An unintentional gift.

4 Jan

If you haven’t already, please head over to Jjiraffe’s post to read “The Devastation of Pregnancy: A Profile of Courtney…,” where she describes my history with pregnancy loss in order to profile what it really means to live with infertility.  If you’re not familiar with Jjiraffe and her fantastic and inspirational blog, for months she has been tackling the New York Times’ inaccurate coverage of what it means to be infertile.  She is a brilliant writer.  I’ve been trying to figure out why they’re not busting down her virtual door and begging her to write these profiles for them.  Oh wait…that’s because she’s not interested in highlighting the 1% of infertiles who can afford unlimited IVF treatments just because they thought it would be cute to have another baby well into their forties.  Right.  So please, if you haven’t yet read her piece, please do so now.

I was lucky enough to get a chance to read this before she posted it, and as I read each beautifully crafted word, tears fell in a steady stream down my cheeks.  For the first time in two years, I was getting to view my story from the outside looking in. As I read about this woman and her devastating pain from each of her four losses, I was profoundly sad for her.  I cried for her and what she had gone through.  I was awed by her resilience.   I wanted to reach out to her and wrap my arms around her, to tell her how very sorry I am for her losses.   Not once did I get angry at her for “allowing” those babies to die.

Ever since that fateful day in February of 2010 when I lost my second pregnancy, I have blamed my body for being inadequate, for not doing what it’s supposed to do.  That blame, of course, was heightened when I went on to lose a third and a fourth.  I refused to be kind to the body that stopped my babies’ hearts.  Through what feels like hundreds of sessions, my therapist has been urging me to be kind to myself, to nurture my body and support it like I do for so many other women going through this.  But despite our work, I’ve been unable to find the compassion for myself and for what I’ve experienced. I can’t get past the fact I feel like I’m to blame, that my body failed me.

When I read Jjiraffe’s post, the compassion I’ve been seeking for myself and my unimaginable loss, came flooding in.  Although the post was meant to highlight the inadequacies in the NYTimes’ coverage, it did so much more for me.  It was a gift.  After reading her words, I want to take care of that woman and her grief.  I want to nurture her and love her, not berate her and blame her.  The woman in her story doesn’t deserve that.

Jjiraffe, I will never be able to properly thank you for the gift you gave to me with this post.  The woman inside of me that has had to deal with my lack of compassion for two years straight, thanks you.  I’m wrapping my arms around you, too.

Now, if you still haven’t read it, what are you waiting for?  Go now.

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24 Responses to “An unintentional gift.”

  1. Rachel @ Eggs In A Row January 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    I loved her post and yours as well.

    Perhaps now you will let yourself love you as much as we do?

    Wishing you a rainbow baby in 2012.

    • Mo January 5, 2012 at 8:28 am #

      Um, yeah, what she said.

  2. MJ January 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    It truly is a beautiful post by Jirrafe, so real and true. That being said, I am infinitely sorry that anyone would have to deal with RPL. I wish you exactly what you want in 2012 — finding happiness and peace. Know that I, like many many others, are thinking of you, praying for you, sending good thoughts/vibes, etc. We love you.

  3. jjiraffe January 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Wow. This really touches my heart. Reading your posts gave me newfound admiration for how well you have been able to weather such unimaginable loss with such grace, kindness and strength. Plus, to be able to put it into words so well and in such a relatable manner?

    You are my hero 🙂

  4. Esperanza January 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    J actually texted me last night when she hadn’t heard from you, worried that you were offended in some way by her post. I told her that probably you were just so floored by it that you couldn’t respond right away. I told her probably you just didn’t know what to say. I know that I couldn’t find the words.

    I also cried when I read this touching account. I’m crying now just writing this to you. I don’t really know how to form the words to explain why – because I love you and I want so many things for you and instead all you’ve gotten is loss and it makes me so fucking sad and angry and… devastated. I know it’s not my place to feel those things. I know I’m not the one who is going through this but I can’t tell you how your story sits in my heart… I’ve never in my whole life wanted something for someone else like I want you to bring home a healthy baby.

    Thank you for sharing yourself and your story with us. And thank you J for telling it so beautifully.

  5. Trisha January 4, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    That was an amazing post. Truly inspiring. I am so sorry for all you have gone through, but I thank you for sharing your story with us.

  6. Tracy January 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    It takes somebody really special to write your story so eloquently and honestly. It was hard for me to read because of the similarities between us. I am ALWAYS floored by the medical costs in the states. It’s just bullshit. Sorry. Total bullshit that you have to PAY for a necessary procedure. Ugh…my blood boils at that.

  7. amanda January 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    What an incredible post. I too am floored with the medical bills you encountered. Hubby and I have often speculated how much some of our tests/procedures would have cost us if we lived in the states – I think we vastly underestimated the costs! I’m so sorry you have had to endure all you’ve gone through – emotionally, physically and financially!

  8. Christina January 4, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    I hope that you find the compassion and forgiveness you deserve for yourself. Both of your words are beyond moving. While there may not be a hollywood style happy ending (yet), I think happiness is just around the corner for you.

