Anniversary of a Loss

July 4th is cause for celebration in this country. We celebrate our nation’s birthday and the freedoms we hold so dear. But for me this weekend will always be the anniversary of different sort as July 2nd was the day I lost my first pregnancy. 

As I thought of what to write about that day, this year, I returned to the post I wrote 365 days before. I liked that post. It speaks to me even though a year has passed. It remains relevant in all aspects. And since most people who read me now (at least who comment now) didn’t read me then, and it didn’t even get any comments when it was posted, I thought I could put it up again. So here it is, in it’s entirety. The only thing I changed was the number of the anniversary.

Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of our ectopic – the day we spent 12 hours in the ED bleeding, getting blood taken, having hope, having hope crushed, getting ultrasounds, MVA’s and finally methotrexate shots to dissolve the child that threatened to damage me irrevocably. Today marks the two year anniversary of the saddest day of my life. Today I hope to watch fireworks with my partner and daughter down by the water. Two years ago I spent the 4th curled on my couch having cramps and bleeding as I thought of my baby dying inside of me.

I want to say “what a difference two years make,” but honestly, even with the blessing of my daughter in my life (which I will never, EVER take for granted), yesterday and today are still painful. I’m not denying that they would not be more painful if I didn’t have my daughter, or worse, if I were still trying. I’m not saying that her presence doesn’t dull the pain, but that is all it does, dull it. Isa’s presence, in and of itself, does not heal the pain of the loss of my first child. Knowing she was inside of me didn’t heal the pain when my first EED came and went and it doesn’t heal it now. The baby I lost on July 3rd of 2009 was a different child and I will always be sad for his or her loss, no matter how many healthy, live children I may have.

Today I am thinking a lot about all the people I know who have also suffered losses, most of them still hoping desperately to some day have a healthy child. There has been a lot of heart wrenching news shared on people’s blogs recently and every time I look at Isa I wonder why I get to be so lucky. It makes me angry that I get to have a healthy baby and others who have suffered so much more than me are still unsure of if or when they will have their own. I had a relatively easy go of all of this. Sure my ectopic was a horrific experience and the anxiety I had over getting pregnant due to amenhorrea and other past reproductive issues made the year we were trying very stressful, but all in all, my struggle was so much less than so many others. It’s hard not to wonder who is keeping score.

The easy time other people have also make me wonder. I remember when two goods friends announced their pregnancy, after only two times doing the dirty without protection (the guy’s comment was, “I guess I didn’t need to be worried about my potency” and “I thought this was supposed to be hard” – to which I responded it is for a lot of people, it took us months and months of perfectly timed sex and we still lost of our first pregnancy). Our other friends who got pregnant immediately after they threw out BCP and my cousin, who also got pregnant before really starting to “try” and had her baby last year. It’s hard not to feel jealous of their experiences and again wonder why they have it so incredibly easy while others have it so incredibly hard.

Mi.Vida says I can’t think that way because it will drive me crazy. Perhaps he’s right, but it’s hard not to see these things in terms of “fair” and “unfair”. I try to remember all I read about loss and suffering in Buddhism. There is no rhyme or reason to suffering, it just is. The only thing that can change suffering is the outlook of the person suffering. There is no wrong or right, fair or unfair, there only is. That is such a hard reality to acknowledge but I do my best to accept it every day.

I hope everyone has a good 4th of July and that you can find something to celebrate today, even if it’s simply the freedom we enjoy here in this country. Please know that just because some of us didn’t have as hard a time as others, we wonder why it’s so unfair just as fervently as others. And to all of you who have suffered loss, be it of a pregnancy (or many), a child, or the years of pain lost to IF, my heart goes out to you now and always.

14 responses

  1. Thanks for re-sharing. This brought to mind someone’s post about how much she hated the phrase “it is what it is.” I like it. I try to focus on it, if only to combat the fairness/unfairness mindset (which creeps in more than I’d like to admit). Thinking of you today – marking a loss is hard even when we have so much to be joyful about.

    • I have such a hard time with fair/unfair which I think is ridiculous because in the grand scheme of the world, what I have compared to what most everyone else has, is incredibly unfair. Even in this country I have more than most and yet I’m always looking to those who have more and saying, see, it’s so unfair! Now I look at those who have less and feel the same way. I’m trying to “accept without judgement” as Buddhism teaches. Some days are easier than others.

  2. Thinking of you, E., and of all of the others who are grieving losses. We will never forget … and there’s always a piece of our hearts that will be missing, even in our most joyful moments.

    I don’t think we can think of fair/unfair … nor can we feel guilty for the gifts we’ve been given. I think the only thing we can do is to try to support each other, in both our joys and our suffering.

    • Thank you for your support. It means more to me than you can ever know.

      I think you’re right, feeling guilty for the gift’s were given is not the way to handle the inequality. Support is a much better answer. Thank you for the reminder.

  3. I’m glad you re-posted this. Thanks for sharing and for giving us an opportunity to remember this with you. Sometimes, for me, anniversaries like these in my life feel so far behind me, especially when I’m doing something like nursing Arlo or laughing with him. And then there are other times when it all comes back, and it’s acute and searingly intense. It takes some courage to read back through these old posts, to pointedly re-live and remember those intense, wrecked, desperate times. Thinking of you, friend, and wishing I had known you then to help bring you some comfort and camaraderie. XX

    • Thank you for your support. It is very much appreciated.

      It’s funny, this year it kind of snuck up on me. I was actually kind of feeling icky about 4th of July and at one point I said, I kind of hate this holiday. And when someone asked me why, for a minute I couldn’t remember. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I just remember, so vividly, laying on the couch hearing the fireworks booming and thinking my life will never be the same. Seeing fireworks, watching parades, even doing the dishes, nothing will ever be like it was before, not entirely. And it was a really surreal moment of understand something much bigger than I had any right to understand. And the fireworks were what triggered it for me and so I kind of hate this day now. I hope some day I won’t. Maybe when I can take Isa and make a happy memory out of it again.

  4. Holding you in my heart. Sometimes you get the words out perfectly the first time; no need to rewrite them when the heart is still remembering the same thing.

    • Thanks Mel. That means a lot. Sometimes we do get it right the first time. Sometimes the first time is all we need.

  5. Wow. This post is incredibly timely for me as my own anniversary of a loss is just days away. I was just thinking how, no matter what is happening in our current lives, these anniversaries will always be there to remind us of the past. I can imagine that must be even stronger when it is so close to a holiday.

    I truly believe the wisdom in the belief that “it just is” but it can’t necessarily take the pain away. I hope you have a wonderful day today. You are in my thoughts.

    • So sorry to hear that your own loss will be revisited soon. I wonder how long I will associate it with this day? Forever? My mom lost three babies, all boys born still. I wonder when their birth/loss days are? Does she mark them still, all these years later?

      I also believe “it just is”, deep in my heart. Sometimes my head has a hard time accepting that though.

  6. oh, im so so sorry for the loss of your sweet little one and all the hope and promise that comes with a new pregnancy. i will light a candle for your little one tonight…xoxo lis

    • Oh Lis, you are too sweet. After all the loss you’ve suffered… thank you for lighting a candle for my loss as well.

  7. I’m sorry for your loss. It must have been so hard for both of you then, losing a much wanted pregnancy. And an ectopic is such a scary thing to go through.

    I recognize many parts of this post.

    Having one doesn’t take away all the hurt of IF and loss. I’m sure I wrote something along those lines a while back.

    My thoughts turn to unfairness quite often. Knowing the world is not a fair place doesn’t take the frustration away instantly.

    Unfairness just is. Yes, but does that mean no one should try to do anything about it? That doesn’t sound right. Of course, we have to pick our battles. Where having children is concerned, there’s only so much that can be done.

    I hope that you were able to celebrate the 4th of July holiday with your family.

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