Friday, October 23, 2009

Tell me about your loss, your child.

Thank you, ALL of you, for commenting with suggestions as what to do about my friend's loss. So many of you were so helpful, going out of your way to talk to me about your personal experiences and it meant a lot to me. So thank you. I wish we didn't live in a world where people had to feel such pain, every story is still heartbreaking to me like it's the first time I hear of it. Maybe I've become more sensitive to it because I've walked side by side with so many of you and your losses or maybe it's because I know the joy that is a child so I can understand, albeit barely, how a loss can break your world.

M's and Charmedgirl's comments (and really, so many others too) stuck out to me in that asking the baby's name and talking about the child is so helpful. Acknowledging not only the tragedy, but the PERSON lost seems like it could be overlooked when the baby hadn't lived too long or at all in the "outside" world. When someone dies, we talk about that person. When a baby dies, we should do the exact same thing.

So, I wanted to ask all the mommy's out there who have experienced a loss to tell me about your baby(ies). Tell me their name. Tell me something about them - who he looked like, was she an active baby in utero, something, anything. I want to hear about your children. I know there are a lot of memorials out there and special days to remember your children, but I think any day is "special" when remembering someone lost and I would love it if I could use my blog today for thinking of all your special someones.


(As for my friend, we really weren't close, but were close enough I think she would accept my attention and help. I already sent her a sympathy card and I'm going to cook a lasagna today to just drop it off at her house. While there, I'm going to ask to see pictures of her son, which I have heard she took into work and showed him off, so I would love to see him too. While there, I'm going to offer to take her daughter to the zoo with my own kids next week - having a set day, she may take me up on it. So thank you for your suggestions. I really think the "can i do anything?" question, while nice, isn't helpful, as they aren't going to actually ask for anything. Instead, I'm just going to DO it.)

update - I called her. She welcomed the lasagna and said I can take her daughter for the day on Tuesday to give her some alone time.

21 comments:

Dan, Claire, Jayda and Cash said...

How wonderful of you Nancy! The world needs more friends like you. I hope your kindness and thoughtfulness comes back to you in spades!

Lisa said...

It is a wonderful thing you are doing and I am sure she will appreciate it. Who knows, it may even help begin the healing process.

Denise said...

Such a great thing you are doing, Nancy. Not just for your friend, but giving people a place here to share their memories. I'll share here even though this wasn't my loss. It was my brother and sister-in-law's loss and I don't know that they have a place to share these thoughts, so I'll do it for them.

My niece, Ariel, was born and died on November 18, 2006. She had one of the Trisomy chromosomal disorders (I can't remember which one, but it is always fatal) and never had a chance at life outside the womb. She was the first grandchild in the family, never gave her mommy any problems during her short time in utero, and is loved beyond belief. I think she watches over her younger sister and cousins from a better place. We think about her all the time and light a candle in rememberance on her birthday every year.

Lilith Silvermane said...

You are a great friend Nancy! I love that about you!

CanadianMama said...

That is so kind of you Nancy!

Larissa said...

That's really sweet of you Nancy. You are probably making her feel a lot better than you think.

Jenera said...

I feel like a poser sometimes because my miscarriage happened so early in the pregnancy but for me it was still rough. When Sam was born, I told my doctor he had to be born before the 8th because I could not deliver him on the day I lost the previous pregnancy. Luckily she understood. I will always remember that day and wonder. I feel in my heart it was my girl that I had wanted and I know that even if by some weird chance we got pregnant again, I'm sure I'd have another boy.

My husband never mentions it and most of my family doesn't either. Aidan is too young to even know what happened or even understand. But it will always be with me.

Nathansma said...

My daughter, Angel Ruth, was born on July 29, 2002, at 20 weeks, due to an infection in my placenta. The infection caused my water to break. She was perfectly formed with nothing wrong with her. The hospital allowed all of my extended family (and I have a large family) to be in the room when she was born. We all held her and took lots of pictures. She lived about an hour and a half. My fondest memory is watching my mother, her grandmother, tenderly rock her in a rocking chair, while the doctor finished working on me. Every year we visit her grave on her birthday to remember her. My son, who was 1 at the time, still affectionately refers to his sister. He ofter states how much he misses her. I, too, miss her terribly!

Your friend will forever appreciate the support you are giving her.

Kymberli said...

If I haven't told you lately, let me tell you again how much I love you. I do.

jenn said...

This is beautiful Nancy. I am fortunate to not have a story, but I too know so many who do- most recently my neighbor & a very good friend have told me about their losses & my heart breaks for them.

You have such a good warm heart!

Birdee said...

I think there is something very meaningful when someone who isn't that close still acknowledges our loss and validates our pain and their existance.
I think too many times, people will leave support up to close friends and family members.
Your support says "tho we weren't that close, your son is still so special and your loss so tragic that it brings me joy to see and learn about him and I too hurt that he's gone".
That's just my thoughts on it any way.

Steph O. said...

I meant to offer a thought on your last post. I agree that the best thing is to just "do", rather than offer. When a family is grieving, it can be so difficult to do some of the easiest things, or even think straight enough to voice what you need. I'm sure it means a lot to her.

My babies were lost early on, I never had a chance to know if they were boys or girls, they don't have names. For some reason, I always thought of the first one as a boy though. No one ever really talks about it with me. I try not to bring it up because I don't want to be a downer, but hardly a day goes by when I don't think of how old they'd be, or what stage of "kid stuff" we'd be in. It's almost surreal to think that I could have a 7 & 4 yr old.

Thank you Nancy, it helps.

Jen said...

