Did I love enough?

(13 posts)(6 voices)
  1. PG mentioned……

    I have started a new thread because I did not want to hijack Sunshine’s thread but reading the responses to her thread raised so many questions and feelings in me that I want to share with people who have been there and experienced the trauma of a second trimester loss. The one burning question is did I love them enough?

    Prior to the twins I had been trying for 8 years and had 5 previous first trimester losses. I moved to a new clinic and the new tests and treatment protocols changed everything for me. However based on my history and past experience, I was still not ready to believe that this could be it, that it could actually work and I could have a live baby from this. Each week when we went for our ultra sound I fully expected the babies to be dead.

    I was very surprised to have made it to 12 weeks and the babies were doing so well. Despite that milestone as the weeks progressed I still did not relax, I did not bond with them, I was too scared of getting my heart broken again, I was too scared to believe. I loved them and I could not wait to meet them I wished my pregnancy would pass quickly so they could be born but I did not bond with them as a pregnant woman should bond with her baby/babies. When I lost them I felt an incredible sense of guilt that I had distanced myself from them to protect my own heart.

    That did not help anyways because I think my pain is probably even greater than if I had bonded with them because the pain, hurt and anger was compounded but my incredible sense of guilt that I attracted something negative to them because of my negative thoughts. I felt that maybe they sensed/thought that I did not want them. It still bothers me so much. I hope they knew how much I loved and wanted them

  2. suhaj- I dont have it in me right now to reply the way I want to, but what you are feeling is SO normal. I think ALL of us vets who finally get pg abslutely must feel a slight disatachment to the baby- we HAVE to. We are protecting ourselves after years of being broken up. How can you just go from one day being in hell and the next day - oh look, I'm pregnant, all my problems are solved, oh look the flowers actually have colors in them. It doesnt work that way! It's a looooong adjustment from going from being an IVF vet to a (drumroll here) pregnant woman. What you felt was normal and natural and I felt the same way too at the beginning.

    And I will re-iterate what everyone has said to me and has brought me such peace: They only knew your love. That's it. They heard your voice and your heartbeat. They heard you laugh! They knew you were their mom. And they were happy.

  3. Sunshine thank you so much for responding to me even in the midst of your sadness, I appreciate your thoughts and support and knowing that my feelings were "normal for a VET" because the only pg people I knew were happy fertiles and even happier first time treatment successes. I felt so alien amongst all those happy people because try as I might I could not be happy or excited, I only knew fear and dread.

  4. suhaj - I'm sorry its taken me so long to post. I've been really debating whether my thoughts would be welcome here but I know when you hurt and your carrying that guilt, hearing from others is always welcome.

    I've asked myself this question time and again. Since our 24w loss of our two boys I've been pregnant twice. Our next pg we lost at 10w and relatively speaking it was emotionally easy. I have spent moments feeling guilty of not being as emotionally invested in that pregnancy as I was with our first preg but I also know if my emotions were anything similar to our first loss I probably wouldn't have survived. I simply would have chosen to simply stop living because what kind of life is it to carry all this pain.

    I can't imagine sharing with my children in the afterlife (if you believe that) that their existence brought more pain than good. On some level, distancing myself emotionally allowed me to minimize the pain they brought and though they were no doubt loved just as much. Keeping myself at arms length with the 'hope' of that child didn't diminish that love, it just diminished the expectations that finally things would end in all our favour.

    Today, I'm pg again. I'm not far off the date we were when we lost our boys and again, I've kept my emotions in check not believing that maybe this time it will work out for us. I don't love this baby (or potential baby as I've come to think of it) any less than the first three but I do keep the expectations of everything very low and don't let my hopes get too high.

    On another level, its so hard for these "potential babies" to live up to actually seeing and holding your baby. So while I do very much love the baby we lost at 10w and this one today, I also know that holding and meeting your child is so much more than the abstract thought you have of that child when your simply seeing him or her on an ultrasound. I held and met my boys. Nothing I've experienced yet can compare to the profound effect they had on me when we finally held them and named them. That experience made them human and so much more real.

    Knowing what I know and reading everything I have (and in part wanting to 'bond' with this baby more). I very much know that this baby won't be 'as much' to me until its born, whether that happens too soon, its born sleeping or we're lucky enough to finally have a take home baby.

    No matter what, you love your unborn babies and they were, each and every one, very much wanted. No one can take that away.

    I very much hope this post helps and doesn't cause any pain. I know very much how reading about others success (no matter what stage it is at) can be difficult. Please let me know if you want me to remove this and I'll happily do so.

  5. nadiafilipfa - thank you so much for posting and sharing with me. I appreciate your post, it is welcome and I have no problem with it at all.

    What you said rings so true, keeping myself at arms length did not diminish the love but the expectation the things would finally end in our favour.

    I want to wish you all the best.

