"... These words are my diary, screaming out loud. And I know that you'll use them however you want to..."

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ambivalent.. I hope not...

Wow. Our lives were tossed upside down last Wednesday morning when my husband's grandmother (Nan as she's called, and she is like a second mother to my husband) had a "significant" heart attack, followed by a less severe one. She is still in the hospital, and they are doing what they can for her, but she is 92, and doesn't want any extraneous measures taken (including further resuscitation). Nan has always said "when it is my time to go.. its my time to go".
So we have spent a lot of time at the hospital, including stopping in after work this evening. I feel guilty, because I should be able to stay longer. But I don't think I can do it every day this week while I'm working. I'll be thoroughly exhausted by Thursday (which is my next day off). I will do what I can, but I feel bad that it is not more.
So on to my story. I was at the hospital tonight and a friend of his aunt's came in to visit Nan, and she brought her neighbour with her. This woman, I will refer to as C, is very nice. We chatted about the usual stuff. The current weather, including the hurricane warnings that turned into nothing but rain and wind for us, a little bit about the upcoming election, and then the topic of my current pregnancy came up.
Then came the discussion about Kheri and what happened in February of this year. She then said "yeah, I lost one once. A little boy. It happens." She said this with an air of ambivalence that instantly irritated me. I responded with "yeah, it happens, but that still doesn't make it OK". She said "It will be OK, eventually". I said "I don't think so. At least not for me".
So that got me wondering. At what point to some baby lost moms become ambivalent, and OK? Will we be there some day? Looking back on this as a faded memory. Will we say to fresh dead-baby moms "Oh yeah, I lost one once. It was a girl. It happens". I hope not.


  1. When I told a friend of mine (we will call her Marcie) that we had lost Kheri her eyes immediately filled with tears. She told me that she had 3 children, one a stillborn boy. She could hardly talk about him and to her that day was still fresh in her memory. That boy would be 25 this year. So, to a lot of baby-lost moms, the memory will alway be fresh and should be. That lost child will always be the first/second or third child and can never be 'replaced' and should never be so casually forgotten.

  2. I sometimes wonder if it was how they are raised or the generation..my mom is I don't want to say ambivalent but she is very matter of fact and seems almost emotionless about it..but how she was raised was a large part she is leaps and bounds better than her mother but still seems to distance herself from things that may be considered painful and I find I am a bit like that but with my miscarriages it was early and less attachment which I think makes it ..not easier but less emotional..But you never forget or stop loving them and you never should!

  3. I think any emotion is totally based around the personality of the individual. I know that I will always remember and think about my daughter forever...and can't imagine being ambivalent about it. But I sit here now and say that... Will I be different someday? Maybe.. But I do know that I will not judge or critique anyone in how they grieve or deal with his/her loss. I think that is one of the biggest things I have learned through this experience...the empathy and support you give to someone who is grieving is worth more than any gift or words of advice. It's just being there...and showing you care.

  4. it is interesting, because older people that i know who have lost babies seem that way because the issue was so taboo back then. My great grandmother's generation did not have HPTs, they just new by their missed period and then eventually "movement" in their bellies.
    i met a woman about 65 years old who had a stillbirth 40 weeks into pregnancy and they never showed her the baby. The hospitals did not even give the woman the option back then. We have come a long way from those days, and she is probably ambivilent because it was even more taboo than it is now to talk about.

    HOWEVER a good story:
    My MFM doc said that at his grandmother's funeral her best friend of 60 years got up to talk she said, "Ever since Anne lost Elizabeth 60 years ago" (which by the way most of the family never even knew about)"she has not been afraid of death because she knew as soon as she died, she would get to meet her daughter for the first time"

    soooo...maybe it is just the person, and I know people like you and me will be like ann...smiling the day we die because we finally get to meet our angels!!

  5. I have wondered about this with my MIL. Her firstborn was stillborn right around 40 weeks. While she's a wonderful woman, she has told me a few times now that she just doesn't understand what I'm going through. She explained that for her, a baby wasn't really a baby until they were born...that she didn't read books or really connect to her pregnancy or plans for parenting. It feels unfortunate to me because selfishly I thought this would be a "special" connection between the two of us. But I can see her perspective, especially when I think about her own family upbringing (from what little I know). It seems to me that it is an indvidual thing, and also generational. I don't think I'll ever treat the birth and death of Acacia as a thing that just happened. I hope that my own experience can help others future BLMs I come into contact with, by letting them know it's OK that this loss is so very hard.