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Wednesday, 14 June 2006

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Katty

I'm very sorry that you are so low. I hope that this too, will pass.

Kath

Dear Thalia, yes, words are almost always inadequate. Tha is felt just as acutely by the people saying them. Sometimes a good cry together is the only thing that adequately conveys how much others hurt for us.

I'm very impressed that you sent those links to your family members -- that took a lot of courage, I'm sure.

About taking time off: I'm sure this is different for everyone, but I can only say that my worst miscarriage phases began two or three days after my D&Cs, when the hormone cascade made itself felt acutely. If you can, leave yourself an opening to take off work longer if this should happen to you. People at work usually do understand.

Vivien

Dear Thalia, I can just say I agree with H. Take some more time off. It is too soon to go back to work. I tried this, after each of my first three miscarriages I just went back and tried to pretend I was fine. After the 4th I just lost that composure and I had to give myself the time to grieve. It took nearly 2 weeks off in fact, because so much had built up I suppose.
The problem is you are right - at the moment this is so big nothing can be as important, and this will inevitably affect the way you feel about work too. How can you really focus on intervening over the crappy job being done with this workshop when it really isn't important enough to you right now?
A bit more time will give you back a bit more perspective. Does that sound heartless? It isn't meant to, but that hideous saying that "time heals" is actually true to some extent. You won't 'get over it' but you will get back to a more even keel.
Sorry - very rambling comment.

susie

Dear Thalia, I am so sorry you're going through this. I remember after my first miscarriage, my mom said to me, "This is someone we never met, but someone that we loved very much." It was the only thing anyone said after that miscarriage that made me feel any better.

It is so hard to know what to say, even if you've been there, simply because all of us are so different. But I do know how it feels when the world has fallen down and life seems to be going on all around you... I'm so sorry.

Also, in my case, taking a week or so off work really helped. In your position I would definitely stay off until after the weekend. It just gave me more of the courage I needed to go back in and face the workday again.

We're all thinking of you.

Katie

My gauge on when to go back to work is not: can I stay off work forever but: do I feel more like myself now?

I'm surprised they didn't sign you off for longer after the ERPC, to be honest, a couple of days is nothing. As I say I took two weeks the first time, the first week of which was physical recovery after the medical management, and the second week of which was actual emotional stability time. The second time it was a week, and I didn't feel normal physically for a few days even though I was only 5 weeks and it happened naturally.

It is only going to make it worse if you go back before you are ready, you will only have to take more time off later. You are sick, my dear.

Juliet

I haven't had a miscarriage so I don't know how awful this is. I can only say I truly sympathise with you right now and know things will get better. You're very strong, you know.

I would take the rest of the week off. My experience is this: I'm quite a 'high-powered' banker and I never take time off. Then when a project of mine was one day away from completion my dog got very ill. I took the afternoon off to take her to the vets, expecting all hell to break loose at work, and instead, even the people I dont normally work well with, started pulling their weight and couldn't do enough to help. I think people realised that if I was prepared to take time off, then I needed help and sympathy. You always seem so conscientious about your work - I suspect your colleagues will react the way mine did.

Lisa

I am so sorry to read about your loss. Miscarriage is such an isolating and lonely experience...I never felt so alone as when I experienced my losses. And the bonehead comments (and even the ones that aren't boneheaded sometimes) just make that feeling even more pronounced. That first day back at work is tough...I hope you're coping well today.

StellaNova

As I felt reasonably OK for the first couple of days after mine, I thought taking the extra day off was not strictly necessary but as it was on my medical certificate, I took it anyway (and I had a couple more movies that I wanted to watch). Half way through that third day, however, I turned into a uncontrollably teary, dependent, hormonal mess. I just wanted my husband to be home and I didn't want to see or speak to anyone else. And then the heavier bleeding and pain really started and my weekend was a lost cause. By Monday, I needed another day off too and could have had more, but I had some important projects I needed to get back for. Even then, I went home after lunch for the next two days.

I guess my comments here are to agree with those above. I know everyone's experience is different, but you can't predict from here how yours is going to go. Give yourself the space for the rest of the week off if you need it, because you just might. Your health and emotional sanity are far more important than workshops (and if you're not there, you wont know how bad it is!:)).

Take care.

Karen

I'm glad to hear your family is trying their best to be supportive and give you what you need. After my miscarriages, I just wanted people to listen if and when I wanted to talk, but I didn't want advice or platitudes, however well-meaning. Only a few people understood that and those were the ones I turned to for comfort. I've had four miscarriages, and all I can say about them is that you don't necessarily get "over" them, but you do get through them. As others have said, take some more time off from work if you possibly can. Even just being able to stay home the rest of the week and return on Monday could make a big difference in your frame of mind.

