I have really been struggling with this for a few reasons. One is that it is very personal, two because of the sad memories that it brings back and lastly we just found out we weren’t pregnant again. All of those feelings have really made this a difficult topic for me to broach. After a lot of thought I have decided to share what we did to memorialize our little angels.
After our first miscarriage I did not want to even think about doing anything for that loss. I was so devastated that I could barely get out of bed let alone think about saying good bye to a child I had never met. After several weeks G and I were finally able to make it through the day without having a breakdown and we had already moved into another fertility cycle so we just kind of stuffed those feelings deep down trying to forget. Which worked pretty well until the “non-due date” came around. All those feelings came welling back up inside. We once again pushed them back down and moved on to more fertility treatments. The feelings never went away but the pain did subside.
After my chemical pregnancy and failed IVF/FET cycles we did take a little time, but more to forget about it then remember it. So again we were bottling up all those feelings and just trying to forget that they ever happened. It really wasn’t until the 2nd miscarriage that we actually grieved. That was the final straw that pushed us to a breaking point. We could not even begin to think about trying again until we dealt with that loss…all the losses. Dr. L referred us to Dr. M to help us grieve the most recent loss. Little did we know that all of the losses would come back amplified! Actually acknowledging those losses brought about so many feelings of emptiness, pain and heartache. I was not even sure I was going to be able to bring myself back out of the hole I was in. At that point I think I was at the lowest point I had ever been when it came to our infertility.
We had suffered not 1 but 2 deaths. I know that not everyone would agree with me, but I also began to have pain and grief from all our embryos that did not materialize into an actual pregnancy. They were part of G and I and they existed; I know not really in the scientific manor but they did exist to me. I didn’t know what to do now that all these feelings were in the forefront of my thoughts; not only was I grieving the loss of my 2 confirmed pregnancies, but a chemical pregnancy and 4 perfect little embryos. Talk about the mother load of pain and grief. We talked extensively to Dr. M and our pastor and decided that we did need to do something to memorialize those babies so we could grieve and move on.
I had already bonded with the babies and embryos as soon as they were in me which was a little different then how G felt. (I think this is normal for men and women to have different feelings during the fertility and miscarriage process because of the hormones and the women carrying the child) We discussed it for several days trying to decide what was best for us. We finally decided to do a private ceremony by the lake at the park. We had silly names for all the embryos and babies so we decided to write a little note for each one and tie it to a balloon and then release it. It was amazing to me how many personality traits and genders we had already associated with them before they were even born. It was very cathartic to write those feelings down and actually acknowledge their existence.
I had thought that I would feel instantly better doing the ceremony. I hoped letting those balloons go and watching them float over the lake would release all of those heartbreaking pains I was feeling. Boy was I wrong! Releasing those balloons made me feel even emptier inside; like I had just lost those babies all over again. I completely broke down in G’s arms crying over the babies that we had lost. How could these feelings be so much worse, I was “letting them go”?
Yes, I did “let them go”, but in the mean time I had to acknowledge them as well, which is something that I was not willing to do for so long. It was not until I actually acknowledged that they were my babies and I had lost them that I could begin to grieve them. I had to go through all the stages of grief before I felt “better”. I still have those feelings creep up here and there, but they happen less often than before. I believe that had we not celebrated those little angels and grieved their loss that we could not have moved on to trying to conceive again.