January 2011


Our mission for OurHopePlace.com is to demystify miscarriage. In doing that we would love to make the conversation about miscarriage easier.  More of a sharing environment and less of a secret.  Also we would hope that we can help those who have never experienced a miscarriage understand that the loss of an unborn child stays with you for the rest of your life.  For some women, this loss affects everything they do, say and think.

You may have recently heard in the news about the story of Ann Pettway, the woman who supposedly stole a baby (Carlina White) 23 years ago from a hospital.  Part of her reasoning was that she had suffered multiple miscarriages and did not think she would ever be a mom.  Although I do not agree with her actions, I do feel sorry that she felt alone at that time and could not come up with any other option but to take someone’s baby.

If you know someone who has had a miscarriage, be a great friend and listener and help them start their healing journey.  For ideas on how to help – see “How Can I Help” at http://www.OurHopePlace.com

http://www.ourhopeplace.com/whattodo.html

Full story on Ann Pettway:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/ann-pettway-woman-raised-carlina-white-face-kidnapping/story?id=12746441

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I saw this in the news and thought it was interesting and hopeful.

IVF Miscarriage Breakthrough

Australian researchers have developed a product which improves IVF embryo implantation rates for women who have suffered previous miscarriages after IVF treatment.

University of Adelaide reproductive biologist Sarah Robertson said the growth factor treatment improves IVF embryo implantation rates for some women by up to 40 percent.

To read article:

http://www.aphroditewomenshealth.com/news/20110017211956_health_news.shtml

 

When I miscarried over 10 years ago it took awhile before I stopped thinking about every little thing I did that might have caused my miscarriage.  After speaking with my doctor,  all I came away with was “it happens.”  One of the hardest parts of a woman’s healing journey after a miscarriage is usually the guilt of “what did I do to cause it???”  If that is where you are now – please read this information from conceiveonline.com – I thought it helped even 10+ years later.

From the article: Seven Most Common Miscarriage Causes

My obstetrician’s observations that I was in good company—that around 15 percent of “known” pregnancies (i.e., pregnancies confirmed with a test), and up to half of all pregnancies end in miscarriage during the first trimester—didn’t soothe my sadness. Nor did his assurance that the miscarriage wasn’t caused by something I had done, or hadn’t done, that it was “just one of those things.” But I was comforted when I considered the other statistic: that most of the time miscarriage is a one-time occurrence.

Full article:

http://www.conceiveonline.com/miscarriage-infertility/miscarriage-causes/

My friend Kim (Thanks Kim!) sent me this link from TED… ” Let’s talk parenting taboos:  Rufus Griscom + Alisa Volkman” .  Feel free to watch the entire link, or if you want to see what they say about miscarriage, try 9:17-11:30.   Griscom and Alisa seem like any couple USA; people you want to be friends with.  They fall in love, get married, start a family, and then try to add a second child to their family.

Seems like the fairytale, right?  Not so much.  Alisa suffered the loss of her unborn child when she is 5 months pregnant.   (Before I go further, we are so sorry for her pain and loss.)  They talk about  how she wanted to crawl into a hole. That she felt ashamed, embarrased that she couldn’t do what she was genetically designed to do.  She didn’t know how she would find her way out of the hole, back to her life.  She ultimately did get back to her life.  What helped her was the outpouring of stories from friends and family all who either suffered the same, or knew someone who did.

Alisa shares so many thoughts that we talk to as well:

– Miscarriage is so common; 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage

– That very often women feel they have somehow contributed or caused their miscarriage

-That once you have a miscarriage, it is like membership in this secret society/sisterhood that you didn’t want to join

-Miscarriage is a loss like no other – there are no pictures (well maybe a sonogram), no memories, no common rituals (like a funeral, though sometimes people will have one or a ceremony they plan).

It is amazing to us that at a time when people most need help, society leaves them to suffer alone.  Really, is that what we should be doing?

At Our Hope Place, we want to help women and their families find their way forward, to grieve and to heal… how I wish I knew Alisa years ago.  I would have sent her a bracelet from OHP to acknowledge her loss.  I would have shared my story.  If someone you know has suffered a miscarriage, acknowledge her loss.  Check out our tips on how to help at Our Hope Place.com.    Won’t you help?

PS:  TED is a non-profit.  TED = Technology, Entertainment, Design —  Ideas worth spreading…  check them out…  really interesting stuff going on there!

Over the holidays I had a chance to catch up with a bunch of reality shows that I don’t always get to watch.  I am not the biggest fan of reality TV for many reason but I give a thumbs up to  “Giuliana & Bill” on MyStyle.com – “Once upon a time, E! News anchor Giuliana DePandi and Apprentice winner Bill Rancic fell in love, got married and settled down…in Chicago and L.A.! So what happens when they try to bring a baby into their real-life romantic comedy?” (http://www.mystyle.com/mystyle/shows/giulianaandbill/index.jsp)

The episodes I watched dealt with the couple going through IVF, finding out they were pregnant and then they miscarried at around 7 weeks.  This was the same amount of weeks that I miscarried over 10 years ago.

I cried as watched the couple go thru the heart wrenching experience – especially Giuliana wondering what she had done to cause the miscarriage.  Even though your doctor usually tells you that miscarriages “just happen” and most times it was nothing that the woman did to cause it – I think as a woman you are always second guessing everything you did from the time you were told you were pregnant till the time you find out you miscarried.

I could also relate to the couple feeling like they were accomplished in so many areas of their life but yet “failing” in the baby-making department.  As if they were being punished for something.

Seeing Bill get upset for his wife and what she was going thru was a nice change from the usual stoic man response that is played out on TV.  At http://www.OurHopePlace.com there is a whole section on how men and woman grieve differently and also about how the man may be feeling. (http://www.ourhopeplace.com/PaulaLevyExpert.html)

I applaud the show for really getting into the true emotions of a couple going through miscarriage.  So many times miscarriage is treated as a moment in time on TV but in real life it can affect you for the rest of your life.  Best of Luck to Giuliana & Bill on their journey to have a family.

Do you find the holidays difficult after your miscarriage?

…from a contact at Our Hope Place: It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. No, this Christmas I was to be buying pjs that say “baby’s 1st Christmas”. But that didn’t happen. Instead of being happy I have been dreading the holidays, I have been waiting to “check the box”. Wishing it was all a bad dream… It is hard to be around kids, and pregnant friends. I get angry, feel guilty, and am always so sad. Will it ever get better? Is it normal to feel this way? Is it bad that I am happy the holidays are over? I have a friend who also suffered a miscarriage, and she doesn’t seem to feel the same way… Any advice? …

First I am sorry for you loss, and what you are feeling is totally normal. The same is true for your friend. Everyone grieves differently, and no one way is right. Miscarriage is a real loss, one that needs to be grieved for. I remember the time after my miscarriage, but before my son was born. I had a lot of dread on all important dates, holidays, family events, and even seeing friends. Not to mention any “anniversary” associated with the baby I lost (this would have been my 5th month, this was the 36 week point, this was my delivery date, and so on). While I remember a lot of sadness, I also remember the dread prior was worse than the actual
day (might be different for you).

So I came up with coping mechanisms to help me… Thing like I didn’t go to everything. If I thought it was too hard, I gave myself permission to take a pass. And then would do something fun for me. I also used my ouhhopeplace.com bracelet… I needed to grieve, and then I needed to find hope, to feel the sun. When you are ready you will to. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.