• sleepless too

    Hi Heather,

    I can’t believe I’ve been reading your blog long enough for it to be 40 weeks since your miscarriage. I am so glad for all of us that you are able to talk about your grief on your blog. We don’t give quite enough space for complicated experiences of motherhood. Seeing all the other posters mention that they also remember dates for many years after makes me think that even today we don’t give women the space to grieve. (And of course, when we do it is so often recuperated by the crowd that would prefer women not be allowed to make complicated decisions about their bodies.) Your post also reminded me of of the sorrows of women in countries with high birth rates; they keep having children because so few survive infancy. How blessed we are to have what we have, here, in America, so our babies live more often. And yet how much importance our one or two births take on–so much expectation, so that one pregnancy gets loaded up with risky feelings. No wonder it’s hard to decide to try again.

    This morning I attended a memorial mass for the husband of a friend of mine, a man everyone loved because he was always outgoing and generous with his friendship. He was young, in his 50s, and had met his wife about 5 years ago. They were definitely soul mates. He died of liver cancer a couple weeks ago. I am nontheistic, but the mass was exquisite. What put it over was my friend’s closing memories of her husband. She said she had felt that it was unfair of God to have taken her man away when he was so young, and that they had each other such a short time. Everyone loved him, couldn’t God see the pain caused to him and others by his illness and death?

    But when the doctor told her that the cancer had been there for years before the symptoms came, it helped her to start thinking about it differently. It made her think that instead of unfairness, there was compassion–because what happened was that people who loved this man started gathering around him in time to be in his life to support him through his illness and death. The cancer was going to get him–what God (or fate, or karma, or ???) did was bring people to him that would ease his suffering in this terrible passing.

    I like the story because it reminds me that life by nature is hardscrabble; we often fall into the trap of thinking that on average things should be pretty good. But on average they may be, well, barely mediocre. And then we don’t actually experience the blessings we actually have. We don’t experience them. They just float by because they are taken for granted.

    I grew up LDS too. I remember the primary song “Count your many blessings” . . . name them one by one . . . It can be saccharine, or it can be a call to being here now. Not to say we have it easy so don’t criticize or complain or express grief. But to let the bittersweetness of things be rich and full of texture. Actually, I don’t think counting them or naming them is the right idea. But stopping now and then to see one or two and feel it might be. To recognize it.

    And maybe right now you are someone else’s blessing, someone like St. Francis’ “instrument of peace,” or kindness, or compassion, who, by the chain of cause and effect, is here, now, to help someone to keep them from suffering or to ease it. Maybe your mom, or step-dad, or Leta, or Jon, or a future baby–or your readers, who I see from all these 820+ comments, you have comforted.

    I hope that you receive the same comfort in abundance.

  • http://stalkermom.blogspot.com Becky

    Everyone has the right to question what to believe in. I will always say religion is a PERSONAL choice, so leave it to that person to decide what’s best for them.

    Hoping your StepDad gets through all this ok.

    Sometimes one child is enough. (I only have one!)

  • http://www.everythingilikecausescancer.blogspot.com Gwen Murray

    I am so sorry to hear this news. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. Piss on anyone who uses this opportunity to knock you around some more.

  • Julie

    I’m delurking here. :) Wanted a million times to send you a huge fangirl letter but haven’t.
    I only know you from blog and twitter. You haven’t the slightest idea who I am. I just want to drive out there from Kansas and give you a gigantic hug and pour you some good bourbon.
    Please know that you and your family have so many good thoughts coming your way. So many prayers for you and your family both in the Mormon and other faiths.
    My faith has been so tested over the past 2 years culminating in the hospitalization of my husband for over 6 months due to MRSA staph. It is my belief that God got me and my family through it. It is my prayer that he comfort and support you and your family through this time for you.
    I completely understand about the baby issue. I had 2 miscarriages. I still have sad days around the due dates and it’s been 11 and 5 years since those miscarriages. If you need help – it’s ok. Forget the haters. You do what you need to do for the best interest of your family.
    So many people know you through your blog. Thank you for bringing us into your life. We would all give you a gigantic bear hug (followed by the bourbon) if we could – and I think your friends in real life will do it in person.
    I still wish I could give you a big hug.

  • michelle

    Take a deep, deep breath….breathe in, breathe out…
    You are a strong woman. You have the strength.
    Life is a rollercoaster…so sorry to hear about your hard time right now. I’m thinking of you and sending out warm wishes. Take care…
    take a deep, deep breath….breathe in, breath out…
    you are a strong woman. You have the strength.
    I believe in you!!

