4.22.2013

WE WERE EXPECTING // elspeth

I like to keep this a happy place. I try not to talk about the dark stuff here, because I think there's enough of it in the world already. But three weeks ago, I told you we were expecting a baby, and today I need to tell you that we are not. 


The baby I was carrying had a rare chromosome abnormality called triploidy. You can read more about it over here, but what it means is that she had 69 chromosomes instead of the usual 46. It is a deviation considered incompatible with life, and most triploidy babies are lost in early miscarriages in the first trimester. Ours was stillborn at 21 weeks. 

It is hard to talk about, but even harder not to talk about. The past two weeks have been full of tears and uncertainty, and a nagging feeling of emptiness. We are still sad, and I have a feeling we'll be overcome with waves of grief for weeks to come. But we're also ready to start the work of moving on. We feel incredibly lucky to have such wonderful, kind, supportive doctors, families, and friends, and to have arrived home from the hospital to find not one but three beautiful trees in our yard, a jar of asparagus soup on our stoop, and a roasted chicken in our fridge. 

This has been a terrible week for so many people in Massachusetts. When we were in the worst of it, my sister sent this link from the Onion, and it was a good reminder of how important it is to be able to laugh. So we're here, picking ourselves up. We're counting our blessings—our health, our home, our community, our families—and most of all our sweet little Sal. She is, without a doubt, the person getting us through this. 


Thank you for listening, and for being here. It means a lot. Anna will be around later this week—thank you so much for her warm reception!—and I'll be back soon. 

18 comments :

Anonymous said...

Oh Elspeth, I've been reading your blog for such a long time and have never commented. I'm sorry that the first time is such a sad occasion. My condolences to you and your family. You are handling this with the grace you have shown for years through this blog. Best wishes to you three!! -Jocelyn

Loretta said...

Like the person who just posted, I quietly follow your blog and was so sorry to hear of your heartache. How to process the signs/hopes of spring finally coming to the Cape with a devastating loss?!? Will keep your family in my heart.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope each day forward brings healing, small comforts, and much joy, even as you are grieving.
Jessica

Tara said...

You have my very deepest sympathies. My first baby had triploidy as well, and we lost her at 19 weeks. She was due around the same time as your little girl was born. I understand the need to talk/don't want to talk feelings so very well. It's especially hard to talk to people about I think, because not many people even know what triploidy is (we didn't) so I found that even though people were very supportive, there was little understanding, which was what I really needed. All that is to say - please know if it helps that there are people out there who know exactly what you've gone through and how it feels, even if you don't know who they are. I felt adrift in open water, and just knowing that someone else knew what I was going through was enough to get me over the hump. four months later I was pregnant again and now have an 11-month old. All will be well for you too, I promise. And sorry to be a stranger peddling advice, but I'll add this - don't let anyone tell you how long it *should* take you to heal. Whether it's a week or a year, you're the only one who knows how long you need.

Anonymous said...

Elspeth, so sorry for your loss.

Hope the comfort and support of the good people around you, as well as the positive energy of your readers, helps you through this most difficult time.

Michelle Shopped said...

Oh, Elspeth, I am so sorry. It is such a devastating experience.

Sara said...

Thank you for sharing this. I've been a reader for several years - a former South Shore resident. I miscarried in February, right before Valentine's Day. You're so right that it's hard to share your grief but harder not to share. I'm still in a fog sometimes and last week's events hit me hard, but nonetheless peace, humor, and the resolve to try again do return slowly. Wishing the same to you.

Anonymous said...

Warm wishes to you and your family from someone who reads your diary from across the Atlantic in the winter, and from Wellfleet in the summer. As a doctor I have known many patients who have suffered losses like yours. It's not easy, but time and support from family and friends help a lot. Our thoughts are with you.

Anonymous said...

So much love for you, Elspeth! I'm so, so sorry. Thank you for being so brave, I know it will help others, and that is one of the many wonderful things about you, the way you connect people in everything you do. Hugs to all three of you <3

Anna H.

Sky said...

Much love to you, Elspeth, Alex and Sally. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss and for the grief you must feel. Thank you for sharing with such honesty and beauty. There are more of us here supporting from afar. Thinking of you all.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you Elspeth, so sorry for your loss.

Gemma said...

Thinking of you, Elspeth. Lots of love to your whole family. xoxo

Elspeth said...

Thank you so much everyone for your incredibly kind words. I have always been a believer in the idea that sharing is more healing than holding it in, and you have proven that true once again. So many women and families have approached me and told me of similar losses, and my heart goes out to everyone who has ever had to go through this. I hope it helps us all to talk about it a bit.

I am sending big love out your way, and feeling it back here.

xo
Elspeth

Jen said...

Hugs all around - that's all.

Anonymous said...

Elspeth, I read your blog with interest and enthusiasm as you always share wonderful information and great recipes. My heartfelt sorrow for your loss. May you have a restful spring with time to heal and feel better.

Anonymous said...

I didn't even know when I saw you the other day!! Otherwise I would have given you a great big hug!
So sorry. Maybe we can gather for a walk one day or a playground adventure!
-Zana

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss.

Maureen McAdams said...

Elspeth, you and your family have my deepest sympathies. I have been following you for years and had not checked in in quite some time. My thoughts and prayers are with you and my wish for you is time to heal and mourn and to enjoy all that Spring can bring to us. I love seeing the Cape through your eyes. Thank you.

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