The Accident of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

As I mentioned the other day at my most recent appointment with my counsellor we had an amazing conversation.  In many ways, it was life alternating with at least one pretty big realization about the long term impacts of The Accident on how I have processed any accident/mistake that I’ve made since then (you can read that post here).

She specifically instructed me to ask myself two questions whenever I have an accident/make a mistake:

  1. Is someone going to die because of this?
  2. Can I forgive myself?

Since then, something has continued to bounce around in my mind:

My bodies accidents/mistakes did kill.  In fact my body killed 5 times.  And we know it was my body, we have medical fact that tells us that my body cause our children to die.  And in one circumstance we chose to abort/terminate our child due to medical necessity.  And we know that in all likelihood our children, with their healthy genetic make-up, would have lived if they were in another women’s womb.  They simply had no chance with me.

I realize rationally that this was not a conscious choice on my behalf, I did not for a second want to have any of our children die.  In fact, I wanted nothing more then to have them to live and take their first breaths.

But, I also realize no mistake I have ever made has been a conscious mistake.   So, in some ways they are the same.  Kind of.

So, how do I process this?  How do I work through both of these questions in relation to our losses?  It’s simple and yet it’s so incredibly complicated all at the same time

  1. Is someone going to die because of this?  Well yes, in fact 5 lives were lost.

This is the only time in my life that I can answer yes to the first question.  And never, did I ever expect to be able to say yes that something I did will cause death.  But in these 5 circumstances, yes, my mistakes (as the result of my genetics) did kill.  Something i never thought I’d ever say.  And yet, it’s become easy enough to say because it’s my reality.  Yet how the heck does one process that and live with that?!  How does someone who has only ever dedicated their life to positivity accept this?

So, onto question 2.

2. Can I forgive myself? I don’t know.  Some days I think I have.  Other days I know I haven’t.  Most days I think I never will.

How do I even start to forgive myself for my body’s mistakes?   I try to look at it rationally and say that my body has a disease that I was born with, just like someone a heart murmur.  But, I also realize my disease resulted in five lost lives that could be living today if it weren’t for this mistake in my genetics.  I’m yet to hear of another disease that results in the loss of life to others.  I really don’t know how to rationalize this and how to be okay with it.

I know part of my acceptance of this is the fact that we stopped trying the second we knew the cause and our inability to fix it.  For me, the only step I could take to ensure my body didn’t make another mistake was to prevent my body from ever having the opportunity to again.  Done, IUD in.  Adoption happening.

But, I know answering question 2 is a lot deeper then that.  And I’m honestly not sure how to even begin to answer it.  The emotional consequences of this are undoubtedly going to last my lifetime.  Of that, I have no doubt.  But, what I don’t know is if I’ll ever be able to say with confidence that I forgive myself, I do hope I can continue to understand it and work through the emotions.  As my counselor says to me frequently, keep doing the hard work, it’ll pay off just look at how far you’ve come in the last few years.  And so, I hope I can continue to do the hard work to continue to live a healthy life.  But, does that mean full forgiveness of myself?  I truly don’t know if that day will ever come.

And I guess, my next appointment is going to be interesting as I have no doubt I’ll bring this up with her.

If you like this post, please feel free to share and please click the follow button on the side or return to myperfectbreakdown.com to follow my journey.

27 Comments on “The Accident of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

  1. I thought about saying this yesterday when you posted about forgiving the man responsible for the accident, but then I chickened out because I thought maybe I was making assumptions and overstepping some boundary. But now I see I was on the right track and I’m going to say it:

    I can’t imagine living with the weight of the losses you have experienced, nor can I imagine living with the weight of the mistake that old man who caused the accident lived with. As I read your story of understanding, acceptance, and forgiveness toward that old man, I also felt sadness for him. I hope that he somehow managed to find a way to forgive himself for that terrible mistake, even though I have no doubt he absolutely never forgot about it or fully “let it go.” Similarly, I hope that you find a way to forgive “yourself” for the perceived flaws and mistakes of your body, which have resulted in loss just as painful as those of the accident. I hope that as you found a place of peace and acceptance in forgiving the man who killed your mother and sister, you can learn to find peace and acceptance for yourself and the body that robbed you of your biological children. I have no doubt that if you were able to forgive that old man, you will somehow find a way to forgive yourself. You’re a very emotionally mature person and like you said… you’re putting in the work. Time heals nothing… effort and reflection does. You’re doing that, and even though you’ll never forget… I believe that you will forgive.

