From the TODAY Show this morning:

Marc Sedaka stood by while he and his wife endured endless rounds of drug therapies, 16 artificial inseminations, 10 in-vitro fertilizations, three miscarriages and, finally, a gestational surrogate who carried their twin girls to term. With the help of his own infertility doctor, Dr. Gregory Rosen, Sedaka has crafted the book “What He Can Expect When She’s Not Expecting: How to Support Your Wife, Save Your Marriage, and Conquer Infertility.” Here is an excerpt.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/42096898/ns/today-books/

It is great to hear a man’s point of view when it comes to infertility.  So many times (as also the case with miscarriage) the woman grieves silently and feels alone as the man “seems” to get back to his “normal” life.  Just the idea of knowing you are not alone in your situation can help.  Thanks for sharing your story.  http://www.OurHopePlace.com – “Helping friends cope, hope and heal after a miscarriage.”

After suffering a miscarriage, many women feel very alone with their thoughts and feelings.  Thank you to Celine Dion & Mariah Carey for going public with their miscarriages and candidly talking about how they got through their devastating experience.  By demystifying miscarriage and talking about it openly – whether to your friends, family or to the public – we help one another not to feel so alone.

Good News for Celine & Mariah:

On October 23, 2010 Celine Dion gave birth to healthy twin boys named Nelson (named after Nelson Mandela) and Eddy (named after Eddy Marnay)! Congratulations Celine, René, and René-Charles!

In the last week Mariah Carey and husband Nick announced they were pregnant again and doing well.

From a contact to www.OurHopePlace.com, an article on pregnancy loss from Malia Russell, www.homemaking911.com

