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Suffering is optional

09/25/2012

Belle

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. 

This is not going to be easy to write. It is not something I have wanted to share with you  for fear of what you might think. Almost weekly I get emails from lurkers telling me that this blog has helped validate feelings that they thought were unnatural. They tell me that this blog gives them strength and hope. These emails remind me that what I am doing with Scrambled Eggs is important, both for myself and others. By keeping this inside I am both cheating myself out of a very real way to heal and cheating others dealing with similar emotions the chance to connect. 

I have been suffering. A lot. Several weeks ago I saw a therapist and after a long, tear-soaked session walked away with a prescription for Prozac and diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The Professor’s mouth gaped as I told him this. PTSD is what veterans have after seeing people blown to pieces. This is what happens to people who have experienced senseless violence. This is not what happens to silly little girls in Kentucky with chronic uveitis, infertility and a miscarriage. It just couldn’t be. And so I reached out to the only person I knew to go to – Mo. Mo has written openly about her struggles after her monumental loss. She is a no-muss, no-fuss blogger who I believe would tell me if I were being overly dramatic.

Within a few hours she responded and her reaction was not what I expected. This is common. What I have been going through is monumental and horrific for ME and is something many women experience after a loss. Take the Prozac and trust my doctor.

What the fuck, y’all?! I thought I was doing better. I thought I was handling this well. Everyone cheered me on during my loss, saying what a strong woman I was and how well I was dealing with everything. What the fuck happened between then and the start of my last FET?

When I started the progesterone to induce a cycle following the loss, I felt myself begin to crumble and every day a little more fell apart. My mind turned to horrible dark places. Places where there is no healthy viable pregnancy. Even darker places where I am dying from an incurable disease. My panic over the silly remark months ago that I might be showing early signs of scleroderma rose up and swallowed me whole.

I could not sleep. I spent hours staring at myself in the mirror, flexing my face, poking my skin. I poured over photos of myself during the past few years looking for changes. I saw them. But were they real or imagined or Photoshoped? (Yes, I Photoshop the photos of myself. No I don’t slim my thighs but I sure as hell improve my complexion). The more I worried the more I FELT changes. On bad days my facial skin feels so tight that it burns. Then, as soon as I am able to redirect my attention the feeling goes away. If that is not psychosematic, I don’t know what is.

I have no way of knowing if I’m developing any of these diseases. There is NOTHING I CAN DO other than enjoy the present. I knew all of this, yet still, I could not escape this black oily funk. During the entire FET I was a disaster worrying about my skin. I put very little thought into the FET or the potential baby and instead obsessed to the point of madness about disease.

Then my cycle failed and suddenly I started feeling better. It was over. My thoughts went back to other things, like the Professor, the cats, sewing and cooking, friends and family. The oily fear of disease started to retreat. CURED! I thought.

Later I listened to the Bitter Infertiles Podcast where they talk about my situation and I cried, a lot. Yes, I’m the unnamed blogger going through emotional hell. I’m not cured, I’m just at the end of a cycle and no longer have to hide my fear of another loss under the fear of terminal disease.  What is going to happen when we start our next FET? Will all that panic come back?

On September 14 I started the Prozac. Just 5 mg to start. Three days in and I was sleeping soundly. I had entire days when the thought of disease would just pass through my head. “Oh, hello fear. Carry on now.” And the fear would pass. I was overjoyed and reported to the Professor the days when there was no disease panic. He hugged me tightly and said he will let me know if he sees reason for concern.

My period started on Sunday. CD1. The start of the next cycle. The next transfer looms and with it comes the next opportunity at pregnancy success or failure. You know what came with the period? Fucking fear of disease. Yesterday I spent all day flexing my skin, worrying. It started to feel stiff, dry, hot. My hands felt funny. My mind raced to terrible places.

I think I see a trend. A new cycle = a new chance for disaster and pain. I’m no head shrinker, but I am pretty sure this is my mind redirecting my fear of another loss.

Last night I joined a group on Mindfulness for Women. During the meeting the leader said something that really resonated: “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

I’m suffering and I don’t have to.

Have any of you been diagnosed with PTSD after a loss? How have you handled the fear when a new cycle begins? How many of you have used antidepressants to help you through a loss? I would love to hear from other women who have had similar experiences.

