fromthebirdcage

A Blog About Dealing With a Miscarriage Through Art…and Anger.

A-Lonely-PlaceFin-pix- A-Mother's-Loss-PixUsually when I write, I do it from a positive place. I want to offer hope, motivation and education to people who experience similar experiences to me. But right now, if I approach the grieving process I’m going through from a positive place, I’ll be lying to myself. Maybe next month I’ll be in a new phase, filled with hope and renewal of my spirit. I plan to get there and I know I will. But I’m grieving right now and I think it is important to be true to what I’m feeling and to let other women know it’s okay to be angry and devastatingly sad for a little while.  Keeping your outlook positive IS important but it’s not realistic all of the time and sometimes the only way to get back up is to let yourself genuinely feel the sadness that going through a miscarriage makes you feel.

Two things you shouldn’t say to a woman ever: Especially if she’s having a miscarriage. Are you going to have more kids?  And, don’t worry. You can try again.

Those two sentences bring a woman going through a miscarriage to one of two places: extreme sadness or extreme anger. Both places are filled with F words that haven’t even been invented yet and we can’t be held responsible if they come out of our mouths and straight towards you.

I’m having a miscarriage. This isn’t a story about a month ago or 5 years ago or someone else entirely. This is where I am. Right now. I’m pregnant. There’s a baby inside me. But there isn’t. It hasn’t made its move to come out but the doctors say it is happening. So until then, I get to sit here with a positive pregnancy test and all the painful but beautiful signs that my son is going to be a big brother, except that he won’t be.

I’m devastated. It’s not my first miscarriage this year and I never even realized how much of a miracle having my son was. I don’t for a second take him for granted because I know a lot of women going through what I’m going through don’t have an already perfect child lying next to them. That fact puts my emotional roller coaster onto the guilt phase. I know that I need to appreciate what I have because I read a comment from a woman today who’s had 11 miscarriages. 11! I’ve had 2. And now I feel guilty for my grief over these 2.

I’m angry. I’m angry that my friends have babies. I’m angry at the pregnant people I see posting on Facebook. I’m angry at the pregnant woman I saw tonight waddling around looking pregnantly miserable.   I’m angry at myself for posting beautiful stories about my perfect son for the past three years because now I know that for everyone who has enjoyed them, they’ve hurt someone else who remains silent, wishing they could tell those stories.    I’m angry at my doctor and my nurse for hugging me. They only hug me when the news is bad. I’m angry at my husband for saying “we will try again.”  A new puppy does in fact help ease the pain of a lost one, but the suggestion of one isn’t a comfort. I’m angry at myself for being so distraught and in so much pain that I can’t look at him and know that he’s only saying what he thinks could help.

I’m angry that for three weeks I could barely get out of bed because I stopped taking my ADD medicine so that my child could develop properly. Three weeks of agony that at the end of nine months would have been worth every rough day to look into that little sweet face.

I’m lonely. I’m surrounded by my beautiful friends and family with outstretched hands and kind thoughts and words. But not even other women who have been here can truly be in my bubble of self doubt, shame, sadness. This feeling of aloneness is tearing me up.

My loneliness is confusing. I may outwardly push you away but my soul needs your care. I’m so grateful to my friend Michele, who brought me a beautiful meal. She handed it to me by saying it was nothing and the least she could do but her eyes were filled with empathy and compassion and a gesture she felt was small was monumental in helping my loneliness.

I’m a phony. Every smile, every bright idea, every conversation that comes from me right now is from the necessity of having to continue functioning in society. I don’t want to. Not yet. I want to crawl in a hole and be alone and be angry at everyone who’s not in the hole with me and wish they’d leave if they try to join me and wish they’d come if they didn’t. I want to be rude and get away with it because I deserve to. I want to not want those things. I want to be selfish and I want to be weak and I want to be giving and I want to be strong. I want to be a hypocrite. No, I get to be one.

The grief is not what you expect. No one else, NO ONE, connected with the baby like I did. People heard he/she existed, maybe they even talked to my belly. But they didn’t feel the pregnancy pains. They didn’t walk with their hands on their stomachs feeling the comfort of knowing soon that a baby would be in their arms. No one else fell to the ground begging me to stop bleeding. No one else feels the physical and emotional stab of 10 million sharp knives taking my child away from me.

