Heart of a Mother, Body of A Killer

Warning – this post is comprised of raw emotion. It’s harsh and it’s blunt. I decided to share this as it is a true reflection of some of the emotions I have had in the last few weeks, and I did not want to hide some of my hardest thoughts just because they aren’t pretty. Please know that I am okay, I am still searching for happiness each and every day, and there is no need to worry.

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We’ve had 5 pregnancies, each one ending in the death of our baby.

I have done everything, every single thing that an expectant mother should do. For over 2 years, I lived in the healthy pregnancy bubble. I did every single thing correctly. I did every single thing that was recommended to us by our family doctor, our reproductive endocrinologist, and our psychologist. Even though I was slow to do some of the recommended thing (i.e. resign from a high stress job), I still did eventually. You name it, we did it if it could help us create a healthy, living baby.

I did all of this, because I loved our children more than anything I the world. I loved every single thing about our children before they were even conceived, I loved every single thing about our little ones as they tried to grow, I loved every single thing that there futures entailed. I was simply full of love for each one of them, and for each one of their futures.

My job as their mother was rather simple, and I was determined to give them the best possible start at life. I would have done anything for each one of my babies.

And, as it turns out while my heart and my mind were in the right place, my body was doing everything it could to kill our babies starting the before they were even conceived.

I always thought having the heart of a mother was all that mattered when it came to having children. It turns out, I was sadly mistaken. It turns out you also need to have a body that wants to create and sustain life, and more specifically a uterus that isn’t determined to take life away.

Everything changed for me the day I found out that my body is killing our babies.  I had a strong realization that my uterus is where babies go to die.  On some level we had begun to suspect this, but to actually hear the diagnoses and to learn the trust was soul crushing in many ways.  It still feels like a foreign concept because this just isn’t how life is supposed to work.

With very expensive medical intervention (upwards of $100,000) we can try to trick my body into cooperating and sustaining life rather than taking it away. The key word here is try. All the treatments in the world will not guarantee a different outcome, they will only likely increase our chances of a successful outcome.  For us, there are no guarantees that our baby will live long enough to take its first breath.

Now that we know, honestly, how can I even imagine trying again? When all I want is to, all I have ever tried to do in my entire life, is to help others. I have lived my life by the guiding principles of do unto others as you would have them do unto you; there is good in everyone; love thy neighbour and help others in need. And yet, when tasked with the most important thing imaginable, carrying and caring for our unborn children, my body was busy destroying them and removing all hope that they could ever survive.

So, how in the world, even with medical intervention, could I ever try again, knowing that the odds will be against our baby? Knowing that no matter what I do, my body will be working to kill our baby. Knowing that from the very beginning, their chances of survival are slim. Knowing, that if I am tasked to carry them, they will die. Knowing that their entire life will be a life of struggle just to live another day.

How can I possibly do this to an unborn child?

We know better now, after 5 lost babies, that my body is killing them, slowly but surely.

I cannot go forward with creating another life that is doomed from the start. This is so horribly cruel to do to a child – start a life knowing that its chances of survival are slim is something I know I cannot emotionally survive.

To know that our child’s only existence will be that of suffering as it struggles to live. This is simply not something I can do in good conscience. And, honestly, I don’t know that I would survive another loss knowing what we know today.

For me, it was one thing to try again when we didn’t know the reason, when we did not know for certain that my body is that of a killer. I won’t blame myself for the 5 deaths, because while it was my body, it was beyond my control and my heart and my brain wanted them alive more then anything else in the world.

But now, to try again knowing what we know, everything has changed. Now I feel like it would be negligent and cruel of us to do this to another baby.

I guess this is my new burden of knowledge.

 If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please return to myperfectbreakdown.com to follow my journey.