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53 Comments

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  1. September 25, 2012

    Though I have not suffered a loss the PTSD makes total sense to me – not for you in particular but women in general who suffer losses. I’m really proud of you for getting to your doc and taking the Prozac – you are the most important in all of this and need to take care of yourself. I have nothing really helpful to say, but I’m here for you.

  2. Amy #
    September 25, 2012

    PTSD wasn’t my official diagnosis (anxiety was), but I did discuss it with my counselor; she thought there were some characteristics of my fear and anxiety that really fit PTSD, though generalized anxiety disorder was a better fit. I took a low dose of sertraline (zoloft) for a short time period – the waiting period, which was self-imposed but for good [enough] reason, between my last miscarriage and our next attempt to conceive was torturous for me, and I really wish now that I hadn’t waited so long to ask for help. I’m not sure if the medication itself helped a tremendous amount in my case, as it was a tiny dose and I wasn’t on it for very long, but what DID help me, I think, was knowing that I wasn’t ignoring or trying to overlook or just ‘muscle through’ my pain and suffering anymore. Just acknowledging it as real and valid and taking active steps to ease it made me feel a little better. A little self care can go a long way in some cases – but if things had gotten worse I would not hesitate at all to try a different drug or a bigger dosage. Sometimes your brain chemistry just needs a jolt back in the right direction. I am so glad you have found such great resources, and I really hope the meds work wonders for you!

  3. September 25, 2012

    Thank you for being open about this, Belle. I know how hard it is to open up about needing help.

    As we talked about on the podcast, I really believe that SSRIs can help anyone dealing with the trauma of loss and/or infertility. These drugs are not the “cure,” but they do allow you to get your feet underneath you so you can begin the healing process. There is no shame in taking these meds and they can be a really valuable tool. That said, I firmly believe that SSRIs are not for everyone, hence it’s important to be in therapy and working with someone how is qualified. PCPs don’t count for this process (though I know many disagree with me) because they don’t have the psychological training.

    I’m so sorry that you’re hurting so badly. I know how much the desire to be well and ‘okay’ is. But, by seeking help, you are taking some incredibly important steps towards healing. PTSD isn’t an easy thing to treat (we’re learning more every day), but with proper help you can emerge from this. And it takes a strong person to confront this beast.

    Finally, both Mo and I are currently doing EMDR. There are links for information about it on the Bitter Infertiles website. EMDR is designed for people living with PTSD. Mo has talked about what a huge difference it’s made in her daily life and I can attest for how instrumental it’s been for healing from both my losses as well as childhood trauma. Not pushing, but something to consider.

    Thinking of you and so proud of you for being open about all of this. It’s a tough thing to do.

    • September 26, 2012

      I actually have found several EMDR people in Lexington. I am going to stick it out with my current counselor a little longer, but if I start to feel no progress is being made I will absolutely be switching. thank you for all the great EMDR information in the podcast, too.

  4. September 25, 2012

    Oh Belle, I am so glad you are reaching out for help that you need. There is no shame is admitting hat you need a little something extra. I don’t have PTSD from suffering a loss, but I did have to go on Zoloft to cope with the anxiety and depression surrounding my infertility. It was the best decision I ever made. I always wondered why people say “[insert medication here] saved my life.” I was never suicidal. But what I realized from starting my medication is that it saves the QUALITY of your life. So take those meds! They will go along way towards making you feel better. But give yourself time, they don’t kick in overnight. I am thinking about you and if you ever want to talk, please email me. xoxo

  5. September 25, 2012

    PTSD is a horrible, horrible thing to live with, and even harder to share because of its strong association with wartime and violence. There’s so much skepticism from people who don’t understand that there are many other causes. Mine’s not from IF, but I totally relate to the fear, the sleeplessness, the worry, the panic, the lack of control over my own mind. It gets better and it gets worse, and it’s hard, so hard to write about, as if even mentioning a specific thing will bring the world crashing down on me. I want to, because I know it will help, but I’m afraid.

    I’m proud of you for sharing this, for seeking help, for being willing to try new things to make it better. I hope you reach the end of your suffering.