  9. Sara January 4, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    I clicked over here from J’s blog. I’ve visited before, but I don’t think I’ve commented. I will do so now to say that I am so glad that J’s post helped you to accept that none of this is your fault, and that you are an inspiration.

    I think that looking for happiness is a really good way to find it. I hope that it works for you.

  10. Justine January 4, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    I loved her post, and yours. I want to wrap my arms around you both. I always tell women who have miscarried to “be kind to yourself” … I know that was so hard for me, so hard to have compassion for myself, when what I wanted to do what blame, find fault, again and again. I hope that you can hold on to this compassion for yourself … and know, deeply, how loved you are.

  11. Hope January 4, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    I just read both Jjiraffe’s post and yours and I am so moved. Especially by your description of finally finding some compassion for yourself. That sounds like such a huge thing. May the comment year bring you peace and happiness. And I really, really hope that your next pregnancy goes to term smoothly.

  12. Kristen January 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    I too am totally awed by your resilience. I’m so glad Jjiraffe’s words have helped you see what I see…a beautiful woman inside and out who is working so hard to stay in the light even without (for now) the pat happy ending. I admire you so much…
    And also pray that you are able to make your heart’s desire come true. No one deserves it more than you, my friend.
    Love to you…
    XOXO

  13. Her Royal Fabulousness January 5, 2012 at 4:00 am #

    This is an amazing collaboration. I was touched equally by both posts. You are worthy of all the love 🙂

  14. Sara January 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    Love, you are amazing. Jjiraffe, I’d love to meet you someday and thank you for taking such good care of Courtney through this…for knowing what it’s like first hand…for taking something so devastating and turning it into hope, awareness, and compassionate camaraderie. And the above goes for the rest of you supporters, too. All I can say is that this blog and its followers have changed Courtney’s life. Even though the subject matter sucks, it’s real. As real as bananas or flaming dog poop or roses or anger or… We all need our cheerleaders and I can tell that you all have your pom poms sitting next to your computers. Go team!

    • jjiraffe January 6, 2012 at 12:33 am #

      Sara, I can already tell that you are rad by your reference to flaming dog poop. I love your comment so much. Your friendship and love for Courtney help her a lot: a lot of us have friends and families who just don’t get it. (Or, maybe just mine 😉 ) I can’t wait to meet you someday. We can wave our pom poms together in Court’s honor.

  15. luna January 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    this is so beautiful. I hope you can take that compassion and instill it in your heart for those moments when you doubt and feel vulnerable. I loved her profile!

  16. Emily @ablanket2keep January 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    You brought me to tears when you said how you found compassion for yourself. It really makes me so happy! Huge Hugz for you!

  17. slcurwin January 5, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    I’m glad you got to see an outside view of yourself. We are our own worst enemies. Hopefully that sticks with you and you can be less harsh towards youself.

  18. Erin @ Will CarryOn January 6, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    What a wonderful gift to receive. It is so hard after a loss (not to mention 4) to NOT blame yourself, you body. I did (and sometimes still do), even though deep down I know I did nothing wrong and couldn’t have done anything more right. I had read Jjiraffe’s post the other day and was so touched by both of your words. The fact that you were able to read it and gain some clarity makes it all the better. I hope these words stick with you so you can continue to be good to yourself.

  19. Lacie January 6, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    Courtney,

    I stumbled upon your journey and this post and jjiraffe’s post via Mel. I can’t adequately express how much it helped me to read about your journey. I too have silently blamed my body for quite some time. It rocks you to your core when you’ve seen a little beating heart (or two, in my case) and then you don’t. I have not forgiven myself. I’ve moved on the best I can, but it’s crystal clear to me just now, that I have been steadily punishing my body since my miscarriage last February when I lost my twins. My weight has skyrocketed and I haven’t really cared. Sure, I’ve been uncomfortable in my clothing or when I run into those who haven’t seen me in a while, but I haven’t really been worth the work it’s going to take to repair the damage I’ve been doing. Holy shit.

    Project MILF needs to start ASAP. I’m worth it.

    Thank you.

  20. starfishkittydreams January 7, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Your post and hers were both beautifully written. It was moving to read about you from a new perspective. I had no idea how much money this was costing. I am still shocked at how unfair it is.

    Your story of optimism turned to RPL is an incredible and her summary sheds a new light on the pain and endurance you’ve had to go through. Your experience of going from the naive joy and anxiety of pregnancy to the hell road of RPL is so relatable (unfortunately). RPL is traumatic, incredibly rare and completely inexplicable.

    I am hoping so much for your for 2012 that this is the year and this is the last chapter in your RPL journey.

  21. embracingtherain January 16, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    That feeling of failure is so difficult. I’m glad that Jjiraffe’s beautiful post is helping you to show yourself some love and compassion.

  22. Helene January 27, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Guilt is something I think we all share after loss. There’s nobody else to blame, so we blame ourselves for not being able to do what every other woman seem to do so easily. It’s crazy considering that all we need is to be kind to ourselves after what we’ve been through. We would never treat someone else with such cruelty, but we have no mercy for ourselves. I’m glad you can finally show yourself some of the compassion you deserve. Wishing you a healthy baby at the end of this difficult road you have to travel to get to him or her.

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