Knowing My Body Has Killed Our Children

I have written before about my personal interpretation of shame and blame regarding our recurrent pregnancy losses (5 consecutive miscarriages).  At the time, we did know have an explanation for our losses, rather we were told that we should keep trying and eventually it will just work.

Today, we know more.  We are no longer within the category of unexplained RPL.

Wish answers, blame and shame could easily enter into the equation.

Today I know, without a doubt, that my body has successfully quietly killed each one of our children.  With a deadly combination of low blood flow (i.e. lack of oxygen getting to the fetus), likely low progesterone levels, and over active internal immunological response fighting the placenta and fetus as a foreign entity, and an improper lining causing implantation issues, our children really had no chance, With babies and 1 and 5, my body never even gave them a chance.  With pregnancies 2, 3, and 4, my body took its sweet time to end the life of our children.  Essentially, these 3 babies tried so hard to live, they achieved heart rates, they held on for dear life.  They fought.  I fought with them.  My husband fought with us.  In the end, we all lost the battle.

So, knowing that my body is to reason we have lost our children, and likely will not try again, is an interesting perspective to have.  I know many infertile couples already have this type of knowledge, and deal with accepting the circumstances.  But for us, this is new and uncharted territory.

I found it really easy not to feel shame and/or blame when we were classified as unexplained.  When we had no cause, it was impossible for me to assign blame or shame.

Today, with the knowledge we have gained in the last few weeks, I can assert that I still don’t feel shame for our situation.  Even though society doesn’t want to hear about miscarriage, and most people do not want to and/or do not know how to support couples experiencing the loss of a child during pregnancy, my relationship with shame will not change with this new information.  Simply put, I am not shameful and I will not allow societal pressures to force me into this type of a feeling.  It is not healthy, and I just don’t subscribe to this emotional perspective.

So, what about blame?  This one is a bit more complicated now that I know with certainty that my body is the problem.

While, my body is the problem, my mind and spirit are not.  And, I see a clear distinction here, a very big distinction as I cannot control my body’s internal mechanisms, but I can control my mind and our approach to each pregnancy.  I did every single thing imaginable to provide each one our children with a healthy and safe home in my uterus.  I fully lived within the pregnancy bubble – eating healthy, sleeping well, reducing my stressful work life (and eventually eliminating it all together), going to counselling to try to have a healthy mental state, avoiding strenuous activities, eliminating alcohol and not touching crack/cocaine.  I filled my heart with love for each one of our children.  I did everything right, and by all normal measures, I could not have done anything more to support and care for each one of our babies.  So, I guess, what all of this boils down to is that while this is my body’s fault, I do not blame myself as the intent was never to harm our children, in fact with every bit of my being, the intent was the exact opposite.  And, I really just cannot blame myself for something outside of my control.

I said months ago when we were unaware of the cause of our losses, “even if there was a problem with the eggs, or sperm or uterus, I still wouldn’t see this is our fault. Neither of us are willfully causing this situation by anything we are doing or have done.”  I still hold this to be true.  At the end of the day, this is not something we knowingly did – we were given bad medical advice.  We trusted.  We thought our RE had done his homework and his research.  We got burned.  I cannot and will not blame my husband or I for doing what we thought was right based on the information we had from the “experts.”

That said, if I am completely honest, I have to admit that I do feel blame.  I feel an immense amount of blame (and anger) towards the medical system within my province and our local RE who kept assuring us that there was no reason for our RPL.  Had our local RE had done a better job of looking for answers a year ago when we were first referred to them, we would not have had a 4th and 5th loss.  I say this confidently because quite frankly, who in their right mind would keep trying knowing that everything possible that can conspire to kill a fetus, will?  I don’t think our RE did this maliciously, but I do think his ego wouldn’t allow him to admit he is not an expert in RPL, rather he is an expert in making babies through IVF.  Further, I think if our medical system afforded the used the best possible technology, required doctors to do their homework and read the most recent literature and data, and doctors were afforded the time to pay attention to patients, we would have learned the truth a year ago.  Instead, we forked out a bunch of money (which thankfully we could afford), travel out of country to a world-renowned expert in the USA, and learned our truth in a matter of one appointment using proper (and readily available) technology, and speaking with someone who is a leading expert in our situation.  Today, if I could go back in time, I just wish our local RE had put his ego aside and admitted he does not have the expertise and time to properly help us, and that the medical system here was not going to lead us to the cause.  I can only imagine how much heart ache we could have prevented.

So what does all this mean to me today?  Right now, I do not blame myself, but I do feel more sorrow and melancholy then anything.  I feel bad for myself that I have been dealt this hand.  Even more so, I feel bad for my husband that he has been dealt this hand – he would make an amazing parent (a better parent then me any day).  Most of all, I feel bad for our babies.  I feel bad that we created them with the absolute best of intentions, just so that they could die.  Due to my bad genetics, this isn’t fair to any of us.  It isn’t fair that we have endured the hell of losing 5 babies, to only now learn the reason.  Mostly it was never fair to our children.  I am sad for us, and I am sad for anyone else who is in a similar situation.  My heart aches, my soul is broken, and today I am left trying to pickup the pieces and move forward to build a different type of family (what that means, I have no idea today but I’m sure we will get there eventually).

