June 16, 2008


The house has been eerily quiet all weekend. During the last miscarriage, I couldn't tear my ear away from the phone. Everyone called constantly to check on me, to cry with me, and to reassure me that everything was going to work out next time.

Maybe they're embarrassed that they were so confident. Because they're not calling this time.

At first I was grouchy. I thought about how last December, neither Erin nor CaliValleyGirl had their babies yet. They had more time for me. But then I realized I was just being dumb. That wasn't the reason they weren't calling, though feeling sorry for myself that way helped for a few minutes.

My mother told me that I had made it clear that I think people always say the wrong thing, so I'd probably scared my friends away. Ha, my mother never shies away from telling me when I've been too honest! But I hope she's not right; I hope people aren't avoiding me because I've pushed them away.

I sat down and penned The Wrong Thing Is Better Than Nothing At All, just in case.

Andi said that she was just afraid of calling me right in the grossest and most horrific moment of the miscarriage. That's understandable. I hope that's why people haven't called. I also understand that it's easy to comfort someone after the first miscarriage and reassure her that everything will be OK, that many people have miscarriages, and that she will go on to have a slew of babies in the future. That's a little harder to do after miscarriage #2. I bet my friends feel about as much optimism as I do right now, and they're afraid of being a downer when they call.

So anyway, I spent the weekend feeling a little lonely. But I knew one person was there in presence, one person I felt was sitting holding her breath for me. One person kept emailing me and commenting here, reminding me that she was with me all day long. The most unlikely person of all.

If you've been reading for a while, you might remember the falling out I had with Allicadem. If you don't, it's not worth digging back up. We reconciled. But this weekend pulled the scab off for her.

I feel like it's my fault for her suffering. I am the reason that her pregnancies aren't working -- because I was bitter and wished her anguish. She was too care-free about pregnancy and I wanted her to feel how horrible it can be. And now I suffer, again, because I am re-living all of the fucking shit that she's going through.
And even as I post this, I am sobbing and holding my head. I can't believe that ... I wished you would know how bad it felt. To have problems getting pregnant. I couldn't be a bigger asshole.

Her blog post was so raw and so honest that I don't even know what to say.

In the beginning of our pregnancies, CaliValleyGirl and I had very different approaches. I had waited so long to get pregnant that I wanted to dive right in on the first day and tell everyone I'd ever met: my co-workers, random people at the grocery store, my high school track coach. CVG was more cautious, waiting the full 12 weeks before she told anyone but her parents. Heck, she didn't even blog about being pregnant until after the baby was born! But even with my optimistic attitude, it was I, not she, who feared that something might happen to one of us. I thought it was just too good to be true, both of us being pregnant at the exact same time. I had a horrible feeling that it wasn't destined to last, and I remember vividly one day thinking how guilty I would feel if something happened to her baby. I also remember later almost being relieved that my baby died instead of hers, because I had been jealous of her and had thought she didn't deserve to be happy so quickly. I thought she should've had to have taken at least one negative pregnancy test in her life, to be able to understand that I had taken nine of them.

And if her baby had died, I would've felt like I caused it too.

I know what it's like to struggle with your dark side. I have another friend who wants to start trying to have a baby in the near future. And I want her to be successful. I really do. But I also can't help but think that, if she is quickly successful, she will have a baby before I do, when I started trying two full years before she did. The unfairness of that is overwhelming at times. I can't bear the thought of her being successful before I am, even though I don't want her to suffer the way I have.

I'm just tired of watching everyone else get to the finish line before I do. Especially people who weren't even in the race until long after I starting running.

I did start out as carefree about pregnancy. I thought that it would happen for me relatively quickly, as it had for most of the people I knew. And carefree is a good way to be. I don't ever want to take that away from people. I don't want my friend to be bogged down with fear and pessimism when she starts trying to have a baby because she sees how crappy my experience has been. I absolutely want her to be carefree. Because the alternative -- where I'm at right now, where the next baby could have a heart stronger than Lance Armstrong's and I'll still expect it to die -- is no fun at all.

And I was carefree during this pregnancy too, more carefree than someone with a history of miscarriage probably should be. But when we saw that strong heartbeat and I learned that our odds were better than 95%, I dove right in. And yes, I bought baby clothes and a bouncy seat, and even a backpack carrier at a garage sale. Maybe that was a stupid thing to do when baby was only 8 weeks along, but I felt confident and happy. I wanted to celebrate.

