Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"A Silent Love"

There were so many parts in this book that just really brought me comfort, and I would like to post them here...either to help other mamas who have been in this situation, or just to be able to come back to later for comfort.

Excerpts from "A Silent Love" by Adrienne Ryan

"When a baby dies, whether it is in the early or late stages of a pregnancy, at birth, or shortly after birth, we are left to cope with a multitude of emotions, all of which threaten to engulf us with grief.  The emotional distress is compounded by the fact that there is often a lack of understanding by those around us, an almost incomprehensible questioning as to why, when we never knew our child, we should be feeling the overwhelming sense of loss that we do.  The loss of a child is one of life's greatest tragedies.  ...  It is an all to frequent tragedy and one that is too infrequently discussed.  We need to allow ourselves-and be allowed- to grieve openly, because this is no less than we deserve."

I think the following part was one that hit me the most.  It amazes me how we can talk freely about the death of a loved one, but somehow people act like our baby should not be afforded that same grievance.  People get uncomfortable around us when they know that we've lost babies...some people even act like it could be 'catching'.  There was a woman at my OB's office one day who started talking to me while I was waiting to get my lab work done.  She was waiting for an ultrasound, she'd told the woman next to her, and when that woman left, I asked her how far along she was.  She was about 14 weeks, just a week further than I would've been.  We talked for a few minutes and she asked how far along I was and when I told her that I was no longer pregnant (those were my exact words) she immediately turned in her seat, placed her hands so protectively around her belly and then did not speak to me the rest of the time.  It crushed me.  Miscarriage isn't contagious...and as common it is, you would really think people would be a little more understanding.  But I guess every woman has the "it can't happen to me" mentality, and facing someone with a miscarriage makes that fear come back to the surface.

"A child created through the love of two people is indeed a precious gift.  From the moment of conception, each of our babies offers us a potential for the future - a potential for OUR future, promising fundamental changes to our lives that, while in many ways unimaginable, are also absolutely imagined and extraordinary.  For the majority of prospective parents, that potential is realized when their child is born and grows to become an essential member of their family: a child, an adolescent, and ultimately an adult who contributes to the richness of the lives he or she touches each day.
"But for others, sadly, the potential is never realized, and a future is lost.  So far-reaching are the implications of that loss that it cannot be dealt with as an isolated incident, but this is usually what we try to do and, moreover, what others expect us to do.  Yet the loss remains an intristic part of our lives, the ramifications of which reverberate ever after.
"With each day and with each event the surviving family members enjoy, there remains a constant vacuum, a space that was reserved for a child to fill or at least partly fill.  We remain constantly aware that, while our child would have said and done many things to alter our lives, our lives are instead altered by the things that child hasn't said or done.  It is our future that has been affected, not our past. When a parent or other relative of our past dies, we have tangible memories of that person and of the contribution he or she made to our lives.  If we have happy times to remember, for the most part we can ultimately come to an acceptance of his or her death.  Btu when a baby dies, no memories exist to help us reach such an acceptance.  We are not able to look back and remember things about our own child that might make us smile, and it is this fact that is fundamental to the explanation of our grief and makes it a grief unlike any other."

The bold part of that is the part that affected me the most.  It is so true.  When we lose a family member, we can always remember things they've said or done that made such an impact on us.  When we lose a baby, there are really no memories.  My memories of this pregnancy are the absolute high of finding out we were pregnant again...and then the crushing pain when I started to bleed so heavily, and then laying there on that ultrasound table when she could only find that empty sac.  I remembered the pain and the 'empty' feeling from the previous losses, and I had very strongly suspected that we were no longer pregnant by the time we got to the office, but I still prayed so very very fervently that God would answer our prayers and that our baby was still safe and snug inside of me.

".....when a baby dies at a time when its dependency on the mother is absolute, many women subsequently feel that they have failed their child and failed in the most basic function of womanhood.  The feelings of guilt and failure can often be so intense that they risk falling into an abyss of self-doubt from which some become incapable of returning."

This was another thing that really hit home for me.  A woman is MADE to have children, and it killed me each time my body would fight against my baby and then force it out.  Why couldn't I do something so simple, something that I was MADE to do.  It was hard enough watching friends and family have children, some of them having 2-3 in the space of time that we waiting to conceive and carry Charlee...our only viable pregnancy.  The thing that hurt me was that people who really had no business having babies were able to have as many as they wanted, with no complications or ramifications...and yet John and I, who so desperately wanted a baby and could actually provide for it....couldn't carry a child.  My sister would tell me of all these 13, 14 and 15 year old girls in her school having babies, some of them graduating with 2 or 3 kids.

****I'm not trying to offend anyone.  I know lots of very young mothers who are AMAZING mothers, just the child was a surprise and happened sooner than it should have.  It just hurt me to see these young girls, so many of whom were single, still living at home, and some of them not even hold enough to get a job....having these happy healthy babies when we couldn't.****

The part that hurt the worst though, was hearing about these girls getting pregnant, or ANY woman getting pregnant, and because it was an unplanned or unwanted baby...having an abortion.  They had a discussion one night on the news about some girls using abortion as a form of birth control and I sat here and bawled through the whole segment.

In my opinion, if you think you're old enough to play the game, then you're old enough to understand the consequences.  If you can't face the possibility of a baby, then don't have sex!!! No birth control is 100% effective!  Even when I was on the pill, it would've been a shock to get pregnant, but a very welcome one.  We knew from the beginning that there could always be a baby, no matter the precautions we took...and we were prepared to take care of that baby if it ever happened.  For those that go into sex willingly, then abortion should not be knew the risk when you took that action.  Just because you don't want that baby doesn't mean someone else wouldn't love that child.

My mom and uncle are both adopted.  Their mothers were either too young, or unable to afford them, or maybe just weren't prepared to take care of a child.  But they didn't kill their babies when they learned they were pregnant.  They carried them in their bodies, and then gave my Nana the greatest gift one person could give another, the gift of a child to love and call her own......twice!!!

Okay, I guess I'll get off my soapbox's just a subject that gets me riled up!  Even more so after the miscarriages....a life is a life, no matter one else may know your child within your body, but YOU do.

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About Me

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SAHM to a beautiful, wonderful, miracle princess named Charlee Jean. Married to my high school sweetheart for over 6 years now, and expecting another miracle baby in October 2011