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My baby

10/01/2012

Belle

There is a post that has been rolling around in my head for months now. One that I have tried to write many times but end up deleting because friends and loved ones who know me in real life read this. Then Trisha wrote about her desperate desire to tell anyone and everyone about her children the flood gates opened, reminding me that change does not happen if you sit silently.

*Deep breath*

I have exactly one friend who calls, writes and texts regularly asking how I am and acknowledging my baby. My mother does not acknowledge my baby. My brother, who I am extremely close to, does not acknowledge my baby. My closest friends, many of whom have been with me through some of my darkest days, do not acknowledge my baby. My coworkers, who knew about the IVF, pregnancy and loss, do not acknowledge my baby.

I have a lot of friends who read this and I desperately want them to hear me today – I had a child. I want you to realize this might be the ONLY child I ever have. While Pip’s time with me was very brief, Pip was there. Pip began when my egg met my husband’s sperm. Pip was ours and I need people to not forget.

This weekend an acquaintance I’ve only known for a few months looked me in the eyes and said he thinks of me often. He asked how I was. He asked point-blank how hard is this for me? He acknowledged the child I had and lost. Had we not been surrounded by strangers I would have hugged him and cried. It was so nice to have that. And it was so sad that it came from someone who barely knows me.

Here is where I usually delete this post because I don’t know where to go next. So I’ll leave it at this: please don’t forget. Please don’t close me out because my situation makes you uncomfortable. My situation makes me uncomfortable. It eats me from the inside out, literally. And you know what makes it worse? When you turn your back and pretend nothing ever happened.

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52 Comments

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  1. October 1, 2012

    There is so much truth in this, Belle. Thank you.

    • October 2, 2012

      I agree… Thank you for writing this.

  2. October 1, 2012

    *big hugs* I’m sorry, Belle.

  3. October 1, 2012

    Belle, I am so proud of you for sharing what you need. I know how hard that can be.

    Always thinking of you and Pip.

  4. October 1, 2012

    What you say is so true and educates people on realizing this and acknowledging it more. I think what you write will help a lot of other women, Belle.

    • October 2, 2012

      Thank you Babyfeat. It gives me a lot of hope to know that others can learn from my painful situation.

  5. October 1, 2012

    I admire your openess and gut wrenching honesty. When I think of Pip I think of what a cool kid that wouldve been..I even like the name for him/her outside the womb. I’ve not lost a child, only moved 2300 miles away from 2, and that sux…I can’t (or won’t?) imagine the pain you must feel daily (hourly even). Hugs (accompanied by tears)..

    • October 2, 2012

      Oh Mary, tears. Thank you for your kind words. Pip would have been a “cool kid” and it breaks my heart that he or she did not get the chance to be. I so hope one of Pip’s siblings can carry the torch.

  6. October 1, 2012

    This made me cry. I’ve had one of these posts going around in my head for quite some time, too. I don’t feel like I’ve really acknowledged the loss of baby #2. I’m so sorry about Pip, and also sorry Pip is getting acknowledged less and less.

    • October 2, 2012

      Thank you, friend. I can’t imagine how hard it is to mourn the loss of a second while you are still mourning the first. You are in my thoughts. xoxo

  7. Emily #
    October 1, 2012

    I admire your strength in sharing this. It is so true and something I can identify with so well. Simply having your baby acknowledged is so meaningful. I hate that people don’t know what to say so they seem to think saying nothing is better. Wish you weren’t having to deal with this. Thinking of you and Pip.

  8. meggola #
    October 1, 2012

    This post reminds me of a great quote from Elizabeth Edwards. ‘If you know someone who has lost a child or lost anybody who’s important to them, and you’re afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died, they didn’t forget they died. You’re not reminding them. What you’re reminding them of is that you remember that they lived, and that’s a great, great gift.’

    • EmHart #
      October 1, 2012

      What a beautiful quote. And to you Belle, you, the professor and Pip are often in my thoughts, I think this post is a very important one and I hope it helps your friends help you remember your little one.

    • October 2, 2012

      Meggola, Oh my gosh, thank you for this quote. For some reason it makes me feel so much better. Em, thank you for your thoughts.

  9. Jennifer Brady #
    October 1, 2012

    First of all….big hugs!! Secondly, I know exactly what you mean about not forgetting and how you don’t want others to forget. Justin and I still have our ultrasound (that resulted in miscarriage) from June on our mantle – partly because neither of us are prepared to move it and secondly because we feel the picture should stay on the mantle…at least for now. We are in the unique situation that our friends don’t bring up the last baby, but when I mention him/her they do acknowledge the child’s one-time existence either by referring to something I said to them at the time or some detail about the situation, but other than that the child is not discussed. So often, though, people tend to think that you didn’t really lose a child if you can’t hold it and see it. Well, unfortunately, that is not the case. It’s still losing a child when seeing that a little, tiny being the size of a pinky nail growing inside has stopped growing. It’s still losing a child when you no longer hear the heartbeat. And people who dismiss those occurrences really piss me off.

