Obviously we had no idea that my last blog post would stir up all of the attention, feelings, and emotions that it did. What’s funny about this process of blogging is that by the time I hit the publish button I’ve dealt with all of these internal struggles myself, sometimes for days and days before I write, sometimes as I write. Either way I’ve come to my own resolutions and acceptance for the insanity that has been our life and have made peace with that issue, one way or another. And very often after I hit publish, if it’s a heavily charged blog like the last one, my phone will start ringing off the hook with sentiments of concern for all that I’ve dealt with and my mental well being. People expect to hear a broken Lynnie on the other end but instead it’s just the opposite. This blog, sometimes viewed by very few, sometimes viewed by many(hooray), gives me the space to work through these moments of crisis and gets me to the other side, no matter what they may look like. Never did we expect this to show up in major newspapers across the Midwest, like the Chicago Tribune or the Detroit Free press.
And never did we anticipate that by sharing our stories, by choosing to “Live Out Loud” as we say in our house, would so many people feel free to return the favor by sharing their struggles with us. It’s been one of the most rewarding aspects of this life we lead, finding comfort and solace in those that share similar experiences to us reminding us that no matter how isolating our struggles make us feel, at the end of the day we are never alone. Today I want to give volume to some of those quiet voices who share in our pain on the path to having a family of their own. It’s time to get loud. It’s time to quiet the puppy dogs and rainbows that every hospital on every corner is peddling as the status quo for having a baby. All over the country people are speaking up now about miscarriages, about infertility, and hopefully they’ll speak up more about the horrors of stillbirth as well. Every story here is listed without names or locations, and every story here was contacted directly from me to ask permission to share it with the rest of you. Please share this with friends and family, please post this to your wall, put on your social media platforms, because without you, the many or very few, none of us have a voice at all.
Lynn, thank you for sharing your experience. It will be 30 years for us on August 6th. Our daughter was stillborn at 38 weeks. She was our second child. I still have so many vivid memories of that sad and lonely, unhappy time. I never knew it was possible to cry every single day for 18 months,but I did! A support group of other grieving parents was my saving grace. I did not really want to talk to other people as no one else could understand what I was going through. What you have on your daughter’s headstone is so true: she taught you more about love than you could ever know. That is how I feel as well. My life is divided into two sections in my mind : before 8/6/85 and after then everything after that date. I like to think I’m a more empathetic and kind person now. My daughter did teach me that.Thank you again, for sharing an experience that others need to be aware of. ..blessings to you and your family
Thank you for writing this piece. I am sorry for the loss you endured. I am now halfway into my 9th pregnancy. Thank God I have 2 amazing kids. The 3 abortions and fetal demises in the 2nd trimester have definitely taken an emotional toll on me and my husband. Until this girl comes out of me, we remain very tentative. I am very open about everything and am happy to talk. The abortion was my first pregnancy. I went for the ultrasound and they told me I had to terminate. The ultimate diagnosis was body stalk anomaly. There was a clubbed foot as well. The 2 fetal demises were after both of my kids. The first wasn’t a terrible surprise. I had bleeding early on and the heart rate didn’t seem right. The second time was a shock. Nothing was wrong with the pregnancy. And in my pregnancies with my kids things were always easy with the pregnancy and with the labor and birth. Other than these were a bunch of miscarriages, 2 ending with d & c(dilatation and curettage)s. This time around we opted for ivf. It just seemed like we would stack the deck in our favor with genetic testing before implantation, hormones being completely in balance before and during the first few weeks and embryos that had already proven themselves as strong. It worked on our first attempt and God forbid, we have 3 more frozen waiting for us.I have a mixed experience because there has never been a diagnosis or a real answer. Possibly I had a blood clot in my 2nd fetal demise, so now I take blood thinner shots every night and a baby aspirin.That is a mixed blessing. If there was something wrong with me, I could face it head on with a diagnosis. With nothing wrong I have the blessing of being healthy, not even “high risk,” but I have one hell of a story I wish I didn’t have.
Profoundly honest and beautiful. I am beyond moved. I lost our first child as an early miscarriage and felt such grief. A different grief from your traumatic experience at 8.5 months. I lost mine in a fast food restaurant restroom that we pulled into when I noticed something horribly wrong. Then it was just gone. I was alone in a stall. I had no idea what to do. Then came the distant, cold reaction from my OB GYN. Like it was nothing. No acknowledgement of my emotions. No questions at all. Then going with my husband to work-affiliated softball games where it seemed every other couple had a baby. It took time to recover. 25 years later I still think about it and wonder. I don’t think that will ever leave me. Much love and hugs to your wonderful, real, honest family. Keep writing.