For many reasons, primarily being concern for my children, I have not shared this very personal part of my life with my readers. However, I have heard of more and more women are seeking information and spiritual support after suffering a miscarriage or ectopic or a still birth. If you are a personal friend of ours, our younger children do not know about any of these pregnancies or losses. We did not see that at the time this would have been healthy to share with them. I kn ow many families feel differently, but it seems like the right decision for us.
In August 2007 we suffered a miscarriage. This was our second miscarriage. The first occured in 2002. This was emotionally very painful. I did not despair, however. We had four beautiful children, and life was moving pretty quickly. My mourning period was rather brief. In retrospect, I really just tried not to dwell on it much, which was probably not the healthiest way to handle it.
In October 2007 I was in the middle of a very busy time. I was teaching several classes and running a Mom’s retreat here locally, and I started to have some rather sharp pains on my lower right side. I started to pass some blood in my urine. I was only mildly worried because I was half convinced that perhaps I was passing a kidney stone or something. I had my regular mentrual cycle on October 7th and this was only Ocotber 23rd. It never occured to me that I could be pregnant. I ignored the pain for a few days, but the passing of blood in my urine, then in my stools was becoming more troublesome. Finally, the sharp pains increased to the point that I could not sleep through the night. I was positive i was passing a kidney stone and went to my OBGYN the following morning. My regular doctor could not get me in, and I figured I would just need some pain medicines, or perhaps antibiotic for a kidney infection. When I arrived, the nurses took my urine, saw the blood and said it was more than likely a UTI, and planned to write me a prescription for this. I asked if a doctor was available just to confirm all this. Fortunately one did see me. When she pressed on my back, it hurt pretty severely, so she sent me to the emergency room straight from her office. After sitting there for seven or so hours, the the ER nurses took my blood. After about 9 hours I saw a doctor and he asked “How far along are you?”
I responded that I was not pregnant, and he looked troubled and sent me for an ultrasound. There they found a “mass.” I was wisked back to the Emergency Room where the doctor said that the cause of all the pain was the mass, and that there was a possibility it was an ectopic pregnancy. I had no idea that an ectopic pregnancy has no “cure.” You cannot move an ectopic prenancy to a new location and have it survive. But this was not really explained to me. Perhaps he assumed I knew what this meant. I was admitted to the hospital. I refused any pain medicine. I was thrilled that I was pregnant, and again so soon after the miscarriage. Over night, my pain got a little better. When my OBGYN came to the hospital to see me in the morning and I told her I was feeling much better, she looked alarmed and told me that I was going to surgery immediately. She left to make the arrangements, and I was in a complete state of confusion. Was it the mass? Would this hurt the baby? Would medicine for surgery hurt the baby? If I am feeling better, why would I need surgery?
The nurse came in the room, and explained that the pain going away meant that the tube that had the mass in it had probably burst. There would be a temporary relief that would make the pain seem like it had gone away, but that it was fatal for the mother if a burst tube is not repaired. I could bleed out internally.
As I was wheeled to surgery alone (my husband was taking the children to different places to be watched for the day and trying to get there before I went to surgery) it occured to me that I was not sure if my doctor understood that I wanted to protect the baby at all costs. I held her hand and looked her in the eye and said: “If there is a baby, please do everything you can for it, to help it make it. I do not want anything removed that does not have to be.” She assured me that she would do whatever she could to protect or not disturb the baby if it were at all possible.
When I woke from the surgery, I was still under the impression that the mass was what had burst my tube and the baby was along the other tube somewhere. My first question to the nurse was: “Is the baby okay?” Sadly, she said, “No, your tube was burst, the baby was not able to be found, and you were bleeding a lot into your tummy. You are fortunate to be alive.” I did not feel fortunate. I did not feel anything. I was confused. I was still not sure what happened. “So are you sure the baby is not alive?” “Yes, I am sure. I am sorry.”
Over the next two weeks my body went into emotional overdrive. I would not take any pain killers because somehow I still thought maybe they were wrong about the baby. My pain was not terrible, but it was constant. I would have sobbing times where I would just start absolutely sobbing uncontrollably. I did not even feel that pained emotionally, but my body kept doing this.
I had three incisions. Two of them did not hurt much, but the one through my belly button hurt quite a bit. The three incisions were caused because I had lost so much blood, that she wanted to scope and look around to make sure nothing else was bleeding. I had what seemed like a heavy menstual cycle, and it lasted for a little over a week. I was 7 weeks pregnant at the time I lost this one. My right tube was completly removed during the surgery. I was told this would only decrease my chances of getting pregnant again by 10%.
Over the next few weeks I had to keep going back to the OBGYN for bloodwork to make sure my HCG level dropped to normal (not pregnant) levels. That was hard. I did not want to sit in the waiting room with pregnant people. It made me want to cry just being there.
After this surgery, I was advised not to have “relations” with my husband for a period of four weeks. We did abstain as advised.
In late December 2007 I started having some pregnancy symptoms. I had not had a regular cycle since the ectopic, so for awhile I ignored them. Then I took a home pregnancy test and was shocked to see a positive test. I went to the doctor the very next day for HCG bloodwork, and by that evening was told I was miscarrying. The grief was enormous, but I kept it mostly to myself. I did not have the huge physical and emotional waves and shocks of pain like I did after the ectopic. It was close to Christmas, and so many festivities were going on that I tried just to “do the next thing” and let it be over.
I still get weepy when I hear about friends who are pregnant. I was nearly a basket case when a very dear friend of mine lost a baby to a miscarriage a couple of months ago.
Another physical thing I did not expect is that for several months, I only had a menstrual cycle every other month. I also gained weight despite exercising and eating well. This weight gain was rapid and I still have not been able to get it off. I try harder at some times than others. This troubled me a lot at first, but then I researched it over the net and found many, many women gained weight and were unable to lose it during the several months after a miscarriage or ectopic.
How did I get through it? Well, I rested as much as I could. My husband took off work for a week after the ectopic and stayed there to help me. I also kept reminding myself over and over that the Lord would use this for my good because I love him, and that is promised in his Word. Yes, I know every Word is true, and God is GOOD, all the time. Praise Him, I know that in my soul, in my mind and in my heart, so I never did dispair. I never got angry with God or questioned God’s wisdom. I was enormously sad. I did get angry with the father of lies and I let him know that he could take every baby I could ever conceive again away from me and that I would STILL praise God with all my heart. I know this was a time of testing and refining, and I am so thankful that I came away from the spiritual battle related to all of this victorious.
I still do not know or understand God’s purposes, but He is, after all God, the great giver of life and when or if he so desires, he will tell me.
Many have asked me if we still would like more children. Of course we would. There is no option but to receive and delight in each and every blessing from the Lord, even if I only get to carry them briefly.
I hope that reading my story will help others perhaps know that what they are going through if they are going through recovery from an ectopic is normal. I tried to research, but found precious little that addressed what happened to me. I cannot find any good books on this topic to offer mothers going through pregnancy losses, but I do know that God is right there with you. He is holding you in his arms, and weeping with you. Your pain is not hidden from Him, and he will sustain you.
As I write this, I have four perfectly healthy children, ages 3-18. I have four more in heaven. Who knows what the Lord has in his plan for our family, but I have little reason to complain. I know many women who would love to have just one baby survive, and I have been blessed with four. This is what I try to remind myself during these days when I catch myself thinking about how old the baby would be that was due a couple of months ago, or when I get those free formula coupons that get sent to mamas with new babies, or when a friend has a new baby. I have so many blessings, and have no need to dispair. If you are currently suffering from a loss, try to look for your blessings and dwell on the many truths from God’s word regarding his undying, unending love and compassion for you and your small ones in heaven.
Malia Russell
About the Author

Malia Russell is the blessed wife to Duncan, thankful mother to four children, ages 3-17 and an author, conference speaker and director of www.homemaking911.com. Visit her site for inspiration, encouragement and practical help in your roles as a godly wife, mother, homemaker or home educator.