    I work with two people who I constantly want to punch because of their flippant behavior regarding babies. One is having her second child simply to one-up her best friend (her exact words) who got pregnant with her second child recently. Another didn’t come to my immediate co-worker’s recent baby shower because no one threw her one when she was pregnant so she doesn’t do company baby showers…REALLY, PEOPLE?!?!

    In the past two years, I’ve lost both of my parents (which makes infertility even more difficult because my eventual children will never know them) and just over the past year alone, I’ve had 3 miscarriages, resulting in 2 D&C’s and I was not only present for the shower, I helped put on the shower and made some damn-good blue punch decorated with rubber duckies! She could put on her big-girl panties and at least stop by. Sorry….apparently, I needed to say that.

    But, what I really mean to say to you is Pip is not forgotten. At all. Ever. I selfishly stay away from the subject with you because I read your blog at work and am unable to sneak down to the hall bathroom to clean up from blubbering after sharing with you and/or letting your pain seep in too deep as to go to the bathroom and have a virtual “cry” with you. But, as you can read from paragraph 3, I’m due a nervous breakdown, so maybe that virtual cry will come sooner than later. 🙂

  10. October 1, 2012

    Too often, in an attempt to help, people don’t acknowledge loss. Yet it is so important to do so. It’s important to let the survivors talk about their children, giving them the opportunity to grieve. Because without that, there is no way one can heal.

    I’m glad you didn’t delete this post and instead took a chance. As difficult as this was to write, I hope by doing so and opening the floodgates, you can not only grieve but also begin to heal. Pip most certainly did exist and he was loved from the moment you and Mr. Professor saw the photo of him as an embryo. And I know that your anglebaby will always be with you, wrapping you and love.

  11. Mel #
    October 1, 2012

    Having a miscarriage I have found to be a completely isolating experience. I have now had two in a row (almost a exactly apart), the first one everyone in my life knew about (I was 12.5 weeks) this last one (7.5 weeks) only my immediate family knew. I don’t know if it is better for everyone to know or no one. Both ways you feel all alone. All my friends have had children either before or after my losses and I have been completely isolated from them…I don’t know if it is me or them. But I feel like I am a bit of a taboo and they don’t know how to be around me which makes it all the worst. It is like I have lost all my friends and it is me and my husband versus the world. I understand your feelings. I don’t mind talking about what happened but like you said people don’t acknowledge what you have been through and it makes a very awkward experience. I am a naturally very open person but infertility has closed me off and put me in a little box that I struggle to get out of. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!!! Hopefully we will get our little miracle babies soon. Hugs! Mel

    PS I have just been diagnosed with PCOS as well (don’t know why it took 3yrs to get to this) and just started metformin…..so far it isn’t as bad as I thought it would be if you have any questions feel free to ask but hopefully you won’t even need it and this FET will work my fingers and toes are crossed for you. My husband and I will finally get to try again next month after our last D&C in June (terrible recovery had RPOC they didn’t find for 10 weeks 😦 …life is one crazy ride)

  12. October 1, 2012

    I am so sorry you lost your baby Belle. He was your baby, the only one you have had, and the one you made hopes and reams and plans for. That can’t be taken away, and it won’t go away.

  13. SRB #
    October 1, 2012

    “Please don’t close me out because my situation makes you uncomfortable. My situation makes me uncomfortable. It eats me from the inside out, literally. And you know what makes it worse? When you turn your back and pretend nothing ever happened.”

    This. Exactly. This is the most powerful thing to say, the most difficult thing to say to the people who don’t know what to say so they say nothing. I am so sorry for your loss, Belle. So deeply sorry for the pain in your heart and soul. It is real, and it is forever a part of you. And I am so very buoyed by your bravery in telling people just how much it all hurts.

  14. Wife #
    October 1, 2012

    After my miscarriage someone said to me “it’s okay to grieve and be sad you lost something” and I said ” no I lost someone” it’s just a small difference but just acknowledging that you didn’t lose an idea, a hope, or dream you lost a person that you loved. And it sucks that most people don’t understand this very important difference.

  15. October 1, 2012

    Pip was certainly here and is your precious baby, will always be. Your last paragraph is so powerful and I hope the friends who read this will take it to heart. I struggle with the same, the worst is when people act like nothing happened and thinks everything is like it was before.

  16. Juno #
    October 1, 2012

    I think about this when my closest friends “remind me” how lucky I am that my body knew to kill my two babies because something must’ve been wrong. I want to scream at them to shut up, they have no clue what is/may be wrong and thy maybe my body killed my two babies. So if irl people read this maybe they can learn what not to say. Love and hugs.