I lost one baby July 24th 1992 and then another one in May of 2002. It still reduces me to tears when I have that sparkle with certain babies. Not ever being called Mom is a tough one.
Condolences to your family. I’m glad so you were able to do something to commemorate your daughter, to ease your grief, and maybe even catch a glimpse of that mythical beast called “closure”. I’m glad that you got another chance, that you have a wonderful child now, though that doesn’t negate your loss. And I’m glad that things have changed since my mom lost my brother full term in the 70s..she saw him, but was not allowed to hold him, have a picture, etc. and there was no funeral, no burial; she never even found out what was done with his remains, whether they were disposed of as “medical waste” or what. There were no support groups or web sites for pregnancy loss or for parents mourning their children. It was devastating to our whole family. Every year we light a yahrzeit candle on his birth/death anniversary, but that is all..there is no place to visit, no pictures to look at. All we have is his name, which my parents had picked when they knew they were having a boy. My son is named for him. He would have been 38 years old now, had he lived. Now, especially that our parents are gone, I wonder what it would be like if my sister and I had a kid brother in our lives. Now that I have a son of my own, I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if he had an uncle, and cousins. And now that I’m a parent I wonder how my parents found the strength to go on, except that they had us to take care of. There will always be that missing piece.Thank you for writing this, and sharing it. At least now women who have experienced what you did, what my mom and countless others did, know they are not alone and do not have to stifle or silence their grief. The shared burden of it is lessened, if only in the smallest way.
Oh my goodness! By accident, this evening I ran across your blog, specifically the loss of your daughter. Your writing is beautiful and I could literally feel your pain. For one, our first daughter, was stillborn at 29 weeks in 2007. You described your experience and it really took me back and made me feel ( thanks a lot, hehe) and remember. Like you, I had no idea this happened to families. In 2009, we were brave enough to get pregnant again, with a little girl. I had her at 26 weeks. Today she is an amazing 6 year old, who also happens to have Down syndrome. Your story is beautiful and really resonates with me. Thank you for spreading awareness and love! I wish the best for your family!
I don’t know you, but a few of my friends are your FB friends, so your story came up on my page. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have to experience such a loss. My niece, who would have been four now, was born and died the same day. My sister-in-law now has 2 other children, but she is still hurting so much. Many people don’t understand why she is still grieving. I am not one of them. I often wonder what my niece would have been like if she had lived. She will forever live on in my heart. I think the balloon launch that you did is so special. Sending you a long distance hug.
2 years ago my sister was due to have her baby girl on 6/26 but on 6/23 she felt no movement, went to the hospital to find out that her baby girl had died. She delivered her on 6/24 and had her funeral on her due date of 6/26. Last year in June on the 24th we had the dedication of the headstone. It was a very sad time, but my sister made the day special, as it should have been her first birthday party. This year, my sister, once again was due to have little her baby boy on, yep, June 26th! Dates were moved a lot, but finally she was induced on Father’s Day and he came into this world on 6/22! Her daughter’s death was caused by the umbilical cord being tangled into knots and tightly wrapped around her neck. My mom has been an OB nurse for over 40 years, never saw anything so tightly wrapped. The baby girl was a big healthy beautiful baby, who was very active in the uterus. Another strange thing about 6/26, my sister also had a dog who was born on 6/26 but died suddenly and very unexpectedly shortly before my sister found out she was pregnant with her baby girl. He was only 5 years old and had a heart condition no one knew about. Anyhow, thank you for sharing. There were some similarities that I read that sent chills down my spine. I felt I should share.
So much of what you wrote touched me so personally because in that moment it’s like the whole world is just imploding and there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it. I’ve always been very open about our loss because I never wanted people to feel like they were alone. I wanted my experience to hopefully help someone as they attempt get through their own pain. Huge hugs to you all!!
The picture I decided to include here was the one that was taken the day before we found out we’d lost the baby. By my guess she was already deceased while I stood in front of the hot dog vendor wondering whether or not the nitrates would harm the little girl growing inside me. While learning about our loss my Facebook feed was lighting up like mad as people sent their words of encouragement and support loving the big White Sox Logo on my belly. It was at that moment that Craig and I knew what we had to do. We had to tell everyone. Otherwise the sweet words about our future baby would keep pouring into our newsfeed like tiny bolts of lightning straight to the gut. That was the day we decided we were living out loud and now with Aleck, we haven’t stopped.