  6. September 25, 2012

    I’m so sorry you’re suffering, Belle, but please know you aren’t alone. I recently read an article about how not only loss, but infertility itself, can cause PTSD. I’ll put the link to it at the bottom of this (sorry it’s so freaking long!), but clearly it’s a common thing and it makes total sense. This IS a traumatic experience and it can cause ripples in our life and who we are forever and ever. You are so brave for talking about this! Thank you.

    http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/08/13184349-fertility-treatments-may-put-women-at-risk-for-ptsd-symptoms-study-suggests?lite&__utma=238145375.996096607.1341409089.1341409089.1345430119.2&__utmb=238145375.3.10.1345430119&__utmc=238145375&__utmx=-&__utmz=238145375.1345430119.2.2.utmcsr=msn.com|utmccn=%28referral%29|utmcmd=referral|utmcct=/&__utmv=238145375.|8=Earned%20By=msnbc|us%20news=112=Landing%20Content=External=113=Landing%20Hostname=www.msnbc.msn.com=130=Visit%20Type%20to%20Content=Internal%20to%20External=1&__utmk=102443714

  7. September 25, 2012

    i think it’s great you are sharing this, there is too much silence and secrecy around the emotional impact of infertility and loss, as if we are expected to pick up the pieces and carry on without it affecting us. i wasn’t diagnosed with PTSD after my miscarriage, but it was only because i was too embarrassed to talk to my doctor about it. i was a crying, inconsolable, insomnatic mess for a really long time, im sure i could have used some help during that dark period.
    it sounds like the meds are helping already; heck, just getting some sleep can make a big difference. and i love the new mantra from your mindfulness group – a good lesson for us all. i’ll be thinking of you this cycle and sending my support from afar (())

    • September 26, 2012

      Thank you, friend. I wish clinics had more in place to help women after loss. This seems so common. Why don’t they have counselors on staff and groups? Or at least a freaking brochure. Hope fully this third time is the charm!

  8. September 25, 2012

    I think there’s absolutely no shame in asking for help when you need it, and doing whatever you need (including taking anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds etc) to get through hard times. As someone who took anti-depressants at one point for a depression triggered by something way less serious and life-altering than what you went through I can say that I don’t think they magically ‘fix’ everything, they just make the lows less low and sort of bring the bottom up. I also similarly suffered from slightly obsessive thinking (perseverating thoughts I think they were called) – not about health but about work and other stuff, and I do think the drugs helped with that.

    Getting a bit of perspective and headspace is often exactly what you need so you can assess what’s going on and take care of yourself a bit better. Huge virtual hugs to you and thanks for sharing this – I know it can’t have been easy. But whatever you need to do right now to take care of yourself is absolutely the best thing to do.

  9. September 25, 2012

    So sorry to hear about your suffering. You are most definitely not alone. I have a post in the works about the surprising effect the anniversary of my loss of triplets had on me also.

    Hope you find peace!

  10. infertilitycansuckit #
    September 25, 2012

    This is such an amazing post. I am always amazed at your bravery and honesty. Thank you so much for sharing it. Pregnancy loss is an extremely difficult thing and there is no way of understanding the depth of it until you’re in it. I’m so glad that you’ve found a supportive counselor to help you through this time. I still feel the affects of my 3 losses and the first one was almost 2 years ago. You’ve inspired me to seek out a counselor to help me get past my constant fear which, I know, is directly linked to those losses. Big hugs to you and thank you again for sharing this!!!

  11. September 25, 2012

    As I listened to that podcast my heart was breaking for the unnamed woman going through a tough time. Belle, you ARE strong. But that doesn’t mean you are not traumatized. I have never been officially diagnosed with PTSD, but I do believe I have it. I also am taking medication for anxiety / depression and I have no intention of getting off of it anytime soon. Seeking help proves how strong you are. You are strong enough to admit that you are going through something horrible and that you can’t fix it alone. That is so brave.

    I am terrified of becoming pregnant again. Yet it is all I want. I’m so scared of giving away my heart again only to have it crushed. I’m not sure if I can handle it anymore, but I know I can’t not try. I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. You can get through this. That doesn’t mean you have to be all happy happy joy joy or something like that. You are allowed to feel sad, hurt, scared, and helpless. That is only natural. All you can do is try. Try by taking the medication, going to therapy, and keep posting. It will start to heal you. The pain will never disappear but in time it can become manageable.

    Thinking of you all the time. You are an amazing person and I’m grateful to know you (even if it is only online). Lots of love.

    • September 26, 2012

      Oh I’m terrified of getting pregnant again, too. How can we fear our dream?

  12. September 25, 2012

    Thanks Belle. Thanks for opening up. I hope it’s as helpful to you as it is to others. I’m also really glad to hear that you’re seeking out the help you need.

