9 Months

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Today, my baby Bea would have been 9 months old.

If she had lived.

But she didn't.

So, in "honor" of this momentous day, I have chosen to post a list.

Just as an FYI, I carried to term a pregnancy with a lethal diagnosis. While the end result is the same,(a lost child) , there are a few different aspects of this experience that apply only to carrying to term in this situation.

There are some really tactless people out there. They say really awful things, and sometimes, I become tired of excusing all of their ill spoken remarks.

Fair warning, I am not feeling very generous tonight.

1)    “Well, are you going to try again?”

  (as if somehow a new baby will replace the one I’ve lost.)

2)    "Well, the baby would have had a lot of problems, so it’s probably better that it happened this way."
(so, it’s better that my daughter is dead, than if she were alive and disabled? There was a popular theory in the 1920'a and 30's that fell right in line with this thought process. It was called eugenics. Hitler utilized it to begin his "Final Solution" to take care of degenerates.... he began with the physically and mentally disabled population.)

3)    “What was wrong with her?” Or, “what happened?”

(is this really any of your business? I’d love to talk about my daughter, but I have no desire for her to become a story you tell at a cocktail party while you’re stuffing yourself with shrimp and carrot sticks.)

4)    “Oh, when my (dog, cat, hamster… whatever) died…”
(any statement you make about my daughter, in relation to your pets death is just wrong. I don’t care how much you love your cat. I don’t care if you consider your pet a part of your family. My daughter was not a pet. She was a human being. There is a difference.)

5)    "I know exactly how you feel", or any reference to being so close to me that you feel like you’re "going through the same thing."

(you don’t, and you’re not. I don’t care how close we’ve been in the past. I don’t care how much you love me. I am not denying your grief- but no one who has not lost a child can understand in any way shape or form, how I feel. No one who has not carried a child in her body, knowing that the child was going to die soon after birth, can have any clue how I feel.)

6)    “I guess it was easier because you knew it was going to happen.”

(that’s like saying it’s easier to lose your foot to gangrene, because you knew it was coming, than to a car accident. You lose a foot, you lose a foot. You still need to learn to walk again. Losing a child is losing a child, period. Don’t disallow me my grief because I knew ahead of time what was going to happen.)

7)    “At least you have more children.”

(again, one child doesn’t replace another one. It is an awful thing to have your 8 year old son hug you, and for you to wish he were someone else.)

8)    “You never considered termination?”, or, “I don’t know what I would do in that situation.” Or, “I wouldn’t be as strong as you!”
 (you do realize that, in my eyes, you are referring to the possible destruction of my child because she was “unfit” to live, right? You do realize that by making statements like this you are essentially denying that my child was worth anything as an individual person? That if you had been carrying her, you may have chosen to terminate the pregnancy?  And as a footnote, I am pro-life. I don't believe it's ok to ever abort a child, even in this instance. Because so many people choose to terminate a pregnancy like ours, it was very difficult dealing with doctors who didn't agree with our decision to carry to term. Because so many people terminate pregnancies like ours,  no new medical research is being done to figure out what causes her disorder. The "treatment" for her disorder, is termination.)

9)    “Oh, why are yoooouuu drinking decaf?” The same goes for, “gee, you’ve been complaining about being nauseous a lot lately.” Or, “you’re eating/using the restroom a lot lately”. All of these are usually delivered with a knowing smile and a twinkle in their eye.

(Pregnancy is a sore subject for me right now. I don't want to contemplate being pregnant, unless I am pregnant. And I'm not. So let it go.

I’m drinking decaf coffee because I lie awake in bed sleepless every single night. I wait for the sun to come up so that I can get out of bed. I lay thinking about all the things that went wrong, and all the things I would do differently to assure my child’s long, uneventful life.
I eat too much because I’m emotionally distressed and I’ve got to find something to do with my hands while I’m doing nothing. Because if I’m not doing something, I’m thinking of her. And that’s actually sometimes dangerous.
I use the bathroom a lot so that I can cry for a few seconds without you seeing me. If there were public showers, I’d probably be using the shower multiple times a day- the shower is a great place for losing it. If your eyes are all puffy everyone just assumes it’s due to shampoo in your eyes.
I am sick to my stomach because of PTSD from having my child die in my arms. I am sick to my stomach because deep down inside I am sure that I did something which caused my child’s death. )

10)    Actually, number 10 isn’t “what not to say”, but a “what not to do”- Don’t pretend it didn’t happen. Don’t pretend that I didn’t have a baby that died. Don’t avoid talking about her because you think it will make me sad.
(Avoiding the subject won’t set my mind at ease. I am always thinking about her- it’s not like you bringing her up is going to make me suddenly remember that I had a daughter who died. I remember every second of every day.  I am always sad, when I think about living my life without her. You're not going to suddenly remind me of her, just when I'd managed to forget all about the whole situation.Talking about her makes me happy. Please allow me to do it when I feel like it.)

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