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Sharing A Day of Grief
Sep 08, 2002

I had a miscarriage on September 11, 2001. My husband and I had tried for four years to conceive. We had struggled both emotionally and financially through the infertility process and were "taking a break" from all of that. How overjoyed we were to discover that we had conceived a child all on our own! We had a sonogram and saw a tiny heartbeat on September 7th, and we told our parents on September 9th (Grandparent's Day!)It was a wonderfully happy time for us.

I started spotting in the afternoon on September 10th (at 8 weeks) and called my doctor. The nurse told me to stay off my feet and we made an appointment for the following day, just so that I could get checked out and make sure everything was okay. I tried not to worry. During the night, however, the bleeding became much worse and by 3:00 in the morning, I knew the baby was gone. I called my mom and she was wonderfully supportive, reminding me that sometimes when these things happen everything turns out okay. But I just knew that my baby couldn't have survived when I had lost so much blood. I was very afraid and sad, and I cried most of the night.

As I rested in bed the following morning, waiting to go to the doctor, I watched the news of the terrorist attacks unfold on television. I remember feeling absolutely nothing, only thinking that it was strange that I happened to be home instead of at work. Looking back, I suppose that I just didn't have enough emotional energy to care about so much at once. When I saw that the Pentagon was hit, I was concerned for my sister in Washington D.C., but for some reason I trusted that she was okay. (She was, but I wasn't able to talk to her for a few days because the phone lines were so tied up.) I remember that when we got to the doctor's office, the radio/news was on in the waiting room instead of the elevator music they usually play. When we saw the doctor he confirmed that the sac we had seen just 3 days earlier was no longer there. I remember feeling numb and couldn't even cry. My husband cried for both of us. It was the first time I had ever seen him cry.

Days later, watching the news on television, I felt so selfish for not grieving for my country. I felt guilty that my loss was only a baby the size of a peanut when so many others lost mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and spouses that day. I thought that the tragedy had put my miscarriage in perspective. Miscarriages are very common, I told myself. My husband and I tried to focus on the positive: that we had conceived a child! And if we could do it once, chances were good that we could do it again.

For a year I have clung to that hope and I am still not pregnant. I am beginning to doubt that another pregnancy will ever happen for me. My husband and I have thought a lot about adoption and have worked on accepting that our children might not come from us. I was beginning to accept that, but the last few days have been very difficult for me. The media attention on the anniversary of September 11th is so hard to watch. I do not want to relive that day. I want to honor my country and the lives that were lost and yet I feel guilty for wanting to avoid all ceremonies and public gatherings. For days now the grief of my miscarriage keeps hitting me in waves. I cannot stop crying. I feel like a truck is crushing my chest. I do not want to feel this way year after year after year.
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