70 Comments on “Heart of a Mother, Body of A Killer

  1. I am so sorry you’re dealing with this. I’ve lost 2 babies, and just can’t imagine the thought of losing 3 more then finding this out. I’m just so sorry for you, this sucks so bad. Thinking of you guys in the upcoming weeks/months/years….you’ve got a tough road ahead…but I hope that you are able to be a mother not too long from now.

    Like

  2. Please don’t feel bad for sharing these thoughts, you’re trying to deal with a bloody difficult reality in the best way that you can. Maybe surrogacy might be an option to look at – I’m not sure how this works in your part of the world. But don’t feel bad about not wanting to try again, it’s a personal decision between you and your partner, you have to do what’s best for you for the sake of your health, future and your relationship. I just hope you can find the best option for yourselves so you can find happiness xxx

    Like

    • Thank you so much! Surrogacy may be an option, but is logistically a challenge for us to do locally as you cannot pay someone to be a surrogate/gestational carrier in Canada. So, we’d likely have to do so internationally, which comes along with a lot of hurdles and costs. I’m feeling a bit too beaten down right now to go there, but maybe eventually.
      For now we are leaning towards adoption, but again, who knows, we may change our minds. The one thing I am pretty confident about is that we will eventually find the best option for us, even if it takes us a little while to get there.
      Thank you again.

      Like

  3. This is so good. Although hard to read because it just makes me want to give you a big hug and hold you for a while, it portrays the thought process that actually happen inside our heads. Thank you for not filtering what you think and feel, it’s impactful! XOX

    Like

    • Thank you for the encouragement and the support. I decided to share it because honestly, not everyday is happy and not everything is easy. I would be lying to myself and anyone who reads this if I were not honest.
      Thank you again.

      Like

  4. I can’t imagine how hard this must be for you. We’ve (DW and I) felt the body betrayal three times, and that was enough for us to seriously consider not trying anymore, even without a diagnosis. It has been a long, physically and emotionally challenging, and financially draining road for you and Mr. MPB. It has turned your life upside down, and essentially pressed pause on so many aspects of your life while the world keeps going on around you. It is an awful feeling being left behind, especially when you may feel like you have nothing to show for it. I am sure that there is some silver lining here, but in this moment, I think it would feel dismissive to all of the legitimate feelings you are experiencing right now. Your grieving needs to happen, and I am right here, holding your hand, and I will send you light when you’re ready.

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    • Reading this just brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for your compassion, understanding and love.
      You are so incredibly right when you say that “It has turned your life upside down, and essentially pressed pause on so many aspects of your life while the world keeps going on around you.” It is a very hard way to live and quire frankly I’m getting really sick of it!
      I do hope you are right about the silver lining, and on some level deep down I know you are right. I know we will find it eventually, it just may take some time to find it.
      Thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Honestly.. I don’t even know what to say, but I also know sometimes words aren’t needed. So I’m sending you big hugs. Big, big hugs and lots of strength. Life is so cruel sometimes..

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  6. All I can do is send you lots of love and hugs. And pray…I am praying for you to eventually find some peace in this and for lots of strength as you come to terms with it all.

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  7. This post just breaks my heart. 😦 I wish I could offer up ideas and options that no one else had suggested before and give you back some hope. Would you ever consider a gestational carrier?

    Like

    • Thank you Samantha! I am just so grateful for your continued support and care.
      We’ve thought about gestational carrier, there are lots of obstacles to it in Canada, as you are not allowed to pay someone here. So you have to find someone who is motivated out of love (not $) or go internationally where people are motivated out of $. Right now, we are leaning towards adoption, but aren’t committed to anything just yet.
      Thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It seems like so much of infertility is unknown and we think a reason will make us feel better. How unfair to get such a hurtful answer. I’m sorry that you’re going through this.

