All Articles Tagged "miscarriage"
I know how terribly selfish this will come off simply because of the fact that based on my gender; society expects me to have this inherent desire to bring babies in the world. I know that as woman I am not expected to make any fuss about raising children because I’m a mom and if you ask some folks (read my children’s father) this is what I was born to do, right?
Hello, I’m Opal and will never be the proverbial pregnant and barefoot woman anyone wants me to be. I’ve decided that after two children and a miscarriage I have absolutely no plans to conceive, ever. I would consider having a hysterectomy but I’m pretty sure doing so would have some effect on my self esteem as a woman—guess I’m a girl after all. I’ve recently suffered through a miscarriage but the possibility of having a third child felt like the real trauma. Throughout the duration of the pregnancy I had mixed feelings about having another baby but I was faithful that the dreadful feeling and difficult days would be worth it after giving birth.
I love my kids and all the good that they bring to my life. My two boys are the only reason there were moments of relief after the loss of my third baby. I strongly believe that all children are blessings but I also believe that women should know their limitations. You can’t mention the Duggar family from the TLC’S reality series 19 Kids and Counting without people questioning their reasons for bearing 19 children. I am sure Michelle Duggar has had her fair share of tumultuous days but that could very well be the number of children she is equipped to handle. My number is much lower than nineteen but I think two children suits my current financial and mental disposition.
I’ve been beyond selfless for my two small children but like Jodi’s mom said so eloquently in the movie Baby Boy, “Mama got to have a life, too.” I am not referring to having a life in only a social context. I am no good to my boys when the overwhelmed, exhausted mommy that is too busy being all things at all times that she isn’t allowed more moments where she is allowed to simply just exist and enjoy her children.
The reality of the miscarriage set in and though I was mostly grief stricken I still felt a strong sense of clarity and relief. I have an obscene amount of respect for women like my mother who have enough children to start a basketball team. If you are a parent, then you know what I mean when I say having children requires superhuman levels of patience. Children need a lot of your attention and if you are really good mom then they are going to need you to occasionally interact with them.
Whether you have one child or five the most important part about being a parent is providing your children with a stable environment to thrive in. I’m not sure how anybody else feels about his or her children but I am determined to give my children a fair shot at a valuable life. I want to be able to provide them with all that they need emotionally, mentally and physically. I’ve had some overwhelming moments here with just my two children. There were times where I was sure that I would never graduate, never lose the baby weight, never start an emergency savings account, never not be so tired that I can’t play with my kids.
I want to be sure that I can give my children all of the good parts of myself. A mommy that has been relentlessly depleted sometimes loses herself so greatly in the day to day that she tends to forget to revel in the blessing of getting to know and love their creation.
I’ve accepted that I am currently not emotionally built to raise more than the two children I have. I’ve taken a vow to actively take steps to prevent future pregnancies and am not interested in anymore “go for the girl” talk. I cannot say that I was happy to lose the baby but I will say that I was inspired to continue making measurable strides towards creating the best future for the two I have. One of those things happens to be preventing another pregnancy. I think big families are beautiful—in a “Facebook picture of someone else’s big beautiful family that I can click “like” and keep scrolling” kind of way.
Opal Stacie is a freelance writer based out of the Miami area. Connect with her on twitter @OpalStacie.
Earlier this summer, former Destiny’s Child member LaTavia Roberson appeared with an adorable baby bump. Shortly after that, several reports claimed that Roberson was in the hospital, “fighting for her life” due to complications with her pregnancy.
After a couple of weeks of speculation, LaTavia took to Instagram to address the reports and thank fans for their thoughts and well wishes.
From the bottom of my heart I want to thank each and every one of you for your prayers and positive energy, I have felt every heartfelt wish more than you know! Although initial reports of me ‘fighting for my life’ weren’t completely accuse, I was, in fact, in critical medical condition. While there is more to this story, I sincerely appreciate you my lovers for your support and most importantly for respecting the privacy of my family & I during this time. God restores, HIS will is done.
From the message, you might have been able to guess what happened in the hospital. And after a few pictures of her, with a noticeably flatter stomach, LaTavia decided to share what happened to her during that tumultuous time.
Hey lovers! I do truly appreciate every prayer and everything positive that was sent my way. I was, in fact, in the hospital. And during that time, unfortunately, I lost my daughter but MY GOD never makes mistakes. Thank you for your ongoing prayers! I know my angel is watching over our family!!! I love you all💜💜💜
We can’t imagine what LaTavia is going through losing a child so late in her pregnancy. Our thoughts and prayers are with her.
