1 | In a word, how would you characterize yourself before your loss, and then after?
Before: Excited After: Lost
2 | How do you feel around pregnant women?
Jealous - at times I was also angry. Then I was sad - sad for becoming this angry, jealous mess and sad for what had brought me to that point in the first place.
3 | How do you answer the ‘how many children’ question?
Depends - sometimes just how many living children, sometimes "a heart full and a home full"; Earlier on in my grief it was more important to me that people **know**, now I can live with the rest of the world not knowing the full count. In honesty - some of it is embarrassment, which I am almost ashamed to admit. I am not ashamed of my lost ones by any means, but embarrassment more along the lines of letting it happen to myself. How does one go about saying "I lost seven babies" without having to explain it all?
4 | How did you explain what happened to your lost baby to your living children? Or, if this was your first pregnancy, will you tell future children about your first?
My living children know - as much as they can know for their ages/level of current understanding - that there were other babies that grew in mommy's tummy, but didn't grow big enough to be able to live outside my body like they did. I was surprised by how much of an impression this made on some of them as well as their understanding. During my 8th and very rocky pg my oldest child was especially attentive - at the tender age of 6. Each morning he asked me if the baby grew during the night. He use to make me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches daily. It occurred to me later on that this was his way of doing what he could to **help** the pregnancy. He also named the only baby we found out a gender for and was the catalyst for naming our other lost little ones. He didn't know the baby had been a girl, nor that I had a charm specific to her on a chain with other charms representing losses and births. One day I was wearing it and having a very rough time coping with my feelings after my 5th loss and he pointed her exact charm out (the charm necklace was not something I had ever explained - just that it was my "mommy's necklace") and said "I know that baby. She's a girl - her name is Carena. I played with her before I was born." Perhaps just an imaginative child, but it was exactly what I needed at that moment - he gave me a connection that I had not been able to find to any of my lost babies before - miscarriage robbing me and leaving me with so very little to remember them by. Through naming Carena, my other babies ended up being named too. This took place over a period of several months and over a year - discovering their names, one by one, once two at a time, and always at unexpected moments, completely unbidden. I could not actively seek them out - they always seemed to have to find me and when they did - they always felt right with amazing clarity. By naming them all, I was able to acquire a level of healing I had not before this point.
5 | What would another pregnancy mean to you, and how would you get through it—or are you done with babymaking?
I use to become so obsessed with getting pregnant again and then when the hpt would turn positive would be instantly struck with overwhelming fear. What have I done?! Trying to survive the first trimester was an agony of days that never seemed to end. Feeling stronger after the first 14 weeks, but always wondering, waiting for that other shoe . . . Now though, another pregnancy? I have mixed feelings. Some days I would love more than anything to feel life within me again. Other days - I just can't find the insatiable desire that fueled my need to get pg again during my babymaking years. Some habits die harder than others I suppose.
6 | Imagine being able to step back in time and whisper into the ear of your past self the day after your baby died. What would you say?
It WILL get better.