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These little lives

March 20, 2007

There is nothing like a stressful situation to bring out, what I can only surmise, is people’s true nature. This is not a good thing.

Not helping an already dour view of my fellow fellow, losing our child recently has prompted some of the most callous and hurtful comments from family and friends. They were trying to help.

“It was meant to be.” Yea, well how bout I punch you in the nose. That was meant to be too.

“It was God’s plan.” Good if you believe in god, not so good if I don’t. Then, you sound like a moron who needs a nose punched. (Apparently I have some lingering anger…)

I guess the ones that get me the most are the ones that need to mitigate the loss for their own reasons: “It has been 7 weeks now…” What am I supposed to say to that? Oh, yea, you’re right. What am I thinking? I have passed the comfortable length of time for grieving, and I am now making you nervous. I am sorry. So insensitive of me. Would you care for a punch in the nose?

Perhaps the most hurtful and nose-needing punched goes along the lines of this: “It wasn’t like it was a real baby.”

The concept of conception becomes less abstract once there is a pee stick indication. For us, we were going to have a baby. LW was feeling ill, but not as much as before–good sign. LW was getting nauseous around meat–good sign. 12 urine tests indicated positive–good sign. We had been there before. We knew what it all meant. We were guardedly ecstatic.

They say that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, and that most women just assume a missed or heavy period. I don’t know. I do know that LW charts her basal temperature (see related post), and has a very keen insight into when she has been.

So, LW was pregnant, and there was a baby growing inside. I used to be more cavalier about fetuses (feti?). A woman’s choice is her choice, I would say, so she is in charge.

I still believe that. It is, after all, her body. But the tiny little life inside, it seems, has for me been growing in importance. Not to the medical community. We were offered no say in the care of our baby. In fact, the only thing we took away from this was a pathology report. Because the medical-oids defined our baby in a specific way, we lost our say in how to mourn and bury our child. Instead, s/he was sent to a lab to be dissected. No burial, no ceremony, no say. The report indicates “products of conception” present. Doctor-speak is the most callous of all.

But not all have been nose-punch worthy. In fact, some of the most gracious comments come from the most unlikely of places. Our dentist shared her story of her sister’s stillbirth, where our dentist delivered (at a hospital, but no doctor’s were around), and they mourned, cried and buried the child. A recruiter I work for summed it up best (and left us crying) when he said that “these little lives matter.” For us, they certainly do. He was adopted and his mom delivered two stillbirth sisters. He knew intimately.

  1. Anastasia permalink
    March 20, 2007 4:35 pm

    people can be such assholes when they just don’t get it. These little lives do matter and this is a real loss for you to grieve. I’m very sorry, both for your loss and for the insensitive remarks.

  2. Miranda permalink
    March 20, 2007 7:02 pm

    I’ve been thinking of your and your family because while I don’t know you in a face to face sense, you guys are real to me.

    I am sorry you lost your child and I am sorry people feel like they have to tell you how to feel about this in order to make themselves feel better.

    I’ll loan you my clue stick for awhile. I think you need it more than I do right now.

  3. Piss Poor Prof permalink
    March 21, 2007 9:51 pm

    Thanks Anastasia and Miranda. I am continually surprised of late that some of the nicest and most helpful support has come from strangers…or in this case blog friends.


  4. SourDad permalink
    March 22, 2007 3:29 pm


    people fall back on the clumsiest, and dumbest of clicheswhen they don’t know what to say. Perhaps the best in this situation would be, “I’m really sorry….”

    My cousin and his wife had a similar loss, and I felt horrible, but not as bad as they did. I kept my mouth shut while hoping they wouldn’t be able to forget their baby as they caught back up with life.

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