If you lose a child, a real child, a living being, you are expected to grieve. You are allowed to have that time. But with a miscarriage, especially a relatively early one, no one understands why you aren’t yourself the next day. No one understands why you don’t want to go out and get your mind off it.

I’ll get through it. I have to. But don’t tell me to be strong. I will be, to survive, but you don’t have the slightest idea how strong I have to be and how weak hearing you tell me to be strong makes me feel.

I know I will move on. I know I’ll try again. I know I will be strong. But not yet.

55 comments

  1. I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going through and I couldn’t even if I tried. Your pictures and words are beautifully written and heartfelt. We may not have ever met or spoken before but I wish you all the best wishes I can. I hope in time that it becomes easier but until then feel how you need to feel, put yourself first. I’m so sorry for your loss x

  2. Bonnie – I give you permission to Scream! Be mad! Cry! Be more mad! throw things and pout. Curse out loud. Do or say anything you need to release your pain and sadness. You don’t always have to be strong, Let it it all go. Its okay to breakdown… all the way down. I’m sending you my creative love.

  3. J

    My heart is breaking for you. I have been where you are now and have done a pretty good job at dealing (and burying) my feelings but after reading through your pain I’m flooded with painful memories. My sister is waiting to pass her third miscarriage in a year at the moment and I found out I am pregnant yesterday (no one knows yet). I’m literally holding my breath. I don’t know if I could survive another loss.
    I think what you have done here is a great start towards “recovery”. . . you never really get over it but you already know that.
    I’m truly sorry you are going through this. For me personally I needed something physical to morn to so I dried some flowers my husband has bought for me and I placed them in a small 5×7 double sided glass shadow box. It still sits on my nightstand.

  4. This is a pain that is so deep and intense that there is a part of your soul that will always ache for the sweet life that we have lost. I have been through this only once and thank God every day for the five beautiful children that I have that are happy and healthy, however I am still haunted by the what ifs. The pain that you are feeling is a part of you and give yourself permission to grieve be angry and then one day be happy. My heart goes out to you and your family and I hope that you will be wrapped in mercy and grace to ease this time of suffering. Your art is beautiful and speaks to a special place in my heart.

  5. You are amazing. Truly. I remember sitting with you, strangers, you had just taken our family photos, and we bonded over loss. That was your first miscarriage. Now, another, and I ache for you. I know what you are going through. I was torn apart after our first one – became a whole different person, and not in a good way. But, healing does eventually come. Maybe not in the form of another baby or a living child, but in ways you least expect. Hang in there, B. These words are a huge step towards healing, and the world is a better place because you shared. Love you!

  6. Jess

    This is so brutal, so moving & so honest. Your images speak a millions of unspoken words. They are painful & heart wrenching to look at, yet breathtaking.

  7. I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to respond to me…with comments, private messages, phone calls….I have been blown away by the stories you all have shared with me. Some of you I know already and some have only connected today through sharing a similar experience. When I first decided to post this I questioned if I should because it isn’t filled with helpful links or recovery resources. I thought it would annoy people or make people think I am negative. I had no idea that my emotions would be able to help other people express what they couldn’t. I am so grateful that my painful experience has given so many people something. Whether validation of their own feelings, permission to let it out or just knowing they aren’t alone. You have all let me know I’m not alone and the arms from around the world you’ve wrapped me up in are getting me through this terrible time. I love all of you, whether we have met in the real world or not. Thank you.

    • Jen

      No, thank you. It felt like no one understood. And nothing made me more angry than when someone would ask how far along I was, then dismiss my grief because I was so newly pregnant. I only told a handful of very close people. It is a private grief because I don’t feel able to share it. Thank you thank you thank you for reminding me I am not alone. I hope you have found leave through Shari g this and helping others.

    • Carrie Baker Mazure

      I know that I don’t know you – in fact, I only stumbled upon this post via a google search on miscarriage themed art. But I feel compelled to let you know that I sincerely appreciate you sharing your story. I’ve lost all of my babies, and every single time is an entirely new kind of heartbreak. People keep telling me, “oh, you’re young, you’ve got plenty of time”, as though these babies didn’t really matter, and they were just a fluke. Every word you wrote is every feeling I’ve felt over the last year and a half and all four miscarriages. It’s so lonely. For me, it helped to name them. That way they could never be anything less than my beautiful children whose lives were simply very short – but unfathomably wonderful.

