Monday, July 25, 2011

Worst Things to Say Part 2

It's time to revisit the Worst Things to Say, with reader submissions.

Even More Horrible Awful No Good Things to Say to Someone who has Experienced a Miscarriage:

5. From a coworker, "Well, now you know what to do differently next time." Yep. Never talk to you again.
4. From a friend, "Take some time to have fun with your husband while you can." Wow, you're just dismissing my pain completely. A margarita and trip to Cabo doesn't fix everything.
3. Miscarriages happen a lot. Aging parents often die. Would you remind someone of this fact after their parent dies?! You would never.
2. From a doctor, "Don't think of it as a miscarriage, just a late, really heavy period." Don't think of me as a patient, think of me as a grieving mother seeking a doctor who's not a complete jerk. See ya!
1. "Don't worry, you'll have a baby someday." Really? You can personally guarantee this? Do you have 20 grand to lend me for IVF? And you'll be our surrogate? Great!

If you've never personally experienced a miscarriage here's a refresher of 5 Things You Can Say. Let me know if I missed a good one.

Friday, July 15, 2011

There's a Country Western Song in Here Somewhere

"You seem to be doing really well."


Mmmmm. Not totally true. I am managing most of the time. But sometimes one stray comment will pull me down into a spiral.

Yesterday at work one of my coworkers became a grandfather. We were all chatting about it when he brought up how he never knew either of his grandfathers. The relationship is new for him, and he is obviously, blissfully happy.

In that moment, I realized that my husband never knew any of his grandfathers either. They both died before he was born.

I knew and cherished my two grandfathers. My dad's dad played guitar and sang for us songs like, "I can't get off of my horse..." He had huge sausage fingers and was known for being the kindest, most gentle dentist. I lost my first tooth right after he died. I was devastated.

My mom's dad was a sweetheart who laughed at his own jokes. He baked us cakes... yellow cakes with white frosting. He had an easy way of throwing back his head and laughing until he wheezed. I told a joke at his funeral when I was 17.

This is totally cart before the horse-y, but I want my husband to be grandfather. I want him to have the joy of fatherhood and grandfatherhood (a word?). I could see him taking little kids fishing, taking them canoeing, taking them to a candy store.

In order to be grandparents we need to be parents. It's a dream deferred, but I'm still hoping.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Miscarriage and the Movies

Have you ever noticed how books, movies, and the collective zeitgeist deal with miscarriage? It's like AIDS back in 1981. So many misconceptions are proliferated as facts. Let's take a look at some of the top offenders:

1. Downton Abbey - I love this British TV show set in pre-WWI England. It's such an awesome show, yet they had to insert a stupid scene that ran like a bad soap opera plot twist. Lady of the house has all daughters, she gets pregnant, they are hoping it's a male heir, a maid gets jealous, she doesn't help the lady out of the bathtub, lady slips and falls, and ... miscarriage. This is so completely ridiculous. What we know from studies is that miscarriages are caused by a range of factors that DO NOT include slipping 12 inches. Maybe you'd pull a hamstring. Whatever.

2. The Help - A fantastic book. Really, I look forward to the movie. But why is the woman who has repeat miscarriages also the socially inept, slutty blonde who locks herself in the bathroom? The woman who has miscarriages is never portrayed as the put-together high achiever. This is bigotry. This is the definition of being unaware.

3. The Hunger Games - Another fabulous book. In book two, they concoct a fake pregnancy for main character Katniss. When she isn't preggo months later, they say she miscarried due to stress. This answer is given and accepted time and time again as a reason for miscarriage. Studies have shown that the number of miscarriages HAVE NOT gone up during wars and other severely stressful times. Miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities and other problems in the body. In my mind, the generic cause of "stress" is a veiled attempt to blame the woman for the miscarriage.

4. Gone with the Wind - She falls down the staircase and has a miscarriage? Maaaaaybe this is possible. If you're severely injured, which she did not appear to be in her giant, plush robe. I've never heard of a real miscarriage happening this way.

How do we dispel these misconceptions? Will miscarriage always be a dirty word, signifying some misdeed on the part of the woman? We have so much awareness for other issues. I think it's time for the myths about infertility and miscarriage to go the way of the black and white TV.

Anyone thinking of a book or movie to add?