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The Walk I Wish I Had Skipped

10/14/2012

Belle

I went to the Walk to Remember. No, I guess I went to the periphery of the Walk to Remember. I had expected this to be a very quiet, reserved event. I expected a lot of women on their own, maybe a handful of couples. I expected a lot of dark sunglasses and people keeping to themselves, alone and private in their mourning.

What I found were a lot of couples, happily talking to one another sans dark sunglasses, their children running around with joyful laughter. There were large families of supporters wearing coordinating t-shirts. One huge family all wore white shirts with tiny blue footprints on the back and text saying something to the extent of “We will never forget you.”

I found friendship, fanfare and laughter. I did not find the quiet opportunity to mourn the loss of my baby.

The people who brought children made me so angry. Not all of us have happy children to go home to. Some of us only have two measly ultrasound pictures of a baby the size of a lentil that never made it home. How dare they bring their fertility to a ceremony honoring dead babies.

The people who brought a fleet of family members all clad in matching t-shirts of support made me jealous. Where is all my fucking support? Where is my t-shirt wearing troop? Oh wait, the only people who remember my baby are a handful of friends who live in other states. My parents don’t speak of my baby, let alone come to a ceremony for it. Our friends in town all have children of their own and don’t acknowledge our loss.

The women with their husbands made me so sad. Let me be clear, the Professor offered to come along. He said he would happily be there to support me. I nonchalantly told him that was not necessary. I was fine to go this one alone. I said this not because I was happy to be alone, but because I’m so fucking embarrassed to still cry about this in front of him.

I feel so inept: here I am, a grown woman who can’t make it past the death of a 7 week old embryo. I’m on fucking Prozac and in therapy because of this. Why can’t I just move on? He has. He does not wake every morning to a jolt, realizing he is no longer pregnant. He does not tear the day off the calendar every morning and shudder at how close we are getting to January 3 – our due date. Why can’t I just forget?

I circled the group of “remembering” people four creepy times and could not bring myself to join them. I was the lone solo woman in dark glasses wrapped in an oversized sweater despite the 70 degree temperature. I went back to my car and went to the grocery store instead.

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28 Comments

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  1. October 14, 2012

    I’m so sorry. I hope your therapist can help you find answers to your whys. I wish I could find the right words to help you, just know that I care, I remember, I’m here for you.

  2. October 14, 2012

    I’m so sorry Belle. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it was to go to this walk seeking support only to feel like you where once again on the outside looking in.

    If possible, can you do something else for today? Schedule your own walk to remember? Go someplace quiet and beautiful and with each of the physical steps walk the journey you had with Pip. Because even though he was here for only a short period of time, he was deeply loved and those memories are so sweet. Hold onto those and allow yourself to remember. And if at any point in time you feel alone, remember that those rustling leaves or sounds of wildlife are those of us who can not be with you today who are walking beside you. We will never forget.

  3. October 14, 2012

    Ouch. That hardly seems appropriate for so many kids to be there. I’m so sorry it’s not what you expected and am honestly shocked that an event meant to handle and address such a sensitive subject would be so insensitive to the needs of the people who needed their help the most. You are not weak because this still hurts. You went through a horrible loss so don’t punish yourself by your perceived inability to “move on.” You will heal….someday…on your own terms and in your own time frame. I still think you’re brave as hell.

  4. October 14, 2012

    Here’s the thing, it’s not just about losing a 7-week embryo. It’s all the grief from the infertility and disappointment of failure after failure, and the wondering… will I ever get to be a mom? You are allowed to not be “over it”. It’s different for the fertiles. I joined a grief group after losing Abby and it was great to be with other couples who had lost babies, but we were still different. I remember the first night, we were doing this activity and you had to answer questions. One of the questions was “what gives you hope/gets you through”… and I remember the girl I was paired with saying “knowing I can have another baby”. I bawled my face off at those words… because I don’t know that. Incidently, the four other women who were in that group with me are all now pregnant… and I am not. It’s different for the fertiles and it’s different once you’ve resolved. Right now, you are neither of those things. Please feel however you feel and don’t be so hard on yourself. It is what it is and you are a grieving momma.

  5. October 14, 2012

    I’m so sorry. I am surprised at how many kids I see at these types of events whenever I see photos of them. (I have been unable to bring myself to go.) I’m sorry that you had to go through this yourself and I’m sorry you felt that you couldn’t join the group. I remember feeling the same way about my husband. He was moving on and I was still remembering and mourning. It won’t offer you any comfort but with time, it will get easier. Stupid time.

  6. October 14, 2012

    Wow. That sucks. So hard. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Incredibly disappointing.

    I know exactly how you feel about not wanting to cry in front of the Professor. I remember getting to a point, many months after my ectopic, when I looked at my partner and realized that he couldn’t fathom why I was still mourning our lost baby. I was sure he thought I was crazy. And maybe he did. But he also loved me and kept his thoughts to myself if he did think I was crazy, which was his own way of being respectful of what I was going through. I didn’t feel like enough at the time but now I see it was all he knew how to do.

    And PPs are right, a lot of what makes this so fucking hard to get past is the infertility, the not knowing if you’ll get another shot at being a mom. That uncertainty makes it SO MUCH HARDER. And it’s absolutely true that the people who go back home to their happy, living children DO NOT KNOW what is it like for you. They just don’t. But remember that we do and even though we couldn’t be there to walk with you today, wie’re walking with you every day, in our hearts.

  7. October 14, 2012

    Oh no! It shouldn’t have been that way and I’m sorry to hear that it was. You are not walking this journey alone, though I’m sure it feels like you are a lot of the time.
    Every tear you shed for your lost child is valid…and you are one cry closer to healing. There is no prescribed amount of time for healthy grieving. All that is important is that you allow yourself to feel those feelings, shed those tears, and talk about it as much as you need to… For as long as it takes. My hope for you is that your pain will soon be eclipsed by the joy of pregnancy and parenthood. I know that it will take time to feel safe in that joy, and that you will always love and miss your lost baby, but you can and will get there.
    Sending thoughts of peace and patience your way.

  8. October 14, 2012

    So sorry for your experiences. I am thinking of going to one of those walks next week but have spent the last couple of days wondering if it is worth being around all those laughing, happy people with children. Kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Who organizes these things? What is their real purpose? Is it just one big get together where people had a loss at one time, but no longer grieve? I honestly can’t wrap my head around that.

    Once again, I’m so sorry for your loss and the grief you go through every day. Like you, I can’t get over the loss of my 7-week old embryo either. My husband seems to be doing ok and I am glad for him, but the realization that my baby is gone hits me like a ton of bricks every day.

    If I had been there, I would have walked with you and understood.

    • October 14, 2012

      Thank you, friend. I wish you could have walked with me, too. Maybe we need to organize a virtual walk to remember? Maybe we all walk next Saturday at a certain time and know that we are not walking alone? Maybe all take a photo of something beautiful during our walk and post it to share with the others. Is that ridiculous?

      • October 14, 2012

        That is the best idea I’ve heard in a long time and so appropriate for so many of us! We should definitely organize it. I love the idea of a virtual walk and picture post!! We could get something started, kind of like those challenge posts that people are always posting.

        • October 14, 2012

          Sneaking in on your idea……I love it! Belle, I’m so, so sorry you had such a bad experience. I too went to a walk that was filled with happy families and lots of little kids. It wasn’t as bad for me because I brought my husband and went into it knowing there would be families. I can’t believe no one told you that! And men grieve totally different than women. That’s what my therapist and I just discussed, and it really helped to hear it from her. I love the above idea of a virtual walk and bet there are so many of us who have recent losses that would benefit from this. Maybe it will be helpful in some small way for you to start something to honor your lost baby. You can do it in his memory. And you will NEVER forget. Even after my horrible loss of triplets @ 22 weeks 6 days this year, I still mourn just as much for my LoveBug whom I lost at 9 weeks. It will always be with you. I wish I could walk with you! Thinking of you lots and sending you hugs!

  9. 35life #
    October 14, 2012

    Oh was an awful experience. I’m so sorry it turned out to be completely not what you were expecting. It seems so cruel and incredibly sensitive that there were so many families with tons of children there. Again, it’s another example of how fertile families just don’t get it. There’s so many different levels to loss, some can successfully have more children, some may not. Maybe you should go on one of your own botanic garden walks to make up for this?

  10. denise100709 #
    October 14, 2012

    Sounds like a fucking nightmare. I’m still struggling with being angry at my friends and acquaintances from infertility group who have gotten pregnant again, after I lost mine at 13 weeks. And I even have a son so should be content and grateful. I am grateful but may never be content. I’m still pissed that stuff doesn’t work out for me as much as I’d like. I’m still mad that I don’t get what I want. I know that sounds ridiculous and childish (as my husband the Professor occasionally points out)- but it is what it is… Nobody likes to suffer…

  11. Amy #
    October 14, 2012

    Oh, Belle, I am SO sorry the event was not at all what you were seeking. What you describe feeling is so normal normal normal. There is nothing wrong with not being over it. As my therapist always said, it would be stranger if you weren’t having these kinds of feelings. Not that knowing that makes them any easier to feel, I know. But please know that you’re not alone, even though the walk surely made you feel that way, even more. I will be thinking of you and your baby when I light my own four candles tomorrow night for the Wave of Light.

  12. October 14, 2012

    I agree that it was in poor taste to bring their chidren. They have forgotten what it’s like to experience miscarriage without any living children. As for not getting over the loss of a 7 week old embryo (as you put it), I tried to explain to people that I lost more than tiny first trimester babies–I lost a lifetime with the person they were supposed to be. At what point in pregnancy is the loss supposed to be more meaningful? Whatever day we choose, the person who lost a baby just one day earlier did not lose anything less significant.

  13. Amber #
    October 14, 2012

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. I lost my first baby at 7 weeks too. I hit rock bottom and was a mess for a while. You don’t have to forget, you need healing. I know it must have been like a dagger to the heart seeing kids there. Hang in there, it gets better. We will be lighting a candle tomorrow for our first.

  14. October 15, 2012

    I’m sorry it didn’t turn out to be the closure you were hoping for 😦

  15. October 15, 2012

    Sorry girl, no bueno. Isn’t it strange how even the person who knows you and loves you best, your Husband, doesn’t experience this crappy journey with you? I think of that all the time, how even though we’re “in this together” we experience it so, so differently. Ugh. wishing you lots of closure, but most of all, wishing you a healthy baby implanting as we speak!

  16. October 15, 2012

    Give yourself time to feel your grief. There is no set date that you have to be over this. Shed your tears when they come, you will never be over it but one day you will feel better. I am so sorry for the hurt you feel.

  17. October 15, 2012

    i’m sorry the gathering wasn’t what you needed at this time, and that you aren’t getting the support you need from your husband and family. it’s tragic how isolating miscarriage can be, it just compounds the suffering and pain.

    it was interesting to read the comments to this post regarding families who brought children to the event. i certainly see how it was painful for you, but i see the other side too. i have good friends who just attended a similar event in their state. this couple went through multiple, multiple rounds of IVF to have their first; then multiple rounds of IVF and multiple losses to get pregnant again. their second pregnancy was twins, who were born very premature. they lost one of their twins within a week of birth due to complications from the prematurity. so, for them, they took their older child and the surviving twin to the ceremony because for them it’s about making sure their children grow up remembering their sibling – not about flaunting their fertility. i think it’s important to recognize that everyone who was there was in attendance because they share a common history of loss, and we can’t know their history and pain, just as they don’t know ours.

  18. October 15, 2012

    Belle, I’m so sorry that the walk was not what you expected and that you didn’t have any support with you. I agree with a previous poster- you are still mourning the loss of your baby but ALSO infertility in general. The other people at the walk that brought their kids could be happy and smiling because they were on the other side of infertility- they had kids. We have no idea if our treatments will turn out the way we are hoping they will. 😦

  19. October 15, 2012

    I’m so sorry you are having such a hard day. I can so relate….your husband wasn’t pregnant and you were, you became a mother when you saw that second line and you had to change who you were and what you did. He didn’t have to do that, but I really hope for both of you that you don’t have to hide your sadness from him. I did that for awhile and it sucks and when I opened up to my husband is was so much better.

    And I hope that you know we are all your support troop remembering your Pip, loving your little one, and walking with you even though we aren’t there. I’d definitely put on a matching t-shirt for you. You are not alone!

  20. October 15, 2012

    I’m so sorry that you are going through this, my heart just breaks for you. And please don’t for one second feel like you need to be over the loss of your baby, you need to grieve and be sad and some days you will be really sad and others you will be less sad, just don’t get lost in the darkness. I don’t think it is something we ever “get over” I have my daughter home and I still think of our first little one who never made it home.

    I wish I could have walked with you, because you Belle are not alone you have a support troop and I would proudly put on a T-shirt remembering your dear Pip.

  21. October 15, 2012

    Oh gal, I’m so sorry.

  22. October 18, 2012

    I SO understand about circling a group of people who you KNOW are in similar circumstances to you and not being able to talk to them. That’s me all over. But you’re not alone as all these comments attest. Still, not the same as someone being there with you. Sorry. x

  23. October 20, 2012

    I wish I could have been there with you. I would have warn whatever matching t-shirt you wanted me to or I would have walked with you in a sweater and dark sunglasses. Sorry it wasn’t what you needed.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. A Spritiual Walk to Remember | Scrambled Eggs
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