  17. October 1, 2012

    I’m proud of you for saying this – out loud. Too many people think it’s best to not say anything – when that’s all we want. We just want acknowledgment that people, especially those closest to us, remember our babies and our struggles. People seem to think that all memory of what once had been, disappears when the bleeding ends. UGH.

  18. October 1, 2012

    I hope that you don’t continue to feel so alone and abandoned after writing this. Losing Pip was and continues to be hard, and I hope that you see how much others care (though I know blog friends are different from family and IRL friends, maybe). My embabies never even had a chance to grow inside of me, but every month, sometimes every week or every day, I think about what might have been if my body weren’t so terribly fucked up.

    Thanks for writing this post and sharing. You, you Mr. Husband and Pip are in my thoughts often.

  19. October 1, 2012

    Pip and your loss of him should be acknowledged often, and by everyone in your life who knows of his short but no less important little life. I hope your courage in sharing this heartfelt request for compassion is rewarded with the validation and acknowledgement of your child that you need (and should have!) in order to heal.
    I’ll be so glad if this message is truly heard by those who need to hear it, but I’m sorry that it had to come from you.
    May you find peace as your baby’s life is recognized, celebrated, and grieved… over and over again for as long as he lives in your heart.

  20. October 1, 2012

    I hear you. I just want to be acknowledged. I want my pain and grief to be recognized and validated. In solidarity.

  21. Ginny #
    October 1, 2012

    This post took so much courage. I lost a baby very early (7-8 weeks) almost eighteen years ago, my only confirmed pregnancy ever; I still think about that baby from time to time, I guess I always will. I still remember with sadness how many of my closest family and friends never, ever acknowledged that I had lost a baby. Even those that did were very brief, very uncomfortable and then never spoke of it again. So, I want you to know that you DID have a child and you ARE a mother..no matter what.

    BTW, I live in your area and lurk every week(not in a creepy way), and am sending you positive energy and well wishes – xx

  22. October 1, 2012

    Thank you for writing this post. I never know whether to acknowledge my friend’s loss at 20 weeks (and another one more recently at 9 weeks). I mean, I certainly did right after they happened….calling and seeing how she was doing. But I haven’t asked her more recently how she is doing. I’ll call her tonight. 🙂

  23. October 1, 2012

    Oh my gosh! I wish my sister could read this. She says bringing it up is cruel because she doesn’t want me to hurt anymore. Um, I’m already hurting, sis! It’d be nice if you acknowledged it. This is such a powerful post, Belle. And while people IRL may have forgotten Pip, please know that your bloggy friends have not. Hugs to you.

  24. erika #
    October 1, 2012

    Amen. I totally hear you!!! I think of my baby every.single.day…..Hugs.

  25. October 1, 2012

    Thinking of you and sending hugs.

  26. October 1, 2012

    Amen! Maybe this post will help those people.

  27. Kenya's mom #
    October 1, 2012

    I am glad to read this. Some people might not realize what to say or do, despite thinking about you every day. I think you have a supportive group of people here and in non-internet world who love you, husband, baby and cats. I hope this outlet makes it less weird for you and hope that you know pip is loved.

    • October 2, 2012

      Thank you friend. I wish Alabama were closer, or plane tickets were cheaper, or that my teleportation device would hurry up and arrive already. Maybe I can visit this fall. Maybe by then I would have finished C’s birthday gift (terrible Auntie!)

  28. October 1, 2012

    I hate that you have to go through this, but I love this post. I feel exactly the same way about our baby. I write about him/her all the time. I do not think people outside of the infertility, and especially miscarriage, world understand that we have had children and have already become mothers. Not getting to hold the baby doesn’t change that. It’s something that I don’t think even husbands/partners understand because though they know we’re pregnant, nothing really changes for them yet. They don’t feel the physical signs and presence of a baby. I know how hard it is for the outside world to not acknowledge it. Please know we are all always here for you. xo

  29. October 2, 2012

    This is an amazing past, Belle, and one that needs to be shared with people who have not been on the receiving end of a loss such as yours. Thank you so much for not hitting delete this time. You, the Professor and Pip are in my thoughts.