    I haven’t had a diagnosis of PTSD, but I have used an SSRI in the past to get through a particularly difficult time for me, and I do think that therapy, antidepressants and time were all important in helping me find my normal self again. **hugs**

  13. Vanessa #
    September 25, 2012

    I wholeheartedly concur with the others here… it takes a lot of strength and courage to deal with infertility and miscarriage, but even more strength to look deeper and confront stuff like PTSD (and be open about it). You’re on the right track, though — keep surrounding yourself with those who support you, and be selfish about who you choose to turn to for help, whether that’s a medical professional or a few important people here online.

  14. Amanda #
    September 25, 2012

    I just wanted to let you know that your blog really does help those of us who endlessly searchthe internet for information. Every little peice I can get makes me feel less alone, which helps me mentally. I am not on any meds myself, I don’t know how that is possible, and I think sometimes maybe I do need to go see someone, but my husband is on Lorazapam for anxiety and it has helped him immensley. He always talks about how he wishes he could be pill free, but I try to remind him frequently that they make him feel better and a lot of people, some you would never guess, are on pills…or they drink or do drugs to deal with the insanity. After my last loss, I took my husbands Lorazapam occasionally (and smoked some pot) just to get to sleep at night. I also cuddled with my 2 year olds blanket…you gotta do what you gotta do! Good luck!

    • Amanda #
      September 26, 2012

      *piece! – this annoys me when I do this!

    • September 26, 2012

      You absolutely have to do what you have to do! How are you doing? You have been on my “to email” list for days now… I’m a bad emailer 🙂

  15. September 25, 2012

    I have taken meds for anxiety and depression most of my life. Every time I try and go off, disaster. I do the hard work – I participate in talk therapy and try and work through the causes of my issues. But honestly, for me, I truly believe it is biological. I am hard wired this way and I can’t seem to be a functioning adult (as in not be frozen with panic attacks and crippling depression) without some medication. I totally agree that there is no reason to suffer through your pain – I decided long ago that emotional pain is just as damaging as physical disease. We treat both, right? Being strong means taking care of yourself, so you can be the best version of yourself. Don’t ever feel shame about this.

    • September 26, 2012

      I agree about being hard wired. The Professor and I were discussing this last night and I realized there is always something I am panicking about to the point of hurting myself. This is just the worst so far. And emotional pain IS as damaging as physical disease. I’m so glad there is treatment for this and that things will get better.

  16. Mo #
    September 25, 2012

    I am so incredibly, unendingly proud of you, you brave, strong, wonderful woman.

    • September 26, 2012

      Not to sound hella cheesy, but I could not have done this without your support. Thank you.

  17. September 25, 2012

    Many women who have dealt with infertility and loss (or just infertility or just loss) have diagnoses of PTSD and I think it makes perfect sense. The loss of control, the loss of a child (or the hope of a child, however you look at the loss of miscarriage), these are very real, traumatic losses. And even though our society doesn’t necessarily validate those losses, doesn’t make them any less real. Add that to your chronic illness, which I would guess could cause PTSD in and of itself) and I don’t know how you wouldn’t be dealing with major psychological effects.

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s hard to admit your diagnosis and that you’re taking meds to control it (and I know because I have taken meds to control anxiety and depression for many years). The more people who share these things, the less stigma they will carry. Thank you for helping remove that stigma.

    I hope your emotional health feels stabilized with a combination of therapy and medication.

    Abiding with you.

    • September 26, 2012

      “even though our society doesn’t necessarily validate those losses, doesn’t make them any less real.” This is a huge factor in my hesitancy to seek help in the first place. Even my mother seemed shocked that I was not “over it” by now. I confided in her the struggle with my cousin’s Midwifery Facebook page (I wrote about that a while ago) and she actually said, “Why on earth would that stuff bother you?” It took a minute for me to find my voice but I finally squeaked out that the loss still haunts me and that I don’t know if I would ever be the same. She said of course I would be, I’m Belle, I always make it through and then changed the subject. I have not spoken about my struggle to anyone else since. I am supposed to be tough.

      I’m so glad I opened up here. I felt a tiny lift as soon as I hit publish and every time another commenter chimes in with her story I feel a little more supported.

