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Caewi

Lucy's Miscarriages

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Caewi    19

A sad topic but I've never found much out about her miscarriages. From her book and newspaper articles I understand that she had more than one but I'm not sure how many or when. It must have been unbearably sad for her especially as she was so desperate for kids. Does anyone know how others around her helped her and Desi cope? Neither of them seemed to ever mention it or support relevant foundations or anything so I'm wondering how they were so strong?

 

Iv'e finally found a copy of Desi's book and gotten to read it, yay, but I noticed that he quite specifically referenced only one miscarriage. He mentioned that if the first child is lost after so many years of marriage then the baby wasn't meant to be. Assuming she had more miscarriages this quote is a little odd and I wonder if he didn't want to acknowledge the painful situation in his book or is it possible that he didn't really know about all the miscarriages? If it happened early, and he was rarely home, she may never have wanted him to have to feel the painful truth?

 

I'm so glad that they finally got their two kids! I also read an article where someone questioned Gary if Lucy was pregnant. He said the they would be thrilled. Was it possible for her to have kids after little Desi? I'm a little surprised that Desi and Edie never had a child together as it seemed like Desi would have always wanted more and Edie was a little younger than Lucy.

 

Thanks for any info!

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Luvsbway    2,000

In a 1982 interview Lucy says “I had 2, lost 2.” I had always thought she lost one in early 42’ and then again in mid 50’. But the passage below talks about one in late 49’. So I wonder why she said she only lost 2 when it looks like she lost 3. Was she forgetting the one in 42’? How do you forget a miscarriage?

 

I bet that after their second kid they decided their family was complete and took appropriate precautions. As for kids with the second spouses. Lucy says in a letter to Gary that she wished she would have been able to give him a kid but the woman was 50 when they got married so that ship sailed. As for Edie I think she was done too being in her mid 40s when she married Desi and already had one kid. I think they were pretty happy with their blended family of 3.

 

Lucy did seek out advice on getting pregnant. Trading quips with Betty Garett at a red light one day she advised Lucy to put her feet on the wall after they were finished as it worked for Betty. Lucy also charted her temp so when she was at peak time she would call Desi and tell him to get home now.

 

 

 

That December, six months after their second wedding, Lucile finally did conceive….But one evening at Chatsworth, soon after their appearance on The Ed Wynn Show, Lucille started screaming to Desi that she was bleeding. The next morning at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, she lost the baby she has so longed for. In her despair she blamed herself, her devotion to her work, and her past carelessness, both real and imagined, for her failure as a woman and as a wife. Her doctor sought to assure her that far from being unhappy she actually had reason to rejoice: He discovered that in the treating her after her first miscarriage in the first year of her marriage, doctors had inadvertently closed a Fallopian tube, which he had been able to mend. The doctor sent her home with a warning not to attempt pregnancy for another three months.

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Taylor    427

One in 1942 shortly after Carole Lombard died, one in 1950 although I'd heard that it was around spring or summer of that year, not in the winter. She talked about it in her autobiography. Of course Desi would know about the miscarriages and how many she'd had. I'd imagine he didn't want to dwell on it too much in his own book. Probably a very sad time that brought up feelings of loss and despair.

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Caewi    19

I've read before that she lost three as well so I'm confused about that one. In an interview with a psychologist who supposedly spoke with from 1980 - 1982 she says that 'she had two and lost two'. The interview is here: http://www.closerweekly.com/posts/lucille-ball-miscarriages-psychologists-transcripts-marriage-confessions-sons-addiction-77061 

 

I'm not very inclined to trust an interview with a person claiming to be her psych as we know that rejected the very idea of psychologist when Lucie brought it up. Still it seems very likely that she did have 2 miscarriages. 

 

I do think it was odd that Desi specifically mentioned one miscarriage, but as you said, I'm sure he didn't want to dwell on it or perhaps breach her privacy. 

 

I wonder is she could have had children when she married Gary if she would actually have wanted to? It's a huge change and would have been hard on Lucie and Desi. They already had to cope with divorced parents and then Gary so another baby would have been another big thing. She seemed very set on Desi being the father of her children during the earlier years of her marriage so I wonder how much of that feeling stayed with her even after the divorce. 

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Luvsbway    2,000

There is a letter Lucy wrote to Gary (I think it's over in the Gary letter thread) where she said that she did wish she would have been able to give him a child. Who knows if he wanted that but numerous times in those letters she praises his parenting skills.

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Taylor    427

Look, I think Lucy told Gary a lot of things to make him feel better.  The guy I'm sure had an inferiority complex because Lucy and Desi were still in love with each other and were forever married in their hearts, (and Gary must've felt that he couldn't hold a candle to Desi in Lucy's eyes), so of course she would praise him and build him up, not just in family matters but in work too.  She was 50 years old when she married Gary, there was no dang way she could've had his baby.  It's not like today where they could've hired a surrogate or something.  

 

As to the amount of miscarriages she had for sure, Lucy would know best how many she lost, psychologist interview or not.  I'd go with that rather than some "friend's" quote or information in any bio about her.

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JessiLu    32

I’ve been curious about this, too, and did some digging and wanted to follow up on the comment made about the possible pregnancy of December ’49 that was referenced in the “Lucille” book by Kathleen Brady (which claims Lucy had three miscarriages).

Brady claims that Lucy conceived in December 1949, six months after their second wedding, and lost the baby in Chatsworth, shortly after their appearance on “The Ed Wynn Show.” “The Lucy Book” says this show aired on the West Coast on December 24, 1949 and on the East Coast on January 7, 1950. So if she was pregnant, and if Brady was correct about the timing, it was a very short-lived pregnancy. Yet, Kathleen claims that radio listeners sent Lucy nearly 3,000 letters of encouragement following this miscarriage. So, if this is true, they must have talked about the pregnancy publically, short as it was.

Brady then claims that Desi and Lucy found out they were pregnant while on tour (confirmed to Lucy and Desi on the radio by Winchell) but miscarried during a costume party upon their return to Chatsworth. This story was confirmed in Lucy’s autobiography, and the timeline she discussed pinpoints it to the spring of 1950.

One theory that I have about the Dr. Chirban interview in which Lucy says, “I lost two, and I had two”: this could refer just to her 1949/1950 miscarriages because she follows up that comment with, “I was pretty BUSY there for five years.” If one of the two lost pregnancies she was referring to during this interview happened in the early 40s, it doesn’t seem to fit with her statement that she was busy with pregnancies for five years. So it’s possible she is referring in this interview to four pregnancies she experienced during 1949-1953.

But if that's the case, this still doesn't explain why she would discount the 1942 baby in the Chirban interview, and the December 1949 baby in her autobiography. (Yet, as was also pointed out, Desi left at least one miscarriage out of his book.)

The mystery continues.

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Taylor    427

Lucy said she lost the first one shortly after Carole Lombard passed, which was in 1942.  Her comment about "being busy for 5 years" could've meant in terms of her movie making, not losing babies.  Like I said, Lucy would know best how many babies she lost, she said she lost two and had two.  I don't know why people care about the exact years she lost them, we know it happened because she said it herself.  I mean, we don't need to know EVERYTHING about the woman, especially personal stuff like this.  JMO.

 

Edited to add:  Kathleen Brady is an idiot. She had so many facts wrong in her book and put a lot of unfounded rumors and scandalous crap in there as facts.  So I would take anything she has to say with a grain of salt.  

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