Saturday, May 7, 2011


I'm a pattern person. I notice the repetition in things. That's probably why I am doing the job I do - because I can recognize patterns where most people will not. My life seems to go in patterns too - I note patterns in the types of evidence I receive. I note patterns in the things my daughter does. This week's pattern (which I hope does not continue) was randomly occurring discussions of miscarriage in the least expected places.

Today, for instance, we were having a garage sale, and trying to sell all the clothing my daughter has outgrown. Some women came up, and noted that all the clothes were girls' clothes. They said "all we have are boys." And as they walked away, one continued "that's probably why she lost her first one - it was probably a girl and girls are not allowed."

Yesterday, while at work, somehow the topic also came up. This one was a little more difficult for me. One coworker was discussing someone she knew who lost a baby at 14 weeks. The woman's mother told her to scoop the miscarried baby out of the toilet and take it in to the hospital. The woman could tell that her child was a boy. Another coworker was wondering why that would be necessary, so I told her that the doctors would be able to tell if the mother had an infection of some sort or if there were a chromosomal defect in the baby if they could test the "products of conception." The second coworker also said that she thought that miscarriages were just bleeding - she didn't realize that you'd be able to see the baby. So I told her that there used to be a display of the the gestational stages of a fetuses at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago (it was really an amazing exhibit, but a. lost on the kids on field trips and b. no longer displayed due to decomposition and, I think, social pressure), and that after maybe 6-7-8 weeks, there would be something big enough and developed enough to be recognizable as a baby. I didn't share my miscarriage experiences - or I would have burst into tears. The first coworker also brought up a former coworker who had an almost full term stillborn baby. It was kind of a rough half hour there. On our way out later, the first coworker apologized for bringing the subject up - she had forgotten about my miscarriage (um doubtful - she's kind of passive-aggressive that way). I said that I would prefer to have miscarriage discussed - it's far more common than people believe and it's better to talk about it so people who need it can find more support and understanding.

I'm hoping that's all the discussions of miscarriage I'll accidentally fall into for a while. I hope this is the end of this particular pattern.


  1. "Girls are not allowed..."??

    What the hell?! Who says that kind of crap?

    I think it's one of those patterns that comes in three. I hope that the garage sale incident, the co-working and the passive-aggressive comment are the three and there will be no more like it for a looooong time.

  2. The first comment, at the garage sale, was so amazingly odd I am still staring at the screen with my eyebrows in my hairline. Who SAYS things like that? What? Why? WTF?

    If you would like me to come over there and slap Ms Passive-Aggressive into next week, I certainly shall. Bah to her. BAH.

    And while it is true, miscarriage should be discussed - I am so sick of being made to feel alternatly like a freak and like a whiner because it's no big deal (um. YES IT IS) - I am also very sorry that you ended up being the one having to discuss it, because oh, it's so hard to do. So hard. Kudos to you.

  3. As patterns go that is one that needs to be swiftly distorted.

    "No girls allowed" Ahh, yeah! That'll be it. Fuckwits.

  4. Spreading understanding is a good thing. It's nice to not have the subject be taboo, but understanding and sensitivity still needs some work. Hoping too this is the end of this talk.

  5. Oh my word. What the hell. Some people!

    When I was growing up, there was a similar display in a museum in nearby Fort Worth, Tx. I found it fascinating and so sad. I always lingered in that section. I wanted to keep the babies company. I'm so weird, I know.

    I hope this is the end for a while too. xo

  6. *Girls are not allowed*...was that family Indian? Just curious...

    That discussion on taking the fetus out from the toilet bowl? Very disturbing. Perfect for a hot round of gossip, but very disturbing for somebody who has been through it.

    I am hoping it's the end of it (the gossipy discussions) for you.

  7. Joy in Unrelenting PainMay 10, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    Hello. I am a fellow blogger. I just found your blog and I just wanted to let you know I am praying for you, I am going through a rough time right now also (sometimes it's crazy because life just seems to fall apart when you least expect it). You are in my prayers this evening. This quote below has helped me some!

    " First Attempt great things for God,
    then Expect great things from God."
    ---William Carry

  8. Sheesh...peoples comments amaze me sometimes. *sigh*
    Hoping the pattern does end pronto!

  9. Sorry for the almost tears and having to deal with passive aggressiveness on top of that too.
    Yes, this is a pattern well worth breaking.
    ((HUGS)) AYKM

  10. (Oh dear. Sorry, that was only me, above. Signed in with wrong ID. Duh.)

    What I wanted to say was well done for sticking it out, and not bolting for the door. It's so uncomfortable when the topic comes up, and yet, it's important that it should be spoken about. People need to know.

  11. not. ok.

    and if you want me to go all 'krav maga' (that's israeli karate) on someone's ass, please let me know.

  12. I read something that Elizabeth Edwards said about people not wanting to bring up her son who died for fear of making her sad. And she said something to the effect of, you are not reminding me that he died, I know that every day, but if you talk about him you are acknowledging that he lived and I appreciate that. I feel similarly about miscarriage, it's not like I ever forget that I had two miscarriages and then someone reminds me and makes me sad by bringing it up. That sadness is always there, but if you talk about it then I feel like you acknowledge that loss and my feelings and that's a comfort.

    I had a friend who I met at story time at the library and we were close but not to the point where we talked at any length about my fertility issues or anything. And then when I was going through my second miscarriage I told her. She was supportive and nice through that but then a year later, she had a miscarriage. And I was the only person she knew who had the same experience and she turned to me for advice and comfort. Now she's had three miscarriages and I think how glad I am that I said something because we both found someone who can totally relate to this awful experience and that kind of support can be so invaluable.

    I know some people aren't comfortable sharing their experience but for me it's been mostly good for me. I've had dumbass comments but overall, I think more good than bad has come from it.