    All the best, darling.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Let me pose a different perspective. A mistake is an action (unintentional) that causes something bad to happen. The way you are born is in no way an action or a mistake. You genetic makeup is completely out of your control- for good or bad. I don’t think you need to forgive a mistake. Are your losses absolutely tragic and a complete hell to live through? Of course- I won’t even begin to imagine it. But you had no part in these tragedies other than being made the way you are. Which by the way is an incredibly compassionate and loving amazing person who has already impacted so many lives (mine included). So while of course it is normal to blame your body- I don’t think it is fair to call it a mistake you could have prevented. I think a mistake would be accidentally eating a bunch of food with salmonella or something like that. An action that would require you to forgive yourself. Anyway- just an alternative theory. Hugs and love to you as you work through all of this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My friend, your words today brought me to tears. Your perspective about being born this way and all of this being fully out of my control is the way I too think most days, the good days. And it’s the way I try to refocus my mind on days like today, a bad day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reminding me to have compassion for myself as I work through these hard moments.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ok, to put a medical spin to your question, your uterus and ovaries were formed the way they are, when you were in your mom’s womb. Now, you tell me, are you a mistake? No.. you are not. So how can even start to think that you were responsible for the accidents/ RPL? You didn’t create your uterus, you didn’t conceive yourself, so basically what I am saying is you were not in the driver’s seat (to put it in analogy with the accident). This is not your mistake. A mistake would be if you had a drunken orgy when you were pregnant :)) that caused your babies to die. In fact that would be sin then.. mistake is a small word..

    So where I am coming from is, when you didn’t do anything, how can you even ask for forgiveness to yourself? And saying that those babies would have survived another uterus is too far reaching. Birth and death are not in anyone’s control so even if you had done surrogacy, those babies would not have made it. They conceived because they were in your uterus, in someone else’s uterus they wouldn’t have hatched.

    However, I know this crap what I wrote above will never reduce your pain. What you are living through, what I am living through will never ever ever go away. My aunt lost her baby 42 years ago, the baby died at birth. When I went through my 3rd M/c she hugged me and told me that even today after all these years, she can just close her eyes and relive every minute she had with that baby and the pain never goes away. She told me to accept the pain as the love I have for my child, cause that pain reminds me I had a child who never made it. So I would tell you to put a positive spin on that pain, embrace it, it tells you of the love you carry for your children.

    Take care hon, you are asking yourself some pretty heavy questions, sometimes getting answers hurt more than the question. I am always here for you if you feel like shit and want to cry. You know where to reach me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • First, thank you. Most days, the good ones, I do realize it is a medical condition and in no way my fault. But on the bad days, like today, my mind doesn’t always cooperate witht hat understanding and I struggle to be compassionate with myself. I have to say, thank you for reminding me and reinforcing the medical side of all of this. The mental side can be challenge, but with support from amazing people like you, I know I’ll have more good days then bad days. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for remdinging me and encouraging me to be more compassionate with myself.
      And, thank you so much for sharing your Aunt’s perspective with me. Her words are simply beautiful and I will cherish them.

      Like

  4. Having been through RPL and knowing that we had at least 2 healthy babies die because of my body–and due to problems with my body that could be fixed, one miscarriage after we had attempted a fix but weren’t completely positive it had worked–I really can’t get on board with the idea that a miscarriage is a mistake that you can hold yourself personally accountable for. This is like saying someone who got breast cancer and died from it made a suicidal mistake or someone who unexpectedly has a massive stroke while they’re driving hits another vehicle and kills someone made a mistake. Mistake implies some choice or decision, even if the choice was made in good faith and the results were unexpectedly bad. Your biology was not a choice or decision you made. You have no control over cancer. You have no control over a stroke. You certainly have no control over an effed up uterus.

    Honestly, this post makes me extremely angry. I know this is your personal way of wrestling with the guilt of miscarriage–which I understand all too well–but as a person who’s been through this and had to do a lot of emotional work to stop blaming myself for the miscarriages and do a lot of educating people around me who made deeply hurtful comments that implied I was somehow responsible, hearing anyone imply from any perspective that the person who miscarries can be blamed for their miscarriage or has anything to be forgiven for strikes right to my core. I’m going to be frank: this is bullshit. You definitely need to talk to your therapist about it.

    You don’t need forgiveness for the horrible things that happened to you. I don’t need forgiveness for the horrible things that happened to me. I care about you, and I have compassion for where you are right now because I’ve been there, but f*** this post.

