Sunday, January 24, 2010

How do you mourn your loss?

Friday was crap, more crap with a little whipped cream and cherry on top.

The crap: I got my period.

More crap: I got a cold.

Whipped cream and cherry on top: I had a wonderful session with my therapist, Rose. Caught her up on our IF saga. Used up half a box of tissues telling her of my two IVF transfers, one fresh, on frozen. Of my two chemical pregnancies. Of my wallowing in self-pity, my self-blame (where she didn't want me to go. At all). Of my deep sorrow.

She then said, "Jem, you were pregnancy. Your body was pregnant. It registered this pregnancy in your body. You lost two babies. You are morning these losses. What have you and Mr. Jem done as a ritual to say goodbye to these babies?"

My answer: "We haven't done anything."

Tears just flowed down my face, as they do right now as I type these words.

I brought it up with Mr. Jem. We want to have some sort of ceremony, light candles, say prayers, something to honor these little souls that were not brought into our lives. We want to show how we lived them, how we miss them. We want to recognize how they would have been welcome here, but it was not there time.

What have you done to mourn your loss(es)? What rituals have you done? Do you have remembrance charms for a necklace? Please share your stories and/or ideas.

20 comments:

Poppet said...

A couple of weeks after my miscarriage I was in Japan for a wedding. One day I had a day to myself and I went to Yokohama. In this town they have the most beautiful, sad, awful, beautiful park I have ever seen. At this park there is a special area for lost children (miscarried/aborted as well).

I have never been anywhere as serene and haunting in my life.

As the Japanese did. I wrote a scroll with a prayer for my lost little girl (I'm convinced). Don't remember what I wrote, but it helped.

Noelle said...

I am so sorry Jem.

I did a few things to mourn my loss. First, I ordered a necklace and had it inscribed. It is a circle with the gemstone of the month the baby was conceived. It chose that month because I didn't want to remember when it died and when it was supposed to be born was too depressing. I had one side say, "We will always love you." The other side said, "I will trust in God." I wore this necklace, without taking it off, for about 6 months afterwards. I would always touch it, and it made me feel like there was a real reason for me to be sad, and that it was okay.

I also went to the bead store and made a bracelet. It has pink and blue beads. I found a bean charm to put on it that said, "love." It was perfect. It is in my profile picture.

I wrote it a letter and put it on my blog.

These things really helped. They didn't help with the depression or anything, but they helped me to acknowledge that it really was a life that I had lost. I felt like I wanted to let the baby know that I cared about it tremendously.

There are many miscarriage jewelry websites where you can find some perfect things. I think it should be something that really speaks to you.

Oh, I also remember something else I did. I know a local artist, and I bought one of her reprints that is of an angel painting. I am going to frame it and hang it.

Even though I was 5 weeks and 1 day when I learned of the lower beta, I feel as if that baby will always be a huge part of my life.

Please let us know what you decide to do, and I pray that it will bring you peace.

K said...

Honestly, I think I just cried. I shut myself off from the world for a week, allowed the tears to fall and the emotions to be there, and I cried over the baby that will never be. I had a sign from my Gramma who's passed that she had my baby, and then I asked my family to lay a flower on her grave for me, since I couldn't be in Michigan for it.

lis said...

dear jem,
first of all i was to express how very very sorry i am for your loss. any child loss is substantial and heartbreaking, no matter what the lenghth of time.
my husband an i were given a memory box from the hospital where our girls were born. i put everything inside that box, ultrasounds, sympathy cards, the pictures of the embryos.
your losses were from IVF? do you still have the embryo pictures? maybe framing them together and placing them someplace special where most people wouldn't see it would be an intimate way to remember them as they started out. i had the embryo pic on my fridge for a while, but just took it down as it was hard to look at, especially surrounded by smiling children on christmas cards.

i also ordered special little figurines from a girl who makes and sells them on ebay. mine are personalized, but the white ones are just as pretty, and i think it would be a nice way to remember them as angels.

crap, its not letting me post the link. i have a picture of them on my blog, under the post entitled "pictures of you" if you want to see them. i know you are far away and im not sure how ebay works internationally, but they give me comfort.
they sit amongst the urn and 3 little pink angels my mom bought for christmas. the angels originally came in the box, some sort of a worry box, but we decided to use it for the urn and pull the angels out.
i also talk to them. if you are spiritual, then im sure you believe they are with you, even if that just dawned on you after speaking to rose. talk to them and i swear, you'll feel something back.

i hope it gets better for you, and i hope my rambling helps in some way
xoxo

Leslie said...

I am so sorry! I too have had 2 chem pg (with FET & IUI) along with 1 failed IVF and with each, I took a break for a cycle to rest and gather my strength to try again. I also did nice things for myself like pedicures, eating what I wanted, etc. DH & I also took a weekend away after each to enjoy time together and get away from normal life for a bit. After my 2nd chem pg, I bought a necklace that has 4 words surrounding a heart. I wear this necklace to all my appts. The four words are: hope, courage, resilience and love. The hurt will never go away, but in time it has gotten a little easier, allowing me to continue with this very difficult journey! I hope it gets easier for you as well and I hope that you will see your miracle very soon!!!