  30. October 2, 2012

    Oh Belle…what a poignant post. Thank you for sharing this part of your heart. Pip is not forgotten by me or any of us here in blog land, although I can’t imagine how infuriating and saddening it is when people IRL don’t acknowledge what you, and Professor, and Pip went through. xo

  31. karaleen #
    October 2, 2012

    My husband and I lost twins at 10 weeks gestation. I cannot explain to you (but I’m sure you know) how devastating that was. It was a death…period. But it came in many forms…a death of our babies physically, a death of our dreams of those babies, a death of our hope of becoming parents (because, like you, they were babies from ART for a couple with little chances). Some people can brush off a miscarriage as an inconvenient medical issue that is resolved a couple months later when they pop up pregnant and then carry on as if nothing happened. I still mourn those babies (from 2006..Oct 16 to be exact). Not like I used to because time really does help us learn to live with loss….but it never takes it away…they never stop being your babies. We are blessed. We were able to move forward and a year later (and 5 more cycles and a chem pregnancy) we got our positive test which resulted in a beautiful boy. Yes…it eases the pain because you are filled with new joy and excitement (and the fear…oh the fear). but I still thought about those babies. And then when I did I mourned our son not having a sibling like those twins would have had each other. See? that is how the mind works with loss….the what ifs, the “it should have been”, the “my twins should be going into 1st grade this year”….you never quite stop wondering…even when you cross over into parenthood. I have two friends who have lost babies very very late in pregnancy….2nd trimester, a still birth and even a neonatal death at 2 days old due to complications from birth. From them I have learned just how easy others forget about your pain. Those were fully formed babies with names and genders and funerals and people still seem to just forget it happened. I make it a point to remember. I use their names, I send a card on the birthday or the month of the loss….but apparently….I’m one of few. Nobody (with the exception of my two friends) ever mention my twins….it makes me sad. I am sad for you and the loss of your baby. I know what kind of imprint that leaves and I am so shocked how many women suffer this yet it is still soooo freaking taboo to talk about …to ask about. They were PEOPLE….yet they are forgotten. I have now gone on to have a 2nd child (through the selfless donation of embryos from another couple) and my life is wonderful and I would not go back and change things now….but it doesn’t mean I don’t still wonder, or light a candle on Oct 16th every year and remember my first babies….but I am pretty sure I am the only one.
    kd

  32. jak #
    October 2, 2012

    too true. you had a baby and that was taken away from you and that loss shouldnt be minimized because others are uncomfortable with it. i like what another poster wrote, “you didnt lose something, you lost someone”…. very powerful words.

  33. October 2, 2012

    He is a friend to keep.

    I’m sorry that your family doesn’t provide the support that you need. You are surviving an incredibly sad, difficult, totally unfair miscarriage. It hurts. There’s no way around that.

    But…I am glad that you posted this. I know that it will help others. And it may help other people support their friends and family who are in pain.

    Lots of hugs, Belle. Lots and lots of hugs.

  34. Lisa @ hapahopes #
    October 2, 2012

    You speak the truth, my love. We here will never forget little Pip, but it sure as hell hurts when the in real life people do. They probably think that they are doing what’s best, but they are stupid. It’s not your job to make them feel comfortable. Hugs to you, sweetie.

  35. SM #
    October 2, 2012

    Thank you for writing this. I miss my babies. I love them so much. It hurts so bad when people disregard my loss. I have four children. They are not in my arms, but that doesn’t mean they don’t count. Thinking of you and Pip often.

  36. October 3, 2012

    This might be the art therapist in me coming out but maybe you could make something to acknowledge your baby? Like a real, tangible thing. You sew- maybe an artist’s quilt (not necessarily a blanket, but more like a fabric collage, they are really awesome if you have a chance to take a look). Something so that you have a physical object to honor your child and your loss, so it is something that you can see, but also something that other people can see. Right now, though people know about your child and loss, it is relatively invisible and private. I made a piece about PCOS and fertility treatments and it hangs in the living room – not super obvious but not hidden. Sometimes people ask about it and I talk about it. Mostly they don’t, but I know it’s there and I know I’m not the only one who sees it.

    • October 3, 2012

      I really love this idea.

  37. October 3, 2012

    Somehow I totally missed this post.
    I applaud you, Belle, for putting this out there. Your baby absolutely should be acknowledged and I’m so sorry that Pip hasn’t been.

  38. October 17, 2012

    It makes me uncomfortable also, that’s the reason I couldn’t bring myself to comment. It reminds me of my loss (which I haven’t healed from yet) and makes me feel silly because yours was further along than mine. Sorry. And hugs to you, Belle.

    • October 17, 2012

      All losses, no matter how late or early they occur, are tragic and so hard to accept. Never, ever feel the need to apologize because commenting is too painful. xoxo

      • October 18, 2012

        Thanks for your understanding…I’ve seriously been feeling like a selfish ASS lately.

  39. October 18, 2012

    Another comment! My husband stumbled across this post yesterday and it opened his eyes. Thank you. He said this brought tears to his eyes because he now kind of understands how I feel, was so sorry for your pain and now feels some sadness for our loss as well. Thank you soooo much for posting this!!!

  40. October 20, 2012

    I’m always thinking about all the wonderful women on here and their babies. I guess I should actually say it. I think about Pip often.

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