Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Sentiments Exactly.

This article has been floating around the BLM circle. I am not re-posting for BLMs to read, but for those who haven't experienced this unbearable loss to read. I'll live this reality for the rest of my life. To say it's changed me as a person is an understatement. So honest, and unfortunately, so real.

Milwaukee Journal, October 6, 2011, Laura Schubert

Did you know that October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month? I'll bet not. Despite the infant mortality crisis that's been at the forefront of Milwaukee's public health news for months, the only people who have more than a cursory comprehension of what it means to lose a baby are those who've lived it.

Infant loss is nature's cruelest practical joke. It's investing all of the required time and effort into pregnancy, only to be robbed of the result. It's cradling a body that grew within your own and trying to reconcile the cold, lifeless form in your arms with your memory of the baby who turned double flips in your womb.

It's worrying that you'll forget what your child looked like and snapping an album's worth of photos that no one will ever ask to see. It's sobbing so hard you can't breathe and wondering if it's possible to cry yourself to death.

Infant loss is handing off a Moses basket to the nurse who's drawn the unfortunate duty of delivering your pride and joy to the morgue and walking out of a hospital with empty arms.

It's boxing up brand new baby clothes and buying a 24-inch casket. It's sifting through sympathy cards, willing your foolish body to stop lactating, clutching your baby's blanket to your chest in hopes of soothing the piercing ache in your heart.

It's resisting the urge to smack the clueless individuals who compare your situation to the death of their dog or who tell you you'll have another baby, as if children are somehow replaceable.

Infant loss is explaining to your 7-year-old that sometimes babies die and being stumped into silence when she asks you why. It's watching other families live out your happy ending and fighting a fresh round of grief with every milestone you miss.

It's being shut out of play groups for perpetuity. It's skipping social events with expectant and newly minted mothers because, as a walking worst-case scenario, you don't want to put a damper on the party.

It's listening to other women gripe about motherhood and realizing that you no longer relate to their petty parental complaints because, frankly, when you've buried a baby, a sleepless night with a vomiting toddler sounds something like a gift.

Infant loss is pruning from your life the friends and relatives who ignore or minimize your loss. It's recognizing that, while they may not mean to be hurtful, the fact that they don't know any better doesn't make their utter lack of empathy one whit easier to bear.

My baby girl would have been 5 years old this month. I don't know what she'd look like, what her favorite food would be. I've never had the privilege of tucking her into bed, taking her to the zoo or kissing her boo-boos. I will never watch her graduate or walk down the aisle.

Infant loss is more than an empty cradle. It's a life sentence.


Molly said... [Reply to comment]

I reposted it for the same reason. Trying, trying to help outsiders get it. Even just a little. I keep hoping the more people hear about our type of loss, the more vaildation our babies will get. BAH!

Solange, Nik and Caitlin said... [Reply to comment]

That was really hard to read. Harder knowing that you're going through this pain. :(
All BLMs: I can't say I understand, because I don't. I can say how so very sorry I am that you don't have your babies. I didn't know about this month, and I'm grateful to be made aware. I hope I am never insensitive or lack empathy. I hope others remember your babies. I will always remember Andrew. <3

unaffected said... [Reply to comment]

I don't know what to say, other than thank you for sharing.

Kelly said... [Reply to comment]

I haven't read this yet, but yes. So much yes.

boo and stacy said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for sharing. Just wanted to again say I'm so sorry and I honestly pray for your soul everyday.

Shae said... [Reply to comment]

I'm not sure if I've ever commented, but I've been following for awhile.
I don't exactly understand your pain because I didn't carry my baby to term, or deliver him/her.
I did lose my first baby, though, and it hurt, so I can relate.
I want you to know that I'm praying for you, your husband, & this precious baby you are carrying now. Always.

Addi's mom said... [Reply to comment]

I did something I never do and posted this on my FB. I did just before the 15th to hopefully bring awareness...however I think only the few that are "Addi" supporters read it...wish everyone would!

Ben and Katie said... [Reply to comment]

Wow! Heart is in pieces right now!
I will never know your pain but when I read this my heart gets softer and softer for those who have had to walk through this pain.
Andrew I pray you know just how much your mommy and daddy love you...and I'm sure you do! You will always be loved!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Just saw it on another blog as well. Yes to every single word.