Monday, February 8, 2010

Thrown out of the closet

We went to a Superbowl party today. Jack had a private conversation with the host many months ago about our miscarriages, the only person Jack confided in. The host shared that his wife had lost a child at 25 weeks gestation. I was looking forward to meeting his wife because I wanted to get to know someone 'in real life' who had experienced loss and who perhaps I could become friends with and be able to talk about this part of my life, but I didn't quite imagine it would go the way it did.

The men were in the basement, we were in the family room. We were discussing pregnancy as a group and I mentioned I find myself more nervous than other people, and she said yeah my husband told me about your losses. She then went into her own story, but I kind of felt shell shocked. I wrote earlier about inching out of the closet but I felt a bit flung right then. I really like this woman but it felt like I was sitting there with no clothes on at that moment.

She lost her child ten years earlier. She now has four children. She said her loss happened for a reason. I would want to pummel other people for this tired cliche but how can I begrudge someone who used this phrase to get through their own loss? As we were leaving she got my contact information and said, I know I seem okay with this now but it happened ten years ago and I have four healthy children. I am not so sure it would have been this easy to accept what happened otherwise.

I have to admit something though. I know we need to talk about IF and loss as a society. We have to take it upon ourselves to break the chain of silence. But. It is very weird to be out. It is very weird to discuss why you likely won't have a shower. I'm out. I'm glad maybe someday someone might think of me and know they're not alone in their IF/loss journey. But. In the meantime, being this exposed feels. . . uncomfortable.


  1. I am sorry that you felt uncomfortable and I think it is completely natural.

    Your post made me think about when I have had to go to triage for contractions - I do not know why they do not keep better records - but every time I went, they asked how many pregnancies I have had - four - and how many children/deliveries I have had - zero - and the looks that cross the nurses faces vary from pity to other things - it is very exposing and I feel very vulnerable.

  2. Hi there,
    Sorry that you had to feel so exposed and uncomfortable. For me it has always helped to talk about it, but I also understand how keeping it in works better for some folks.

    Yesterday, while meeting with some other ladies at my church we were talking about loss and how it had affected certain people in the group and our friends,etc. Of the eight ladies in the room, four had had miscarriages, six babies in all had been lost to miscarriage, three in the group had children who were in the NICU and had problems at birth, and one woman has two boys with special needs (one of whom is in a wheelchair for life,etc.). I was astounded, yet felt comforted by them all and their support. They all know exactly how it feels to be pregnant and worrying the whole time about every little twinge.

    I hope you can someday find a group that makes you feel safe and comforted, it's really helped me and I find that if I'm holding something in it usually makes its way out whether that's via my words or by blubbering away and finally getting something out that's needed to come out for awhile :)

    I hope you're able to make some connections and most of all I keep praying for you and sweet sunflower!

  3. Thanks guys for your perspectives on it, I think for me, now that I think of it, its the feeling of being pitied, the feeling of something is wrong with you and defective.... while many of US get one another, sometimes fertiles can be very condescending w/out even saying a word. That is the flipside I guess of 'coming out' but if it was easy to come out, we'd all be out I guess!

  4. I agree, it feels very naked and very raw to have others know. On one hand, it's a relief to not be hiding, but it's such a private matter. People don't sit around and discuss their medical problems openly, not generally speaking. But this is even more personal than that because it involves reproduction. What could be more intimate than that? It makes me feel bad to feel embarrassed about it, but I am. Because I do feel like people label us defective. And then we go to the lengths we do to get and/or stay pregnant...we're seen as desperate. Who wants any of those labels?

    Sounds like you handled it famously though. No surprise here. :)