Thursday, March 23, 2006


Oh no...

You have no idea how much I don't want to write the next few sentences.

Yesterday, Her Lovely Self went for a second blood test, just a few days after the first one. It showed her hormone levels were going down. Down is bad, but we'd seen this before. It happened with Thomas.

Last night, she started spotting. This morning, spotting turned to serious bleeding. Bleeding is bad, but we'd seen this before. It happened with Thomas.

Today, she had an emergency ultrasound. We had to have an emergency ultrasound with Thomas at roughly the same point in his first trimester and got a perfect view of this tiny little Cheeto of a baby with a pulsing dot in the center--Thomas' Tic-Tac of a heart, just starting to beat. And we knew everything was going to be okay.

Today, the ultrasound showed...nothing. A total absence of anything babylike. That nothingness was one of the worst things I've ever seen.

And just like that, we're not having a baby anymore.

The doctors, being doctors, are already shifting their attention to Her Lovely Self. Now come the uncomfortable tests and examinations and determinations to decide if everything has passed on its own or if HLS requires a D&C. But we're still back a step or 12, staring at that awful vision of nothingness.

I probably shouldn't be writing this in my moment of shock, any more than I should have written--prematurely as it turned out--about the pregnancy in my moment of excitement. I feel like a combination of a Jinx and the Boy Who Cried Wolf.

There are so many different ways to feel awful right now, I can't even pick a direction.

This was not an anticipated pregnancy, by the way, and when faced with the unanticipated, Her Lovely Self tends to freak out. I feel awful for spending so much time talking this up, reminding her how great it is to have a baby, gradually helping her to see the bright side, essentially setting her up for the greatest of letdowns.

I feel awful for having convinced myself that everything was hunky-dory despite some obvious danger signs.

I feel awful for having got all of you as worked up and happy as I was (I'm so tempted to delete that post. I can hardly bear to look at it. And yet, how can I delete all your accompanying outpourings of love and good will? And so it will remain).

For a time, I even felt awful for feeling awful. On the drive home, Her Lovely Self, almost dazedly, was already talking about every pregnancy horror story we'd heard of among our friends and family: the sister who miscarried twice before finally delivering her only son prematurely and nearly dying herself in the process; the friend who endured a stunning 12 miscarriages before finally deciding to adopt; the coworker whose full-term baby was delivered stillborn, the umbilical cord having strangled him. It was almost unbearable to talk about, but it was my wife's way of trying to cope, to remind herself how much worse things could have been.

At first, I felt as she did, thinking I had no right to feel so bad when we have, for the most part, been so lucky. But I can't do that. I can't minimize this. Each pregnancy is distinctive and unique. And each pregnancy's untimely ending--whether at 8 weeks or 8 months--is distinctively, uniquely painful. I would never presume to compare my sorrow and pain to someone else's. Theirs is theirs and mine is mine.

And mine is pretty bad right now.

They say depression is not always triggered by one big event, but by an accumulation of smaller ones. Burying a beloved relative. Missing out on a long-anticipated vacation. An unexpected hospital stay. A lost child, even though that child was lost somewhere between 5 and 7 weeks, its Tic-Tac heart probably never even beginning to pulse. That pretty much sums up my past two months. I'm usually a pretty upbeat guy. I can usually find a bright spot in the darkness. I can usually summon a joke, a smart-ass remark, a funny story, to help dig out of whatever hole I find myself in. But the stone on my heart is too heavy and I don't have the strength to shift it right now.

So I'm sure you'll understand if I don't post here for the next little while. Life just doesn't seem that fun to write about. Not now. Not yet.

Physically, Her Lovely Self is out danger, but emotionally she's going to have her good days and bad days, good hours and bad hours. But she's already told that this is it. We're done having children. Which is also her way of coping. She may change her mind later. She often does, and I hope she will.

When I was little and a neighbor lost her baby, I remember asking my mom what the big deal was. I had it in my head that every baby ever to be born was just lined up in heaven like commuters at a bus stop, or amusement-park goers waiting their turn for the next bumper car. To me, that mysterious lump in the tummy was just a bus, a bumper car, a ride waiting for the rider. If the baby missed his or her ride, he or she just waited for the next one to come along, and when it did the baby jumped for it. I assumed our neighbor would still get the same baby she was meant to have; it just missed this ride and would have to catch another one later. It was a child's way of trying to answer an unknowable mystery, ridiculously innocent and naive.

Part of me wants desperately to be that little kid again.

And the rest of me just wants our little Cheeto of a baby back.

You have a family of people that barely know you who are all here for you and feel your pain, acutely. Take your time with this. We'll be thinking of you and HLS.
Amen to what Shane said. I'm so sorry for your loss. Healing vibes to you & your wife during this difficult time.
My condolences on your loss MM. No matter when you lose a child, it is always a loss beyond comprehension. I am so sorry you and HLS have to go through this. Take your time to heal, and to help HLS heal. We are all here sending you comforting thoughts and heartfelt prayers.
MM, you must not blame yourself. Irish superstitions or no, your joy and excitement over this didn't cause this to happen.

I wish I had all the answers, including a direct line to God to ask him, just to get that reassurance from him, why bad things happen. I can't bring myself to believe he causes them, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't like them either. This is part of our trials as human beings.

I feel a little dumb giving advice to someone who is older and much more experienced than myself, but here goes anyway; You are a father, a husband, a leader and a man, and according to the track records - which you have so lavishly provided for us in your history and the writings of this blog - you are doing a magnificent job.

You are a wonderful father, a loving husband, a heck of an editor and a man of principle. Keep on doing what you are doing, because so far it seems to work.

In the meanwhile, there are a whole lot of people out here - readers, friends, devotees, whatever you like to call them - and we are all behind you. Humanity itself is why we read you, because we like seeing it in other people and vicariously experiencing it through lives other than our own. But humanity isn't just experiencing, it's also active on our part.

As much empathy as each one of our hearts can muster, we send to you in your time of loss. As much as you have provided for us of you, we hope we can give back when you need it the most.

Take your time. Hearts get hurt too, and they need time to heal. We'll be waiting for you when you get back.
My prayers go out to you and your family.
I'm so sorry. While this hurts terribly, I'm glad you told people about the pregnancy, so you could also tell people this, and receive all of the love and comfort you can. Grief always needs to be acknowledged.

And for what it's worth, again, I'm so sorry this happened to you and to Her Lovely Self. My true condolences.
We love all of you.
I'm so sorry, MM. My thoughts are with you and HLS.
MM, I'm sorry that you guys are going through this, and I'm sorry for your loss. I don't even know you and I feel terrible for you; hopefully the combination of a blogmunity's worth of people sending their best thoughts your way and the support of your fabulous family will help you guys start to heal. All the best.
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers right now MM, I can't imagine how hard this must be for you both. Hope to see you back soon, until then, take care of you and yours.
I don't have the words all I can say is I'm so sorry and I will keep you and HLS in my thoughts and prayers and know that we all understand your need to stay away for how ever long you need. I wish I had the words to take away the sadness and pain.
I don't know what to say, I want to say something comforting but .... this is terrible. I'm sorry for your disappointment and loss.

Mend yourself and HLS.
My very kindest thoughts and sympathy to you and HLS on this loss. I'm so very sorry.
Hang in there... There aren't words to help - thoughts and prayers heading your way from the Bay Area.

I am so very sorry for the loss of your little tiny one. Awful, awful. And I agree with those who've said they're glad that you told us about the pregnancy, and now this, because I wish all sorts of support and loving thoughts for you all coming from as many directions as possible.

Here's sending you and HLS all the spare tenderness I've got. We're all grieving with you from afar, and willing comfort your way.
MM, so many other people have said it far more eloquently than I could ever hope to, but I just wanted to add my voice to the mix. First and foremost, you and your family are in my thoughts as you deal with this disappointment. Also, I think your child's-eye view of babies is very touching, and I wish you could believe in it again, too. And of course, it goes without saying that you will be very missed by all of us, but there are just somethings we have to do, and blogging isn't always one of them. When you're ready, we'll be here.
Oh no. My deepest sympathy to you and yours. I'll miss you, but your 'real' life is so much more important. Take care of your family, and let them take care of you. We'll still be here when you get back.
What can I say that hasn't already been said?

Our entire family is so sorry to hear about this. We lost two babies during pregnancy, so I have been there.

Sometimes, the hardest loss to bear is the *potential* of what might have been.

You know we'll all be here, whenever you're ready to come back.

Until then,


Oh MM. I hardly know what to say. Except how sorry I am to hear this. Lots of hugs to you & your family.
Hugs and love to you and your family. Take your time, we'll all be here when you're ready. Hug Brownie and Art Lad and take comfort in them. I can't pretend to know your pain, but my thoughts, sympathies and prayers are with you and HLS. Take care, and take care of her. She will most certainly need your strength.
Sorry if this comes out all wrong but sometimes I'm just not very good with words and this is one of them.

I'm so sorry, words can't even express, for you and HLS. I've been through the same thing you have and spent a long time denying the pain and in a sense I don't think I'll ever completely recover. Even though I was just at 11 weeks, there was just so much hope, love, anticipation, for this tiny thing I couldn't even begin to imagine.

Please know that we are all here to support you, a big cyber-hug from all of us. When it rains it pours and unfortunatly you have had some serious shit to deal with lately.

Take you're time, I'll be thinking of you and your family.
MM, my deepest sympathy to both of you. I know these last few months have been a roller coaster ride for you, and all of your readers understand if you don't feel like posting for a while. We'll still be here when you come back.
I can't think of anything to offer that hasn't already been said. I can only echo the thoughts and prayers that everyone else is sending you.

You've been on such a roller coaster lately that taking some time for you and your family is perfectly understandable. We'll be here for you, ready to listen, when you're ready to talk.

In the meantime, my deepest sympathies to you and HLS.
Tears are being shed and prayers offered--all from a group you've never met. Our thoughts and condolences are with you and your family. Go and heal in the way you need to, and know if we could, we'd take this pain from you. Wishing you the best.
MM, HLS and family,

I don't have a way with words, and most everyone else here has already said what I want to tell you about how much love I am sending your way to help you all through your loss.

So I write this just to add my voice to everyone elses, so that perhaps in the great number, the positive vibrations of healing we send will wrap around your family.

We will be here for oyu when you need us.
oh, MM. I'm so sorry..
I first wrote this poem when I found out that I'm infertile.

Now it has a new meaning.


I Miss You

little fingers
bunchy with skin
stubby, flailing, grasping
little toes pointing out of fat feet
little heels kicking at air
joints bent tightly, fresh from the womb
tiny wisps of hair on your head
huge watery eyes squinting as you smile
your untrained face following mine
I love you
I want to hold you close
protect you
teach you what little I know
let you teach me
kiss your soft skin
brush your soft hair
play with your fingers
I miss you
my child who will never be

For Cheeto
Oh MM! Hurting for you guys & with you guys.
I am so very and your family are in my prayers.
I am so sorry for your loss MM and HLS. Loving poetry as I do, I think Heather's poem is moving and wonderful. A quote I read recently said, "Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes."

Beyond that, your hospital likely provides support for those who have suffered this heart rending loss. At the hospital where I work it's called Heart Prints. It's a wonderful program, and I encourage you to call and inquire. You are in my prayers.
I send my sincerest condolences to you and your wife. Take care of her as you always do so well. Take your time and forget about entertaining and amusing your readers. And take care of yourself.

You will both be in my thoughts and prayers.

Words are utterly inadequate to convey the sense of sorrow I feel for you, MM. Please know that you are fervently in my prayers.

As much as is possible, we are all sending you love and healing. God bless you and yours.
I'm so sorry :(

And I do NOT mean this IN THE LEAST in a "write here anyway" kind of way. I just want to say that you don't always have to be upbeat and funny. Being you includes more than that, and if you WANT to write don't think you have to entertain. And yes, of course we will understand if you don't feel like it.
I wouldn't be here today if my mother hadn't miscarried 3 months before my conception.

From a personal standpoint, I'm darn glad she miscarried. Though I feel sad for my sibling that missed out on life.

My heart goes out to you and your family after reading your post. I sent a prayer out for your family though I hope God knows who I'm talking about since I don't know your name. :)

You didn't jinx it. Stop being so hard on yourself. If blogging caused miscarriages, the abortion clinics would be out of business.
Sincere condolescences from Michigan. I'm praying for you and HLS. Hug tight, hold each other close and forget about all of us for awhile.
Our thoughts are with you...
I hope you let each and every comment act as an ice pick to chip away at that stone on your heart. Take our collective strength and let us help you & yours.

Much love from a loyal reader.
I completely agree with the person who said that grief needs to be acknowledged. Speaking from experience, it helps so much to have people sympathising with you than being ignorant of what you're going thru.

You and your wife are in my thoughts. This is a tough, crappy thing to go thru and there aren't words to make the pain disappear. I'm hoping it helps to know that all these people are thinking of you and wishing you well.
Depression is hard, and I hope that you can heal soon. You've got Thomas and Brownie.. a family who loves you so much. A wife who also lost a child-- lean on each other. Take care of yourself, take some time and heal; we'll be here when you get back to your old self. Sending love your way. Take care.
Your last few posts illustrate the truth about the saying "Shared joy is increased, shared pain is lessened". Thanks for being so excited you wanted to share your joy with us, now try to take some solace from the fact that we all share your pain.
Take care and god bless.
I cannot imagine what this must be like for you or your family. I am thinking of all of you.
I'm so sorry. My prayers to you.
your words leave me speechless. i'm just so sorry.
blog. don't blog. i'm fighting grief by writing.

The first thing when I got home this afternoon, TJ asked me it I'd read Masthead today. She didn't say why but I could tell she was upset. Right now the words "I'm sorry" feel like such an inadequate thing to offer you and HLS but I can't think of anything else to say.

You and your family are in our thoughts.
Dear MM, It's odd to find yourself so deeply affected by someone who you don't really know, thus is the power of your prose & good humor. So we here in the dark, now return the love & care you so clearly invest in your online family. We send it to HLS & your children as well. Take care till you feel you want to return. We will be here then, as now. Be well ...
I can't say it any better than what has already been said. I'm very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Thinking of you.
My condolences to you and HLS. May you find solace in this difficult time.
I'm so sorry MM. Sending you and your family lots of hugs and keeping all of you in my prayers.
I know something of what you're feeling,.MM, having been through a similar experience. It's life-altering. It takes time and effort to move through.
What you're feeling is normal and shouldn't be shoved aside, least of all for us, your Constant Readers. We're all thinking of you and wishing you and HLS well.
Be strong--and remember how much strength is in weakness.
I am SO sorry to read this. All I can do to help. is to send out my prayers for your family.

So very sorry, mm. unfortunately, been there more than once, and I know how it shakes the very foundation of your life. thinking of you & family.
This is in no way your fault for sharing with the world and feeling joy. My mother lost one of my younger sisters after 5 1/5 months of pregnancy - all of a sudden her heart just stopped beating, no one knows what happened - so she was stillborn. I was young (about 5), but I remember the pain my parents felt, and then, 5 years later when my mom got pregnant yet again (with my current little sister), she was *terrified* to tell anyone. Terrified. So she hid it - even from her kids - until it wasn't possible to hide it anymore. People deal with these things in different ways - my mom's way was to run from it, but your way to is to meet it head on and deal and let everyone feel your pain. That is admirable. I'll be holding your family in my thoughts until we hear from you again, whenever that may be...
Have Faith and know you are not alone. I'm so sorry for your devastating loss. Supportive thoughts, gentle hugs and prayers to you and HLS. Hang in there and be strong.
MM, saying I'm sorry never helps, so I'll do the only thing I know that might, I'll be praying for you and the family.
I am terrible sorry. I dont know why but for some reason, fate or sth and HLS would need to go through this until the time it heals. I willbe praying for you and your family.
MM: Jack Fear's big sis here. I lurk + read from time to time. So sorry for your trouble. This - like other true tradgedies in life - won't pass, but will somehow someway work its way into the managable-memory category. I carry the same stone in my own box of rocks. Peace.
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