Thursday, October 21, 2010

Remembering Our Babies

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and Oct. 15th specifically is PIL Remembrance Day.  (The banner above is from the official site for Remembering Our Babies).

Today is an Angel Day for me.  October 21, 2006, was the due date for my Lily, who I lost early at 8 weeks.  She would have been 4 today.  Earlier that same year, May 17th, 2006, was the due date for my Conor, who I lost at 6 weeks.  He would have been 4 this year as well.  My two losses were five months apart, and they were between my two happy and healthy baby girls.  I had no problems with Tootsie Roll's pregnancy.  After my miscarriages, I was put on meds to help ensure that Curly Jones' pregnancy would make it to term.  The doctors told me that they usually don't treat anyone until they've had three miscarriages.  I pretty much didn't accept taking my chances on a third.  They drew 21 vials of blood to do testing and found very little in terms of cause, but they put me on Metformin (which is an insulin regulator, they thought I maybe had PCOS) and progesterone.  Curly Jones' pregnancy was healthy and uneventful, thankfully.

Miscarriages have a strange stigma.  People don't talk about them much but they are something that many of us have gone through.  Even early ones like mine are completely devastating, and you need to grieve.  After I took a few days off with my first one, I returned to work and my principal at the time (a woman) said to me, "It happens to lots of us.  Get over it."  There are a lot of wrong things to say to a grieving mom.  This is one.  Also wrong is for the OB's receptionist to be telling you jokes as she schedules your d&c.

I have grieved and I have some remembrances for both of my losses.  Today, I remember Lily and Conor both, and I send a prayer out to any of you who have experienced loss.  There is a lot of support out there.  If you are trying to support someone who has experienced loss, please reach out to them.  You don't have to say anything but you're sorry and you're there if they want to talk.  It means the world, since so many people say nothing because they don't want to say the wrong thing.

The following is from

“Every single day in the US, 2,000 women lose a baby to pregnancy/infant loss. That’s 700,000 a year, a third of every female in this country. So why does no one talk about it?

In honor of October 15th, National Pregnancy/Infant Loss Remembrance Day, we are opening up the conversation. We are “putting a face” on miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss. We are sharing our faces, and declaring to the world, “I am not ashamed to talk about my baby.”
The goal of the I AM THE FACE campaign is simple: to spread awareness of pregnancy/infant loss, and raise support for those who are affected by it. With your help, we will raise $2,000 for the 2,000 women who experience the loss of a child every day. $2,000 for 2,000 faces.

I have gotten some very lovely and tasteful remembrance jewelry at My Forever Child.

Love to Conor and Lily and all Angel Babies today and always.


Kristin Rae said...

So sorry to hear you've been through that, and more than once.

My best friend miscarried last year, and I didn't know what exactly my place was, but it turned out she just really needed someone to listen, to cry with her, and to agree with her that it was awful--if one more person told her "it's going to be okay" I think she was going to snap. I sent her an early birthday present of a massage and she called me crying--said she had even just told her husband that day that she needed one to relax her.

Not having gone through it myself as of right now, it is difficult to completely understand the emotional toll, but I have witnessed it, and I see that grieving is a necessary part. It would be cruel to trivialize something someone else is going through/has gone through. Thanks for highlighting this, to remind us to be sensitive to others.

aspiring_x said...

miscarriage is so sad. and it's so hard to know what to say. my sister in law miscarried (pcos) and the dr. told her from the doorway, and when she started to cry, he grumbled, "ah, get over it." and slammed the door and left. so. yeah. another bad thing to do.
i'm saying a special prayer for lily and conor and the other angel babies and their families tonight.

Dangerous With a Pen said...

Thanks so much, Kristin & Vic. A good friend of mine miscarried very recently, and after the ultrasound confirmed it, her doctor came in and said, "You were pregnant the last time you were here. What happened?" UGH!

It's pretty amazing what some of the people who work in an OB office say to you in a time of shock and devastation. I had no idea I had mc'd the first time. The ultrasound showed there was no heartbeat. The second time, I knew. I don't know how, I just knew.

Of course there are offices where the people are probably much more compassionate and professional (but you don't know until you are in the situation). I know it's an everyday occurrance for them, but not for us. Maybe some sensitivity training is in order for some of them. (vent)

Anyway. Thank you for reading and for your thoughts.

Catherine Denton said...

So sorry you had to walk through that. And how insensitive your principal and the ob receptionist were.

I have not experienced this loss personally, but I have a friend who recently walked through this. Thanks for sharing how I can love on her.
Making Life a Work of Art!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you went through this. That principal sounds like a callous, unfeeling person. Thank you for your post, because this is an issue people might not think about, yet it's a loss of life and brings so much pain to the would-be mothers.

April said...

I'm so sorry you experienced all this, but I think you for sharing. You're right. Miscarriages are something that most people seem to keep to themselves or amongst only the family closest to them. But it's something that should be shared, and I think women would be able to cope a lot better knowing there are others out there who know exactly how she feels.

Holly Ruggiero said...

Blessing to all your babies. Reading what some people said to you made me cringe and get angry. Sometimes people are clueless.

Old Kitty said...

Oh Dangerous with a Pen! I am truly sorry to hear about your angel babies, Connor and Lily. I'm glad you have shared yours and their stories here, thank you.

This is a really lovely campaign to educate and enlighten and to remove this awful stigma women who have been through such feel!

A wonderful work colleague miscarried her baby recently - and as a result we at work support and are active with the charity SANDS - Stillbirth and Neonatal Death.

Take care

Jemi Fraser said...

Miscarriages are so hard. I'm so sorry for both your losses. Thank you for spreading the word. :)

mi_vita_loca said...

firstly, im sooo sorry for your losses :( i too have been through the devasting ruins of childloss and know exactly what you mean when you talk about the insensitivity of some people. i lost my first little one at 8wks, they told me it was common to go through this in your first pregnancy (not that it made it any easier for me to deal with), and then in 2010 i was pregnant with twin boys and was told at 32weeks that one had passed away :'( My 'friends' said things like 'its ok, at least u still have one'...and 'you should be greatful you didnt come home empty handed'... these kinds of remarks were not helpful, they didnt come across sympathetic and i honestly didnt know what to say back to them. i was afraid that if i opened my mouth a whole lot of emotion would come out at them and id loose my support network. This didnt end up being the case though, 9 times out of 10 they'd just cry with me,realise what they said was insensitive and try to brighten the mood. i wish i had of had printouts of this blog to give to them before they visited me after my babies passing <3 perhaps they would have come in with a better understanding of the pain and suffering mothers-to-be feel when they dont have a beautiful child in their arms <3