  18. September 25, 2012

    I haven’t been diagnosed with PTSD, but I do suffer from PMDD (really super bad PMs) and have been on Prozac for that, though I weaned off of it when we started TTC – without consulting my doctor, which I should not have done. Once we started treatments and I was on fertility meds, I really lost it. I was already having a hard enough time dealing with our loss from a year before and adding IF on top of it with meds making my hormones go crazy tipped the scale and I started having panic attacks. I think I’ve told you about this before. That’s when I broke down and found a therapist and a doc to prescribe me meds. I started on Prozac again, though it gave me bad s/e this time and I had to take Zoloft instead. It all helped immensely. It was still really hard going through everything, but it was suddenly manageable and not panic inducing.

    Don’t ever feel weak for reaching out for help, or for finding out that you have in fact been traumatized by what you’ve been through. It’s tough stuff to deal with! You suffered a loss, on top of everything else that you’ve been through.

    I know though how hard it is to deal with mental stuff – physical discomfort is tangible, but mental distress is not. It’s in your head – literally, even though there are medical causes behind it. That doesn’t make it any less important though. The drugs should help – they’ll slow down the thought cycles or ruminations as my therapist calls them. They’ll help keep your thoughts from taking the eternal downward spiral. They can also take time to really get working, and may take adjusting. Be sure to keep in touch with your doctor about how you’re feeling – even keep a journal of your symptoms and feelings to help remember it all.

    I wish you all the best and thank you for sharing all of this with us!

    • September 26, 2012

      Meg, thank you for this comment. I have several friends with medically diagnosed PMDD and it is a hell of a thing to contend with. Throw infertility into the mix and oh my gosh, what a nightmare. I’m glad you were also able to find helps. “Ruminations.” I like that word better than “obsessions.” 🙂

  19. ozifrog #
    September 25, 2012

    Hey belle, it makes sense. I can feel PTSD elements in myself now, not from loss but from being so so close to loss so many times during my pregnancy. I have flashbacks when I sit on the couch to that moment when I first haemorraged, and I think again and again of that moment when they were prepping me for a curette in emergency, and then they found his heartbeat. And just the hard hard days of bed rest, they’ve left me so depleted. Even with our happy ending, which I know to some people makes me seem stupidly ungrateful, it is hard to pick up and put one foot in front of the other because the trauma, and it was trauma, is not stamped and filed away yet. Ive run out of fuel. There have Been my share of meltdown days since jman arrived. I’ve had major major depression once in the past (10yrs ago), I worry about its return, and I understand the incredibly important role of meds and firmly believe in them when things reach that point. Im not there yer, but it may still come to that. I also do the misplaced anxiety thing, where I worry about other things to avoid the thing I don’t want to actually face worrying about. You’ve done good, girl, two things: “this too, shall pass” and “if in doubt, lower your expectations.” All you need to do is just keep breathing in and out.

    • September 26, 2012

      You are such an amazing commenter – you always make me feel better. I’m absolutely certain you are suffering after your pregnancy! I would read your posts with complete and utter disbelief at the hell you were going through. Just because you have a happy ending does not erase the monster that you had to fight to get there. Veterans who come home from war to happy families, good jobs and lovely homes still have their past memories, too. I have been thinking about you and your family the past few weeks, hoping all is well and that you find the strength you need to move on. I’m here if you ever need anything.

      • December 10, 2012

        thanks Belle…all so so true. Its actually become easier now that he’s so much more interesting and interactive!

    • Amanda #
      September 26, 2012

      ozifrog – I too have a healthy child but it took a painful journey to get him, and have had losses since. I couldn’t believe it when I developed the “Baby Blues” after giving birth to a baby I wanted so badly! It wasn’t anything bad towards the baby or even myself but I didn’t want ANYONE touching him and once I left him to get some air for like a half an hour and started bawling. It was very bizarre…and then I read that sometimes women who deal with IF are more likely to go through postpartem. Not sure why your post sparked this response…just seemed fitting.

      • December 10, 2012

        I think its true that IF and loss issues just empty your emotional tank, and then its harder to pick up and regroup at an already normally difficult transitional period. Its also that I think you’ve got so much invested in the pregnancy, emotionally. It’s not quite the “oh well we’ll just try again” scenario that some people seem to live in (though I know not everyone is like that).

  20. September 25, 2012

    This subject came up today while we were meeting with our doctor. I am really suffering. I am in a funk, I am not sleeping, and I am having very morbid thoughts. You are not alone.