  • ywinchell

    my little sister died of cancer two months ago after being sick for a few years. she was 39 and her daughters are 4 and 7.

    days before she died. i had been reading eve ensler’s “insecure at last” — the part about grief and it was so poignant, timely and relevant. it’s about why grief is so very important, cleansing and powerful.

    be well — find your inner strength within the pain and know that you are not alone. we are all one (us humans).

  • http://workman.blogspot.com workman

    I’m sorry to hear this sad news and hope you can find whatever will bring you peace and comfort right now, be it therapy, religion, or something else.

    Know that your friends are thinking of you and praying for you.

  • Amy

    Heather, you are so brave to open up about your feelings. I think that we can all relate with having some uncertainty about our faith. I will definitely be praying for you — to find peace, comfort and love during this difficult time. But even more than that, I hope that you will gain some wisdom and discernment about what is real and true in this world. I, of course, have my own opinion of what that is, but I pray that God will lead you to that on your own. That is the only way that it will mean anything to you (as I know that you know already).

  • Nicola

    I’m adding my love to everyone else’s Heather. I hope that you can somehow take all of our ‘cyber’ care and concern and affection, and feel some kind of real comfort from it.

  • Christy

    So sorry to hear of your miscarriage. I am new to your blog and it makes me laugh each day during my lunch hour. I also had a miscarriage in October (my 2nd), and this past Monday the 12th was the due date. I had been feeling bad and behaving worse and couldn’t determine why. and feeling guilty about pinning the blame on the loss of the baby, and then feeling guilty about THAT because…why shouldn’t I feel bad and act out?? our beautiful four-year-old son David saves me every day.

    you are right; you help people feel less alone and less inadequate for not having all the answers. thank you so much!

  • Janet

    I’m so sorry to hear about your step father. I lost my mother-in-law five years ago and faced the same struggles you are dealing with. I’m sad to say she lost her battle, but she is still in our lives every day. Including the pain in the ass part, certain ways how my husband acts, how generous and giving she was, and what an awesome grandmother she would have been to the grandchild she will never meet. We cry openly about that, but it’s ok. It’s honestly how we feel and my son will see how much we loved and miss her.

    As for not wanting to cry & get through today, I understand. Let us all help & cry for you. I know I already am.

  • Cactus Matre

    Heather,

    1.I’m a Dooce newbie but total addict. Wish I had read you back in 2005 when I was having my own breastmilk puked and shit back up on me so I knew I wasn’t alone. Anyway, keep doing what you’re doing. I love of all it, love that you make money doing it. You have to find and make your own way and I love any woman with the guts to be honest, especially about motherhood.

    2. We lost my mother-in-law to pancreatic cancer in 2003 before our son was born in 2005, still not over that, LOVED her. Be there for your stepdad, love him, ask him what he wants to talk about and what he doesn’t want to talk about, just love him.

    3. You’re only 32, you have TONS of time to make the 2nd baby decision. I’m 39, my husband is 45, our son was born the month before I turned 36. I know that gut feeling being around pregnant women too but then I think of that 1st year again and how well I do sleep at night now and it goes away. We’re considering adopting. We created one healthy baby, there are so many in the world without loving parents who need a chance, what about that? Also, you know well as I do there are tons of mothers out there who have suffered through multiple miscarriages and still found the strength to keep trying and finally conceive. You will figure it out. Doesn’t sound like right now is the best time for that in your life though, but only God really knows.

    4. Now for the here’s-where-I-get-freaky-on-you part but I hope you’ll consider what I say. I’m born again and praying for you to find your own way back to God, seriously and genuinely. I honestly do not know how any family, marriage or parent can make it without having specifically, I’ll say IT, the Christian God to pray to and rely on, whether it’s Mormon or Catholic or generic evangelical Protestant like me, and yes, I believe Mormons are Christians just with a little weird dogma. Whether Adam and Eve had belly buttons or not though (for a far out example) is inconsequential, but whether Jesus died for my sins is not. And I HAVE SINNED and I’m still a sinner, I still cuss like a sailor and drink like a fish and worse. So I can tell you girlfriend, if He died for my sins you have nothing to fear. Give ALL these worries up to HIM believing that He will do whatever is in your best interest but know that you might not get exactly what you want. He is still listening to you though. He has never let me down. Go church shopping, try an Episcopalian or United Church of Christ if you fear something too conservative, at least it will get you in the right direction of finding a greater power outside of yourself to lean on during difficult times like this. Forget all the junk, all you need to know is Romans 10:9-10. Get on your knees, ask Him to give you the strength, stamina and courage to get through this difficult time. Ask Him to save your stepdad, but understand that that might NOT be His will and be prepared to accept that and ask Him to help you get through all this whatever the end result.

    and how fitting, the input format your site has asked me to type is “calvary home”.

