Monday, July 9, 2012

a comparison of pain

I just read a blog post written by a real life friend-ish and had to get my thoughts out before I lashed out at her. It wouldn't be fair to do that to her, but I'm fired up.

She gave birth last week to her third child, a son. She has some very strong opinions about childbirth and raising children and, well, everything. She's a hypnobabies instructor (not sure if that is the right word), has had home & tub births for all 3 children, is a huge proponent of birthing naturally and listening to your body and allowing the baby to come when it is ready. No induction, no c-sections, no praying for the baby to come soon. I disagree with none of that (except that I don't really know what hypnobabies is). In fact, I started reading her blog because I really wanted to learn more about some of these things and hear her opinions. She's pretty well versed in all of these topics.

Her son came last week at 37 weeks. Her latest post is about mourning his last three weeks in the womb. She had to turn off the weekly emails because it was too painful to get a reminder of how big he should be and how he should be changing. When her husband mentioned taking the due date off of the calendar, she burst into tears. She talked about holding her belly and wishing he was still inside and she was still having this special moment with her child.

In case you are confused, her son is healthy and perfect and sleeping in her arms and crying and eating and living.

I understand that hormones run high after you give birth. I understand that sometimes you have expectations related to a birth and that when they are not met it can be difficult, especially combined with the hormones. I have not experienced birth, especially a birth when you feel like it will be your last one. I know it has to be difficult if you want more children or want that experience again. I know that no pain is the same and that sadness is real even if I don't understand it.

But these are the feelings you get when you lose a child. After my miscarriage, each weekly email was like a knife in my heart. Even now, when I am 10 weeks and 2 days pregnant, I think about how big my lost baby boy would be and how soon August 9 will be here and how will I get through that day without a baby in my arms. I should be 36 weeks on Thursday. How unbelievably grateful would I be to give birth next week at 37 weeks. I can only dream.

And I think about all of you. Some of you have lost babies at 16, 23, 34 weeks. And how you would give anything to have those children in your arms, no matter when they came.

Don't talk to me about the sadness of missing three weeks when you have a lifetime.


  1. Hattie, you've hit the nail on the head. Well said.

    One of the things I've learned in life is that people who are STRONGLY opinionated are usually the ones with the least life experience. It also begs the question: what was the point of her pregnancy? It's one thing to mourn not being pregnant when your child is struggling to live, but to be mourning the loss of being pregnant, despite having a perfectly healthy and happy child, suggests some psychological issues.

  2. Your last line says it all. I don't understand some people.

  3. I think I might miss being pregnant too, but she's had 3 full term pregnancies. That is something to celebrate and be happy about. It's too bad she can't see the blessing and embrace her own opinion. If she is all about letting the baby come when it is supposed to come and be born healthy and naturally, she should be happy that it happened the way it did. The baby was full term and born when it was ready.

  4. Thank you for your words on this topic.

    I would never wish the pain of losing a child at any stage on any person; unfortunately, this person just doesn't understand how deeply so many of us would desperately want any of those experiences. I thank God every day for my blessings and will never forget my losses or those who continue to experience them.

  5. I abandoned the idea of even considering the natural birth group because of a general theme like this that I found. So many women were so set on their perfect birthing situations they couldn't even relate to the dread of those of us with loss in our history.

    For a while I was furious. Then I realized that im glad that the most grief these women have is the loss of three weeks of pregnancy or the perfect birth story or the perfect hypnobirth. I wish we were all so innocent.

    1. Good point Amy. I honestly hadn't thought about it that way. It's a much more compassionate viewpoint :).

  6. Oh goodness! Some people just have no idea what other women go through! Crazy! Huge Congrats on the pregnancy and graduating to OB! ICLW #54

  7. This reminds me of a blog post I stumbled on about mourning the loss of a chance to give birth. At first, given the level of the blogger's grief, I thought the baby had died, but then I realized that it was healthy and thriving. The problem was that the woman had had to have a C-section instead of giving birth vaginally. I wanted to snap.