One Who Understands said...

I have never suffered a loss, but I think this is an amazing idea to mourn and remember these babies. I had a sister who lost her baby at 25 weeks. Her husband was a JA(now he is her ex) and didn't want to do anything. I think it would've helped her so much to have named him and had some kind of prayer candle lighting thing. I have one friend who lost a pregnancy right before Christmas. She got a special ornament with the word Angel and the babies due date etched in.

I think you should do what feels right for you. You did suffer 2 losses and should mourn and grieve both of them the way you would do with any other loss/death. I hope you and Mr. Jem find what will work best. (((HUGS)))

Pregnant Yuppy said...

I light a candle each year on October 15th (Infant & Pregnancy loss day). I take the time to think about him on my loss date and my EDD. I have designed a tattoo but I haven't yet gone to get it - I think that I will this cycle if the IUI doesn't work.

egghunt said...

I didnt have any prepared ritual for my misscarriages but I did collect my ultrasound pictures and my bracelet from when I was in hospital for the D&C and a few other momentos and I put them in a special box and still have them somewhere. It helps remind me that what happened was real. That there was really a baby that existed for a short time, and it was ours. I found it harder with our IVF failures because although we had embryos which were alive at some point, they never progressed into an actual pregnancy so it was like they never existed. Its harder to explain that kind of loss to non IF people as they cannot understand the loss as as far as they are concerned there was nothing there to loose in the first place. I still struggle with that as my failed IVFs were just as bit (if not more) painful as my misscarriages, but I havent found a way to recognise and officially acknowlege those losses yet. Your post made me realise that its probably something I need to do to help us move on. Thanks, and good luck with planning something special for your babies. xxx hugs

Giving Up A Dream said...

I have a memory box with an angel on it. Inside it I have the onesies I would have brought the twins home in. I have the papers from the hospital and the ultrasound pictures are in a photo album. I made my own type of charm bracelet.

junebug said...

Cry. Later I wrote about it(just private journal).
I am so sorry for your loss.
((Hugs))
ICLW

Jendeis said...

We haven't done any set ritual to remember. I think, though, that as part of the grief and acceptance (not the right word, more of a coming to peace) process, I think of our baby and tell her I miss her. (I've always felt that our baby was a girl). This happens every day, but not every hour, like at the beginning. It's still hard, but at some point, that pain in my chest went away. I feel like I can breathe now.

lis said...

omg im such a dork. for some crazy reason i thought you lived in england. i have no idea where in the world i got that idea!!!

TeeJay said...

I'm so sorry you are in such pain. I think your therapist had a great idea. I don't have any ideas for you as I have not lost anything but embryos, but whatever you decide to do will be right for you and your family. It's good to mourn a loss properly since grief has so many stages. Sending you (((hugs))).

Adele said...

Like many others I didn't do anything in particular, though sometimes I feel I should have. Very few people knew about my miscarriages and though we were glad about this, for the most part, it made it very hard each time. It felt as if the pregnancies had never taken place and so I think the idea of marking a miscarriage in some way, of acknowledging it, is really good. Like egghunt, I kept my ultrasound pictures (just from the second one) and the plastic bracelet from the hospital. I don't look at them often, but I know that they're there. And for me, this proof that something existed inside me is important.

T Lee said...

I'm so sorry hun. I never did anything after my chemical, but in retrospect, I probably should've...

ICLW

Alice said...

I'm so sorry the tears are flowing. But it's good to let that happen. The losses are really hard. I'm glad your seeing a therapist to help you cope and it sounds like some sort of ritual could really help you.

I've had two miscarriages but didn't do anything. I just cried and tried to move on somehow/some way. That was all I could muster.

Hugs to you.

Andie said...

I'm so sorry for your losses. I think a ritual is very important.

Mostly I have just had a little ritual of candles/prayers tears to say goodbye.

Thinking of you

ICLW

Mrs. Gamgee said...

I am so very sorry for your loss...

For me, I began to feel like I had a direction for my grief when we named our angels. Naming them made them real... and that made it okay for me to feel grief.

I hope you find a way to help through this tough time.

ICLW

babyattheend said...

Honor your losses in whatever way feels right to you.

A few months after our second FET, I made a bracelet with beads to represent the embryos created, transferred and lost during the entire first IVF process. The bracelet was knotted around my arm and my fingers would find their way to those beads whenever I was thinking about what could have been. I also submitted a request to http://namesinthesand.blogspot.com/, and Carly was sweet enough to draw five hearts in honor of our bright lights... that was so very helpful.

Willow said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

We had a loss after IVF two years ago and I still don't know what to do with the u/s pictures of our little embryos. I have them stashed in a prayer book. We never really did anything to properly mourn. I hope you are able to find a good way to commemorate your babies and begin to heal.