Never did I ever imagine giving birth to a child would bring so much guilt. You might think that’s an odd thing to say considering how wonderful it is to become a mother. Truthfully speaking, it’s one of the best things you’ll ever experience in life. When my child was born several weeks ago, I felt the same amount of joy I did last year when my first son came into my life.
It’s just really hard to celebrate when you’re comforting a friend who lost a baby.
I can’t even begin to imagine the emotions a few of my friends are dealing with. In what seems like bad news after bad news, many found the courage to share their heartbreaking stories on Facebook. One college buddy of mine was put on bed rest at the start of her second trimester — only to lose her baby days later. Another friend of mine was just 16 weeks pregnant when she felt an unfathomable amount of pain one evening. There in her bed she went through labor and miscarried her son. And if those stories were not sad enough, a good friend of mine and her husband lost their child minutes after he came into this world. In her case, there was no warning or hint of a problem.
Hearing these women’s stories makes me realize just how much of a miracle having a child really is. All of us are 30-years-old that would make you think complications wouldn’t be something to think about, when in actuality, they can happen to any one of us.
I’m so dumbfounded at how to comfort them — especially when they’re telling me congrats on the birth of my son. I’ve reached out to them individually to offer my condolences but feel like it might be a slap in their face. Sure I’m probably imagining things, but I have to ask myself, would I want to hear “I’m sorry for your loss” from someone who not only had two children in two years, but fairly easy birthing experiences (my second guy took 2.5 hours to deliver)?
At one point, I found myself sitting in silence as I revealed my loss for words. In some cases, it was comforting for them to weep without hearing such an automated response. No matter how guilty I feel, I know that it’s always better to reach out instead of not say anything at all.
Have you ever experienced something similar?
Another miscarriage. I felt my heart sink as I sat watching what appeared to be a Livin’ Lozado marathon on OWN. During this particular episode, the show’s star, Evelyn Lozado, found out that she had suffered yet another miscarriage. This was her second in just a matter of months. After the incident, Lozada went to the doctor, who informed her of the risks associated with pregnancy as women aged. I knew it. I’d heard it before, but somehow I’d forgotten my own age.
As the doctor threw out a number that I’m only a few years shy of reaching, I began to get serious. What if I can’t have a child? What if I’m not even married or ready to conceive by 35 (the age that doctors say infertility rates begin to increase)? What if I’m not even ready by 40? I mean it’s not like I have a man. Would I even get to have a child?
My mind was racing and soon my sympathy shifted from Lozada to myself. I needed to talk to my gynecologist. And though I’m only in my early 30s, I wanted to make sure I was doing everything I needed to in advance to prevent issues that may come up when trying to start a family. What I began to find out about Black women and infertility wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear.
For starters, there are more than seven million infertile women in the U.S. It’s evident that women of all races struggle with getting pregnant. It’s not limited to race; but what differs is that, according to research, White women are more likely to seek infertility help than Black women. Costs of treatment and issues of self-consciousness were among the reasons researchers say some Black women suffer in silence. As a result, some give up trying to conceive and simply go childless, despite the hopes of being a mother.
The reality is that women who seek this treatment that could cost upwards of $20,000 dollars are usually White, married, and wealthy. According to studies conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, 15 percent of white women ages 25 to 44 in the United States have sought treatment to assist with their infertility woes. That’s in comparison to only eight percent of Black women. But here’s the kicker: according to the same studies, Black women had almost twice the chance of suffering from infertility than their White counterparts. I’d be mendacious if I said that these statistics didn’t worry me. And the fact that I’m slowly creeping up on 35 only compounds that concern. According to studies, women aged 35 to 45 have a 20 to 35 percent chance of miscarriage.
The statistics were enough to scare me straight to my gynecologist. I knew that I was certainly not ready to have a child, but I needed to make sure I was taking care of my health. While I couldn’t do anything about my age, I could do something about my lifestyle choices. Doctors recommend that you practice safe sex. Of course, this doesn’t pertain to when you’re trying to conceive, but in the meantime, make sure you’re being safe to prevent yourself from contracting sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, which are leading causes of infertility.
Ensuring that you are maintaining a healthy body weight, not smoking, and reducing your caffeine intake are other ways to ensure you’re decreasing your chances of infertility. Some gynecologists even recommend taking prenatal vitamins even if you’re not expecting due to the folic acid benefits.
I’m not ready to have a child, but becoming a mother is definitely on my vision board. That’s why I’ve decided to get serious about becoming pregnant — even though I’m not presently trying to conceive.
