Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Ebb and Flow of Grief's Tides

I have read over and over that grief can be related to the rise and fall of the tides...and it feels like a fairly accurate analogy. Some days my grief is shallow and I can easily move through it and live what feels like a relatively normal life. Other days it washes over me, knocks me down and I feel is though I am drowning.

The last two days have been that drowning kind of grief. I had to leave school yesterday morning before students even arrived because I couldn't contain my tears. Today I have been feeling the physical aspects of my grief...head aches, stomach aches and the tears that just won't stop so I stayed home again. I know a good deal of this relates to passing the two month mark last Friday. But there are other feelings that are starting to creep back in that are magnifying my feelings of grief. These are the same feelings I was experiencing last year when we were referred to an RE after trying to get pregnant for just over a year with no success.

This time last year I was is a pit of despair because everyone I was closest to (friends and family) was a parent and I was (and still am) not. Going to gatherings of friends with their friends from other circles was more than I could handle because nearly everyone had kids or was about to have one. If they didn't they were way younger and not in the same head space so couldn't understand my I started to avoid those kinds of situations. When two of my closest became pregnant with their second child they were both afraid to tell me for fear of how it would hurt I was the last to know both times. It sucked. It sucked more when I found out one of those friends found out she had miscarried at her 12 week ultrasound. 

For anyone who has experienced some form of infertility what this feels like is easy to understand. It is a sense of no control over what should be a natural and easy process, a feeling of not fitting in with friends and family who are parents of young children and all sorts of heart ache when month after month (or year after year) you are unable to conceive a child and desperately want to. It is heart-wrenching, depressing and I felt like a failure. Not to mention insanely jealous of every woman who has a living child. These feelings went away when I got pregnant because I was one of them...I was part of that club finally. Then we lost our boys and I joined a new club of dead baby moms but I am still on the outside of the Mommy club.

Of course I know that in some sense I am lucky...we struggled for just over a year before getting referred to an RE. My doctor was proactive in making the referral because of my age (I was 35 and now 36). We discovered I had some issues relating to PCOS (but still ovulate) and hubby has slight sperm motility issues. Combine those together and the recommendation was IVF. It worked and I got pregnant with my William and Ethan. We were lucky. We didn't have to try for years and years (although that one felt like an eternity), we can get pregnant with assistance and we haven't had multiple losses, just one really big one that took both of my babies.

Now here I am a year later and I am having those feelings all over again plus feelings of grief. It is too much.
I hate that I feel jealous and a social pariah...not just for being childless but because I am the sad/scary story you whisper when I am out of the room or the recipient of sad looks and tearful hugs. Through my tears today I called a grief counselor and made an appointment to see her tomorrow. I do very well on most days and in general feel like I am dealing with my grief in healthy ways. I just want to talk to someone about the bad days, when the tide of grief is high. I have my family and friends who are willing to listen, but someone on the outside might be what I need. 


  1. I have no words... Just hugs... And lots of hope. Lots of hope.

  2. Jessica, I am so very sorry. I do know what you mean about the ebb and flow of grief. In my case, I can say that time does make it less overwhelming - hopefully that will be true for you too. Hang in there and hugs to you. I think it is very smart to seek out professional advice. Just know that what you are feeling is normal - it sucks, sucks, sucks, but as a fellow twin baby loss mom - you are not alone.

  3. So sorry you are having such a tough time. I hope the grief counselor can help. Ours helped a lot.

    I too wish I wasn't that sad/scary story you whisper when I am out of the room. I wish you weren't either.

  4. Our club - the dead baby club - is surely the worst of all to have membership for. I'm so sorry you're having a hard time and I do hope getting things out with a counsellor helps to ease the pain a bit.