next. It is also a time when you are completely unable to make any sort of plan for the future. The inability to move forward is a by-product of pregnancy loss one doesn't think of until, well, they are in it. Friends will ask if you can join them on holiday in six months and you will respond with a shrug and a "depends where I am" kind of answer. Summer comes around along with the inevitable “hey, any vacation plans?”, and you shrug your shoulders again trying to sound really excited about your “staycation” and the long weekends you have planned. The future is up in the air because you have no idea if you will be pregnant. And if you are, then you are most likely high-risk which means you probably can't fly (at least in the first trimester). Any attempt at solidifying a plan is pointless. At least it feels that way. And let me take it one step further, this feeling of immobility is largely due to the fact that after a miscarriage (or several) you become completely consumed with getting pregnant again. That is numero uno on your list of priorities, so the whole cycle is vicious beyond belief.  You and your partner don't want to fritter away any more time, so you feel as though you are running against the clock. The space between is a total mind f*$# (excuse my French), and there are moments when it feels worse than the actual miscarriage.
I actually don't have an antidote to this, though I wish I did. In the past I have tried to enjoy life as much as possible with a nice vacation with my husband, maybe treating myself to something that I probably couldn't wear if I were pregnant, etc... But it all just feels like empty gestures. We go through the motions one by one, trying to talk ourselves into "isn't life great!" and “I'm just going to enjoy myself!", when in reality we have a monkey on our back we can’t shake until that missing puzzle piece is finally found.
What about you guys? What do you do during this time and how do you handle it?

- Jennifer

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

On Judging Pain

First things first many apologies for the lack of posts recently, Kira is abroad and I have been battling a horrendous cold for the last few days, making it virtually impossible to do anything else other than eat ice cream. But I'm back (sort of) so bear with me while I try to string two sentences together. While I was moaning on the couch this morning I came across a really interesting essay by a writer named Jennifer Pastiloff, titled "Don't Judge Your Pain. Or Anyone Else's". The essay centered on her broken foot and inability to do anything other than sit for a protracted amount of time. During this unasked for "down time" she had a few epiphanies (I won't spoil them for you) but they had everything to do with allowing herself to feel vulnerable and grateful. There were people in her life that came through for her without her needing to ask, and there were some who deeply disappointed her. Sound familiar? Even though the impetus for the essay was her broken foot, I bet a lot of us could have written something very similar with regard to our own pregnancy loss experiences. Owning our pain and allowing ourselves to feel vulnerable, accepting help, understanding that some people (for whatever reason) are unable to be there for us in a way we feel is deserved and necessary, how kindness matters, are all lessons most of us are learning during our own miscarriage healing process. It is a wonderfully honest and remarkable read, not only because I see myself in her, but it is a brilliant reminder of the kind of person I hope to be not only to myself but those around me.
Please let me know what you think and I hope you find it as inspiring as I did.
- Jennifer