Friday, September 18, 2009

People need to realize

People need to know that when a family losses one of their children, it doesn't matter that the child was not 'born' it is still their baby. And is absolutely worthy of mourning.

People need to realize that four months may not be enough time to, 'get over it'.

If I tell you something wasn't a priority just two months after my son died, it means just that, and it is the reason it wasn't taken care of. And it is a valid reason.

People need to realize that we may still cry, a lot.

People need to realize that anger is a normal response to a loss, and sometimes that anger may be directed at you...don't take it personally.

People need to realize that unless I ask for it, I really don't want your advice on how to cope with my loss.

People need to realize that stillbirth is the death of a person's child, their baby, their hopes and dreams. Stillbirth hurts too. Our babies lived, it may have been in the womb only, but they had a beating heart, toes and eyes. They were human babies, not just blobs of tissue or the by products of conception.


I realize this picture has been altered, no he didn't have such nice coloring,*
but he did have eyes, and a nose, 10 perfect toes and ears. Everything a baby has. He was real. Not just to me, but to my family, to my mom, to those that care about me.
* I decided to post the 'real' Colm. I don't care if it might be upsetting to people, he is my baby and I love him. If you don't like it don't look :-P

Don't make me feel like my baby wasn't good enough to have a funeral, or a wake. Don't give me the attitude that I made the wrong choices in choosing to honor him just as I would honor any of my other children. He is my baby. My saint in Heaven. My dove. My Colm.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pondering life...

So when exactly does life begin? At what point does a fetus become something we are allowed to call our child, our baby? At what point does it become a loss, something meaningful that others see as worthy of mourning? At 20 weeks when it becomes a stillbirth? At 40 weeks, during labor, when it becomes a birth accident? At 1 week of life after struggling to live? At conception while it is still but an embryo looking for a place to nestle and begin the journey of life?

When? At what point did Colm stop being medical waste? The State of NJ says 20 weeks. But, would I have been any less distraught had he died at 19 weeks? Would that really have mattered to me? He would still have been my baby, my little boy that wiggled and pushed in my womb.

So why, when I see the value of his life, when I know the meaning his life has to me. Why can others not see that no matter what phase of development or life your child dies, no matter when it happens the living still deserve the same amount of sensitivity. Just because a 'fetus' dies, just because it did not breath air, or cry out does not make that loss any less traumatic for the people that wanted that child to love and to hold. Just because he didn't live outside the womb, does not mean that there are not dreams that have been shattered.

No matter when your baby dies, whether it is an embryo, a fetus, a vianate, a newborn....whether it is 12 months or 12 years it is still your child and you still have every right to mourn. You have every right to feel and to grieve and to have an expectation of sensitivity.

LIttle things, like respecting the wishes of the parents. A card, a simple, "I'm sorry" would be enough.

Just be there. Be supportive and not demanding. Understand that one persons grief is not yours. Know that your loss is not their loss. Know that although you may have had the same type of trauma, you are not that person. And what was right for you may not be right for anyone else. Everyone is different and everyone must grieve in their way, not yours.

Sometimes the best thing is a hug, a kind word and a casserole.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

September 6th

Today is the day I was waiting for, eagerly anticipating the birth of my fifth baby, my third little boy. I was worried about him being breech, too big, maybe ending with a c-section. Even as the doubts and the fear tickled my brain, knowing something was wrong, knowing this pregnancy would not have a happy ending. I thought it would be a c-section, that I wouldn't get the birth I was longing for, unfortunately I was right. Yet, I was wrong in so many ways.

Today I would give anything to be laying on the OR table, epidural in my back, IV in my hand and a bay to hold in my arms.

Precious little boy. My tiny saint Colm. I love you and miss you. I am thinking of you today on the day you were supposed to be born.