  • http://pogonipnv.blogspot.com pogonip

    Your body probably doesn’t even know what time zone it’s in right now. Then you get hit by the scariest word in the English language. And your subconscious helps out by remembering your due date.

    Be kind to yourself and do whatever you have to. You’ve certainly got a lot of bloggers sending positive vibes to you and your step-dad. It can’t hurt.

  • Michelle

    I’m so sorry about all the sadness and loss that you’re dealing with. I can totally relate to being okay with not knowing what you believe until the shit hits the fan–that’s when it would be nice to feel some firmer ground under your feet. But regardless of your beliefs, you have an amazing support system, so lean on all the people who love you. I’ll send positive energy and prayer your way.

  • c

    My due date was June 18, 2003 for a little girl. My cousin’s daughter was born June 24, 2003. I can’t look at her without remembering that little girl would be exactly the same age as her. Five years & two successful pregnancies later….I will never forget that date, or the date that I found out I miscarried. It was a missed miscarriage, so I didn’t know until I went in for an ultrasound and the heart wasn’t beating.

    I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that everything works out for you. I am a devout Catholic, but still find myself questioning things when these bad things happen.

  • Kathleen

    Thinking of you.

  • Anne

    Go to the therapist. Get enough liquids and Advil while you cry. I’ll be praying for Rob and you and Jon and Leta and your Mom. I pray the rosary (I’m a Tennessean, so comfortable with the prayer thing, and I converted to Catholicism, which gave me a wonderful arsenal of saints and ways to pray).

    Tell your Mom, Rob, and your Dad and stepmom that your extended community includes people who are serious about prayer and who are committed to praying for you all. Hope that doesn’t freak them out, but it’s a great side benefit for giving us the inside track on your life.

    You might try a rosary or worry beads or even your ten fingers for a basic ongoing prayer–the Jesus prayer, or Lord Have Mercy/ God, hear me/God, help us, or address these brief thoughts to whomever you might imagine as a force of the Universe. The beads can help calm your mind and anxiety, like walking a labyrinth, etc. There’s no way to do it wrong, and repetitive prayer lets you know you’re doing something right now.

    Also, while you mother Leta, if she’ll let you cuddle and rock her, you can mother your other child, lost but now waiting for you. That child is your own little saint, and Leta’s saint. I think it’s lovely that you remember your child; I’d remember him or her in perfect completeness and not always as just the loss. Does that make sense? I hope so.

    So many of us hurt for you and wish you well. Talk to Jon about whether you are on your meds correctly, or if you need to talk about a little change with your doctors.

    We love you!

    Anne

  • Cole

    I just wanted to say I am so sorry, and I will keep your family in my thoughts.

  • http://daniellebatog.com Danielle Batog

    I don’t know if you read your comments but I just wanted you to know that we are climbing the same mountain. My FIL was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two months ago and it has been a roller coaster ride – for him – and all of us as his family. From our side we are consulting two therapists – a marriage and family therapist and a family medical therapist – I just recently was prescribed Lexapro but have opted to discontinue taking it. I am thankful I have my faith. I hope you are able to find your own comfort for you and your family. It is a difficult road you are on…for we are traveling it also. Thanks for listening.

  • LeFiffre

    First, *hugs*

    Second, no judgment. People who attend their every meeting find, in times like this, that they don’t know what they really believe, either, only they frame it differently as, “My faith was tested during these trying times.” (Wink.) You’re just calling it what it is, and we’re your F&T meeting congregation. Pass the Cheerios, kid.

    For what it’s worth, my every sense of self was stripped away this past year. I had to rebuild. The fam, the shrink, the friends were all there for me, and some nutty blogger, too. But ultimately it was a solo journey to go deep and what I found was more than words — and more like the bedrock I didn’t know was there. It was so abjectly humbling and reaffirming that I boob to think about it, and will not write it or generally speak of it because it’s too dear to me. There are different words for my feelings on the topic, but “sacred” works for me.

    You’ll find what you find and the best parts we’ll never read about here. Bon voyage, cher.

  • http://annecv.blogspot.com anne

    Oh Heather, I’m so sorry. I know I’m just one of a bazillion readers out here in the world, but please know that I am thinking of you and praying for you and your family. Just to answer your questions, for what it’s worth: you are not any different than about 99.9% of the world when you reach out in the dark to put the pieces together. Even the most devout of religious followers have their own “dark night of the soul”, and those who claim they don’t are either lying or in denial. And I think I’m in a very small minority of women who have had miscarriages and deliberately forgot both due dates. It’s not morbid to remember – it’s part of grieving and letting them go.