As I previously posed, right now I have 6 ideas/steps that helped me find happiness after my miscarriage:

1.  Adopting an optimistic view.

2.  Optimism is a skill set that can be learned; a muscle that needs exercising.

3.  Even though you don’t understand why things are happening, know that “the universe is unfolding as it should”.  (Reflects a poem called Desiderata)

4.  God (what ever you perceive him/her to be) only gives you as much as you can handle…  and I am strong (I might be tired of being strong, but I am strong and I can handle and learn and thrive).

5.  Moving forward is a choice – let’s get going – embracing is good.

6. I believe in the power of positive thinking!

Because I don’t really think blogs should be so long (and this one is already getting there), I will write about each step over the next few days (ok, might be 2 weeks – well see.)

2:  Optimism is a skill set that can be learned; a muscle that needs exercising.  

That’s right, optimism can be learned, like anything else, say like learning to play the violin.  And it takes practice, so that people will want to hear you play vs. make the dog howl.  It is about having goals and plans to achieve them.  It is about altering plans when life doesn’t go as expected (and it rarely does).

There have been all kinds of studies on this – there are people who dedicate their lives to this work…  your brain gets used to working a certain way.  You need to train it to work in an optimistic way…  you need to practice.  

Focusing on the positive it key…  some examples:

– When I had my miscarriage I didn’t think I would ever be happy again, really.  Then my friend helped me out.  She too knew the devastation of miscarriage.  She talked to me, she listened, she answered questions, and she gave me a special bracelet.  I wore it everyday to remind me of hope.  Hope inspired by my friend, if she could have it, then maybe I could to.  I used the bracelet everyday, when I needed something positive to focus on, something to help me stop thinking of how say I really was.  And you know what happened.  It worked, I grieved, and I moved on.  Optimism got me through!

– When my son was just over 6 months old, I woke up one morning with terrible pain from my ribs to my hips, all around.  I couldn’t really pin point it, but there was a stabbing pain by my right kidney.  My husband drove us to the drs office, who sent me to the hospital with what he thought was appendicitis.  When I was in the emergency room, an intern, oh did I mention this happened in July?  Never go to the ER in July if you can avoid it.  So this intern, who had been at the hospital for maybe 5 minutes, comes in and asks me how much do I feel.  I say it feels like stage 2 back labor.  He replies, “what does that mean, I haven’t had that rotation”.  Right.  Then he moves my leg, and pronounces, right, not an appendix issue, rather you have intestinal cancer or Krones (spelling?) Disease.  I looked at my little son, then at my husband, and said, “get him out of here, and get me a real doctor.  Well it turns out it was my appendix, it was removed and is well.  It took almost 23 hrs at the hospital for them to figure it out.  When all was done, I called my parents, and they said, we are glad you are well…  then interestingly, they said, wow you could use a break…  I was thinking I had already had a break…  when you are faced with cancer, Krones, or your appendix, heck, I won the lottery.  

– Another example, I was flying recently.  We were delayed, the flight was crowded, …  the person behind me in line was complaining quite a bit.  Then he said to me, “that was the worst flight ever.  Wasn’t it?  That was the worst.”  I looked at him and said, “No I don’t think that was the worst flight ever.  The worst flight crashes.”  And he looked at me in disbelief, then said, “your right”.  Perspective.  I was happy we had landed, I was going to meet friends for a fun weekend.  

So ask yourself, what is the good here?  How will this lead to something positive?  Find the joy, even if it is a little thing, find the joy in what you are doing in life.  I try to find joy in each day,…  it could be a bird chirping, the sun setting, a great presentation, the way my husband looks at me, or just about anything my son does.   

I really think my optimistic attitude has helped me out!  I think my skills have improved during the most difficult time in my life, and help me now.  In life there will always be obstacles, it is how we handle them that matters.  And wouldn’t you rather go through life with a smile?