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((Hugs))

I'm glad to hear the pain of infertility has eased up. I can't even begin to imagine all that you've been through. Thank you for sharing these very real and personal thoughts. You are one amazing woman!

That's beautiful. You have experienced pain I can't even imagine. I definately agree you are stronger for it. Thanks for your perspective.

Tertia, you're a beautiful, strong woman. You put yourself out for the scrutiny of the world, your heart flayed for all to see, and stride powerfully forward in spite of a sometimes rough path.

I feel very privileged reading all that you share.

Your post was so touching, and honest. I don't think you can ever, really get over the loss of a child. The pain will lessen though I think.

Other than that, I don't know the right thing to say, but I can offer you a hug. ((((hug))))

Tertia, thanks so much for your words about healing from infertility. Infertilty has changed me so much, lately, and it's nice to be told, from somebody who has been here, what someday I will feel a little closer to my old self again.

My heart goes out to you every time you talk about Ben. I hope that someday memories of him will be more sweet than bitter.

Much love to you, and thanks for what you do to encourage infertility awareness.

You're a stronger woman than I, Tertia. It's been 14 YEARS for me and I still can't make myself enter an OB/GYN office. I get all my 'girl testing' at my primary care internist. I just can't face going into an OBs office.

I've also never set foot in the hospital where I lost my 17 week pregnancy. Can't go back there. I drive by it all the time, but I'll never go there again. I can't face it.

You wrote a strong post. I'm glad you're feeling that you're past the infertility stuff. I wish I was.

I am not saying this to scare you (or anyone else) and I wonder if I should say it at all, but I guess I will.

My grandmother's only biological child was born still. Until the day she died, over 60 years later, she still cried whenever she talked about it. She was still mad at my grandfather for making cemetary arrangements without ever telling her the baby had died. (How's that for some crap? She never got to see the baby, but her husband and sister did, and neither of them told her... nor did the doctors... for DAYS. She said she knew something was obviously wrong, but didn't want to admit it. But, I digress).

Some things just stay with you forever, and become part of who you are.

Aw, sweetie... I have no idea how you survived it, but you are an amazing, strong woman in order to have done so. The loss of a child is, in my book, the worst possible thing in the world... it seems to be well-neigh unendurable. The fact that you and others somehow manage to do endure (and prevail, and produce two gorgeous little fair-haired kiddos) is an enormous testament to the massive, mysterious forces which make us human.

Oh, my dear. I am so sorry you went through such pain with Ben - I wish the pain would start to fade for you. I still remember reading about your experiences with that pregnancy on IVFC, and being sick for you, physically sick that you had to endure such pain.

I am so glad you have Kate and Adam, and the pain of infertility is fading. I'm experiencing that same magic myself.

Like you, I will nevernevernever forget what I went through to get here, but I do feel stronger, more able to handle pain and grief.

Well said, Tertia. You are right - it is a different grief for loss and infertility. Certain days of the year take on new meaning with a loss. My pain and heartache from infertility wanes and fades, but December 24th is never going to change for me.

Big hugs to you. Beautiful post.

There are many, many people who will always remember Ben because of you and your blog.

Hi Tertia,

Thanks for the nice post, you are so strong--like you sometimes things come rushing back in a flood of reality when I picture things from that time. Sometimes when I am having a bad day, or just trying to get through something I think of the strength losing a child has brought me. Although it is, and probably will be the worst thing that will ever happen to me I try to think of it as an event which has helped shaped me and those around me. I feel now that I have a deeper understanding of life and what really matters.
Tonight it was nice to read your blog as I feel like I am going into labour. It is very emotional this time, I am so nervous but anxiously awaiting life after loss.
It is truly a beautiful gift having a child, but there are also beautiful gifts in places we never imagine to be beautiful. I try to tell myself that everyday!
Thanks again, wish me luck. :)

I read this today and it was something that I needed. Loss never goes away.

"Thought for Today

There is no such thing as closure. Bad things happen and you learn to deal with them, but there is no forgetting loss or troubled times and that is as it should be."

Well said.

Questions I am asking myself right now, as a matter of fact :-)

Bless little Ben & bless you, darling Tertia. He lives in all our hearts, and his smiles shine down on you with the sun.

Buckets of love to you,
Beth

Losing a child changes you forever. It's as if there are two yous. The you before the death, the you after the death.

Little things can trigger an overwhelming response of grief and pain. Especially when you least expect it.

I don't think the pain and sense of loss ever go away. It may soften around the edges, but it is always there. Some days are better than others. Some are worse.

I'm 3.5 years from the death of my daughter and in many ways I am doing better. In many ways, it's still a raw gaping wound that seems as if it will never heal.