    • September 26, 2012

      Taylor, I so hope your doctor took your feelings seriously. We do not have to feel like this. There is help to get us through. I’m thinking of you.

  21. September 26, 2012

    PTSD isn’t something to take lightly, no matter the trigger factor.

    My heart goes out to you, as I suffer from it as well on a very deep level. Mine stems from a number of things. Deployments, traumatic childhood, past life experiences, and above all, infertility and miscarriage. You are NOT alone in this journey and on this path. It’s a road well traveled and we are all here with you. I’m here with you.

    I for one am against medicating, but that’s just my opinion. I think doing so only masks the issue without really addressing it, allowing the healing & coping mechanisms to kick in. But, I also believe that you have to do what is right for you under YOUR circumstances. I know we don’t know each other, but sometimes that all it takes. A stranger to help heal.

    Sending virtual hugs.

    Bree

    • September 26, 2012

      Thank you, Bree. Traditionally I am fiercely against medication. However, I was at the point of no return. My therapist had a stack of research for me and explained that women undergoing this much mental anguish who do get pregnant can have more complicated pregnancies. Women battling crippling anxiety have more anxious babies with lower birth weights. Etc. The case she made was strong enough that I believe that medication in combination with talk therapy, my mindfulness group and getting back to yoga, etc. will help me heal. In time, the medication can go, but the other things, they need to stay, so I don’t slip back. Thank you for reaching out and sharing your story.

      • September 27, 2012

        You’re so very welcome Belle. I’m sorry if my post came off a bit strong, just wanted to share a different perspective and offer a hand if you needed.

        I’m going to be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers on this journey and look forward to your positive outcome! 🙂

  22. September 26, 2012

    Belle: I remember our discussion so well about the unnamed blogger. I’m so sorry you have been suffering so much. I mentioned on the podcast that I have recently also been diagnosed with PTSD, too. I was shocked by the diagnosis: i too said, isn’t that for veterans of war? My doctor pointed out that miscarriages were deaths and death is death. Infertility and loss is some tough shit. I’m glad you are seeking support and taking medication and can sleep. Sleep is still a huge problem for me. Sending many (((hugs))) you are so brave and amazing.

    • September 26, 2012

      Thank you, friend. It’s tragic that we get a mental illness in addition to infertility, but so amazing that we have the support of other women going through this. And the wise words of Bitter Infertiles 🙂

  23. September 26, 2012

    I also cried when I listened to that podcast. And I was shocked to hear the discussion as well because how can it be. But now it makes sense, infertility and loss is such a traumatic experience. I’m not diagnosed but I identified quite a few things that was talked about which made me really scared to be honest. Validation is so important. Thank you for sharing this, and don’t ever be afraid what anyone would think. Just look at the support and stories coming out of the comments!

  24. Bethany #
    September 26, 2012

    Belle- You are one of the strongest people that I know. You are also very brave to put your feelings and thoughts into your writing. I know that I have expressed this before, but your words help SO much. I identify with you on many, many fronts. You are able to relay the thoughts that I am afraid to speak, and say the words that I am unable to express. I thank you for that. I wish you much peace and love.

  25. September 26, 2012

    Hi, Belle. Firstly, I admire your strength so very much, and I’m proud to know you in “real life.” I only wish that we would have hung out more when you lived in Bham! As someone who has spent countless hours and dollars in therapy, I know it is difficult to ask for help, but it has been so liberating for me, and I hope that your experience has been/will be as positive as mine has been. I have been on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication for years, and truthfully, I will probably be on them for the rest of my life. They have helped me immensely. Thank you for being open, honest and vulnerable with your struggles. I am sure your words and your bravery are helping many women, as I know your words encourage me. I would love to meet for coffee and a chat the next time you are in Birmingham. Sending good vibes, thoughts and prayers your way, my friend.

    • September 26, 2012

      Oh Molly, thank you for your kind words. I wish we had known each other better when I lived in B-ham, too. It’s never too late to forge a friendship, though! I’ll let you know the next time I’m in town and we will absolutely meet for coffee. Until then, keep blogging (I enjoy your blog, too!) and thanks for following me!