    Like

    • You are so right, all we wanted was an explanation and now the explanation has caused so much more emotions. Yet, I have to remember that at least by having our answer and knowing that we will not try again, we are now able to fully embrace a different route to becoming parents. And this is a good outcome – it’s not all bad. Thank you for reminding me about that.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. My heart truly breaks for not only your losses but for you distrust in your body. I can tell you I too would have the same emotions if I were wearing your shoes. Do not feel ashamed for sharing brutal honesty of your emotions. Doing so is healthy and healing in the end. Much love going your way lady. Xo

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  10. I have not been in your situation, but from the outside looking in, I think id feel the same way. Before knowing this, I’m sure it felt right to “just keep trying,” hoping the next one would be it. But now you know that the next one very likely may not be it, and though small, those babies ARE babies that you just don’t want to lose.

    I’m sending you a big hug. Without being able to fully “get it,” I do sort of get it.

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    • Thank you so much for reflecting on this and trying to understand! If only more people could try to relate, and share such wonderful heartfelt thoughts – the world would be a better place with more people like you.
      Thank you again!

      Like

  11. It is not cruel or negligent and there are many who wrongly disagree with dr b – I’m a believer but I also believe there are inexpensive ways to cure – low dose steroids, blood thinners and intrallipids. Is there anyone you can talk to about this? To help? You’ve had a great amount of info in a small time . It’s difficult to process x

    Like

    • While you are right, low dose steroids, blood thinners, intrallipids all may help, right now Mr. MPB and I cannot imagine trying again without the full treatment plan which will likely include everything you mentioned plus surgery and IVIG. That said, I’m not even sure I’d be willing to try with the full treatment plan – I’m kind of just paralyzed by the fear of loosing another child right now with our new information. With time, I may be more willing to, but not right now. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but hopefully you can understand what I mean.
      And you are absolutely right about a lot of info in a small time and lots to process and deal with – I have an awesome counsellor and she’s been great to talk with. Anyways, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I always appreciate it.

      Like

  12. I didn’t want to click the “like” button. I have been thinking about it since you posted this. I don’t “like” any of what you are going through. I clicked it anyway, because your heartfelt honesty is so needed by so many women that feel the same or similar and need to know they aren’t alone. Thank you for sharing. Hugs to you and the man in your life. I wish there were words that could make any of it better.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I would say that killing is a pretty strong word — perhaps too strong and not rightly used. More accurately I would say that your body didn’t SUSTAIN the pregnancies and lived by the preprogrammed genetic message to protect you from foreign invaders — like a pregnancy. I wouldn’t call your body a killer, but rather a habitat of incomplete resources to sustain a space invader — a pregnancy, if you will. Your body actually went into overdrive to protect you, reading its inherit genetic data map and followed the recipe to the dismay of your emotional heart and rational brain. Your body is not a killer, but perhaps an overzealous life sustainer of YOU!

    Using the word killing will only dredge up guilt and shame … when your body is only doing its job with the instructions it was given — even before YOU were born. The guilt will make you feel like your attempts at conception and childbearing were futile and cruel, while the shame will make you feel like YOU are futile and cruel … nothing could be further from the truth … your body simply is. Your body has no malicious intentions like that of killers. And those women whose bodies who bring them a cornucopia of bountiful healthy children don’t have bodies that are saintly, loving or extra-special … they merely have bodies with different programming.

    The body is neutral and does a job from instructions it received as a zygote … long before your brain obtained memory and ability to blame, assign guilt and judge.

    Nonetheless, I am sorry you are feeling the way you are. I’m sorry that your heart hurts and you feel a heavy burden of living with a body that doesn’t function in the way your mind thinks it should … it’s a painful place to live when you bounce around in a triad of overwhelming negative thoughts, emotional grief while knowing your body is dysfunctional in comparison to others without such issues.

    What would you be like without the thought, “My body is a killer”?

    I send you hugs all the way up to Canada … and some peace … even if only for a moment.


