Soundwaves Perinatal Bereavement Support

Bereavement Support For Parents Grieving the Loss of a Baby During or Just After Pregnancy

The Roller Coaster June 8, 2009

After having two miscarriages, giving birth to stillborn twin sons and experiencing lots of infertility in between,  I came to know the “pregnancy roller coaster” all too well. Here’s how a typical month in my life at that time went:

Two weeks into my fertility cycle I became excited that maybe, just maybe, this was the month I was going to get pregnant.  When my temperature, ovulation predictor test, or any body signs indicated I was about to ovulate, I called my husband. If the time was right, he knew he had to do what he had to do,  no matter what the circumstances. One time we rushed home between a wedding and a reception. Another time I got up at four o’clock in the morning before he had to leave on a business trip in order to try and conceive. Those days were rather humorous on occasion, weren’t very romantic, and were at times quite frantic, driven by our(my) intense desire to have a child.

The next two weeks after I ovulated were hopeful, anxious and tense (ten years ago when I was attempting to become pregnant there was no such thing as an early pregnancy test).  Each month I went out and bought two or three pregnancy tests in the hopes that maybe one would show a positive result (we should have taken out stock in the company that made those things!). 

Most of the time the result was negative. I was crushed, depressed and imagined I would never, ever become pregnant. And the three times I did have a positive result my pregnancies ended in disaster. I was beginning to think I would never conceive, carry a baby to full term and give birth to a live, healthy baby. 

And then the cycle would begin all over again. I stayed on that roller coaster for a little over five years. Infertility treatments weren’t for me. I figured if I was meant to get pregnant, it would happen. But lots of friends and family were becoming pregnant seemingly with ease, and I was left sad, jealous, angry, empty and broken hearted.

Then, one day I had a forth positive pregnancy test. I was cautiously hopeful.  Could this actually be the one? I made it through my first month (the length of time I miscarried for the second time), and then my second (the length of time I miscarried for the first time), and then though four more (the length of time I carried my twins). All the while I was pretty much a basket case, couch potato (I didn’t want to do anything physically to jeopardize this pregnancy) and nervous wreck. The months went by and I miraculously stayed pregnant. We were told the baby I was carrying had a one in seventy-two percent chance of having Down’s Syndrome (based on my age and  blood work). I didn’t care. A level two ultrasound determined that he (it was a boy) was most likely going to be fine (whatever that meant).

Finally, after a knuckle biting forty one weeks (he decided to stay inside of me an extra week just to give me a bit more anxiety and distress), my son Andrew was born. It was a joyous day. Nineteen months later (I didn’t want to wait another six years to have another baby so my husband and I started trying quite soon after my first son was born) my son Matthew was born.

So, I’d love to say it all ends happily there, but of course nothing in life is easy. Both of my sons suffered from extreme colic as babies (that about sent me over the edge- fodder for another blog someday) and both have allergies and asthma (we rushed my younger son to the emergency room seven times when he was a baby because of breathing difficulties due to asthma and dehydration from stomach bugs- yet more information for another blog in my future). He ended up in intensive care on one occasion.

My children have not always been the easiest kids to raise- both are very active and defiant. But as I always say, survival of the fittest! I worry about them a lot- probably much more than the average parent.

There are of course many moments of pure bliss, like when my younger son cuddled up with me in bed this morning, showering me with kisses and saying, “I love you, mommy.”  I treasure my children for who they are, and for those those many times in our lives that now make the whole “roller coaster” of my life worthwhile.

 

Comfort and Peace January 10, 2009

Two things I think most of us strive for in our lives are comfort and peace. These two elements can be illusive in the best of times. When you lose a baby, they can be virtually impossible to attain for weeks, even months.

It’s cliche, but time did allow those life components to naturally, slowly creep back into my life after I lost the twins. After the initial  heart wrenching devastation, time gave way to small bits of normalcy each day/week/month that passed.

For me, talking about my sons to friends who would listen, over and over again, helped tremendously. Speaking their names and telling their story to someone who would listen validated them and all that I was going though, and helped me make it though those early days of grief.

Creating routines and memories that included my lost children in my daily life helped as well. I felt as if I was honoring them each time I did something to purposefully remember them. That in itself helped me to regain a sense of comfort and peace after the completely life altering experience of their death.

 

“Move On With Your Life” January 7, 2009

How many times did I hear those words in the first years after the twins died? Well meaning people, my parents in particular, didn’t want to see me in so much pain. I don’t blame them. But their words hurt. I knew I would never “move on” from the memory of my children, who I held inside of me and desperately loved and anticipated for six months. My attachment to them started far before that- my husband and I had been trying to conceive  for four years, and I had had one miscarriage prior to conceiving the twins. 

Ten years later my intense grief has subsided and my memories of them are now bittersweet. But moving on was never a possibility.

 

How Many Children Do You Have? January 3, 2009

That’s a tough one. I used to answer “Two in Heaven and Two on Earth.” But now I just say two, knowing in my heart that I really have four, even six (counting my two miscarriages). I lost my twin sons ten years ago this past September. I carried them for six months in what turned out to be a horrendous pregnancy. “Twin-to-twin Transfusion Syndrome” is what was stated as the cause of death on their death certificates.  What I went through was so much more than those five little words describe…

 

Hello world! December 31, 2008

Hello-
Welcome to my blog- Soundwaves. I am a housewife, mother and former elementary school teacher. I started this blog because I would like to reach out to people who have experienced the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or death right after birth.  I suffered two miscarriages and gave birth to stillborn twin sons due to twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.  I now happily have two live sons ages 8 and 6.

I have been RTS trained as a bereavement support person. Although I am not a professional counselor, I  hope my posts will help women and families  who have suffered the loss of a baby find solice and perhaps a sense of hope for the future. 

Take Care-
Claudia