Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday, October 13th

I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all those who've passed by my little corner of the online world and taken the time to say hello or leave a comment. I truly appreciate them. Feel free to comment or email me at anytime. I am always glad to talk.

On to other things.....

POST LOSS doctors visits:

I have one bit of advice. Well, maybe a couple. But first and foremost, going back to the OB after having experienced a loss is an overwhelming thing. At least it was for me. During those days and first weeks post loss, the slightest thing would set me off crying and having to walk into a waiting room full of pregnant women was no picnic. I was blessed to have a great OB and nurses who as soon as they knew I was there and checked in, they pulled me into the back halls to sit and wait for my room to open up rather than have to sit out there and be surrounded by all those happy pregnant women.

Well, they weren't all pregnant, but it sort of seemed that way. When it's a sensitive issue, that seems to be all you see. I highly recommend making your appointments for first thing in the morning or just after lunch when the office opens again. Waiting around, even in back halls, is not an easy thing. Try to spare yourself that anguish and limit the wait if you can.

I also had a really hard time seeing all these other pregnant women. It actually made me mad sometimes when I saw them smiling or laughing or holding their plump bellies as the precious child within moved. Seeing an obviously new parents-to-be couple nearly set me over the edge. They were all happy and smiles, clearly excited. She wasn't showing the slightest bit. Obviously it was early on. They were beside themselves, so happy and expectant and excited and all I wanted to do was throttle them. I wanted to march right over there and shake some sense into them, yelling at them to not be happy, to worry, to worry all the time! Didn't they know how it could all go so terribly wrong?!?!

And then one day, while pregnant again and visiting my perinatal specialist for one of those early fetal scans we had to do, I changed my mind. Now granted...folks coming here were often already worried, for one reason or another. You could see it on their faces, sometimes in the tears freely falling down as they left in a hurry. And I suddenly realized. I'd been judging everyone else unfairly. How do I know that this happy pregnant woman across the way hasn't had a loss before this one? For all I knew, maybe she'd lost five and this one, this one was finally going to be ok.

The point is, I didn't know and it was unfair of me to look at them so sternly. And even those who were pregnant for the first time...they should be happy and excited. Looking back that is one thing I was blessed to have with my first pregnancy. I had no clue. Everything was fine all along. I was blissfully ignorant. I had no idea of all the horrible things that could go wrong. Oh sure, you worried about the normal battery of tests, the Downs, the Spinal Bifeda, the Glucose test, the AFPs....but as some of us out there know, that is only like the pin-point tip of an iceberg. I am glad I didn't know with my first. I worried alot as it was, like any mother to be does. At least I had one pregnancy (and half of a second) without the gloom and doom constantly hanging over my head.

So again, when looking at the pregnant woman you run into at the doctor's office, or in a parking lot, or in the crowded aisle of a store...remember...when that sudden anger flairs its ugly head...or jealousy, remember we don't know anything about them. For all we know they've tried for years and years and had one loss or setback after another before getting to this hopefully happy point. We don't know. We've not been in their shoes. Give them space if you need to, and perhaps if you can manage, even say a little prayer for their baby, hoping that all is well and one more sister in this world won't have to know the pain and suffering we have.

People do lots of different things to remember the precious children and babies they've lost. We do balloons.

Every year on the anniversary of their birth and death, we buy a balloon and write all over it with a permanent marker. We send up our messages of how much we miss them and Happy Birthday's and I love yous and all of that. My oldest daughter used to just draw smiley faces at first, but now she writes more. We don't direct or make her do anything. She can do as much or as little as she wants. My four year old is getting old enough now to understand something is going on, but she doesn't really get it yet. But that's ok. We all hold onto the ribbon at the same time and after one last round or goodbyes, we love yous, we miss yous (silent or otherwise) we let it go and watch the balloon sail upwards, up and up....floating off to Heaven to be caught in the hands of our precious ones so the message can be received. I know they see it. I like to imagine them there up in Heaven, all smiles and happy, running around with their decorated balloons.

At some point in time, I'd like to plant some sort of memorial garden too, but I am hesitant to do that just yet. I don't think I'd be very happy if we planted a garden (ie trees and flowers and shrubs) and then had to move. With my husband's job we sometimes move around and I know I would be very upset to leave something like that behind. I know I could do something in pots, but I have in mind something bigger, grander. Maybe one day it will all work out, but for now the balloons work and leave me feeling like I've done something special for them each year.


Kevin and Beth Tanner said...

Remembering your babies today, they are on my heart and mind!

She said...

I'm so happy to see a post like yours that reminds people that the "happily pregnant person" they see may have gone through as many losses as thy themselves have. I think that's something that a lot of infertile gals have a tendency to forget. (Not judging, ladies... Just saying.)