    Elizabetcetera

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    • First, thanks for such an amazing comment!
      Second, I know exactly what you mean on a rational level, which is where I function 98% of the time – thankfully! I actually like your choice of words that my body is unable to “sustain the pregnancies”. When the rational mind is in charge, this is the perfect terminology. When the irrational/emotion side is in control, its hard to see things that way.
      In fact, a lot of what you said here, is part of why I wasn’t going to share this post at all, and in fact why Mr. MPB is not a huge fan of this post. The “killing” perspective is a very dark way to look at the situation. It is a very cruel way in fact, and thinking this way will bring along feelings of shame and guilt, which are not healthy at all – there is simply too much unnecessary baggage attached to the word killer.
      And you make a very good distinction when you discuss malicious intent, there is no malicious intent when you think about it and you think through the perspective that you shared that my body is simply doing what it was designed to do – protect me. This is absolutely a much healthier perspective then focusing on the negative things my body is doing.
      Anyways, thank you! Thank you so much for acknowledging the other side of the immune perspective and for your critical thoughts on my use of the word killer.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think you have to explore the dark side … it can help you see the light. This post is a healthy exploration of what someone CAN feel at their darkest moment … and when you write a post like this others feel free to express themselves and their similar thoughts so you know you’re not alone in the dark.

        There can be guilt & shame just having these thoughts, but when you put them out there for others to see you can get support, different ideas presented and even be challenged in your thinking. So, don’t worry about “going there” … we all do at some point and many of us don’t have a blog or other sounding board to put these thoughts out to others in some organized way so the thoughts stay trapped in our mind and fester.

        Trust me, I’ve had my share of self-destructive thoughts and its only when I’ve been able to explore them out loud with another / others that I can truly begin to tackle those thoughts … otherwise they stay locked in my brain and visit periodically instead of being faced head on and often laid to rest — not buried — not repressed — not denied — but really put to rest because the thoughts aren’t as ugly and lively as when I first thought them.

        I was afraid you’d see my comment as dismissive of how you’re feeling and I’m glad it didn’t turn out that way!

        Like

      • I absolutely did not see your first comment as dismissive of the hard/dark emotions – you echoed a lot of my husband’s thoughts on this post.
        And, I completely agree that “going there” is so critical to moving towards a much healthier mindset. The key is going there and then moving out of it, and not getting stuck in these types of thoughts. I think that’s where things can take a very ugly turn for the worst if I am unable to pull myself back to the healthier perspective.
        Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and your process. I think, as you said, sharing all of this is just so important because it will likely help someone else to see that these types of thoughts do occur and there are healthy ways to deal with them in a healthy way.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh hon, my heart goes out to you. I wish so much that there was more that I could do to help you during this time. I can feel your pain in your words and wish so badly that I could take it away. I don’t blame you for not wanting to try again, but still praying you will have your take home baby one way or another. You are an amazing mother and your 5 angels know it. They know you did everything you could for them and I am certain they feel your love. Sending you so much love and a huge hug ❤

    Like

    • Thank you so much for your love and compassion! You are so right, we did everything we possibly could for our 5 little ones, and that is something I will always cherish and take comfort in.

      Like

  15. Thank you for being so raw and honest. I don’t have any words but I don’t think it is words that you need. Just know that I am here for you and I’m praying for you to have peace, wisdom, strength and hope to keep finding the answers to fill your puzzle. Love ya sugars and I’m in awe of you and the trails you have already endured. xo

    Like

    • Thank you so much Elisha! Peace, wisdom, strength and hope all sound wonderful and something we could definitely use a bit more of in our lives right now to help us fill in the missing puzzle pieces.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi,
    I’m so very sorry you are going through this. As someone who has a very similar diagnosis to yours (except for the endometriosis) and who has been there I want to offer you my story and perspective in the hope that it might help somewhat.

