Between social mediums like Facebook and Twitter and websites like Craigslist and MeetUp, connecting with people who have similar interests and experiences has never been easier. Don’t believe me? Head on over to Meetup.com and try this experiment. Search for “working moms.” There are more than 3000 groups worldwide that meet under that topic. Now try “stay at home moms.” More than 4000 groups meeting!
Try this same experiment with “pregnancy loss” and you’ll likely receive the same message I did: “Sorry, no matches found for ‘pregnancy loss’ within 100 miles of your zip code.” Well I’ll be darned.
Not having luck with finding local support groups, I decided to head to a bookstore to look for books about coping with pregnancy loss.
The woman at the service desk in Barnes and Noble looked nice enough and I thought I could trust her with my secret so I said, “I’m looking for books about miscarriage.” I waited for her to grimace or flinch under the weight of that awful word. I had imagined her look of pity. Instead, I got nothing. I might as well have asked her where I could find the dictionary section.
She led me to the back, far corner of the bookstore. I followed her thinking, “How appropriate. A corner where I can browse through my tears for the perfect book on how to cope with the loss of my unborn child.”
The section also had books about other taboo subjects like menopause and anxiety. We were able to find exactly one book. One. “Really?” I asked. “There’s no other section? Maybe near the family planning area?” She offered to go check the inventory while I stood there and scoured the shelf thinking maybe she missed it.
For all of the information on conception and pregnancy, there is a fraction of information available on the topic of miscarriage. A search for pregnancy books on Amazon yielded nearly 24,000 results. A search for miscarriage books yielded 901.
The woman came back and said, “I can order one for you.” I declined.
At home I logged into my local library website, something I was avoiding because I have overdue fines from the prenatal yoga DVDs I checked out and was late returning. The library carried a small selection of books (more than I thought they would considering it’s not a well-funded or large library). “Oh good,” I thought, clicking on the first title.
“Due on May 13,” flashed on the screen.
“What? Whaaaat?” I clicked on the next title. “Due on May 13.” The third title: “Due on May 13.”
The library had 3 books and they were checked out! There was a woman, somewhere in my locality, who had checked out these books. Where is she? Who is she? Will she be my friend?
Desperate for a connection, to hear from other women who have been through this experience, I continue to search for local support groups and to lurk on online pregnancy loss boards. I have what seems like thousands of questions. When? What did you do? How long did you? What did your doctor say? What were your HCG levels? How long did it take you to? How did you? Who did you? What did she say? What about?
I don’t know where I’ll find my answers, or my comfort for that matter. It just seems that I shouldn’t have to look so hard.
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You may have noticed I have been absent, of late. In the last month, I have resigned from a company at which I worked for ten years, packed up my stuff and my baby’s stuff, rented a U-Haul and taken several trips in my loaded Escape, as well, and moved five hours north to the location of my graduate school! I started classes two weeks ago, and have been living between two distant cities for two weeks. With a three year old lol.
I thought I could do it all, and keep blogging regularly. Turns out I couldn’t, but I’m back! Tonight I’ll talk about a blood test that may be able to predict whether you’re at risk for postpartum depression. This is excellent news, and I’ll tell you why. Come on back for that!
In the meantime, my daughter and I are getting settled into our new, adorable home, and I am figuring out this new life of mine, as a mom and as an individual.
As you might expect, this move has not occurred without the occasional stumble.
In several shows at Pea in the Podcast, I talk about the importance of having a support system. Every mom needs one. Whether it’s your family, a close circle of friends, or one you create through mommy groups, people you hire like postpartum doulas, or your local baby yoga class, a support system is essential.
I don’t really have one yet in North Texas.
So on Monday, as I prepared to go to class and leave my daughter with her father’s cousin (for the first time) I heard the sad news that her sister’s husband had died. She would — of course — be with her. But was was I to do with my baby? I immediately decided I would bring her to class with me. After all, I’m getting my Master’s in Child Development! Why would they mind a three year old in the room lol?
Thankfully, though, my daughter’s father had a friend — who also knew my daughter — who was willing and able to watch her.
Support system building begins! We’re having lunch tomorrow.
On a side note, I got very lost trying to find her house, and was late for class lol. Ah, the joys of living in an unfamiliar city! Oh, and the joy of being me. I get lost just about every time I get in the car. It’s sad, but true.
I was concerned that this move would be hard on my daughter. She’s already experienced the separation and divorce of her father and mother. So as we went to look for apartments, I explained that she would get to pick our new home. I liked our first choice, and so did she, so I asked if she picked it. She said yes, and for the next several weeks told everyone, gleefully, she had picked our new home, and did a good job, because mommy loved it. She’s still thrilled that she “picked” our home.
One day my daughter asked why we were doing this…this move. I said, simply, mommy wanted to spend more time with her girl, so she was going back to school to do something she loved. She thought about it for just a second, then said…
“That sounds like a good idea.”
That sounds like a good idea. Since the moment I conceived it, it sounded like a good idea to me, too. A good idea for me, and most importantly, a good idea that would improve and enrich the life of my daughter, Aidan Kate.
If you have an idea that you think might make you a happier and more fulfilled mommy, go for it! A happy mother is more in tune with her kids, and her kids are happier, too.
So now I’m settled in a ready to get back to blogging. Yay!
And remember, you beautiful moms-to-be, your pregnancy week-by-week audio shows are up at Pea in the Podcast. Dr. Laurie Swaim and I accompany you on your pregnancy journey, updating you week by week on what’s going on with your body and your baby.
You can also listen to a variety of podcasts about your pregnancy, preparing for your baby, and what you need to know to be ready when your miracle arrives.
Of course, this gives me serious baby fever. But then when don’t I have serious baby fever?
The pic above is my baby and me on her birthday. What a day.
These exciting births have reminded me of how much I enjoyed doing the Pea in the Podcasts for new mommies. After my little one came, I couldn’t believe they were going to send her home with me without a very large handbook. If this will soon be you, or someone you know, why not give the podcasts a listen or pass them on? Hopefully they will ease your/their terror a little, although nothing could possibly alleviate it completely.
Now…off to find some sort of medication to cure this baby fever….