Thursday, January 6, 2011

Reposted From Nicole at Living Absolute

Aurora's beautiful feet in mommy's hands

After venturing out of my safety zone and tiptoeing back out into the “real” world. I noticed. There is a sad misconception in our society. One that I once believed until I watched a stillbirth episode on the TV series ER. I was pregnant with Peyton when I watched it…and I will never forget.

We have a misconception that the loss of a pregnancy is somehow, **just** you know, JUST the loss of a pregnancy. As if “pregnant” was just some word for “extra skin”…

We are visual people by nature and when there is a bump in the belly one day and not the next…it is sometimes viewed more like a “bump” loss than a “baby” loss.

Imagine, if you will, just for a moment…

You are filled with fear. You are noticeably pregnant, grasping your husbands hand, filled with intense sadness… You press the elevator button. You avoid eye contact with anyone that might ask you about your belly bump…your due date, etc.

You exit on the labor and delivery floor. The nurse at the desk asks you to take a seat and *wait*.

*gulp* Wait?



Like inches from the nursery…with laboring women walking up and down the halls and newborn babies exercising their lungs…


Wait there?


Yes. There. After all, you are about to GIVE BIRTH. To a baby. You know, 10 fingers, 10 toes, 2 arms, 2 legs, eyes, ears, nose, mouth…you know. A human. A baby. A little being that once kicked you in the bladder. Except there will be no cries when the baby is born.

You will be induced. Fully conscious. You will get an IV. You can even have an epidural. It will hurt…like hell. It’s labor. There are contractions. It will hurt. Yes, it will.

You will have one of those break away beds, you know. So you can push the baby out. There will be a cart, filled with all the tools for delivery. A scale to weigh the baby. A tape measure to measure the length. An OB/Gyn, a resident and a nurse. A doula if you are incredibly blessed.

The nurse starts an IV in case you want pain meds…the phlebotomist draws some more blood. You sweat, you moan, you focus on your breathing. You shower, pace and walk the halls. You go into transition. Your cervix dilates. You may scream from the pain of your contractions. Your baby descends.

Finally, your baby is born. Your spouse cuts the cord. Your mommy eyes instantly fall in love with your sweet, beautiful baby. You hold your baby. You love your baby. Your baby may be bathed and swaddled in a blanket. Family and friends may come to see and hold the baby. You are a mommy and daddy.

There are no cries.

But there is a baby. A human. *Your* baby.

You experience most of the joys of birth. And the excruciating pain of a death.

Why is all of this pain necessary? Why can’t they just knock you out and remove the “pregnancy” with some fancy technology? Maybe just zap it out somehow.

What good would that do anyone? To hide it…to make it seem like it never happened. That there was never a baby. That it was just a bump.

Birthing Aurora was one of the most powerful experiences in my life. I will even say it was likely THE single most powerful experience EVER. I decided to fully embrace labor and decline an epidural…which is not an easy decision. Knowing that you will go through all of that pain for what seems like ‘nothing’. But it’s not ‘nothing’. That ‘nothing’ was *something*…she was my daughter. I was able to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). This was my plan for Aurora’s birth, so why would I have changed it? Having the birth that I wanted was important…powerful.

Since Aurora’s birth, I have connected with many women that have given birth to silent babies. Some recently, some more than 15 years ago. I keep hearing words like “depression”, “verge of collapse”, “divorce”, “near suicide” and “nervous breakdown”. Seriously crushing stuff. Ugh.

Perhaps if we were not so secretive about the loss of babies that are BIRTHED without the cries… Perhaps if those women could have experienced the same amount of support from friends that helps carry me through these raw days…

Written by Nicole Kurtz

Reading this and the story about Aurora's birth, I can't help but think of the women abort their babies who are about the same age or older than Aurora. How much they suffer in silence physically and emotionally. It breaks my heart. It's what makes the high costs of adoption meaningful. Adoption agencies are getting the word out to women every where that every baby is wanted, that adoption works and there are people willing to help.


Mandy said...

Reading through the tears... what a horrific thing for anyone to go through. I cannot begin to imagine.. I had a miscarriage at just 8 weeks and it was so horrible. I remember every clump of blood that came out thinking "was that my baby?" I will pray for this woman, her family, and for their peace. God bless them.

Nicole Marie said...

Katie, my heart aches for those women and babies too. They are victims. The lifelong regret and heartache...ugh...I cannot imagine suffering in silence like that with absolutely no support. Not that you can't regret adoption, but at least you have a chance to meet your baby, spend time with your baby and then decide if parenting is right for you.

Sugar Water said...

I have experienced this loss at 6 months pregnant, and this post really hit home for me. It is especially difficult when people try to make it less than what it an "at least" - at least you didn't carry to term and THEN lose it. At least you're young and can have another one.

People treated it like it was a "routine" miscarriage. Loss is loss. I feel and have felt the pain that you describe. Thanks for making it relevant.

Davene said...

Wow, this is gripping. Thanks for sharing this, Katie.

Visual Notes said...

SAD beyond words...I've been there. I pray for anyone who has to go thru it.