Q: Some of you might remember me from December (2 months ago) when I posted a few messages about the very sad loss of my sister's two baby girls at about 7 months along in her first pregnancy. Anya was stillborn on Dec. 9th, and Sophia lived from Dec. 9 to Dec. 15th, when she also passed away. I got to see Sophia alive many times in the NICU. She weighed just 1 pound and 14 ounces. I miss her so, so much .... it literally hurts in my heart as I type this. And I was only her auntie...but I loved her and her sister from the moment my sister knew she had *finally* gotten pregnant after a long period of trying. I tried my best to stay very strong for my sister through the agonizing time during which Sophia lived, during the funeral planning, during the funeral and after.... I thought I was handling it pretty well. But then...yesterday I stopped by a friend's office to see if she had had her baby yet...She had also been trying (like my sister) to get pregnant for a long time, and then she finally had success with invitro. She and my sister got pregnant at about the same time, and they were both due in about mid-February...in other words, this month. I walked down the hall to my friend's office, fully expecting she would be out on leave, but I wanted to ask her co-workers if she had delivered her little girl yet. They looked at me with strange expressions and replied, "Yes, she had the baby, but the baby died after 3 days from a congenital lung problem; we are all going to the funeral right now...Do you want to come with us?" I was stunned beyond words...I just burst into tears and could not get a grip....I am ashamed to tell you that I told them I felt I could not attend the funeral....it was all too fresh in my mind -- my nieces' funeral of December 20th -- I felt so emotionally shaky. I just could not go to it. I am in the f-u god mood today. I just cannot understand the cruelty of life....taking away three precious babies that were more wished for and loved than any babies I have ever known....and I just cannot believe it. And strange as this might seem, I feel somehow guilty -- like I am the carrier of bad luck --- the common denominator in these losses. I just feel horrible. When I told my sister about my friend (they had been keeping tabs on each other's pregnancies), she responded with pure out anger toward a god or life or whatever for being so cruel....She got really mad. It seemed like a necessary part of her recovery...and she and I were able to talk for the first time about how much indescribable grief we had both felt...before this I had felt guilty about expressing my grief -- figuring I had to be strong for my sister. Well, she let me finally cry about her loss...and it was good for both of us. I still feel so incredibly sad today for my sister and for my friend...and I am forever changed by these experiences. Who knew that life could be so cruel? It really hurts... I don't think I will ever be able to return to my blissful ignorance that I once enjoyed regarding pregnancy and childbirth...It all just seems incredibly scary and totally unpredictable. Does this feeling ever go away? A friend of my sister's who lost a toddler in a freak choking on food incident says it scars you forever and destroys a part of you (as the mother). Now, I finally know what she meant
A: I am going through my sister-in-law's second miscarriage in 4 months. Our pain must pale in comparison with theirs, but we are still in pain. I cry a lot and wake up in the middle of the night. When it became clear that she would probably lose this one too, I barely slept. She's 3 hours ahead and I would wake up in the middle of the night to call her when she started her day, then several more times during the day. I'm down to twice a day now and a couple of hours researching or checking in here or calling family members to make sure everyone is still rallying around her (not that they wouldn't, but it gives me something concrete to do). I think it's important that we acknowledge our pain too. Hang in there and Email if you want to chat. I'm really sorry for your loss. Twins must be particularly hard.
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