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52 Comments on “Knowing My Body Has Killed Our Children

  1. I’m so sorry to read this. We’ve lost three babies in a row and are now going down the immune and blood clotting testing routes, as I fear that something may be wrong there. I wish I could say something to comfort you, but I understand the pain of your losses and I only hope that you can find comfort and move forward somehow. I’m so sorry xx

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    • Thank you so much for your compassion and support. I too am sorry for your devastating losses, and wish you the absolute best as you move forward. I am so happy to hear you are having the immune testing done right away, I do hope it brings you answers that you can overcome.

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  2. This is so unfair and I am sorry that you have suffered through so much. You finally have answers – but I wish they were better answers – answers that could be fixed or solved. Sending you so many hugs.

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  3. It was tough for me reading this because I so badly just want to fix it all for you but I can’t. I do want to say that I am so thankful that you don’t place blame or shame on yourself. Honestly, that blame and shame rests solely on the devil. John 10:10 says that he is nothing but a thief and comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I understand your hesitation to try on your own naturally again as for fear of losing another life, but I am praying for your healing. I don’t believe this is how you were meant to live your life—unable to carry children to full term. I’m praying against everything the devil has done or is doing to cause RPL. Love ya sugars! xo

    waitingforbabybird.com

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    • I too so badly want to fix it, but I am aware that spending $100,000+ just isn’t practical. And you are right, the knowledge that another miscarriage will most likely occur without the medical intervention just results in a lot of fear, that is likely insurmountable. So, now we really do have to start looking at new options. I am pretty confident that it will work out eventually.
      Thank you for your love!

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  4. You’re breaking my heart right now. I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. Whatever manner of family building you choose as you go forward, you WILL be a mother.

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    • Thank you so much for this reassurance about our future family. I think I’m starting to, for the first time in a few weeks, I am seeing that all our bad news is not the end of the world. We do have options available to us, we just have to figure out what we are going to do next. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry that finally having answers leads to pain. I’m glad you aren’t blaming yourself though, and I think the way you are choosing to look at things is a healthy one. Hope you find your peace soon, and are able to sort through your new options to figure out the best route for yourselves.

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    • Nope, no blaming myself here – it just doesn’t make sense to me. I guess this is on of the situations where my extreme pragmatism really does help.
      Thank you so much for your hope and kind words! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am so Thankful that you are not blaming yourself in all of this. I am so sorry that you have been dealt this hand. It just plain sucks! You will BOTH be amazing parents (although I understand what you mean because I say the same thing about J all the time) if you choose to go forward with adoption or find a way to get the meds that you would need to try again. Prayers, hugs and lots of love being sent your way!

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    • We still really don’t have any good ideas of what we are going to do next, and I know we will eventually get there, but I do feel that it will take a small miracle for me to be willing to try again, so it is likely we will be moving forward looking at other options more seriously.
      Thank you so much for your understanding and support. I am so incredibly grateful!

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  7. I am so sorry you have to go through this! We have had a similar experience with our RE. Seems as though they specialize in getting people pregnant, not keeping them there. Ours also suggested that the only thing we could do other than to keep trying was to try Clomid. … I was so angry and disappointed with this kind if infertility blanket response. We did not take his suggestion and haven’t been back for almost a year. I wish you the best of luck in overcoming whatever guilt you may feel and building the family that you deserve!

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    • You are so right – our RE’s position that we have to start on Clomid is one of the things that made us really start to question his approach to RPL – it just doesn’t make any sense, or at least none that we can see. And Dr. B completely reinforced our perspective. I suspect we will be just like you, and we will choose not to continue with him as our doctor – there is just no point.
      Thank you for your understanding. 🙂

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  8. Thank you for sharing these deeply personal feelings and vulnerabilities. You’re right, we need to stomp on the pressure to hide our miscarriages, losses, and infertility struggles. It’s good for people to know and it’s good to not keep it in and let it turn into shame.

    As for the REs and their egos. Don’t get me started!

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    • You are right, it really is so important for people to know about miscarriage and it’s effects. It is a devastating experience to lose a child, and it is also a very lonely and isolating experience when people are unwilling or unable to talk about it and support one and other going through it. I think it is a very sad reflection of our modern day society.
      And yes, as for REs and their egos, it’s probably a good conversation to avoid if we want to keep our blood pressures within healthy ranges! 🙂

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  9. Playing the blame/shame game is soo incredibly difficult. Especially when you cross over to “explained RPL”. It’s a tough pill to swallow and navigate through. I’m thankful to hear that you haven’t placed blame and shame onto yourself. That you can stand in confidence that you did everything you could to provide the best for your babes. I am so sad with you about the hand that you’ve been dealt. Grieve, mourn, do what needs to be done, and feel what needs to be felt (and deeply) to keep moving forward in the right direction of your future family planning. Sooo many hugs. XO

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    • “Grieve, mourn, do what needs to be done, and feel what needs to be felt (and deeply) to keep moving forward in the right direction of your future family planning” – this is such a beautiful comment. Thank you so much for your love and your support!