  6. suhaj,

    i\'ve been mulling this over in my head all week.

    i think that there are 2 things... the actual event (being pregnant, growing your babies) and then the circumstances surrounding the event (feeling as if you weren't bonding and had a lot of fear about bad outcomes).

    so, you had an event going on in your life that millions of other people have gone thru too... being pregnant, growing babies. our culture teaches us behaviors that *should* happen surrounding this event. we see images of women rubbing their bellies, smiling, not a worry to be had... i remember sitting in the peri's waiting room with families that were so happy and celebrating finding out the sex, (and complaining about another boy, or girl...). i was having such a different experience. every visit i held my breath and prepared for the worst. it was not a jovial scene.

    so, anyway, what i am trying to say is that because you, and me, a minority, go through pregnancy in very very different circumctances that culturally we are tought to be having. it is an alienating experience, and it is only a natural response to protect your emotions by staying emotionally 'cool', for fear of the long hard fall from cloud 9.

    but- these circumstances do not dictate or change the deep underlying experience/event of being pregnant and growing babies. you wonder if you loved them enough. i would have to say that yes, of course you did, and it is separate from all the worries you had while they were inside you, and from the actual bad outcome that happened. those things don't touch the love that i believe a parent instinctually has for their baby/ies.

    its kind of like when i am ticked off at my husband, a big fight, huge anger, slamming doors... at those moments i hate him! i curse the circumstances we are in and the lack of control we have over our lives right now... it causes big fights and sometimes i wonder if our relationship is going to survive all of this loss and stress. but the fact is, for me anyway, the love i have for my husband is separate from the circumstances surrounding our relationship right now. just because we fight and flip out and are angry with eachother (or the circumstances) does not mean we don't love each other.

    i hope that made sense. the pregnancy i had with my son was about 3 years after i lost my daughter. i was *freaked out* the entire time, especially because we had issues with the pregnancy and i thought i was going to lose him the whole time i was pregnant with him. i worried, before i was pregnant with him, about being able to bond and love etc. there were times i had to force myself to attach to the experience. we found out asap the gender, we named him that day, and these things helped me to be connected. (versus when i was pregnant with my daughter, she was a 'surprise' gender at birth and i never really connected with her as alittle girl- because i thought she would be alive and i would have her whole life to bond with her!! wrong.).

    so in the end, i think you totally had all the love you couuld have had for your babies. you loved them enough, as much as any parent does... but you have to cut your memories and your self some slack, because your circumstances were very very different than the average woman who doesn't have fertility issues and risky pregnancy going on.

    also, i know it is very tempting to fall into the self-blame trap... you wrote about attracting negative energy for a negative outcome. i personally DO NOT think that this is possible. (have you read 'the secret'?!!!). my therapist calls this 'magical thinking'. for instance, for a long time i thought that i ate too much peanut butter during my pregnancy wihth my daughter, and that is what caused her to die. ????? what? it makes no sense. but there is such a need for a reason, for some sense to be had over a senseless death. you did nothing wrong. your thoughts were all normal and expected to be had by someone in your circumstance. try not to blame yourself. i also thought that god was punishing me for stuff i did when i was a teenager, and for not being married to my husband at the time of her birth. but that is total ****. i needed reasons, though. it is hard not to turn the blame on ourselves.

  7. also, i know it is very tempting to fall into the self-blame trap... you wrote about attracting negative energy for a negative outcome. i personally DO NOT think that this is possible. (have you read 'the secret'?!!!). my therapist calls this 'magical thinking'. for instance, for a long time i thought that i ate too much peanut butter during my pregnancy wihth my daughter, and that is what caused her to die. ????? what? it makes no sense. but there is such a need for a reason, for some sense to be had over a senseless death. you did nothing wrong. your thoughts were all normal and expected to be had by someone in your circumstance. try not to blame yourself. i also thought that god was punishing me for stuff i did when i was a teenager, and for not being married to my husband at the time of her birth. but that is total ****. i needed reasons, though. it is hard not to turn the blame on ourselves.

    This is so true IF makes us so hard on ourselves, we always look to blame ourselves, even if there is a valid reason or explanation for a particular outcome we will always find some way to blame ourselves for went wrong.

  8. suhaj, I'm so sorry about the loss of your babies. I don't come to this board very often, although three years ago after I lost twins, it was my lifeline. Your question brought tears to my eyes because trying for 8 years through 5 pregnancy losses to have a live baby must be one definition of love.

  9. I am so very sorry for your loss. I don't visit the boards much any more, but I read this a while back and just couldn't respond. I honestly don't know how to answer your question properly b/c the answer just seems so clear to me. Of course you loved enough, my God, please don't think otherwise. I wish you only peace in this time.

    My son Nathan passed away at 27 weeks, 6 weeks ago. He had a knot in his cord, something completely random and senseless. I have to tell you, the whole pregnancy I had -ve thoughts. I just somehow always thought bad things were going to happen. It's hard to explain, but I never fully believed I would have a baby at the end. I remember going to my 18 week scan, and thinking the tech would look at me crazy and tell me I wasn't pregnant. Was it mothers' intuition? A coincidence? Me somehow protecting myself?? I had just had a 12 week loss. Who knows.

    Never doubt your love though. Please.

  10. Thank you to you all for helping me to ease the guilt I feel

  11. How are you doing, suhaj? Thinking of you......

    btw, I agree 100% with what ellipitta wrote. She is a better writer than me, but I've noticed that she always seems to write what I am thinking, or can clarify what I am thinking in words. (So, thanks ellipitta, for being here for us...)

  12. Thank you Sunshine, I am getting there, continuing to work my therapist but I feel that posting here, sharing with all of you and getting support and acknowlegement has actually helped me more than the therapy has, thank you.

  13. Hey, that's what we are here for. And I agree with you- these two posts have helped me more than thousands of dollars coud EVER have.

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