Monday, January 5, 2015

Beyond devastated...

Two and a half years ago, as all regular readers know, I gave birth to a stillborn son at 32 weeks.

The thing about making it that far into a pregnancy (as I've written here before) is that you truly believe that nothing will go so wrong that it won't end with your baby in your arms. Maybe premature, maybe needing the NICU but, alive.

But, when they tell you, weeks before you're due to deliver, that your baby has died, your brain doesn't compute this truth. You literally can't make the words fit right in your head.

It's not that I didn't know stillbirths happened. I just didn't think they happened to people like me.
What I mean by that is people who have had great pre-natal care, access to top doctors and top hospitals.

My only comfort after was that when I bit that statistical bullet, it was unlikely that anyone I know would suffer the same fate.

Stillborn babies after viability is reached is quite rare so, I felt like I was offering a blanket of protection to those around me. Sad consolation prize but, there it is.

Then, I learned today, that a woman I work with lost her first baby this weekend at 36 weeks.

I cried for her but, I also cried for me. Why wasn't the death of one baby (my baby) enough to protect those around me?

How many moms in one small office building need to lose a baby late term? Who do I even ask this question to?

I can tell her that I understand what she's going through but, so what? It doesn't bring back her baby.
And the thing is, I don't know how she feels because, I had Ryan. I had a reason to get out of bed even when I thought the grief would swallow me whole.

Why are otherwise perfectly healthy babies still dying in the womb so late in pregnancy?
Where is the outrage? Where is the ribbon for the back of your car? Where is the demand for studies to be done and millions of dollars to be spent? Where are the celebrities asking you to donate your money to make a difference? Where is the ice bucket challenge for all these children?

Sorry for the morose post but, I'm in utter anguish over this.


  1. Oh, how awful. :( My friend had a stillborn - healthy pregnancy, healthy labor, and then suddenly everything crashed. Such a horrible thing to have to go through.

  2. I'm so sorry :( That is so awful and I'm sure it brought up some stressful emotions for you. My friend's sister lost her baby at 39 weeks, two days before her induction. There is just nothing to make anything like that okay.

  3. When the ice bucket challenge hit me it took everything in me not to change my cause. Not that I don't think ALS is a worthy cause but because I had wished that it was one of us that had thought of it first and caused so much awareness that we raised millions for research to find more answers

  4. pregnant in my forties - hopefully!January 8, 2015 at 10:59 AM

    When I read you post title I thought the worst. I'm sorry for your friend but I'm so glad nothing has happened to you.
    However, your reaction interests me. My friend was 9 days overdue when her baby died, she too had to deliver. I felt the same as you, where was the outrage? Where were the marches on parliament? My friend and I tried to get a commission for a documentary about her story, but none of the TV channels were interested.
    I was angry for a long time that something like cancer gets so much focus, but I guess baby loss is such a private grief it just doesn't mean enough to the main population for them to take a big interest in...

  5. I'm so sorry for both your loss and your co-worker's. As you know, there is nothing you can say to make it better other than to have compassion and empathy for her. Here's a link to a great site with lots of resources. Also, there was a movie recently released about stillbirth. It was difficult to watch but good to know that Hollywood is paying attention. Return to Zero. I used to work for a non profit organization dedicated to helping families through infant and pregnancy loss. The community is huge and there is a ton of resources. The louder our voices, the more the general population will be educated and the taboo of baby loss will not be a silent suffering.

  6. I thought Return to Zero was a beautiful movie but, it was very hard for me to watch even two years removed from the birth of my stillborn son. I will recommend it to my co-worker at some point in the future but, maybe not when she has just returned.

    Those are all very good resources that I will pass along. :)

    Thank you