So now I have a set of summer maternity clothes from the first baby and a set of winter maternity from the second. I have all the seasons covered for next time, so third baby is set no matter when he shows up.

And I don't want to lose that confidence. So yesterday when I went out with my mom, I bought a baby outfit. And my mom looked at me with tears in her eyes like she was so proud, so proud that I haven't given up hope, that I still know that somehow, someway, somefreakingday, we will have a baby in the house. A baby who will wear little shorts with funny monkeys all over them, shorts that were bought when hope seemed at its ebb and the future seemed so far away.

Allicadem, you didn't cause anything bad to happen to me. Remember this?

All that we are is determined by our thoughts. It begins where our thoughts begin, it moves where our thoughts move, it ends where our thoughts end. If we think thoughts like he hurt me, he stole from me, he is my enemy, our life and our destiny will follow that thought as the wheel follows the axle. And if we think thoughts like he cannot hurt me, only I can hurt myself, he cannot steal from me, he cannot be my enemy, only I can be my enemy, then our life and our destiny will follow those thoughts.

You and I just both need to write that down and read it often.

I have forgiven you for everything. I feel no ill-will or negative waves. I felt you worrying and waiting with me all day Sunday, and I appreciate it.

As Pete Townshend beautifully sings in my favorite line from "A Quick One While He's Away"...you are forgiven.

Tink's right; it's time for you to forgive yourself too.

Posted by Sarah at June 16, 2008 08:31 AM | TrackBack

I think part of it is that we know your mother is there. And frankly, I figured your phone would be ringing off the hook and your email box stuffed. Had I known it would be otherwise, I would've contacted you. And my offer stands--not for escape, but perhaps for the space to step back for a moment and adjust your grip on the situation.

Posted by: FbL at June 16, 2008 08:49 AM

Reading this at work isn't such a great idea. Crying and blubbering isn't too respectable for a Monday morning!

Posted by: Allison at June 16, 2008 09:12 AM

I figured you might not want to deal with having to answer emails when you were feeling so crappy.

Your always in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by: Mare at June 16, 2008 09:34 AM

. . . and then there's those of us who just kind of look in and (1) don't have your phone number, (2) wouldn't presume to call, and (3) whose voice you wouldn't know even if we could call! But hey. . . . here's someone else thinking about you and feeling pretty horrible about your loss.

I admire your optimism and perseverance; I pray for your health and that you will be given the gift of new life - a child - one day and meanwhile, that you will be given the gift of comfort and peace in your sorrow. And friends - good friends around you, too.

Posted by: prophet at June 16, 2008 10:13 AM

You don't know me, and I've only ever posted once on your site. However, I have read your blog for almost 2 years now, and do wish that I had taken more initiative in the past to comment and meet you. I have wanted to write during the past few days, but didn't know what to say.

I don't think that you were carefree about pregnancy; you were absolutely excited and optimistic. Don't lose your confidence; it is admirable. Your confidence and optimism will get you around all hurdles, and eventually to your goal. I hope that you do have your baby(ies). When they come, they will know how loved and how courageously you have been waiting for them.

Posted by: Maria at June 16, 2008 10:40 AM

Yeah, I'm in the "her phone is probably ringing off the hook" club. I figured you needed some quiet and space. I have absolutely no qualms about saying the wrong thing at the right time.

You remember back in the 80's when the insult phrase of the day was "You're ugly and your mother dresses you funny?" Well, I don't think you'll have an ugly baby, but with those monkey shorts, I definitely have to go with the whole "your mother dresses you funny" thing. ;)

Posted by: Sis B at June 16, 2008 11:03 AM

I have to laugh at the dressing the baby post from Sis B. And I'm thinking that at one time I thought my daughter in law dressed my precious little granddaughter like the Poor Pitiful Pearl doll, but she looked cute that way. And I have to admit I almost emailed you a link to a post on Abraham and Sarah, there is still hope but I know you don't want to wait till you're 90. And maybe it isn't time to laugh yet, but it is always time to hope.
Okay, so today you are going to be inundated with posts, emails and calls. Or not. But we are still praying for you, thinking of you and wanting you to heal, and you will, before you start the next one. And, say hey to your mom.