    I had a missed miscarriage at 8 weeks early this year. We were heartbroken but ready to ttc again after waiting 2 cycles. By some stroke of luck and unrelated turn of events (I call it luck inspite of the diagnosis because without those events we would have had more miscarriages before looking for answers), first I got diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism. I was asked to wait for thyroid levels to get to normal before TTC. Then something else led to a diagnosis of autoimmune blood clotting disorder (antiphosolipid antibodies). At this point my primary dr said since I have 2 autoimmune conditions I might have other immune conditions and so see an RE that can create a treatment plan before Ttc. So off to RE i went and bunch of tests later got the diagnosis that my elevated Antibodies are/will attack fetus treating it as foreign and my blood clotting disorder is not allowing blood flow to baby causing IUGR and restriction of nutrients to baby. Oh and also low progestrone
    My RE said ideally I would need steroids, IVIG and Intralipids for immune issues, lovenox/heparin and baby aspirin for blood clotting, progestrone supplements and thyroid medication. But (these were her exact words), “there are so many things wrong with you that I think by fixing a few things and tweaking it should be enough”. She specifically said full treatment would not be a good idea (yet) coz there are pros and cons with adding too much.
    So she put me on the following treatment plan..
    -monitored cycle and timed intercourse (with ultrasounds and hormone bloodwork on day 3,10,12, 25..followed by trigger shot for ovulation if every thing looked good n ready for ovulation on day 12)
    – progestrone 200 mg suppositories twice a day 3dpo onwards and thrice a day after BFP till 10 weeks
    – lovenox shot once a day from 0dpo and twice a day from BFP through week 36
    – baby aspirin from cycle day 3 throughout pregnancy
    – low dose steroid from cycle day 3 till BFP (stopping steroids after bfp because risk of cleft palate etc with baby). Begin Intralipids infusion monthly (or as needed) after BFP
    – continue synthroid for hypothyroidism

    Ofcourse RE would monitor closely post BFP and change the steroids, intralipids, lovenox etc as needed if the baby was not growing appropriately.
    So far she didn’t change anything on the original plan and I’m currently 11 weeks, baby is measuring great and just saw it move like crazy couple of days ago which was the sweetest thing.

    When we first got the diagnosis my husband and I were so overwhelmed. I felt just like u and was devastated that my own body attacked and ‘killed’ our first baby. But eventually I figured I just have a medical condition/s that made my antibodies attack me in the first place (thyroid, clots, etc) and the baby by extension. Just like someone with diabetes , heart disease or any other condition that puts themselves (and baby if pregnant) at risk. And with treatment I had same chance of healthy pregnancy like anyone with medical conditions and honestly there are far worse medical conditions. Hell even a miscarriage caused by chromosomal abnormalities is Bcoz ur own chromosomes (or hubbys) did not combine properly within your own body, so would u blame ur body for that. Our body has to do a million things right and a million things have to fall into place for a baby to be born. And some of us need help with some of the million things.

    And all this does not take away from the fact that I’m totally overwhelmed by the treatment im going through and I’m a complete nervous wreck with this pregnancy. I realize this is a high risk pregnancy and I/baby are not out of the woods till its safely in my arms. I’m also full of love and hope and pray that this continues to work for us. I tell my baby evryday to hang in there and fight momma’s stupid antibodies and so far we have a fighter.

    I totally understand where you are coming from and having been there. know that all your emotions and thoughts are totally justified. Just wanted to offer you my story and perspective. I wish you the very best and wish your dreams come true with whatever path you choose to take. Take care!

    -N

    Like

    • I am so excited for you that you are 11 weeks along, and everything is going so well!!
      Thank you so much for sharing your diagnosis, and treatment plan. I think it is amazing that you have been able to process everything and be willing to try again. And while I agree, on a completely rational level that my body is not “killing” so much as using its natural responses to protect me due to a medical condition. I think your analogy of untreated immune issues being similar to untreated diabetes in pregnancy is a very good one. And this perspective is absolutely true and such a such a healthy way to look at our medical situation from the emotional standpoint.
      Thank you so much for sharing all of this with me. I am absolutely touched and thankful to know that I am not alone in all of this and just how overwhelming it can receive our diagnosis.

      Like

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