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  10. I am sending love and healing and clarity with this news, for me it would be difficult finally having the answer and it being the answer that it is. I love you, I am so sorry and I am thinking of you guys!

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  11. Oh hon, I wish I could climb through my computer right now and give you the biggest hug ever. I HATE that you are going through this. I am relieved for you that you finally have answers, but wish so much that the solutions were more attainable. It’s beyond unfair. I am so glad you recognize that none of this is your fault and you should absolutely not feel any shame or blame. You did everything you could for your babies and I have no doubt that they know that. I am beyond angry with your RE too. There is no place for egos when dealing with RPL, and he should have admitted that he didn’t have all the answers. Shame on him!

    Sending you love and light. I am still so hopeful you will have the family you want one day. You and your husband are already amazing parents. Huge hug hon ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your last comment brought a tear to my eye – “You and your husband are already amazing parents.” Thank you for acknowledging our babies and for making me reflect! Thank you so much for your continued love and support!
      As for my RE’s ego and borderline negligence, for the sake of my blood pressure, I wont comment more on him right now. 🙂
      I hope you are doing well!

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  12. Sometimes answers just make it more sucky, but in the it’s better to know. Armed with knowledge, you can move forward. Take time, figure out a next step. You’ll make a new plan! Prayers for you!

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  13. I agree with My Hope Jar – you and Mr. MPB are already loving parents. Little comfort that is today but I hope someday it resonates and helps heal your broken heart and aching soul. You both have my love and support, always, and especially as you navigate through the coming weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This just breaks my heart. I know that some immunological factors can be “treated” but is there anything they can do to increase blood flow to your uterus

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    • We expect that the treatments for immunological factors will be too expensive for us ($100,000 +). As for the blood flow, we believe the best treatment available is heparin and surgery. So for now, we will wait for all the treatment plan that Dr. B develops, and go from there.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. My heart aches for you as well. It is so unfair that you have been dealt this hand. It is so frustrating that our medical system is subpar in so many ways, and that you and your hubby had to endure all of this pain. I am sad for you to have been touched by, but eventually lose your embabies. I just know they are watching over you right now, with love, so much love.

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    • In both of our circumstances, you are so right about our medical system – it is unacceptable and so unfortunate to say the least.
      Thank you so much for your support and love!

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  16. I am so sorry that you are going through this. It’s good to have answers, but not so good when you feel like it puts you even further away from what you want. It’s stupid and unfair. And you are right, there is no reason for you to feel shame OR blame. You know that if you could have changed things and made them work out you would have.
    Sending you strength and hugs.

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    • I love your choice of words – “stupid and unfair.” I think that sums it up perfectly!
      Thank you so much for your continued support and love! I am so unbelievably grateful. Thank you.

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  17. Do you mind telling me what tests they did to diagnose this? Is there a medical term for this? I’m sorry for you but I am happy you have an answer. I know that there must be a weight lifted in that 😦 I’m five in and still searching for my answer.

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    • A few of us had a very similar conversation on someone’s blog recently – http://mamaetmaman.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/my-res-immune-testing/. There is a lot of information on testing in her comments section. And, you can check out the specific blood tests that Dr. B did on us – they are listed on his website here -http://www.preventmiscarriage.com/Our-Diagnostic-Testing-Panel.aspx.
      For my husband and I, I know we need to know the cause so that we can move on in some way, shape of form. So, yes there is part of me that is thankful we are at least getting to the answers, even if we cannot afford the solutions.
      I do hope you find your answers as well. How are you and your husband doing with everything? I know it’s been a tough time for you guys lately too.

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  18. I have never wanted to hug another person more. I’m so sorry that you are going through this. At the same time, I’m so relieved you aren’t blaming yourself. This life is hard enough. Never underestimate the power of kindness– including being kind to yourself.

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    • Thank you so much for your kind words. And, I think you are right – life is hard enough, there is no point of carrying the extra baggage of blaming myself. Thankfully I am pragmatic enough to see this. 🙂

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  19. I am so sorry you went through this, but I am so glad you have answers. At least know I believe, you two are still meant to be parents. There may be a very special someone or way out there that is your destiny, you will find it. I have faith. Take time to heal and I know a new path will find its way to you. ❤ Sending prayers!

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  20. I know I seem to comment on your posts all at once, but I usually read them when I’m in the car or on the run and I finally have a moment to comment. I feel like I need to frame, “even if there was a problem with the eggs, or sperm or uterus, I still wouldn’t see this is our fault. Neither of us are willfully causing this situation by anything we are doing or have done.” Blame in this is sometimes so easy to do. It’s just so hard sometimes. All of this is just so unfair, but it’s important to recognize you did everything you could.

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    • Thanks so much for your thoughts! I do the same thing – read on my phone usually in my car, and every time I comment on my phone it is full of typos, so I absolutely get it. 🙂
      And you are so right about blame – everything about it is hard. And most of all, it is all just so unfair.

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