  26. SRB #
    September 26, 2012

    *deep breaths* I had to come back to start reading again a few times. Belle – this was very courageous of you, and I know it could not have been easy to think about writing, to write, and finally to post. I am in awe of your strength and courage. And I thank you so much for sharing it, and providing others with this space to share with you. I was diagnosed with PTSD related to my IF/loss at the same time as my severe PPD episode. I do not discuss it on my blog (other than in one PWP post) as 2 years ago I was told point-blank (while physically miscarrying) by another IFer (IRL) that my pain was nothing compared to her pain and I had no right to my feelings. That sadly, maybe *now* I had some understanding. This has made me deeply distrustful of sharing my story, my feelings, even in this community. Because I will always wonder if my pain is enough. To some degree, I think that maybe I don’t believe it myself, maybe my feelings are unnatural. Seeing such brave words, from a woman like you that I admire from afar (to my shame) emboldens me to trust myself, to trust my doctors. It makes me feel like I am going to be okay somehow.

    I too joined a weekly mindfulness program for anxiety and depression. It saved me. I truly hope your group brings you some peace in your heart. I would be more than happy to talk with you about this, should you ever need to.

    • September 26, 2012

      SRB – comments like these are what I fear more than anything. I hate the “pain Olympics” that I see all too often in this community. While my one 7.5 week loss may not hold a candle to, say, Mo’s tragic losses, it is still the absolute worst thing I have personally experienced. My uveitis is nothing compared to an inoperable brain tumor but for me, it is the scariest thing my health has ever faced.

      I have to remind myself of this at times when reading other blogs – that all suffering no matter how big or small in the great scheme of things should be treated the same – as suffering. I am so, so sorry someone said this to you. Comments like these only add fuel to the fire that is PTSD, depression, anxiety, name-your-mental-illness-here.

      Despite the inevitable douche-baggery out there, I feel that it is so important to share our feelings when possible and appropriate for both our healing and raising awareness. I know the emotional hurt from the loss of a child never goes away, it dulls maybe, but never goes away. If you ever feel the need to talk, know I’m also here. Thank you for your comment, it means so much to know I’m not alone.

  27. September 26, 2012

    I’ve mentioned my wife’s anxiety before, but I haven’t mentioned she suffered a miscarriage about a year before I met her. Our doctors didn’t want her taking any Class C medications during the IVF attempt. Between being taken off the medications she needs for anxiety, and the Stim meds, she really had a hard time. A lot more than I blogged about, as I just wanted to touch on the subject so everyone was aware of her issue. She is afraid her anxiety caused her previous miscarriage and she fears any successful IVF would end the same way because of it. And I couldn’t find the words to comfort her.

    I’m glad you are getting the help you need. I remember after my divorce I said all the things I should be feeling and everyone told me how strong I was for it. But it was just a lie to myself. Everyone thought I was over it long before I actually was. In the end I probably suffered longer because of masking my pain rather than admitting it and getting help.

    • September 26, 2012

      Your wife should absolutely talk to her doctor and talk to a psychologist. The psychologist I see had a stack of information and research for me discussing the benefits of being on medication vs. the risks of going without. For me, it was a no-brainer. Prozac is extremely safe in pregnancy and a book has even been written about its benefit. My heart breaks for y’alls failed cycle and I wish you the clarity to press on when you are ready. Until then, absolutely talk to some doctors and find a way to give her the support she needs now. I’m here if you guys ever need anything, or if your wife ever needs a friend.

  28. September 26, 2012

    Hi belle, having lurked for a while I thought I would come out here and say I think you’re very strong indeed and admire your bravery to post about such a difficult part of your life. I too have recently begun to think i suffer from a perhaps mild depression alongside serious self loathing due to being born without a womb. I hope that you can start to find some peace soon. Take care.

  29. September 26, 2012

    I am so glad you saw a doctor and got a diagnosis and some medication. It shows such strength. I think PTSD makes a lot of sense. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain you must have and continue to go through because of your miscarriage. Take care of yourself, Belle. I wish you all the happiness in the world..

  30. jak #
    September 26, 2012

    i get busy at work for a few days and miss all this!

    that diagnosis makes a lot of sense actually. i hope now that you can put your finger on what’s going on, you can move ahead with your doc’s help and get some relief. best wishes, jak.

  31. October 20, 2012

    I was on Prozac for years for depression. I only went off of it when we started trying. I think that was the worst decision I made. I never did go back on it, but was seriously talking about it after the 4th failed cycle. I had the support from my psyc and Hubby. The benefits definitely outweigh the possible risks. I hope it continues to help.

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