When some people think of pregnancy they think of joyous images of happy parents shifting their lives around and preparing for their little bundle. However, what people don’t always think about is what goes into getting those little bundles here. There is a another side of the pregnancy journey that can range from being hospitalized during pregnancy, having babies born and stay in the NICU for months, having miscarriages, or not being able to get pregnant at all.
And now there is more hope for women that have had a miscarriage. Typically women are asked by their doctors to wait at least three months before trying again after a miscarriage but a new study says you don’t have to wait anymore.
The study, in an issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, found that there was no increased risk for pregnancy complications among women who began trying less than three months after a loss.The researchers studied 998 pregnant women that had spontaneous losses at 20 weeks gestation or less.They followed the women for six menstrual cycles after the loss and out of the women who began to try in less than three months, 53.2 percent gave birth successfully, compared with 36.1 percent of those who waited longer.
While having to wait to try again may be a thing of the past, doctors still suggest waiting until you are emotionally ready. Enrique F. Schisterman, an epidemiologist with the National Institutes of Health says “If you’re emotionally ready, and there are no other complications, there is no physiological reason to wait.”
And Beth Jaeger-Skigen, LCSW, a psychotherapist in private practice in San Francisco, California specializing in infertility says “What’s right for one person is not for another, so don’t force yourself to feel a certain way if you want to move on earlier or grieve longer than you perceive you should.” For some women, a public recognition of the lost pregnancy, such as having a burial, planting a tree, or setting up an altar in the home, is healing. “Other women find it therapeutic to journal or write letters to the wished-for baby so they can privately honor the soul.”
And whether you decide to start right away or months later, it’s important to remember not to beat yourself up for how you react or how long it takes you to grieve. This is a time to be gentle with yourself so that you can get back to a place where you can focus on moving forward. Beth also says “Focus on what you can do now and address all known risk factors for miscarriage.”
Experts say that avoiding things like smoking, drinking alcohol, and using other drugs are essential as well as cutting back on your caffeine intake form coffee and other products. Drinking lots of water, eating fruits and veggies, and making sure your meals are as balanced as possible are all factors that can aid in a healthy pregnancy. And depending on whatever your doctor suggests get moderate exercise too to make sure you are at a healthy weight for your height and BMI.d
I know quite a few people who can’t seem to get through the day without some caffeine. And not just foods that have a little caffeine in them, but numerous cups of coffee, soda and tea. It’s pretty much the norm: You get a cup of coffee or a diet coke in the morning, and if you need to recharge, you keep pouring throughout the day. But it’s being suggested by a new study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility that not only can your coffee-drinking habits have an impact on your ability to carry a child full-term, but so can your partner’s.
The study had more than 500 couples working to have a baby track their daily behaviors for 12 months, including how much caffeine they were consuming, whether it was a cup of coffee, some tea, or a carbonated beverage.
It was found that of the 344 women who ended up getting pregnant, 98 miscarried. And while researchers did find some common issues (i.e., higher miscarriage rates were prevalent for women over 35), what was interesting was that they found women who consumed more than two caffeinated beverages each day around the time of conception and throughout the first seven weeks of pregnancy were more likely to miscarry. And even more intriguing was the finding that the excessive caffeine-drinking habits of their significant other had just as big of an impact on the loss of pregnancy.
According to Women’s Health, researchers didn’t have a real explanation yet as to why excessive caffeine consumption could be associated with miscarriages, but they did advise couples working on conceiving to drink no more than two caffeinated beverages each day. And if women with an itch for caffeine do get pregnant, they still need to stick to two caffeinated beverages at the very most. Another important suggestion was for women seeking to get pregnant to make sure they’re taking multivitamins with folic acid because those in the study who took it were less likely to have miscarriages.
Check out the study’s findings in full on the pre-pregnancy caffeine consumption of couples and the risk it could have on carrying a child to term via the National Institutes of Health website.
“Stop Acting Like Everything’s Perfect”: After Losing Two Children, Wendy Says Women Need To Talk About Miscarriages
In the new issue of New York Family magazine, Wendy Williams, who is pretty much an open book about her past, was asked about raising a teenager, her parenting philosophies, and balancing being Wendy Williams the talk show host and Wendy Hunter the wife. She was also asked about the struggles she endured while trying to become a mother.
