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.


  1. If I could make you a casserole and give you a hug I would.

    This was beautifully written Meg, Colm was your baby and has as much right to be loved and mourned as any other baby in the world. He was alive to *YOU* and that's all that people should take into account.

    *hugs* If there's anything I can do, let me know.

  2. ((HUGS)) The loss of those hopes and dreams for his life hurt deeply. Remember that there is no 'right' way to mourn and you are doing it perfectly for YOU, no matter what anyone else might say or thing. Keep talking, crying, dreaming, whatever it takes and for as long as it takes.

  3. I never know what to say to the comments people make on here. Of course I want to reply because I like the feedback.

    Miranda, someday I will come to Australia and take you up on that casserole.

    Joy, I am doing the best I can, sometimes people make it feel like it isn't good enough. But, I don't know how else to do it, so I carry on.