    Like

    • Thank you for your thoughts Katie. I am sorry this post touched such a cord with you, it is never my intent to upset anyone with my thoughts. And I have to say how glad I am for you, that you aren’t wrestling with all the self-blame in the same way I am.
      I do want to add that sharing these thoughts isn’t easy, but I do make an effort to be real about the good and the bad. On good days, which is most days, I agree with you about this simply a medical condition. But on the bad days, which today clearly is, my thoughts and my way of grieving is neither right nor wrong, it just is. I am confident I will work through this and I hope one day I’ll be free of them, but for now I’m in the midst of it. And being in the midst of it all I can really do is hope for more good days in the future and continue to challenge myself and continue to put in the effort to deal with these thoughts in a healthy and constructive way.

      Liked by 3 people

    • So sorry for your loss and your hurt Katie. Non of it was your fault but it sounds like you know that. All you can do is try to move forward the best you know how. I am sorry this struck a cord with you but it is unfair to call out MBP for her own emotions and coping mechanisms. They are all so personal and we should never tell someone how to mourn or feel but simply support them and help them heal. That is my sentiments at least. I feel like your comment was unnecessarily harsh to someone already in so much pain. Once again- I can understand you are in pain too but let us try to lift one another up in this space.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. You shouldn’t blame yourself for the things that have happened, because none of it was really in your control. You didn’t know why you were having RPL, and when you found the answer and found that you wouldn’t be able to fix it, you stopped trying. When you were given information to work with, you made a conscious decision to change the way you did things from that point on. You didn’t choose for your uterus to be unfriendly, you didn’t chose for your babies to never make it into this world. I don’t feel like there’s anything you really need to forgive yourself for. But that’s me, and you have your own feelings and perspective on the situation. I hope that your therapist can give you some more help with this, and help you work your way through your feelings. If you need anything, please let me know. *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your bring up an entirely different point, probably without meaning to, but I’m going to go there because it’s on my mind now. 🙂
      Probably what pisses me off more then anything is that we did find out an answer, but we didn’t find it our sooner. We didn’t push our doctors hard enough and we didn’t advocate for better care. If we continued with our local doctors we’d probably still be going through losses because there advice was to “just keep trying and eventually it will work”. And you know, you are right, we did stop once we found our answer and I’m thankful that we eventually started looking for better answers, because we (and any possible children) deserved that! So, in a way I could beat myself up over not knowing sooner, but I am also grateful that we did figure it out!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well I can argue that point as well…you didn’t just settle for them telling you to just keep trying and that it would work eventually. You started to realize that they might be wrong, or that it might take something more than “just keep trying” for it to work. You were smarter than that. Not your fault that they didn’t know how to find the problem, or give you a solution. So still not your fault. 😛

        Like

  6. Oh gosh..my heart hurts reading this. This is what people who do not have to deal with infertility don’t get. For you to not be able to forgive yourself for something you truly had no control over is VERY tough. You were doing all you could to save your babies. Both of our bodies have betrayed us…but what I am trying to learn is to give myself a break once in a while. I’m extremely hard on myself too…thinking my body is a “killer” and bad environment for an embryo…but it only brings anxiety and sadness…helplessness. We are both now trying to change the outcome. All we can do is try…and forgive…easier said than done….I get it…but just know that I’m here with you…fighting this battle…in our mind, hearts and souls….and one day…we can only pray that things will be different…will be better. Love to you…xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    • My friend, I hate that you get this, but I also love that you remind me to try to give myself a break. Your right, it’s not easy, but with supportive friend and loving encouragement we can both do it, one-day-at-a-time. Love to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am so sorry that you have to even ask yourself this question. That you have lived with the burden of thinking that you are to blame for your losses. While I am saddened by all of my mine I have always been able to take the step forward because I know that my losses were out of my control. At times I do blame my body and get frustrated because there is no rhyme or reason as to why. I hope that you are able to see that these accidents are not your fault. Thinking of you. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Most days, I’m just like you and I fully realize that it’s not my fault. But then other days are just a bit harder to hold onto the rational knowledge. Thankfully, I have far more good days then bad days and I think and hope that trend will continue into the future. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve typed about four different responses, and none of them seem to get at the heart of the matter. I’ll just say that I’ve read this a whole bunch of times, and I get it (in my own way.) As trite as it may sound, forgiving mistakes in others is never as hard as forgiving our own. Even if you get to a point where you accept that you aren’t super human, that imperfection remains. It’s still a part of you. It doesn’t go away. It can’t always be fixed. And that’s okay too.