Posted by: Ruth H at June 16, 2008 11:24 AM

Know that even if we're not calling (some of us don't know you well enough to call you), there are many of us readers who are standing with you and praying for you, and crying inside for the hurt you have had to go through. If only there were something a person could do or say to "fix" it or make it better, we would. But some things just take time.

I am glad to see that you haven't given up hope. I pray that when your husband comes home you are able to have a healthy and successful pregnancy; even if it meant that I would have to wait to have one of my own. If anyone deserves to have a child, you do.


Posted by: Emily at June 16, 2008 11:45 AM

Emily: Luckily it's not a zero-sum game! Hopefully we both find happiness soon!

Posted by: Sarah at June 16, 2008 12:34 PM

Sarah I've been following your blog for a long time now and am so filled with sadness at your recent loss.
However, I can also say that as a reader from afar, I can see so much growth, strength and progress in you as a woman over time. This is the worst possible way to learn and grow (through all this loss and pain), but at least take some tiny comfort in the fact that you are gaining so much strength, wisdom, empathy, courage and power as you walk this difficult road. And these are traits and characteristics you will carry in you for the rest of your life.
I'm NOT saying 'everything happens for a reason' - I personally HATE that cliche. But I am saying that as you are going through all this bad stuff, there is at least ONE good byproduct of all of it - the strength and confidence that are developing inside of you.
From having been through a lot of hard things in my life (not infertility but other things), I carry with me the core knowledge that I can handle whatever life throws at me. (I sure don't WANT to, but I know I can if I have to.) And that is a very reassuring thing to know.
You've been through something so hard. I hope so strongly that the worst is over for you. I also hope that an interesting/challenging opportunity comes your way for you to devote some of your energies towards during the rest of the deployment, when you feel ready. You have so much to offer!
While I am old enough to be your mother (or close, anyway), I am continually challenged by your writings and I appreciate them greatly.
I wish only the best for you.
From across the internets -

Posted by: Amy at June 16, 2008 01:54 PM

I'm actually so, so proud of you. After reading this post I can see how you are processing things and I am proud of you for continuing to have that hope. It's not an easy thing to do. You are a brave woman, and you meet things head on. That is something to be commended, no matter what the situation is that forced you to show that side of yourself. I'm hoping with you.

Posted by: stacy at June 16, 2008 03:06 PM

dammit, Sarah.

I've been wrapped up in work, Cub Scout camp, baseball, and enjoying quiet weekend with my fiance, and just now checked in. It's been more than a week.... a lot can happen in a week.

I am so, so, so sorry, Sarah. Like you, the last time I miscarried, I picked the baby up and felt it. I was carrying twins, and lost one. I was lucky- the one who survived is perfect and almost 8 years old now. That was the second baby I've miscarried. You never forget how it feels- beginning to end. You just don't. You move on, and you hope for babies in the future, but you never forget the ones who didn't make it, and you always wonder why, and what could have been.

Your writing tells me that you are sad, but rational, and that you have an incredibly strong support system. That will sustain you until your DH comes home. There's nothing in the world that compares to losing a baby. My heart aches for you both.

Posted by: AFSister at June 16, 2008 10:19 PM

My mother had four miscarriages, one quite far along. She has four living children. It is hard. It can happen, though.

I don't have experience with miscarriages, but I know that people often don't call because they don't know what to say. They don't know how to act. And, as you mentioned, sometimes they feel bad about what they thought.

Posted by: Suzi at June 17, 2008 09:52 AM

Sniff: sniff: sniff. That is so beautiful. I have a basement full of infant clothes, maternity clothes and a crib and a baby swing I've inherited from my twin. Every month after month after month, when the meds don't work and my cycle begins I just want to lock myself in with them and not come out. It doesn't make sense why people can "accidentally" get pregnant but those of us craving for those blessed 10 months of pregnancy can't obtain it. I empathise with you and I cry for you and I will remember you in my prayers and blog reading.

Posted by: Darla at June 19, 2008 06:17 PM

I think you need to get over yourself and give your friends a break. There are alot others out there that have these kind of problems. Yes it's sad but how much more do your friends want to hear about it. This is all you blog about anymore. Time to move on and consider others for awhile.

Posted by: Sally at June 20, 2008 08:31 PM