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Sunday, April 22, 2012


To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.

You never understand until it happens to you.

These statements are fitting to describe the new normal for those who have lost a baby or young child.  I walk through each day reminding myself that the world does not revolve around baby loss...and that 99.9% of the people I come into contact with on a daily basis have suffered loss of a loved one.  But there are certain situations where the impact of baby loss simply cannot be denied, a primary example being subsequent pregnancies and children for those who have experienced loss. While some will never go through pregnancy again, many will endure at least one or more pregnancies after their loss. 

I am in my third pregnancy – the second pregnancy following the death of my first born.  Pregnancy after loss does not even begin to compare with pre-loss pregnancy.  And because of many variables, this entire pregnancy has been a much different experience than our second pregnancy.  This was a topic of discussion during one of our recent support group meetings, and I finally threw out the suggestion of extending an invitation for our providers to join us for one of our meetings to talk with us specifically about life, and pregnancy, after loss.  I made the suggestion fully knowing that our practitioners are very busy folks, and with the understanding that there could certainly be no expectation of all of them attending one of our meetings.  But, I’ll be honest, I held hope that maybe one or two (out of 7) of them might make 30 minutes to speak with us, based simply on the understanding that interactions during prenatal visits tend to be structured and limited (in terms of regularly branching out from conversation about new baby to conversation about dead baby).  I really felt like it could have provided them with some beneficial perspective, not just in terms of their interaction with us, but in terms of their interaction with any and all parents experiencing loss in the future...

I suppose that it was presumptuous to think that anyone outside of our group would see the benefit and/or need for this kind of discussion.  (And, perhaps, it was presumptuous to believe that none of our practitioners has first hand experience with loss.)  As it turns out, it didn’t really matter.  The invitation was extended to one of the docs, who more or less shot the idea down, and it never went any further than that.  I never expected that any of the docs would show up in the first place, but I was holding out a little bit of hope that a midwife or two might have a little interest….

So onward we trudge through the remainder of this pregnancy and related appointments.  Onward we trudge through the repeated assumptions that life has been all sunshine and roses prior to this pregnancy.  Onward we trudge through the ‘how many pregnancies?’ questions every time someone new can’t be bothered to read a chart.  Onward we trudge feeling like we have returned the status of being a number instead of being someone with noteworthy history.  Onward we trudge carrying the disappointment that even the people who should understand more than any other practitioner out there, the ones who told us that our daughter’s heart had stopped beating, don’t really get it…


Maggie said...

Ugh... I hear you!!! The DAY I had Adam, I must have had to retell every person there was that I had had a previous stillbirth. Half the people didn't seem to know why we were even there and all throughout the pregnancy, it seemed like they figured since we had Joshua, everything would be fine with this one and why worry... It's a tough road to say the least. ((((HUGS)))))

Lori said...

So right. And so sad. Really. Thinking of you lots!!!!! Xoxo