Mary Scarlet

Two weeks was also my minimum recovery time, a week of which was off work. By the time I went back, there was something relieving about it, being busy and not controlled by my sadness. For me, it worked because I was sure that noone was going to say something sympathetic to me at work. It may depend on whether or not you could get to your private place and have some time to have a cry if you needed to. I don't know, Thalia. It's such a personal thing, you will know what's best for you. I hate that you're in this place, it's a terrible place to be.

waiting line

Oh Thalia I am sorry your so down. I know it hurts and I understand how much worse well-intentioned comments can make you feel.

I'm glad you sent Tertia's guidance to people close to you -- good for you. That was a smart move. It sounds like its working.

Will be thinking of you.

KIMMER

Thalia,
Like someone else mentioned, I think it was incredibly brave to send those links out. I’ve wanted to do the same thing myself but have always been too stubborn.
With my experience with my worst m/c ever it was around day 3 afterwards that I had a complete breakdown. My husband had gone back to work and I was all alone. My best friend came down to visit and I completely lost it. I think it totally freaked her out, but I couldn’t control the hormones and how I was feeling. She was nice enough to lend me her shoulder and I completely soaked it with tears. Everything is just so damn raw…
You have to cry and get it all out and then cry some more. Eventually you will feel somewhat better, I promise, there will be light at the end of the tunnel one day, it’s so hard. Do what you need to do to get by T, if it involves more time off, take it. If it involves going back to work, do it. I’m thinking of you…

Jill

Thalia, I am so very sorry for your loss and for all that you have been through. I know that nothing anyone can say will make you feel better, but I hope that it helps to know that others care about what you're going through and that you're not alone.

As for returning to work, I think that you should cut yourself a lot of slack right now and do what's best for you. I pressured myself into returning to work too soon after some of my miscarriages, and I regretted it. Your hormones are crashing right now, and if you truly want to stay home a few more days then do. Be good to yourself, selfish even. You have been through a lot.

Leggy

I don't know what to tell you about work- its hard to pretend you care about that crap, but sometimes its better than sobbing over Buffy all day. I've been on both sides of that one, and really, any option besides "give me my healthy pregnancy back" sucks.
You are much more gracious in understanding that people can't possibly know the right thing to say. I tend to get angry. Most everyone has had something go wrong in their lives (death, miscarriage, something)- why are people so incompetent about just saying "gee, that sucks, I'm sorry, is there anything I can do." Not so hard, but yet it really seems to be.
I too was shocked at how hard the further out from the miscarriage I was, the harder it got. I know its partly the shock wearing off and the hormone crash, but I was still shocked by how long it took to not be a crying sobbing mess.
Wish I could so something to make it better.

Leggy

I meant "do" something. :)

Sami

I think Karen said it best... you don't necessarily get over them, you get through them... You're not alone, I may not be able to find the right words to express what I'm feeling for you, but know I'm thinking of you and here reading... trying to find the right words but knowing that ultimately nothing I say will make you feel any better. Take as much time as you need... if my employer hadn't had such awful attendance rules I would have taken much longer off... emotionally I needed it.

Krista

Thalia - I understand the feeling that you can't avoid things forever and wanting to get back to your life, I just hope you are flexible and will recognize when you are pushing yourself too hard.

I found out my pregnancy was over and went back to work the next day. I thought that everything would fall apart if I wasn't there. I was at the office less than an hour and had to leave. I didn't go back for a week. It wasn't wrong to go. It wasn't wrong to leave. You have to do what you feel is right, even when nothing feels right.

Serenity

Thalia - you are very right; no matter what anyone says it's bound to be the wrong thing. For those people in my life whojust don't get it, I try to focus on the empathy and sadness for me behind the words. And I lean heavily on the few that DO know they can't make the hurt go away with words.

As for taking time off work; only you know how you'll handle it. I found that returning to the normalcy of work made my self-inflicted "infertile girl miscarrying" label go away for a bit. But if you do not feel up to it, then take as much time as you need.

Sending you love and empathy. Wish I could do more.

Jenny

Words don't do enough because there is nothing we can do to truly ease your pain, I wish there was.

stephanie

I think you are coping just fine. And I agree with H and the ladies above, if you can, take more time. You are dealing emotionally with what is happening, but also physically as your body deals with the sudden hormonal changes. The only time I have truely felt out of control in my life is the few days after a miscarriage. After my first MC I pushed myself and went back to work too soon, it was not good. Now I take a week. Please think about taking more time.

And yes, there is no adequate thing to say. I don't even know what to say and I have been through it before. It is great your family is trying.