Williams has spoken in the past about having two miscarriages and how that experience impacted her. But she told the magazine that if she had to give advice to other women about how to deal with such loss, it would be to continue to talk about it. Share your story so that more women know they’re not alone. According to Wiliams, doing so has helped her find peace, and had helped many other women too:
I was five months pregnant when I had my first [miscarriage]. It turns out that what I had was a weak cervix…I had two five-month miscarriages, and [the babies] both had names and the nurseries were set up for both; those were babies. I was on the radio, at that time, in Philadelphia, and I was a popular disc jockey and I had already gone out and done appearances—people saw me with the belly and had heard me talking about it! Then I had the miscarriage and it was like: “Okay, let’s talk about it! Come on, girls!” Turns out, girls all over were like: “This happened to me! And that happened to me…” So I say talk about it, and talk about it often when it’s appropriate, because the only way that we get stronger and more knowledgeable as women is if we stop being such bald-faced liars and stop acting like everything’s perfect. I only breastfed my son for like two weeks and I felt like such a failure…I was collapsed in my closet, just sobbing, and my mother heard me—because she’s nosey—and said: “Wendy, what’s going on?” And I said: “Mommy, I just can’t breastfeed anymore—I’m crying and sobbing and Kevin’s only two weeks old and I just can’t! I gained 103 lbs, and I hate to be selfish, but I need to lose some weight! I’m on the radio, I have a showbiz career going on here! Can I have some wine? I’ve been on my back for nine months and I’ve been trying to have a baby for the past 2.5 years!” I explained this to my mother and she screeches down to my father: “Tom! Bring the car around and bring the coupons for the Good Starts!” Turns out my mom had coupons [for formula] saved up for me… I feel like I’m no less of a woman because I didn’t breastfeed, but women don’t share that stuff—so you can feel like you’re less of a woman. My advice to women and to mothers is: Share stuff if your kid goes through something—whether it’s substance abuse or you bought him condoms or you caught her with condoms! If moms talked more, when appropriate and with the right listening ear, we’d be a lot better.
Her statements remind me of Oprah’s decision to not only talk more about the child she prematurely gave birth to at 14, but to also give him a name. Such revelations can not only provide healing for the women sharing their stories but do the same for the women who have been through similar ordeals.
What do you think of Wendy’s advice?
If you’re looking for your morning cry, I have just what you need, straight from Virginia couple Dana Griffin-Graves and her husband Arkell Graves.
The couple have been trying to get pregnant for the past 17 years with no luck. The Graves told WRIC, an ABC affiliate, that Dana had four miscarriages and suffered a stillbirth when the fetus was six months old. After so much devastation, the couple had given up their dream of getting pregnant.
But recently, Dana surprised her husband with some amazing news.
She prepared dinner and when Arkell walked in the kitchen to eat, she told him that there was some more stuff in the oven.
He opened it to find buns as well as pictures from her ultrasound.
I don’t want to ruin any more of the surprise. Check out the amazing moment and Arkell’s heartwarming reaction in the video she secretly recorded below.
Dana only suspected something was up when, after walking with her friends, she wasn’t losing weight like they were. When she went to the doctor, she learned not only was she pregnant, she was five months along. She immediately began scheming of a way to tell her husband. Since she was five months, she was able to tell him the sex of the child. Their baby boy is due on February 16.
She uploaded the video to YouTube with the caption:
Have your tissues ready! After 4 miscarriages and 1 stillborn birth, we had given up on the idea of having babies of our own, especially at our age…But God!
The video has since gone viral with over a 1.5 million views. Griffin-Graves said she is shocked by the way the video is being shared especially since she only sent the YouTube link to eight people.
“I thought that this was going to be for family only.”
Nope, we’re all sharing in this joy.
Arkell and Dana said these days strangers walk up to the couple already knowing a bit of their story.
Arkell recalled one incident in particular.
“A lady just came up to me and said you’re the big guy who was on there crying. Everything is going to be ok. I’m praying for you. You know in these times we need prayer. So I will take all the prayers I don’t care how they come.”
Dana told WRIC, she’s hoping her story can be a source of encouragement for others.
“It shows that God is able to do any and all things and so I’m grateful and I said if it can help someone else and give them hope that it can happen, then you know that’s what it’s about,”
If you’re like me and just can’t get enough of this sweetness, you can watch their WRIC interview here.
Congratulations to Arkell and Dana! We’re praying for them too.
There is a famous spiritual song that says, “when it seems like the sun wasn’t going to shine anymore, God put a rainbow in the clouds.” In the forums about motherhood and childbirth, infants born healthy after the experiences of a miscarriage, stillbirth or sudden death are considered rainbow babies. I am grateful to have two rainbow babies, Genesis, 19 months, and Joelle, four months.
Prior to having our daughters, our first pregnancy ended abruptly with a miscarriage at six weeks, and our second pregnancy concluded at 38 weeks with the stillborn delivery of our son, Joshua. These were very tough experiences to say the least. Then, managing the fear and anxiety of a reoccurrence during our subsequent pregnancies was even more taxing.
