Anembryonic gestation (also known as a blighted ovum) is a pregnancy in which the very early pregnancy appears normal on an ultrasound scan, but as the pregnancy progresses a visible embryo never develops or develops and is resorbed.(From Wikipedia)

That little blurb there, says something. It's scientific (which should be appreciated here) but also lacking something. It lacks the grief, and disappointment. It lacks...punch.

This is the new information I was gifted on Xmas eve this year. I was going in for an ultrasound, expecting to be able to finally tell my extended family the news I had been sitting on for weeks. Ultimately it meant that every single picture of me this holiday season has me looking a little sad and distant.

My mother feels that this is the time I should turn to god. That this, a humbling experience, should temper my pride enough to want to return to the deity of a book that curses women to tears and pain for the gift of knowledge of good and evil. She, along with a few others tell me that god must have had a reason.

Meanwhile, in reality:

Miscarriages from a blighted ovum are often due to problems with chromosomes, the structures that carry genes. This may be from a poor-quality sperm or egg. Or, it may occur due to abnormal cell division. Regardless, your body stops the pregnancy because it recognizes this abnormality. (From WebMD)

It may seem like a small fact, but it is one that carries great importance for me. My loss is not some petty omnipresence trying to bully me into returning to mass, but my body, my beautifully complex, sad, empty womb recognizing a problem. That womb, which carried my beautiful son to term in full health, did its job and stopped developing a fetus that could have had any number of ailments.

This is nature, it is evolution. Our bodies, which birth the young of our species, evolved to recognize a viable pregnancy from a non-viable one in utero. No ancient curse upon my gender caused this. My body did what it had to without me making a choice at all.

Of course, where does this leave me?

Emotionally I'm all over the place.

I'm sad of course. It seemed for a while there, that we had finally conceived the second child we wanted so badly. So I've had my tears of disappointment. Make no mistake about this: there were MANY tears.

But my tears are largely a personal coping mechanism. I don't enjoy crying to others because I get easily annoyed by:

  • "Do you want to talk about it?"
  • "If it makes you feel better..."
  • "You're lucky it happened so early."
  • "Well at least you have ONE healthy child."

I've found that the quickest way to end a friendship is to tell a friend to "fuck yourself forever," while they are attempting to comfort you.

I tend to be more along the lines of "Facts, just the facts," when telling people about my miscarriage. So instead of the above I get:

  • "Oh, I would just be DESTROYED if I were you."
  • "Are you going to try again? I'd be scared to..."
  • "You know it's alright to be sad...YOU LOST A BABY."

*Drums fingernails on desk."

Of course, blowing up at these people is "completely uncalled for." After all, all they are doing is saying incredibly awful things to me in order to elicit the grief response they feel is appropriate. Maybe the reason I'm not covered in soot while rending the clothes from my body is because I'm too stupid to know I've lost something.

If they didn't anger me so much I could probably tell them calmly:

"I am 31 years old. I have seen death and loss. I have had three decades to figure out how to "grieve in the way that makes me happy." I have talked about it with those I must talk about it with, as well as with who I want to talk about it with. There is some emotional scarring that remains, which is why you know about my loss. It is not an invitation for you to save me, it is a warning that I may not be giving you my full attention. I am not broken, I am not in denial, I am not in need of saving by your deity of choice. I'm going through some stuff, so if I seem uninterested in your obsession of the week I assure you... I am uninterested in your obsession of the week. Give me some time though, and I will once again be able to muster up some fake enthusiasm for whatever hashtag-renewable-organic-crowdfunding you're babbling about."


Views: 221

Comment by _Robert_ on January 21, 2015 at 8:22pm

Your posts about your life experiences are very powerful and eloquent. They generally leave me in reflective thought, Carol.

Comment by Belle Rose on January 21, 2015 at 9:20pm
Hugs is one of those things that there aren't any appropriate words for. I understand, and....I wish you and your family all the best, as you move through the aftermath of this very real emotional roller coaster...

Comment by Davis Goodman on January 21, 2015 at 9:34pm

That sucks so terribly much. I hope you can get through the next weeks without telling too many people to fuck off forever.

Big hugs

Comment by Ed on January 23, 2015 at 9:27am

"My mother feels that this is the time I should turn to god."

It's curious how theists subconsciously use personal tragedy as a tool to reel in the lost flock. Is it because we appear vulnerable? When life is butterflies and lullabies for us they keep their message of hope to themselves. Only when we are down and out do they cast out their holy life preserver.

I wish you well in your healing process, Carol. 

Comment by onyango makagutu on January 25, 2015 at 2:09pm

I wish you well in your healing process Carol and I too hope there will not be many people deserving of fuck you forever retort

Comment by Lewal on January 25, 2015 at 2:39pm

This is well thought out, there are things to be taken away here. 

I will say though, "blighted ovum" is pretty punchy. "Blighted" comes on pretty strong.

Comment by Unseen on January 26, 2015 at 1:00pm

I certainly wish things had turned out more happily for you. Unseen doesn't give out many hugs, but here's one for you.

As for your mother's advice to turn to God, he apparently, according to 1 in 4 Americans, is busy deciding which team will win.... He probably doesn't have time for you.

Comment by Nina van der Roos on January 27, 2015 at 8:12am

When it comes to comforting words in these situation as a homebirth midwife I always take the counsel of my very lovely amd wise mother in law, a doula of some 40 years experienc...... "A good midwife is one who knows when to just keep her mouth shut, the loss of a pregnancy is so intensely personal that comfort comes only from within in time". So Carol, I offer no words and leave you seek your comfort from the one who understand it best, you.

Comment by Belle Rose on January 27, 2015 at 8:57am
So well said Nina


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