I hope your physical healing is quick and that over time the pain lessens. Thinking of you.

Carrie P

Hi Thalia.

I'm glad your family members are trying to understand and to reach out to you sensitively. From previous posts it sounds as though you have wonderful friends - I hope they are connecting with you as well.

You're right, though; at times, anything someone says will be the wrong thing. The friend of mine who was most supportive didn't try to offer me her wisdom - she just showed a sincere interest in me and my husband and how we were coping. I need to learn from her. I hope you have someone like that in your life; I also hope that we, you commenters, can go some way towards playing that role for you.

I thought of you on Monday as I was going for surgery (laparoscopy) on the same day. Still thinking of you now...

Vanessa

I don't have any advice for you, but then again, in times like these, advice isn't really right anyhow. You just need comfort, and I have lots of that if you need it.

That Empty Arms video was the closest I've been to being able to cry since my negative.

I have been thinking of you, just so you know.

Alli

It really is impossible to say the right thing - even when you have been through it. You're right - words cannot adequately express the horror of it all.

Thinking of you.

Ellen K.

You're a brave woman, Thalia, but please don't push yourself too hard or take on others' problems (i.e., your co-worker) during this time of healing. I've often thought of sending the Empty Arms link to friends and have never done so for fear they would laugh at me (which they wouldn't; I'm just being irrational). I'm glad you got such a positive, direct response. A little validation goes a long way.

Jenn

You are so right. No one can say the right thing. What is there to say when your whole world has been turned inside out and emptied and will never be the same, when you lost something so, so dear to you, but so intangible to others, when you have to go back to the roller coaster of treatment cycles when you thought you might have escaped? There really aren't words. The worst for me was the silence and worrying that people would forget.

Pamplemousse

I cry every single day over many different things. The one thing that I do not care about is work but I know you are way more conscientious than me. Are your employers not being more concerned for your welfare or are they relatively in the dark? Can you talk to your boss and ask for more time?

I always feel that if you push grief down and try to power through it, it just comes back twice as bad at the wrong time to bite you on the bum. You may just need this week or two to really deal with the hormones and the loss or you may need much longer. Everyone is different. That is what makes it so hard.

Summer

After my miscarriage, I had much the same experience. Very rarely did I hear what I felt was comforting. And those rare few that were seemed like a small, cool drink for a person dying of thirst. Satisfying, but only briefly and left me wanting for more.

Kay

I remember that initial post-loss period being so difficult because my feelings changed so much from moment to moment. My assvice: give yourself permission to change direction whenever you feel the need. Don't get frustrated with yourself if you feel like going to work, and then want to go home once you get there. It's all about doing what you need to do to heal in the way that works best for you, however long it takes.

Thinking of you, take care.

Suz

It seems like whatever I write will be so inadequate. Just know I am here thinking of you.

Suz

It seems like whatever I write will be so inadequate. Just know I am here thinking of you.

Stephanie

Infertility sucks big monkey turds. I hope you find whatever it is that will heal you.

katie

In reply to what Pamplemousse says: even if you do not feel that your boss would be sympathetic, if you have a sick note from the doctor you are not actually allowed to go back before it expires... so your boss cannot complain....

T

I worked from home during my m/c's so I can't help on the work front and as far as what will help? Who knows? I think it's all personal - I had to see a therapist after my second (4th ivf) and that helped a bit, I didn't see her for too long, I think it was time really that helped in the end. That and wine. Lots and lots of wine. I'm so sorry you're going through this vile business - it's really more than we should have to bear.

Oh and try not to worry about the crying - so natural and how could you not? Thinking of you.

fisher queen

One of the worst parts about this whole business is how alone it makes you feel. Try to remember that if people don't understand or can't say the right thing, it sounds like they really do care and want you to be happy. Me too.

Lori

I'm so sorry you're going through all this. So much of what you write reminds me of a little of what I went through after my miscarriage. No one ever said the right thing except for 3 friends - 2 who had had their own pregnancy losses and another who had lost her mother to cancer. Everyone else got it wrong in so many ways. But how could they know the horrid emptiness and grief?
I miscarried in July and I think I had my first tear-free weekend in November. As time goes on, you may notice that very slowly the good moments start to outnumber the bad moments. But it does happen eventually.
As for carrying on at work, it is hard. But you'll make it happen somehow.
You're in my thoughts.

Liz

Thalia, I am so sorry for all that you are going through. I understand the pain of a loss and how hard it is get back to normal. Take time to grieve your loss and let out your pain. Remember you have lots of people that care for you and are here for you. {{HUGS}}

moo

T - I am so sorry for everything that you are dealing with. I wish I knew the right thing to say, but I know there isn't one thing that I can say to make it better. So please know I am thinking of you. I think maybe, if you can manage it, take at least through the weekend off from work. Take care, T.