    I pray for sleep and for peace for you, my dear. You deserve every happiness this world can provide, including a good night (or several) of shut-eye.

  • rhonda

    I’m so sorry your stepfather has to battle Cancer.
    My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
    Be kind to yourself and give your therapist a call.
    Chaos is hard.

  • Jerri

    I’m just throwing in my prayers for your stepfather…. I also wanted to let you know that I had a miscarriage in 1992 and to this day, everytime June 2nd rolls around, I mourn the baby I lost. You might “get over” it, but you never really forget.

  • http://www.thenaughtymormon.blogspot.com/ Sandra Dee

    I want you to know it sucks to be where you are right now, I had 5 miscarriages, each was very very upsetting and all different, I remember each of them, I didn’t have any children at the time, so they were so painful. It gets better, I promise… can’t tell ya when, but thanks for sharing your life!

  • http://www.hamiltonfamilycircus.com Heather

    I don’t know quite what to say but I wanted to let you know that I’m thinking about you a sending good thoughts your way at this increadibly trying time in your life.

  • http://bbjudyohyeah.blogspot.com kate

    Heather,

    I know how it feels. I lost my stepfather to Pancreatic Cancer four years ago. He was the light of my life and the hero of my family. He came into my life when I was a surly teenager and he was patient and helped guide me into becoming an adult and helped me heal my relationship with my father.

    I loved him very much and I know how you feel.

    Now that I am a step-mom, I have a greater appreciation for him than I ever did. Step-parents don’t get a lot of recognition or thanks they deserve.So many of us are so lucky to have them in our lives to help guide us and care for us.

    I am keeping you in my thoughts.

  • shelley

    so sorry to hear about all your troubles.

    I had three miscarriages all in between the three kids I do have and I think that fluttery feeling is normal I still do that, but now it is because I know I won’t ever have anymore.

    I will pray for you & your step-father.

    Take care

  • Fi Claire

    Heather, the whole internet is hugging you right now. I’m adding to this, from all the way over in Aussie-land. Take the time you need, to come to whatever terms are right for you.

    Keeping you all in my thoughts x

  • leslie

    I know religion has played a part in your life….or at least I can read that it does. :)
    religion isnt what i believe, its spirituality that I think is important. To say you are Mormon, Catholic, etc doesnt mean much to me and doesnt mean you are any better person than someone else. I think people need to transcend that way of thinking. I pray everyday, I say thank you and ask for guidance and strength, and whatever else God has instore or I think I need. :) YOu can do the same. You must be strong to deal with comments and misunderstandings you receive b/c of your blog. Its a different kind of strength when dealing with something like cancer or death of a child b/c these hurt so badly and tend to make no sense at all, but you can still channel what you within you.
    Talk to us, talk to your therapist, and allow yourself to be sad for a time. This is my advice to you.

    Take care,

    leslie

  • Daisy

    I’m sorry to hear about your week. I will say a little prayer for you and hope that is enough right now. Just think of each and everyone of these good emails as a hug. :)

  • Kim

    Hang in there Heather, I’m a recovering Catholic myself and I believe that it doesn’t matter what religion you actually practice but that we all pray to the same god and just ask him for strength and peace and you may be surprised at what happens. I agree that we are all trying to figure it out and that’s a part of having faith regardless of what you call yourself. A good friend of mine miscarried recently and I’ve had a glimpse of that pain and you just do what you need to do to take care of yourself. One day you’ll find it doesn’t hurt so much and you’ll be able to decide whether you want to try again. Try and get some sleep and don’t be afraid to ask for a little assistance, whether it be from god or your therapist for a little something to let you sleep…no shame in either

  • http://boxcars.typepad.com Boulder

    I’m sorry about what you are going through this week. It seems cruel that when you are already in a tricky emotional situation that you would have to go through more. Sadly, I know of what you speak.

    I don’t know if you will ever forget the due date, but I can tell you that with my last pregnancy four years ago, I’ve finally gotten to the point of sadness, but not despair. I am pro-talk therapy myself, and think you’ll find some peace in processing it with a talented therapist.

    That is how I manage to come here each and every day, despite the fact that Leta shares her birthday with my own due date from that very loss.

    Sad but true.

  • http://www.lifeisfunformost.blogspot.com/ Cindy Gale

    Take care of yourself. I’m so sorry to hear about your stepdad, and about your current state. Just take deep breaths – and – pray (even if you don’t know what you believe right now).