Our oldest daughter, Genesis, was conceived six weeks after we delivered Joshua. On March 27, 2013, we went to the OBGYN for our 38 week appointment and the doctor was unable to find his heartbeat. She thought that the silence was due to awkward positioning so she grabbed the in-office ultrasound machine to confirm. From the moment his limp body appeared on the screen, I could tell that he was no longer with us.
A baby pronounced deceased after 24 weeks in-utero is considered stillborn and has to be delivered naturally or extracted via c-section.
While the doctor’s were setting me up to be induced, they offered me all kinds of pain and psychiatric medicine for coping. I declined it all. My intentions were to be fully conscious and aware of the suffering I was to endure at the hands of the loss. This was my first step in the grief management process: the act of recognizing my own pain.
The days to follow were surreal and humbling. My husband and I spent the next 18 hours in labor preparing to deliver the lifeless body of our sweet little baby boy. We spent the next three months reconciling how to move forward.
Quite naturally, we were not excited about the onset of pregnancy symptoms I began experiencing in late May 2013. We discussed the possibility of us being pregnant, but the grief of Joshua was too fresh for us to think about managing pregnancy after loss. Out of fear of another miscarriage, we postponed all medical confirmations and care until mid-July at the 10 week mark. We also waited to tell family and friends until we cleared the three month mark.
Hiring a grief counselor was our next course of action. It was also the best decision we made. Although postponing medical care was not wise, the unmanaged anxiety from the thought of being in a doctor’s office again was debilitating. By preparing our mindset with a grief specialist focused on infant deaths, we set up a pillar of support to stabilize our psychosis.
This helped us find joy in the possibility of new life and eliminated our fear. We continued to see our counselor bi-weekly throughout our pregnancy with Genesis.
She offered us great words of encouragement like: “You are allowed to say your child’s name whenever you want.” “One child does not replace another, and all our children have special places in our hearts.” “You are still a mother even though your baby passed away.” “God is the author and giver of life.”
Bonus for us, our counselor happened to be of the same faith and supported us with scripture references, as well as mental logic. When choosing a grief counselor seek referrals from your OB-GYN office or your community of faith. We did both and we were very happy with our team of support.
After Joshua was born, I took a year off from work to focus on my own health and wellness. Yes, our income took a major hit and we had to downgrade our lifestyle, but the benefits far outweighed the negatives. While pregnant with Joshua, I did not really have the time to make choices about which types of parenting styles were good for our family. All the decisions I had made were based on what I saw and heard from friends and family members. After taking the time to study books on motherhood from various sources, my husband and I created a blueprint for our family in alignment with our hopes and needs.
The first decision we made that was focused on our future with Genesis was to change doctors. Genesis was born in a hospital with the assistance of midwives instead of an OB-GYN. Our midwives empowered me as a woman and they gave me the freedom to have the type of birthing experience I desired. Not being chained to a bed for 18 hours freed me to move with my contractions, lean on my husband for support and usher in our new baby in an atmosphere of love.
Born on January 23, 2014, Genesis’ arrival truly represented a rebirth for our family. Her infant cries were sweet music to our ears, and the sight of her alive was truly a rainbow in our clouds.
Seemingly, it’s trouble in paradise for newly engaged Bow Wow and Erica Mena.
On Thursday (Sept. 17), the former Love & Hip Hop New York star aired out some of business on social media. Mena took to Instagram to reveal to her 2 million followers that she suffered a miscarriage earlier this year. Of course, it was her and her fiance Bow Wow’s child.
Mena posted a photo that was captioned with a poem where she poured out her emotions regarding her loss. She also tweeted about not being ashamed of speaking her mind. “I’m open about it. I’m not the only one,” she wrote. “Speaking my mind has always helped me deal & heal. So I’m NEVER ashamed. Can you say the same?”
However, Bow Wow disagrees with Mena’s sentiments.
After her big social media reveal, Bow Wow posted a video speaking about his opine on the matter. In the 44-second video, he says that his fiancee was “attention seeking.” Why would he say such a thing? Well, according to him, Mena’s miscarriage occurred five months ago, explaining that the situation was in the past and didn’t need to be brought up.
“First and foremost, I feel like telling your personal business on social media, I feel like that’s one of the lamest things you possibly can do,” Bow Wow said. “I feel like it’s attention seeking, especially when it’s news that happened five months ago. It’s not recent, it’s five months ago.”
Erica’s initial Instagram post has since then been deleted, but watch Bow Wow’s reaction for yourself below.