    Like

  9. I am glad that you are unpacking some of this, and hope that it results in you having more “good days” than bad ones, where you show yourself the same amount of graciousness as you did the man who accidentally ran the stop sign. You deserve for this burden to be lifted off your shoulders my friend. You only ever had good intentions for your angel babies.

    Like

  10. I understand where you’re coming from. I too blame myself and my body for my losses. I mostly feel like a failure, I’ve failed to nurture my babies and help them grow. I hope you can forgive yourself and find peace. I hope I do too, some day.

    Like

  11. I often intellectualize my guilt around RPL and justify my guilt/anger/blame with a very similar thought that since most mistakes are unconscious, and my body’s inability to hold onto a pregnancy is an unconscious physical act, it’s all kind of… synonymous.

    I do that often – twist how I feel with how I think and weld them together into a straight jacket of thoughts that lead to behaviours that take me a long time to unravel. I am only just now allowing myself to look at how I feel about my body in relation to our losses.

    In my case, I think I do it because I have a moral certainty that someone or some thing MUST be held accountable. My babies deaths cannot be random. It’s my crappy eggs – crappy because I waited too long (I think?) or because I wasn’t healthy enough in my 20’s or I binge drank after I started miscarrying (which doesn’t even make sense because the miscarriages came before the heavy drinking…) But mostly because I failed them. My body fucked it up. And I know that is in large part why I gained weight – I was so fucking mad at my body I started to drink and eat to distance myself from ‘it’, and the situation. My body became the enemy.

    In a lot of ways, it still is, but I am trying to make peace. I hope all of us continue to heal – we deserve not to walk around feeling like our bodies are horrible accidents.

    Like

  12. I think it is extremely difficult to realise or try to understand why your body did something as heart-breakingly sad as what you’ve been through, however, I think there is a part of every woman who has suffered a miscarriage/s or delivered a sleeping baby that feels that way. Why did her body fail her at such a crucial time?

    I’m in no way minimising your condition or medical history rather than trying to say that I get it. I’ve been told my PCOS carries a higher rate of miscarriage so I can completely empathise because I’ll always wonder if that was the reason for my miscarriages.

    I think forgiveness is something you may grapple with forever because the anger and depression from grief will raise the topic whenever it takes over – even if it’s just a for a day in thirty years or so. But that’s ok. I don’t think this is something you or anyone could ever make peace with completely. I know I never will regarding my own lost loves x

    Like

  13. I read your post, and then started reading the comments. About halfway through I scrolled past the rest. First and foremost I want to reiterate something I have told you countless times: you are an amazing person full of love and compassion.

    As someone who has gone through a similar experience (my septum was the cause of 3 babies losing their life), I also feel incredibly responsible for my babies to be having gone too soon. You can’t help but feel like it’s your fault regardless of the fact that your miscarriages were a result of a medical issue. Speaking only for myself I can say that I doubt I will ever be able to forgive myself for my miscarriages. I know I didn’t do anything to make this happen, but the mere act of getting pregnant led to those babies demise. I truly hope that you are able to find the peace that you are so desperately seeking. Either way I am here for support. You aren’t alone in this struggle 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I can’t imagine what you’ve been through with your losses (both of your family and your babies). However, I think it’s ok to have bad days where you’re upset. Of course I want you to feel better and come to peace with what happened, but as you said, you already have days where you feel ok about everything. I’m a firm believer that time heals all wounds, and it has not been enough time for these wounds to disappear. So, let yourself grieve and just know that there are those around you who love and care about you, and not one of those people believe that your losses were your fault. (P.s. They’re right) *hugs*

    Like

  15. Wow. There’s been some interesting responses to this post. I don’t think you are in anyway wrong for contemplating the ”mistakes” your body made. In fact, I think it’s something that everyone who experiences infertility and loss faces at some point on their journey. For some, it’s easy to say it’s not my mistake and move forward. For others, it’s difficult to let go of the fact that something is wrong with either you or your partner or both that has caused you so much grief and loss. Don’t ever be afraid to share your thoughts. Keep shining your light even when it feels dim. Your story helps others heal and feel not so alone. There will always be people who feed into our vulnerabilities, but as I’ve mentioned before their reaction is due to something inside them that’s been triggered. Your strength shines in the moments when you share your deepest thoughts. ❤

    Like

Thoughts? I love hearing from you!

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: