My Family!!

My Family!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Think Before You Speak

People try so hard to comfort your fears through a pregnancy after loss. They try to tell you "everything is ok", to "have faith", and that "it won't happen again". I have to be honest here, these are the WORST things you can say to me right now. I have been trying to find the words to explain myself, when yesterday it was made clear to me how to approach this issue.

I was watching TLC yesterday, and they had a special "Pregnant and Paralyzed". The story was about a woman who had was paralyzed an pregnant with twins. Rainbow twins. She lost her son  a year or so prior to the conception of her twins. They were interviewing the grandmother and she said, "I will not tell her that everything will be okay, because honestly I can't promise her that. No one can promise her that, because we have experience the worst. The only thing I WILL promise her is that no matter what happens, no matter if the worst happens again, we will get through it. We will get through it together."

I couldn't top this quote. I couldn't have said it better myself. When talking to a baby loss parent, don't promise things you have no control of. Don't try and tell them "everything will be okay". I have witnessed not one, not two, but THREE women in my online support group find out that their babies either died @ 18 weeks, or will die because of an incurable disorder in the past 2 weeks. One of them has already experienced a full term loss and has now chosen to carry her daughter who was diagnosed with a fatal disorder called Potter's Syndrome. I am sure many people told her to relax, trust, and that everything would be okay. I am sure they are feeling like idiots right about now. The other two had experienced multiple miscarriages, and thought they were in the clear once they passed that miraculous first trimester mark. Then their worlds came crashing down when they found out their babies' hearts had just stopped beating. I am devastated, and scared.

This can happen to anyone. I don't mean to scare my currently pregnant friends who have never experienced a loss, but it could happen to you, and it can happen to me....again. The statistics are ASTOUNDING! 1 in 160 babies are stillborn (dying after 20 weeks of gestation) That is 1 in 160 pregnancies!!! You know how many pregnant women are out there? I know of at least 13 people in real life right now who are pregnant, and NUMEROUS more online that are pregnant. Approximately 20% of known pregnancies end before 20 weeks, and 80% of those are before 12 weeks. This means out of 100 births, 20 will end. 16 of these will be before 12 weeks, and 4 of these will be later than that. If you think about it, with all of the women who experience pregnancy, this means pregnancy loss is more prominent than suicide (14 out of every 100,000 population in 2010 in the US) or murder (An average of 28.7 murders per 1million people world wide). Crazy huh?  Do you feel comfortable telling a woman who already experienced a loss that "everything will be okay"?

After this, I hope none of you make the mistake of offering false hope. Instead, listen to the mom's fears without judgement. My AMAZING friend called me the other day and asked how I was doing, and although I rarely go into detail with everyone who asks this question, I did with her. I expressed my fears of being left behind again with all of these pregnant women around me. I explained my relief that I was pregnant right now and didn't have to witness all of these pregnancies without experiencing it myself, leading to feelings of jealousy and pain. She just listened. She didn't offer words of advice, for she had never been in this situation. She didn't judge me or think I was "overreacting", or that I was a "bad person" for my feelings; in fact, her response was VERY similar to that of the grandmother on "Pregnant and Paralyzed". She told me she would be here for me no matter what, and that means more to me than anything.

The only One who can make this promise to me, is God himself. He is the only one who can bring this baby here safely. I have faith that He will, but I also have faith that if He doesn't that He will provide Foster and I with the strength to get through it again.

I am slowly creeping up on 14 weeks, and although I should be relieved that the first trimester is over, I am not. I am probably more nervous than before. I feel that there is more at stake now. i have seen the baby, and it LOOKS like a baby. I swear I feel little flutters in my belly and it COULD be gas, but it could be Pumpkin.  I have a noticeably pregnant belly already, and if I lose this one, everyone will know. So if I don't act like that normal, naive, happy pregnant lady, please understand and please don't judge. And above all, please, please, please think before you speak when it comes to false hope. But I do ask that you all still continue to pray:-)

....Welcome to the life of pregnancy after loss.

God Bless

"God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.


Little Blessings said...

I wouldn't normally comment but I feel very strongly that I am supposed to tell you I am praying for you and your little Pumpkin. (I have been praying for awhile) It is a huge heart burden for me to pray for women who are longing for a baby, whatever the circumstances. Just know this stranger in WA is praying for a healthy and beautiful baby for you.


Jelene said...

Big hugs love. Once again your words just hit home to me. I couldn't have said it better myself. Everyday that passes another hurdle crossed. Only 168, give or take, hurdles to jump.

Julie said...

amen, sister. i'm not even pregnant again yet, but i dread the day someone has the nerve to tell me everything will be fine. no matter how good their intentions, i hope i will have the presence of mind and the nerve to tell them they can't see the future. thinking of you.

*Laura Angel said...

I love this post!

Annie said...

I couldn't agree more with what you're saying! When I was pregnant with our first, the baby wasn't developing at the right rate, and they couldn't find a heartbeat, and I was scared sick. And a Christian friend berated me for being afraid-- it WILL be okay, she said, and "you just have to believe!" -- and I was so angry. I knew I had reason to be afraid, and I ended up miscarrying. I know my situation was not the same as yours is, but the wrong words can sure do damage. We keep on praying for you all...

Anonymous said...

I am praying for you and your little Pumpkin. Pumpkin has an Guardian Angel watching over him or her. I have not lost a child but I watch my daughter struggle everyday over the loss of her daughter who was nine months old. She too will have the same fears when the time comes for them too have another child. I cannot imagine that fear will ever go away, regardless of how old your child is. There is a mom and grandma in MN that prays for you everyday!!

Erin said...

I would never dare to tell someone who has lost a child/baby that it's going to be ok. It's not ok. Also, I think a lot of people believe that once you are past 12 weeks you are "safe." The sad reality is that things go wrong at anytime. I am pushing 20 weeks and still have trouble making baby purchases, not because I have lost a baby myself but because I know others that have.

Stephanie said...

First, congratulations. . . mama! I am out of the loop here on your news.
Secondly, I could have written this post. I think that your words and feelings are normal and perfectly said. There are no promises, and those of us who have been a statistic will never look at the 'majority' the same way again. I had heard all kinds of the same things after Amelia's death, only to stand by and watch other online friends loose their rainbows.

I was lucky. And my entire pregnancy with Silas, was like holding my breath, as I waited for something tragic to happen. It is hard and I won't lie, it didn't get better as the trimester milestones were reached for me. IT wasn't better until he was in my arms.

Hang in there mama. i will be thinking of you.

Mattie said...

So well said. LOTS of people told me that it would be ok when I got pregnancy with Jakin. Even after diagnosis of his heart condition some one just shrugged her shoulders and said, "It will be oke this time". Right. I really wish people would think before they speak :/

Holly said...

I have seen that episode that you write about. Her mom really said it well! People have no idea if things will be ok. I had people tell me it would be and I'm like how do you know?


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