Mary Ellen

I wish I could say or do something to make you feel better, but I think that the best thing you can do is just give yourself time to heal. Please know that you are in my thoughts. I wish you peace during this difficult time. Hugs.

Meredith

I read your entry....if not cry, it made me tear up. And I'm pretty tough and scarred at this point. Sigh. I'm just so, so sorry. I hope that somehow the knowledge that we are all hear fumbling for something to say, something that will some how help to ease a bit of the awefulness of it all....I hope that even if the words don't help, that knowledge is some comfort. Many hugs.

Spanglish

I desperately needed to get back to work after the first loss. I had to get out of my head, and even so I cried throughout the days off and on. I shouldn't have gone back after the second one.

That you are in a panic about going back makes me feel like you should stay home. You are not only in mourning, but you are also in a hormonal crash. Take some time. This is difficult.

With love. T.

Elizabeth

Oh, Thalia, I am so sorry. I want to join those who suggest maybe you should stay home from work a bit longer, but I am sure that you know how you feel better than I ever would. If you are looking for Buffy therapy, how about Band Candy, Doppelgangland, Something Blue or A New Man? Although sometimes when I am very low it is the tragic episodes that help the most. (I have now outted myself as a Buffy freak.) Please take care of yourself.

sube

I know I don't have the words to make you feel better, but know that you're in my thoughts.

Gravida Zero

I admire you for sending the links to your family. Good for you.

Thinking of you!

Chelsi

So sorry you have to go through all of this, Thalia. Glad to hear your family is being so supportive, that's important. I say, if you aren't ready to go back to work, then don't. It'll be much easier for the grieving process if you can let your emotions pour out.

Thinking of you and sending you a cyber-hug...

rockmamainwaiting

Trying to get back into the swing of things after a failed pregnancy is always so hard. You feel that everyone must know, just by looking at you, what's happened. I'm so sorry for your loss...like lots of ladies here, I've been there too.

Go gently and look after yourself.

Larisa

My heart breaks for you and your husband. All I can offer is to take the time you need, and to grieve the way you need. There isn't a right way. Thinking of you.

Spinarella

You already know that there are no words that can be said, but you're in my thoughts. So far as work, give yourself the time you need. Even if you don't feel like going out, find something you can do for you. After both my losses, I found that booking a massage was the thing that helped me the most. It gave me an hour to myself but in the company of a stranger, and provided human touch, which was soothing for me. Don't worry about work: it will be there, and if the person in charge isn't doing a great job of organizing the workshop, you will just feel more stress over it. Wishing you a gentle day...

Manuela

Unless someone has been through it... I don't think anyone can understand.

My SIL told us we were being 'overly dramatic' in our pain. That miscarrying is not like losing a baby... because we didn't even know it. I still get angry about those words... even though she is referring to a miscarriage that was now two years ago.

Thalia... I don't know if my feelings about loss are the same as yours... but to me if felt as though my entire future had been ripped from my arms. It was a loss as tangible as anything I've ever experienced.

Be kind to yourself, don't set yourself up for expectations to live up to... grief has its own time-table, and it can be a bit of a relief when you let go of the notion of trying to manage it.

Much affection.

Lut C.

Thalia, you and H are in my thoughts. I'm grateful that both in real life and in the blog community you have found some comfort. Small mercies.

Lisa P.

You said "...someone else really understands, I want to hear the right thing from people, to know that they appreciate what I am going through. But actually it's only some of you that can do that, those who have been through this and know what worked for you and what didn't. And even then, because we are all different, sometimes we don't get it right for each other, either."

This I think is why I find it so difficult to know what to say, even having been through miscarriage twice myself. (That, or I'm just a lousy correspondent.) In some ways we're all alike, and in others we're not - I was not pursuing fertility treatments, others were; I had spotting, others didn't; others had D&C's automatically, my (former) OB/GYN was more of a "wait and see" kind of person, meaning that I had to m/c naturally both times. All I do know is that I received more strength and support and understanding from those who had been through this in some form than I did from people who I thought I knew and that I thought would be more helpful, more considerate, and more of a friend.

I only took three days off both times (not by choice, really -- I think that was all the latitude I was being given at work) and that was woefully inadequate. I could not function at the office for a few weeks, easily. If you can, take the time that you need now, rather than pushing yourself back into "normal" life which will certainly not seem normal to you at all.

Above all, hold onto H and be good to one another. Internet hugs are no match for the real thing.

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