      So thank you. Thank you for the reminder that none of us are alone.

      • Carrie, thank you for sharing your story as well. I am so very sorry for all of your precious losses. No mother deserves to go through this unspeakable heartbreak. But it has been very comforting, for some unknown reason, to know that I am not alone in these emotions. Although, for all of the other mothers who have experienced it, I wish it weren’t so common! Xoxoxoxo

  8. Julia Britt

    Bonnie I am so sorry that you have to go through this pain. It is horrible! The worst pain ever. I know. I had several miscarriages before I had my babies. I wondered what was wrong with me. What did I do? I had a horrible experience with a Dr who told me I could only take Tylenol for the physical pain because I was still “pregnant” even though the baby wasn’t alive. One person told me to get over it and and not make a big deal about it. She had had a miscarriage and it wasn’t a big deal. It was to me! It was for years. Something I thought I’d never get over. It took a very long time, but I did get over it. And I am grateful for the children that I now have. My condolences to you…

    • Julia, it just keeps blowing me away….the people I’ve known forever but had no idea the loss they had experienced. I’m so sorry that you have been here too. You are always such an inspiration of strength for me and I’m so thankful to you for your words!

  9. Taylor Owen

    Wow I know how u feel especially because since I was 8 years old all I ever wanted was to be a mommy and that’s hard for people to understand or be ok with…. I mean it was hard for me to understand at times but that’s just how I always felt!!!
    I’m so happy that I have an amazing child now in my life but I will never forget the things I had to go through to get him!!
    Love u and love what u wrote !!!

    • Sweet Taylor, knowing you as a little girl I never dreamed that THIS would be a reason to have something powerful to share together. I love you like family even if we don’t see each other hardly at all anymore. You are in my heart all the time and I’m so happy for you to have your sweet boy that has made your parents the cutest, proudest grandparents ever. Thank you for reaching out to me. I love you dearly sweet girl!

  10. Jennifer jones

    I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going through. I’ve just ventured out of the world that is high school and have a few more steps to tread before I get to this point in my life but your words have moved me. Your words are real. They’re strong. I may not be in your second grade class anymore, but you continue to teach me. You continue awe me. I will be praying for you. Love you so much!

    • Oh my Jen Jen. How did my sweet 7 year old grow up to be such a wise, beautiful woman? Actually, I could have written that for your book when you were 7. You have always had a heart of pure gold and a spirit to match. You are going to do such amazing things with your life and you will continue to touch people in ways you haven’t even yet realized. It’s YOU who teaches me and keeps me in constant awe at your maturity and love for life. I can’t thank you enough for being you and being in my life for so many years!

  11. Beautiful words and beautiful art. I am so sorry for your loss.
    I have gone through a miscarriage recently, so I can understand much of what you’re feeling.
    Sending hugs to you and healing thoughts.

    • Thank you Carolyn for your healing thoughts and hugs. I can feel them for sure. I am sending them right back to you to help with your sad loss. I am so very sorry to know you have been here too. XOXOXO

  12. Robin

    Thank you for sharing these “brutiful” words. As Glennon Melton puts it – life is brutal and beautiful, often at the same time. I too have experienced the pain, and loss, of a much wanted baby. Not even my husband could understand my emotions and need to not just “get past it and move on”. I needed comfort so badly and yet wanted to be alone in my cave more than anything. Going through daily life while experiencing the pain of loss seems nearly impossible. My condolences to you, a hand to hold, a shoulder to lean on and a friend to sit in the silence with you are my prayers for you today.

    • Thank you for your words Robin. I love that quote and live by it. Life IS brutal and beautiful and the people who have reached out to me without even knowing me have really helped fuel the beautiful part and ease the brutal. Thank you for your friendship and encouragement. I truly needed it.

  13. Cheryl Beaumier

    You have touched my heart. This not only applies to miscarriage but infertility. When I experienced this loss, there were no blogs, no one to reach out to. Most of us suffer in silence. This is also touching my family now. We are keenly aware of pregnant women and constantly asking why not us. My family is loving and can provide while others don’t seem to care. It never goes away but there is a plan that we don’t understand and we cope, only time makes it better. Go through the process, take what you need from one, walk away from another. Just know you are loved.

