Just Us Girls

Just Us Girls

...one SMC's adventures in single motherhood.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Survivor's guilt

My friend S had a miscarriage about six days ago. It's taken me all week to even get to the point of being able to write about it. And even then, I may or may not write much, we'll see.

My heart just hurts so much for her. I really wanted a long and happy pregnancy for her, and then a healthy child. She has wanted this so much, and for so long. Just like I have for myself.

She was nine weeks along, which is such a common point in the pregnancy to miscarry, so logically speaking, it doesn't surprise me. Chances are, she'll go on to have a healthy pregnancy the next time she gets pregnant. But she and her husband K have been trying for at least two years now, and I know that when it does work--and it will--they're going to be fabulous parents. All of this I logically know. But it's not making me feel any better because I can also imagine the kind of pain they're going through...S has been on cloud nine ever since she found out she was pregnant--SO happy. The day she had her first ultrasound, the same day she saw and heard the heartbeat for the first time, it was just magical. I was so happy right along with her, and it kills me that it all had to end.

Being 31 weeks along myself, I want this for her. I want for her to get to experience all of this. And all I can do is hope that it happens again, and have faith that it will. Again, logically speaking, she's young--she's not even thirty yet. She's got time. But I hate the fact that so many couples, for whatever reason, can't conceive...even though they'll make great parents. I am so hoping that S and K won't end up to be statistics. I think of my friends L and J, who survived through five (five!) losses, including a stillbirth, but thankfully now have a beautiful three-month-old baby girl. So I know that miracles can and do happen. I just would never wish the kind of pain I imagine a miscarriage would cause on S and K...they're wonderful people. They'll make equally wonderful parents.

I think maybe this loss hits so close to home for me because it's been my greatest fear for the past eight months, despite having passed that first trimester "danger point", as they say. Even now I'll say that I'm feeling a great deal of anxiety, though 99 percent of the time I won't admit it to people IRL. L and J lost their beautiful baby boy, Liam, at 38 weeks, and my friend M lost her amazing baby boy, Benjamin, at 38 weeks as well. Both due to cord accidents. There are just no guarantees. My one wish is to bring this tiny girl safely into the world, and if for whatever reason it doesn't happen, I'll be devastated. (I know that goes without saying.) I'm not sure how I'd get through that kind of pain. I pray I'll never have to find out.

The good news is that I had my most recent OB appointment on New Year's Eve, and I received the gift of a clean bill of health for both of us. NO gestational diabetes. NO anemia. Great blood pressure reading. Strong heart rate, great measurements, no problems with movement. Just nothing wrong whatsoever, and by rights it should be reassuring, which for the most part it is, but that whole 38 week thing just looms large and scary. Logically speaking, fetal death at 38 weeks is very rare, but what are the chances that it could actually happen to TWO people I know?! It's like, the further along I get, the greater the stakes. And the more anxiety I feel.

Which brings me to the title of this post. What I've surprisingly found myself wanting to process is why it seems to have worked for me, and not for S. She's happily married, I'm single. She conceived in what some would call the "right" way, I did so in what those same people would call the "wrong" or "backwards" way--anonymous sperm donor, fertility clinic, no marriage, no relationship to speak of. Most of the time I don't buy into that perception, but there's a part of me that occasionally thinks about it. She's not even 30, and I'm the "advanced maternal age" of 40. Why on earth should it work for me and not for her?? I can't answer that question. I wish I could. I'm just thankful for this chance, and I am praying that everything works out well. For both S and me.

(I'm happy to add that S and K are recent new "parents"--of the furbaby variety! They just acquired a new dog--a beautiful black Lab--and I'm so glad for them. I completely get it, and I hope that turning their attention towards a new canine family member will help to ease the pain they've gone through this week. My thoughts and prayers are with them.)


  1. I am so sorry for your friend S. It must be devastating. Hope the new dog helps to ease the pain.
    I think I commented once how I differ from you. Yes bad things can happen and sadly do happen and unfortunately we usually can't foresee it, And I understand your fears and anxiety. After all you finally got what you wanted after such and such time of wanting/trying, and more-so to see two friends loose their pregnancies at such a late stage, it is nerve racking. But as I see it, anxiety won't get me no where. Yes, I do have fears that it won't end well, but on the overall, I am very happy and pleased with my pregnancy. Yes, if I will be one of that terrible statistics, I would probably be beyond devastated, but that feeling would be there whether I was anxious during the pregnancy or not. I might only experience this once (though I am very much hoping to have more than one child), and as pregnancy and the whole experience of having a baby grow in me was/is very important to me, I'd rather try and put anxiety aside.

  2. I am so sad for them. Miscarriages are such a horrible thing to go through, and I know that even though I haven't experienced one myself. Although, I guess a failed adoption is similar, but I was never able to get pregnant, so I've never dealt with the physical pain of it. My heart goes out to them and hope they will get pregnant again really soon, and that it will carry through to full term.

    As for you and your fears, just keep your thoughts positive and you will get through it just fine. Think positive. You can do it.

  3. Aww, thanks, girls! Thankfully the anxiety is fleeting, and in the light of day I'm incredibly happy that everything is going so well. It's just that every so often, it sneaks up on me, especially at night, when I usually blog. ;P If I could make it go away altogether, I definitely would. I'll keep working on it. :)
    But thanks for your support of S...I have high hopes for her and her husband!!

  4. I'm so very sorry for your friends.

    And I worry too about my baby's health even at 36 weeks. I feel him/her move around a lot, but still worry. There are no guarantees, until you take a healthy baby home. I'm hoping some degree of worry is normal.