I'm so glad that you are there for this new friend of yours. I'm sure she will greatly appreciate it. There need to be more Nancy's in this world.

Although, I lost my baby early in the pregnancy in my heart I always felt like it was a boy. I think I feel that way because Shawn and I always wanted a boy first.

Stay tuned for my post on Monday, I'm curious as to your thoughts and feelings on this post.

DD said...

Thank you for helping your friend in her grief. It's such a difficult thing to endure. I agree with the others when they say to let her talk about him as much as she wants. That's the most important thing. She needs adknowledgement that he did exist and meant something. So many people don't get that, or fear that talking about him will upset her. It's actually the opposite - NOT talking about it is far more excruciating.

I lost boy/girl twins at just under 20 weeks. I woke up on a Saturday morning and a water bag was literally coming out of me. I had dialted to 4cm without even knowing it. Held on for four days, but delivery was inevitable. My son, Ryan Andrew, and daughter, Reagan Abigail, were born on October 12, 2004. Ryan was stillborn and Reagan held on with a soft heartbeat for about an hour. We visit their gravesite often with our little girls (3 and 1).

There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of them at least 5 times. Everyone else has pretty much forgotten, though. It's frustrating. Yesterday, my cousin had a baby boy. Several people commented how that was the first boy born in our side of the family in 26 years. I quietly mumbled under my breath "What about Ryan?" It's like a punch to the gut.

So, thank you...for caring so much.

Sara said...

My Samuel was born November 19, 2007 at just 26 weeks gestation. I had to have a csection due to the severe pre-eclampsia that was taking over my body. So, at 2:51 p.m I delivered a beautiful, tiny little boy. I had him with me here on Earth for 5 days. Then we said goodbye.

Samuel was feisty. He was considered a "touch-me-not" because whenever they fooled with him in the NICU his little blood pressure would go up. So they fooled with him as little as possible.

Since he was a "touch-me-not" we didn't get to hold him. And we didn't get to rub his head or his arms or anything. But the one "mommy" thing that I got to do was put ointment on his tiny heel from where they kept having to draw blood. It was such a small act but so important. I got to do something to make my son feel better.

JamieD said...

Yes - stick with the 'just DO it' plan. My best friend had a baby who died of SIDS at four months and I didn't do near as much for her as I should have because I was afraid she would rather be left alone. I have never regretted anything more.

angie said...

I am here from LFCA. I have to say you are really a wonderful friend. After my daughter Lucia died at 38 weeks of pregnancy, the people that ended up being the most supportive were not people I expected. And conversely, the people I expected to show up and support our loss disappeared. So, even though you might not be close now, leave it open. She might just need a good listener right now, and your blog is a strong indication of how incredibly good of a listener you are. I really needed someone who wasn't afraid of my emotions. I cried early on, over everything and anything, and just wanted to repeat some days over and over, my daughter died for no reason. (Plus, being postpartum is something that people really seemed for forget.) I also have an older daughter, and struggled a lot with just mothering and grieving. Taking her daughter, giving her space, or even going over there and minding the playdate could be so very helpful. Just sending you much love and strength during this time of support. I do feel those who were able to sit with my pain will now forever be in my debt...Just thinking of those two people make me cry.

loribeth said...

I love to talk about my daughter. Sadly, I get very few chances to do so, other than online & with the friends we've made from our pg loss support group. She was my one & only pregnancy, very much wanted & waited for. I had a rollercoaster pregnancy & knew there were some problems (IUGR, placental insufficiency) but I never thought she wouldn't make it. She was stillborn at 26 weeks in August 1998 -- just a wee, tiny thing, but I am so glad I saw & held her. Her due date was in mid-November, & she would have been 11 years old this year. We still visit her niche at the cemetery every weekend. I don't think most people know that. They probably don't even know that we had a funeral for her. Others have forgotten, but we never will.

Inanna said...

My son, William, was born still at 39 weeks gestation on April 1, 2009. He was very loved and very wanted. He had lots and lots of hair, long delicate fingers, a sweet rosebud mouth. Just a peanut, he was a little over five pounds, and he looked just like his daddy. His older brothers and sisters miss him and still talk about him. I wonder if they will, forever. I know I will hold him in my heart, always, and I will be forever changed by his presence in our lives.

Thank you for thinking of us, those of us who have lost a little one.

Tracie said...

Like you, I've gone through a lot to get my babies. infertility, a miscarriage, tough pregnancies. I conceived naturally last July, which was a miracle. I got past the twelve week mark and started to relax. An ultrasound at 20 weeks, showed that I was having a perfectly healthy boy. I told my kids about it and announced it on Facebook. That same day, I felt a small gush of fluid. I went to the ER, and was told it was nothing. A week later, I didn't feel right, so I had an ultrasound that showed I had no amniotic fluid around the baby. I went into labor that weekend and gave birth to a tiny baby named Daniel who died shortly after birth. As others have said, people don't know how to act when this type of thing happens. The closest people to me, backed away, while the people on the fringes of my life stepped up. They organized meals, let me talk about the baby, even asked to see pictures. I remember being so hurt when some people didn't even acknowlege my loss. There's a huge hole in my heart that will never go away. I miss my baby everyday and think about him always.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

My two angel babies didn't stay with me long. Emily Hope was lost at 11 weeks gestation and four months later, at 8 weeks I lost Olivia Noelle.

I don't know what they would have looked like. Of course, I don't even know that they were girls, but in my heart I feel it.

My family generally doesn't talk about my babies. Like they never happened. But not a day goes by that I don't think about what my life would be like with one or both of them in it.