    • Thank you so much for your love Cheryl. I know that this has been an issue in your life too and I had been thinking about you even before you reach out. It’s so true that having places to talk, forums, blogs that are only part of our lives recently are playing a truly important role in healing. THANK YOU for taking the time to reach out to me!

  14. Pingback: Loss Mom Interview Series: Bonnie O'Brien Al-Rifai - Angela Bickford

  15. Bonnie, your pictures and the rawness and honestly with which you wrote has left me without words. I cannot imagine the depth of your pain and emotion. I don’t know what to say expect thank you for sharing your experience – without butterflies and band-aids.

  16. Rachel Miller

    Hello I am new to this pregnant/miscarriage ordeal! I was suppose to be 9 weeks this week, but found out today (June 17, 2014) that my baby stopped growing. I totally understand how you feel!! I’m having a hard time dealing with this issue myself.

    • Oh Rachel, I’m so very sorry that you are going through this right now. There’s just nothing but time that can truly heal your heart. But what I found the most healing was letting myself truly feel every emotion that I needed to feel. If I needed to cry, I cried. If I needed silence, I found it. If I needed to talk, I found someone to talk to. Feel everything you NEED to feel so that you don’t ignore what you really need in your heart. XOXOXOXO

  17. AngMir

    I’m going through my 2nd missed miscarriage. This past Wednesday I went for my ultrasound @13 weeks only to find out our baby no longer had a heartbeat & stopped growing at 12weeks. My last miscarriage was at 20 weeks. We didn’t want to start telling people we were expecting until we were further along for fear of another loss. It’s hard to talk to friends & family about your loss because yes, sometimes they say the wrong things. This time around I feel numb, in denial, sometimes I just start to cry. I still have a lil one inside & waiting for the miscarriage to complete itself. I know when that day comes I won’t be able to control my emotions as I’ve been trying. Thank you for sharing your experience and feelings I believe it helps many of us, especially me, know that we’re not alone in feeling the way we do. Many times it’s hard for people to truly understand what we are going through because it’s something not many people talk about. I really haven’t heard the topic in the news or on tv. It’s very hush-hush so when it does happen we try to hide our feelings. I feel like I’ve failed, like I let my husband down like I let my babies down. I don’t know if there are really any right words to help ease the pain, I’m really sorry about your loss.

    • My heart just absolutely breaks for you, especially being so far along both times! I know too well that nothing can console you except for time, but I am sending you all of my positive healing thoughts. You’re definitely not alone!

  18. Thank you for blogging… I am a silent sufferer… this paragraph is me right now:

    I’m a phony. Every smile, every bright idea, every conversation that comes from me right now is from the necessity of having to continue functioning in society. I don’t want to. Not yet. I want to crawl in a hole and be alone and be angry at everyone who’s not in the hole with me and wish they’d leave if they try to join me and wish they’d come if they didn’t. I want to be rude and get away with it because I deserve to. I want to not want those things. I want to be selfish and I want to be weak and I want to be giving and I want to be strong. I want to be a hypocrite. No, I get to be one.

    • I am so sorry that you are going through this right now. It’s cruel and desperately unfair. I don’t know how it happens, but I can promise you that one day you will feel okay. It may hit you again in waves and someone else’s pregnancy joy may bring your pain flooding back unexpectedly, but the moment will come when you can feel like you again even if today isn’t even close to being that day. XOXOXOXO Thinking of you and wishing I could take the pain all away from you.

  19. Erin

    this is so true. I freaked at my husband when he happily announced the pregnancy of a friend 3 weeks after we lost ours. How could he do that to me I wondered? I was so angry, so helpless, so frustrated. I wanted to crawl out of my skin and just scream. I know life goes on but your pain is yours and I understand it. I had a happy ending and I believe you will too but until that time, it’s ok to feel your emotions and know that silently and spiritually so many women are standing next to you and holding your hand. We know!

  20. kristy

    Thanks so much for this post. I miscarried my first pregnancy in May of 2013 at almost 10 weeks. I have since been so blessed to have a healthy baby boy last September, but I’m still constantly upset by the way others react. It seems like people expect that now that I’ve had a child the miscarriage shouldn’t matter or I shouldn’t still grieve. Granted, having my son has helped ease my grief, but it will never be gone. I wish it was acceptable to speak about miscarriage, and I applaud you for doing so. Anytime I bring up my first pregnancy, people become uncomfortable and I feel like, as a society, we need to work on that. Maybe it would help some women to feel a little less alone.