I cannot go by the medical examiner's office without having a panic attack. I can go by the school where she died without breaking down. I have to, I have other kids going there. I just look away from the spot she chose for her death.

You find little ways to cope. And hopefully, in time, things do get better. Not that the pain ever goes away, it's just not as present.

I'm sorry you are hurting. I'm sorry Ben isn't here with you. Sorry you never got the chance to watch him grow. Losing a child is a hell I'd not wish on anyone.

You know, I hope, that I'm always here if you want to talk.

Tertia,

My mother lost a son (he was a still born) almost 30 years ago and I can tell you that it is still very fresh in her mind. Though she can think about that period of time, but my parents still grieve on his birthday every year. In fact after a while that date became the day we put our christmas tree up (Dec.8th) in celebration of his little life. Like you said - I do not think that it is something that you ever fully heal from. It may become less of a sting - but it will forever be apart of who you are. You are a very strong woman to be able to even talk about it.

You are better than fine.
You are gorgeous and divine.

And I admire you tremendously.

Ya know, after the miscarriages I had, I found that about 17months after they occured, I was healing pretty well. So this 20 month thing may be a common time for people.

Of course, 18 months after my m/c's, I got pregnant again and lost that one, so...

Tertia,

your posts are so heart felt, so full of love & sometimes sadness. I am so sorry for your loss.

Glad to hear that you are findig peace in your life. I have rarely read of Bens brother, how are you doing with his loss?

I used to wonder when the pain would completely go away, and I was surprised that, even after I thought it was gone, it would suddenly crop up unexpectedly. Like when I did IVF again. I thought trying for the next one would be a piece of cake. It wasn't. And like when my 41.5 year old friend got pregnant on her first try. I was done having children, why did it hurt? I was so surprised, and a little ashamed. But now I really am completely over it. Completely. I think it is because I know that I am no longer "defective." I'm just 43. 43-year olds shouldn't really expect to just get pregnant whenever they want to. My formerly fertile, now 43-year old friends probably couldn't get pregnant so easily now either. Now we're the same. So its 32 months since I had my girls, but my pain subsiding has more to do with my birthdays than theirs.

Tertia, you will never be over Ben's death. His death has become a part of you, has shaped you. This is a poem I found online (had the name of the author, but have misplaced it) and used for David's first angel anniversary. I think it conveys exactly what mothers feel for their children, both living and dead.

"We are connected, my child and I, by an invisible cord not seen with the eye. It's not like the cord that connects us until birth, this cord isn't seen by any on earth. The cord does its work, right from the start, it binds us together attached to my heart. I know that it's there though no one can see, the invisible cord from my child to me. The strength of this cord is hard to describe, it can't be destroyed, it can't be denied. It's stronger than any cord man could create, it withstands all tests, can hold any weight. And though you are gone and not here with me, the cord is still there but no one can see. It pulls my heart, I am bruised ... I am sore, but this cord is my lifeline like never before. I feel you are with me each step that I take, bound by the cord that no one can break. I am thankful to God, he connects us this way, a mother and child, death can't take it away"

Louise
David's Mom
"I'm 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20"

The pain of a lost child never goes away. My daughter would have been 28 this November. I still think of her like it was yesterday. I am so blessed with my boys, but I will always remember the daughter I was never able to hold.

Is this a stupid question: have you ever done a farewell service for Ben? Like a funeral or memorial service?

I'm not saying that because I think it will be like magic - have a service, and *poof* the pain will be gone.

I don't know if it will even help just a little. I'm just asking, because...well, I'm not sure why. Probably because I can't imagine that kind of pain. I don't know how I'd ever deal with it, so I can't imagine how anyone else could, as well.

Anyway. I think you're amazingly strong, T, and the proof is in all the beautiful children you have created.

Thank you for this post.

Some things you can never 'get over.' I'm so sorry for the loss of Ben and hope that you find some peace.

And not to take away from the healing you feel at the 20 month mark, but that's right about when the terrible twos started for us....just a warning.

Tertia,

Reading this blog makes me feel like I'm knowing you more and more all the time. The fact that you are able to hold yourself so open to the world for us all to see and judge (that would be the unfeeling people out there - the ones who judge you)

I haven't lost a child and I can't even imagine what the pain is like, so while I can't say that I understand what you go through, I do sympathize with you.

Your courage has inspired me to start my own blog (both you and Dooce, actually) to discuss life with my little one in a small rural town. I thank you for that. Of course I don't have the readership you do, but I'm not you...LOL Thanks again for being there and for giving us all a little window into your life...you are such a brave and strong woman. God bless you!

I love you Tertia. You are amazing in every way. Thank you for articulating what's in so many hearts.

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