    You’re cared about – far more than just in your personal life. I hope you feel better soon.

    Take care!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know what to say, but just wanted to give you another e-hug…

  • Stenar

    I’m sorry to hear about your stepfather. I think you deserve all the happiness in the world and am sending good thoughts your way. Your blog has brought me lots of happiness with your humor, so I’m wishing for lots of happiness for you in return.

  • Nikki

    Hi Heather

    My mom had breast cancer a couple of years ago. She had a mastectomy,lost her left breast, but won her life. Due to quick action by her doctors, they got it all before it spread to her lymp nodes and she didn’t need to have any chemo. I know what a tough time this is for a family and you have my deepest sympathy. I hope everything works out for you guys!

    Hugs
    Nikki

  • http://photorsquared.com Robyn from Austin

    Sending your entire family love and prayers.

  • heide

    Heather…
    Today is a trauma anniversary for me too. Not for a missed birth, but the night my ex decided to try and leave our two children without their dad. Thankfully he didn’t succeed, but I can’t help but think back to last year when I got the 2am call from his roommate. The 2 weeks following that night are a complete blur to me now, and I honestly have no idea how I made it through last summer at all. I do know that I had friends that called me at the most perfect times, and that people I didn’t even know were praying for us.

    Just like you have now.

    I pray for strength for your stepdad and your mom. I pray that his doctors are making the best decisions for him. And I pray for you. That you feel a hug as big and wide as your website’s reach.

  • SuzieQ

    Went back and reread about your miscarriages. Just a bit to help you out..my daughter had a miscarriage, tried forever it seemed to get pregnant again and was told by doctors that she just probably would not conceive. She and her husband just gave up and of course ended up pregnant after a time..She was horribly sick the WHOLE time, had to go to hospital for fluids several times but finally we all were graced with a beautiful baby girl…What joy!! Shortly thereafter she was still not completely back to feeling “normal” and checked back with the doctor…Another pregnancy…this time she was NEVER sick, felt great and 13 months after the first another healthy baby girl arrived, so don’t be afraid or concerned when your next baby chooses it’s own way of incubating. We all wish you the best.

  • Alison

    Heather,

    I’m so sorry for what you are going through right now. I hope all the love that surrounds you and your family eases the hurt, if only just a little.

    Love Ali xoxo

  • ly

    i cried reading this entry. i miscarried 8 years ago. the due date is still as hard. i still feel envious of every pregnant women i see. i’m sorry you’re going through so much. be kind to yourself.

  • Debbie

    I think it’s great you know when you need help. Also you will keep it together you have shown the world what a strong person you are by let us into your life. Sorry about your stepfather.

  • emily n.

    isn’t it crazy that i am sitting on my bed, watching the new spring leaves sponge up the heavy rain and my heart aches for someone i have never met? take that, kathie lee gifford. she may not “get it,” but most of us do. you have created a gift for yourself; your life’s work is that of building connection in a fast, zoomy world. you are connected to a myriad of minds and hearts who care for you. since there is so much unknown, perhaps it is wise to rest your mind in the known. stay there for awhile. and breath. you have climbed many mountains and you were strong enough to get to the other side. if it means anything, i really believe in you.

    emily from massachusetts.

  • http://bryan-hills.blogspot.com bryan

    You and yours will be in my prayers!

    Keep your chin up :)

  • Hannah

    Heather, you are so loved by so many. You will be in my thoughts this weekend..I hope you find the strength, peace and comfort that you need right now.

  • jenn

    I’m so, so sorry to hear about your stepfather. You’ll be in my thoughts through this tough time. Good luck.

  • http://www.pinkandgreenhearts.blogspot.com Jacqueline

    I’ve read your site for a long time, but I haven’t commented before. I just wanted to let you know that there’s another person out there (along with the zillions of others) who is thinking about you and your family and wishing you well. I hope you are able to find some peace and rest. Good thoughts and prayers are coming your way.

  • Angela

    Without a doubt, go to the therapist. Go. Now. It’ll do you a world of good.

    Also, read the book “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” by Rabbi Harold Kushner. It’s “religious” in a very digestible way and provides a world of guidance, understanding, and love when we’re faced with difficult trials. It should be required reading for everyone.

    Sending sunshine and happy thoughts your way…

  • Paula

    Crap! That is a lot to deal with in one week! I am sorry about it all.

    When I feel like crying I hum the Chicken Dance. Works every time!

    Wishing you good things!

  • Jen

    Keeping you in my thoughts. Sending you peace.