    • Your comment really touches me. Right now I’m pregnant again and although I’m not really far enough along to feel entirely confident, I have made it further than before….and there has been a sense of guilt in my heart that exists and doesn’t exist, If that makes any sense. I feel like it puts me in a place where I’m supposed to feel like my three miscarriages shouldn’t matter anymore or that I don’t have the right anymore to feel the devastation. I don’t believe that to be true in my heart but that thought has crossed my mind more often than it should. Thank you for sharing your story. I DO hope our experiences can make other women feel less alone.

  21. Jennifer H.

    I had two miscarriages last year, April (a surprise pregnancy) and then again in December (a planned pregnancy.) Making three total in the last 7 years. Yours words were and still are my feelings. I still, all this time later am angry at the world, other pregnant women, for what I lost. Why me? I have two beautiful healthy little boys. I look at them and can’t imagine life without them. In the same thought, I think back to those babies I lost and wonder who were they? Who would they have become?
    I was angry and wanted to be left alone and at the same time wanted to scream with the mountain top, I’m losing my baby and no one seems to care! No I won’t be better next week or next month. It’s a year later and I still grieve. They were my babies. Early losses or not. My babies. In my womb. And I couldn’t protect and nature and nurish them.
    I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope you find comfort and peace, however it may come to you. I know my three precious tiny miracles are in Heaven, and one day, I’ll hold my babies again.

  22. Jennifer H.

    I had two miscarriages last year, April (a surprise pregnancy) and then again in December (a planned pregnancy.) Making three total in the last 7 years. Yours words were and still are my feelings. I still, all this time later am angry at the world, other pregnant women, for what I lost. Why me? I have two beautiful healthy little boys. I look at them and can’t imagine life without them. In the same thought, I think back to those babies I lost and wonder who were they? Who would they have become?I was angry and wanted to be left alone and at the same time wanted to scream from the mountain tops, I’m losing my baby and no one seems to care! No I won’t be better next week or next month. It’s a year later and I still grieve. They were my babies. Early losses or not. My babies. In my womb. And I couldn’t protect, nuture or nurish them. I failed. My body failed me. I failed my babies.
    I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope you find comfort and peace, however it may come to you. I know my three precious tiny miracles are in Heaven, and one day, I’ll hold my babies again.

  23. Jstrap

    Thank you for sharing your story. You said it so well. My first pregnancy ended with a miscarriage at 6 weeks. I was then blessed to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. And now just recently on New Year’s Day had my second miscarriage at 7 weeks.

    Only my husband knew about the pregnancy and here a week later I’ve only told one other friend. I was actually shopping with my mom when the miscarriage started. I didn’t even tell her. I just quietly sobbed in the mall bathroom.

    It’s so strange because on one hand you want people to know, to understand. But like you mention, people rarely say or do the right thing. And I really don’t want to see someone else’s pain. I want to selfishly keep all the pain and sadness to myself. I know if my mom knew, she would cry and worry and want to talk. I don’t want to worry over my mom who’s worrying over me.
    Thanks again for your words. It really helps.

  24. Laine

    My heart hurts for you mama! I had two miscrriages last year. I handled the second one fairly well but I was a mess for the first one. I got sent home early from work every day for two weeks because my bad attitude was enough to call it a “sick day.” I called in favors from friends like I never had before and I will be eternally grateful, and kind of guilty for it, for always. It’ll get better, and then probably worse again, but as it normally does, time will mute your pain even if it never fully goes away.

  25. Sarah

    Having been through three miscarriages I can relate. It is something that never leaves you. From the moment I found out I was pregnant I was already seeing visions of my baby . There are so many emotions to go through. I do treasure my children but I always think about the ones in between.

  26. Jay

    As far as genetics are, they count right? 1st, 2nd, 3rd..and so forth. Raise in orderly form, right? Oldest middle child, youngest.. whenconsidering how to raise our children. Just curious. Thoughts please?

  27. I think that being able to share our thoughts gives us a voice. I grieved for years over my miscaaiage because no one wanted to talk about it or hear my thoughts. Being silenced in those days was another type of suffering from this heartbreaking event.

  28. Pingback: The Best Things I Saw All Week | Black Panty Salvation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: