We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

Preface: This has nothing to do with quilting. Aside from the fact that a quilter is currently typing, this will be the least quilty thing you read here. Before continuing, I have a disclaimer – this is the retelling of my experience having a miscarriage. So...feel free to stop here. 

If you are appalled/aghast/offended that I am bringing up this sad and personal story, I want you to know that I vacillated over whether or not this was appropriate. But then decided, who cares? It's my blog. I think it might make me feel better. So here we go...

With each day that passes, I whisper to the air around me, "This isn’t how things were supposed to go." I’ve somehow jumped off course – I’ve jumped into the wrong timeline. I’m living in an alternate universe that’s completely wrong and I would like to return to my regularly scheduled programming, please. Do you hear that, Universe? I SAID that I would like to jump back into the life I am supposed to be living.

Motherhood

Motherhood has always been a great mystery to me. For a large portion of my life, the mystery was why anyone would want to be a mother at all. It looked like a lot of hard work and sacrifice with little payoff.

As my view on motherhood shifted, the mystery changed – these tiny humans are so breakable, yet mothers somehow keep them alive and intact! Why don’t I hear about kids being left in flower shops, or grocery stores? Why aren’t more parents dropping kids or accidentally shutting them in the refrigerator door? The more I thought about this, the more I decided that mothers must acquire a superpower that I, at the moment, did not have. 

Trending patterns!

My current stage of mystery is a question that's been playing on repeat in my head, "Who are these shiny, healthy women who make motherhood look so attainable?" These masters of reproduction act like all I have to do is canoodle with my husband a few times and BAM! Nine months later we are sharing birthing photos on Facebook. Why is that the story painted for the world? 

The moment I saw two lines on my pregnancy test I felt like a mother. Granted, a terrified and devastatingly inept one, but a mother just the same. A tiny seed of hope and possibility formed inside of me. Against all fears and rationality, my heart started to beat for two.

Pregnancy

After my positive pregnancy test, weeks progressed and the app on my phone informed me that my little pumpkin seed had grown to the size of a blueberry. The ember of hope that I could make this mommy thing work began to glow bright. John and I could make a fun-loving family unit of three. That fuzzy, beautiful feeling of hope started taking the form of solid shapes, pictures and plans.

By week seven...oh week seven...you deplorable, overrated week. The day I hit week seven I breathed a deep sigh of relief. I was in the clear. The chance of the M-word dropped dramatically and I was just a week away from the big eight. After the eight week mark, chances of losing a pregnancy drop even more. I went back to my hometown for Christmas feeling quite pleased with myself and my healthy baby-making bits.

Denial

Denial is a short word that can last a long time. As I write, I’m still in denial that this is how the story plays out for me. When I started bleeding the day after Christmas I thought, “This is fine. No need to panic. I’m sure this happens all the time.” Four days later, sitting on my couch back in Chicago, I still catch myself thinking, “Everything is fine. You will go back to the doctor and he’ll breathe a sigh of relief and say, ‘Mrs. Williams, you gave us all a scare, but the baby is just fine. Your healthy eating and regular exercise is what saved the day!’”

That last bit could be left out, but wouldn’t that be nice to hear too? Because why didn’t my green smoothies and regular spin classes save my baby? Aren’t I doing the right things? What happened? What went wrong?

Why me?

Sleep Walking

I’m awake I tell myself. Get up. Put on pants. Tie your shoes. What was I doing? Oh yeah...tying my shoes…

I can’t move my limbs without enormous effort. I’m supposed to be washing a glass, but it’s not until the water gets too hot and burns my hand that I remember that I’m supposed to be washing a glass. Sometimes I feel my cheek and brush against something wet. I guess I’m crying. It’s hard to say. I feel like I’m underwater. Everything is wet.

The apathy is how I know I’m awake. My dreams typically revolve around an action or event – I’m learning to fly, but can’t get higher than 5 feet off the ground. I’ve shown up to a job interview but forgotten to wear a bra. My days now consist of sitting. Staring. Sometimes standing. But always staring.

Just staring.

This is the part that’s supposed to be redemptive. 

Sorry, but I’m not there yet. At this point I’m supposed to say that things have gotten better and I wanted to share my story in the hopes that I could help other women going through something similar. Here’s the truth – I’m writing this with the meager hope that it will help me. Maybe if I sputter out some of the sadness that is inside of me I won’t feel so heavy any more. Maybe some of you, who aren’t going through this, can hold it for me for a minute, while I catch my breath.


43 Days Later

A lot has changed since writing the lines above, but rereading those broken words, laced with pain and self-doubt, I'm brought back to the place I was over a month ago. I guess I have some perspective now. I think that's what I'm supposed to say.

The way I've started describing my current situation is that I am now apart of a sisterhood I never wanted to be apart of. Very much against my will, I have been inducted into The I've-Had-A-Miscarriage Club. Our numbers are terribly high, higher than I could have known until I joined, and we all mourn with the entry of every new member.

I'll close by saying, if you have recently found yourself to be a member of this sisterhood, or if you have been a member for 20 years, I don't know if I can offer you words of comfort, but I can stand with you and be with you in spirit. I can tell you that even though our babies did not survive, we did. And we will keep surviving – together.

Suzy Quilts

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44 thoughts on “We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

  1. Liz says:

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. Your blog is always so bubbly and bright that I was surprised to see this, but I applaud your courage to share your story. I hope you do feel better after sharing it!

  2. Kari says:

    Sending my prayers. I use quilting as an outlet for my faith and prayers. Each stitch is a prayer (even on my machine😉). I’ll be praying for you today when I quilt. May you be filled with peace and know you are so so loved. Thanks for sharing your story. May you find the desires of your heart fulfilled. You’re not alone.

  3. Theresa says:

    Yup, week 7 is when I lost my first pregnancy. In my subsequent pregnancies, I held my breath that week. And, while I always thought the worry would be over once “the fat baby cries,” it wasn’t. Complications at birth (for both kids!) kept us in the hospital longer than we ever thought. And, I still worry–it’s never over. I’ve learned that motherhood is about experiencing a tremendous joy that is inextricably linked to the fickleness of life.

    I’m sorry that this was your induction to motherhood. But, I’m standing there with you–and all the other mothers–and always will be.

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Thank you for sharing, Theresa. It’s hard to explain, but it has become very comforting to hear other stories and read about the experiences of women who have also gone through this. It’s a very specific kind of pain that isn’t easy to talk about. So thank you.

  4. Shannon says:

    Oh, my sweet friend, I love you and I am so terribly saddened you’ve joined this sisterhood. Thank you for sharing your story – I hope it brings you a little release from the pervasive sadness. Sending you big hugs.

  5. Vanessa Chafe says:

    Thank you for sharing your story with us all. Sending you so much love and healing; you have a wide network of women that admire, support and are thinking about you. Motherhood is full of happiness but there is also alot of pain and emotions that you never knew existed before. ❤❤❤

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Thank you, Vanessa. My biggest struggle right now is against the fear. I never want to let fear make my decisions or dominate my emotions. I see now, that it’s going to be a daily fight to not let fear win out. Thank you for the encouraging comment.

  6. Yvonne says:

    I’m not a member of the dreaded club, but I have many friends who are. I have comforted them, cried right along with them, but I will never know that loss and I can never say “I understand what you’re going through,” because I *do not*. I do, however, understand loss, and healing, and how writing those words helped you, maybe in the tiniest bit. But it is every step forward, every tiny step, that helps. I also think that you are very, very brave for sharing something so deeply personal with the world. I’m hugging you from Pittsburgh.

    (Also, please dance more with your chain pieced quilts. I still giggle when I think about that video.)

  7. k says:

    Hey Suzy —

    In February 2015, I became a member of another dreaded club that I’d never thought I’d belong to (the “I’ve had an abortion” club). While some may say your group and mine are about as far apart as possible in terms of the ‘motherhood’ realm, a lot of your story resonates with me and my own unfortunate experience. I can’t say that I regret my decision, but I do live with it still, especially since my partner and I are now ready to begin having a family and I’m scared I gave up my *one* chance to have a baby…. anyways, I don’t really know where I’m going with this, other than I think there’s a lot of difficult experiences out there [related to pregnancy] and even though they’re not uncommon, they’re not easily shared and they’re not easily processed, so I applaud your courage and I can feel your pain.

    much love and strength,
    k

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Thank you for sharing your story, K. Loss is loss, and there is no doubt in my mind that you have shared much of my same feelings. I too have the exact same fear – was that my one chance? The only thing that gets me through those moments when fear is strangling my heart is to remember a mantra I’ve held onto for many years – Fear is not the boss of me.

      Thank you again for being vulnerable.

  8. Kristal says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Please know that for every woman that comments here, so many more don’t comment but are comforted by your words. I’m so sorry you had to go through this. I found out a year ago today that my son’s heart wasn’t beating at 25 weeks. It’s really hard today, but I will tell you that the grief does get easier. Instead of a 100 foot tsunami every hour of every day, it becomes a 50 foot tsunami a few times a week. I pray you will feel some peace in this storm, but take the time you need to feel sad whenever you need to.

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      My heart aches for you – for us. I’m so sorry, Kristal. I know you are right about the pain getting easier. I know you’re right because I don’t cry every day anymore, but it’s still there isn’t it? Always below the surface? I keep thinking how strange it is that life can be so beautiful and so devastating – sometimes at the same time. Thank you for writing such an encouraging comment. I appreciate it so much.

  9. Erin says:

    I am so sorry. My heart breaks for you, and I am sitting at work holding back tears. Please know that I am sending love over the oceans in the hopes that it wraps around you and comforts you and your husband through this. Keep finding joy (and allowing yourself to be sad when you need – that’s important too).
    Like K above, my story is different (my partner and I will never get to be pregnant at all) but as women, we know this grief. And while we don’t talk about it, we are with each other through it.
    E xxx

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Thank you so much for sharing and being vulnerable. With every story I hear my heart breaks, but also feels tougher. I know that sounds like a bazaar oxymoron, but knowing that I’m not alone with this pain is empowering and encouraging. Knowing you and others have this pain is crushing and terrible. It’s a weird balance of sadness and solidarity, if that makes any sense.

      Thank you again, Erin, for your sweet comment.

  10. Sara says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart, Suzy. I’m so sorry for your loss. I pray that you would find joy amidst the suffering, that you would allow yourself time and space to grieve and heal. I think starting this Rocksteady quilt will be a great way to cope with my miscarriage last February & reflect on a year of personal growth, recovery, and gratitude for the women I’ve come to know through a local support group. Sending love from Texas.

  11. Rachael says:

    oh my goodness – I did wonder what the ‘hard’ was all about in this quilt – and now I completely and totally understand. I, too, am in the club. No one wants this – and there are no magic potions to make it all better. I will say that not enough women truly come out with it and just let it fester for years…and I ‘heart’ you for being so brave. Big hugs to you. I maintain you are such a joy to follow and watch…and I’m so sorry you experienced this great sorrow. I hope and pray you find comfort in the coming year. Thank you for being brave and sharing your story…and for not wrapping it up with a pretty bow.

  12. Pam L says:

    When I first saw Rocksteady I was excited about the brilliant design & couldn’t wait to get the pattern to make my own version. Now, hearing your story about how this evolved, I feel differently about it. It will have so much more meaning as I select my fabrics, cut and sew the pieces, quilt and finally add the binding. I am so very sorry for your pain and loss. Your grief is very real and your writing about it made me feel your raw pain. I hope each day wake up just a little better, but it is something that will never completely leave you. I belong to the club of Mothers-who-lost-a-daughter-to-drug-overdose. Six months ago to this day. The grief and sadness will never completely leave me.
    So I will be making this beautiful Rocksteady quilt to help work through my pain and grief. Quilting has been my therapy and will continue to be. I will think of and pray for you as I make my quilt. Take care of yourself.

  13. Ashley Pierce says:

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  14. Lexie says:

    Oh, Suzy, the club no woman wants to join. I joined almost four years ago. I remember looking for answers, why did losing someone I did’t even know hurt so bad? I remember reading you are mourning not the person, but the plans you made for that person, the future you will never get. And it was so true, and it is so important to mourn that, it is real and it is hard. Sending lots of warm hugs and healing thoughts!

  15. Holly Humbert says:

    Suzy I’m so sorry. Those words don’t help, I know they’re aren’t any words that do. I’ve struggled with secondary infertility, then 3 miscarriages in about 14 months. I’m so glad you have found the courage to share. I kept silent during my losses, and felt so isolated and alone. I hope you find love and support in this community of women who can share your grief. <3

  16. Charlotte says:

    Suzy, my heart is breaking for you knowing you are going through so much pain and grief at your terrible loss. .😢😢 I am so glad you shared your heart on this blog. I can see already that you have encouraged others by your transparency. i love you so much and will be praying for you every day. Charlotte Sending a giant hug!

  17. Christine H says:

    Dear Suzy,
    I can’t even find the words to express how much hurt I feel for you as I read your story. I am not a member of this club, but being a mother gives one a universal understanding of the “ugly beautiful” of life. How the joyous, symphony of shape, color and texture on the front of the quilt is also somehow necessarily contrasted with chaos, twists and frayed edges on the back side. How those little humans bring us the most joy we ever thought possible, but are also the cause of the most terrifying fears to grip our hearts. We will always hurt when they hurt and be fearful for their well-being, and willingly, lovingly, give our all for them.
    Thank you for bravely sharing your story. I pray it will help you and others in working through the grief. And though this will always be a chapter in your life story, I know it will not be the ending.
    Hugs & much love, c

  18. Judy says:

    Suzy, I am so sorry I missed your post until tonight. My heart breaks as I think about your loss and the minutes, hours, days that you have been grieving. Knowing you, I realize the courage it took to share so openly. You have all my love and prayers.

  19. jtheiger says:

    I am convinced that miscarriage and infertility are 2 of the most devastating things a woman can go through. The shame and sorrow come from such a deep place inside. It feels we’ve betrayed ourselves. Thank you for sharing. I was told that my first baby’s heart wasn’t beating after some bleeding. For 24 hours I went to a dark, lonely place. I hadn’t been sure about motherhood before that (I was 24 and terrified) but that news devastated me. The love you have for that tiny baby is real and powerful. It turns out the baby was fine, but it taught me that women are so strong. I cannot imagine putting one foot in front of the other with that pain tearing out my heart. I wish I could fix this for you. I am sending prayers and love and light.

  20. Gaby says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Suzy. For some reason when I read the vague allusion on Instagram to you having been through a difficult time recently, a miscarriage is where my mind went straight away. I’m lost for words. I’m so sorry your little one and all the hopes and dreams you’d had for them were taken away. My mother had a miscarriage early on in one of her pregnancies, before a sex could be discerned (in the early 1990s), but she felt that he was a boy and his name would’ve been Simon. I think somehow that helped her grieve. I don’t know if it’s the same for you, but if you had a feeling about them then honour it if you choose to. I hope that in time a rainbow appears after your storm.

  21. Lori Matsui says:

    Nothing made me feel more helpless and vulnerable than having a miscarriage at 4 months. I don’t know if it was a boy or a girl, but that child is still part of my family and someday we will meet. I am blessed with three sons, but even with that abundant blessing, when I set the table for dinner there is all ways that little voice that says someone is missing. I use that voice to remember to be patient and give all the love I can to the ones I love that I can still hug and never take them for granted. It is a strange thing that we become strongest through our weak spots but it is true that in feeling the pain we eventually grow stronger in our ability to love. May that be true for you as well. God bless you and keep you!

  22. Anne Dawson says:

    My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 7 weeks . I now have a 22 year old and an 18 year old I would not have if the first one did not go horribly wrong. I know there is nothing we can say or do to make you feel better but I guess it is nice to know you are not alone. You have a lot of people who love reading your blog and it is great how upbeat it usually is but it is ok to be down sometimes too. Thinking of you.

  23. Mary D says:

    In this sisterhood of women, there are many stories of survival along life’s journeys. I wish you much love, healing, peace and success in yours. It is not a journey you walk alone.

  24. Diane Muldoon says:

    The blogs that are the best are the ones that share from the heart….I know grief…I hate death…I hate that life as we know it changes in a second…I hate that folks do not understand and that life continues unrelenting without stopping as we grieve. it takes a long long time.to get thru denial….I used to say that the land of denial was my favorite vacation spot.
    Someone once told me that I had better hurry up and get well…as there were things to be done….oh, but she did not know, the pain of the heart as I knew. it…..hugs to you for sharing your travels. oxoxoxo

  25. sarah says:

    Suzy, my heart breaks for you. I have 2 beautiful children, but I have also had 3 miscarriages. My body cannot handle the stress of being pregnant. I too, even though I already had two children before them, I grieve for the what could have been. It’s been nearly 3 years since my last miscarriage and even though I don’t think about those 3 babies everyday, every once in a while the dreams and plans that I had come up in my heart and I know that they won’t come true. BUT I can focus on the ones that I do have and love them so much more and to be thankful for them so much more.

  26. Carolyn says:

    Sending hugs. My grandmother used to say in life we have to take the good with the bad. She didn’t elaborate about the bad too much but believe me she saw it because she had miscarriages between my mother and my uncle. The bad is such a bitter pill sometimes but somehow the good Lord pulls us through it. I pray for you to have way more good than bad and when you are ready, to pursue all the future good. My heart breaks for you to go through this but your optimism will help immensely.

  27. Nancy says:

    Oh Suzy don’t you just detest these life challenges we get thrown at us?! I too have walked in these shoes and it is completely a personal walk. No one should tell you how to behave or how to feel. I do know already that you’ve fought your way through in this quilt and pattern. I’m sure that in itself is cathartic. And it’s a total beauty!! With a shared story with so many women I must make this gem!
    Be well my friend,

  28. P Reid says:

    Our Stories are not the same, but, I feel your pain. Quilting and my quilting friends (you know who you are) have helped me beyond belief.

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