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Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Greetings, KuKd/TTC Mommas-n-Hunks and Inquisitive Guests!

Okay. I'm not trying to bash the public here. Just an innocent question that's popped into my head lately: WTF do people think happens to a baby/fetus when the pregnancy ends before it's supposed to?

I mean, do they think it absorbed back into the mother's bloodstream? Extracted surgically? Puked out? Beamed up, Scotty? Extracted in the middle of the night by a grim-reaper equivalent of the baby-toting stork - like a black stork of death? Does it stick around inside the uterus and reincarnated into the next baby, if there is one?

I'm just wondering - because these past few weeks, I've been directly or indirectly told/warned by several people about how hard labor is, how tired I'm going to be afterward, how important those Kegal exercises are, how I'd better be ready to lie around the house all day with ice packs pressed against my bruised and battered private parts, how I've got hemorrhoids and crotch-sticthes and other awesome bodily thrills to look forward to, how painful or not painful or amazing or not amazing it is to push a six-pound entity with arms and legs out of one's vag.

And not just any old people, like the superstar Seattle moms who approach me at the Greenlake community center to offer unsolicited birthing advice (yup!), but colleagues! Friends! People who know me! People who know my history! I think it's kind of funny, actually - so I just smile and nod, rather than snarkily responding with "yeah, I know." Why not let people think they're bestowing some sort of ancient secret knowledge upon me.

But seriously, WTF? I guess that whole unsavory detail of stillbirth or even miscarriage gets blocked out of people's minds. Weird.

Coming soon: another WTF - this one related to Jehova's-Witness-Amway-Salespeople-Homebirth-Advocates.


Sharon said...

Brace yourself Mon! Plenty more WTF moments to follow! And it doesn't end with childbirth but continues on with a whole load of unsolicited baby raising assvice!
Hahahaha and guess what the word verification for this comment is??? PRAMM!

AnnaMarie said...

Dead fetus's and babies are absorbed into their mother's bodies upon the moment of death, everyone knows that! Instantly it's like that little human never existed.

Tracey said...

Oh yea - I get alot of pregnancy advice too. Mainly from moms who've been through ONE pregnancy, one perfectly fine, normal pregnancy with a living child. This is my third pregnancy. I had one FT living & one FT stillbirth, and when I finally got around to announcing this little one, I got emails recommending dopplers, and OB recommendations (nevermind I was nearly halfway through the pregnancy) and all sorts of fun.

Its that kind of unsolicited advice that makes me think - somewhere in the back of their minds, they must think I missed something, or didn't follow some advice, or was somehow responsible for her death, cause otherwise...why be recommending a doppler, kick counts or a new OB to me.

loribeth said...

Oh yeah. I find myself biting my tongue all the time at showers & other gatherings where people compare birth stories & dish out pregnancy advice to each other. Hello, I went through six months of pregnancy, I went through labour, I gave birth. But nobody wants to hear MY birth story, now, do they?? :p

Tina said...

I don't think "others" understand the reality of it all...that we did deliver our dead babies, we had to push them out and all. That they were perfect, tiny, little babies that look just like the ones they delivered alive. i think that reality may scare the hell out of them. Hoping you are doing well!! xx

therootofallevel said...

people are stupid.

although labor is terrible, i do believe you've endured just as much pain just by surviving all the ultrasounds, kicks, nudges and other signals of life tucked inside you. worrying at any moment they might stop. the birth part, i hope, will be the easy part for you. getting him to evacuate his current living quarters so you can love him on the outside!

i can't wait to see him!

Anonymous said...

This is so frustrating to me and really just makes me want to scream in people's faces.

Several times in the past year I've been in a group of women talking about labor or childbirth, and someone inevitably says something like "just you wait and see" or "see what you have to look forward to." And, like you said, these are people who know me.


B said...

Is it not that people assume that you have a caesarian if your baby has died? One of my aunts had a baby who was stillborn at 24 weeks and I remember being shocked when my mum told me she still had to give birth. (I was about 12 at the time, I think.) And I think if I hadn't known that I would assume that people wouldn't have to go through the whole birth thing.

Also, like therootofallevel says, people are stupid.

Thanks for your comments on my blogs. You're right, I have far too many :)

KuKd Chick said...

Hmmm, how did I know this one would spark a lot of head-nods? ;-)

myskytimes said...

Yeah, loads of WTF-moments here too. From comments to "we'll talk again after you've been through labour" to "you've never had so much pain, believe me"... That's why I'm not shy to dish out my views and experiences with birthing-business, now that makes them shut up right away.

Stupid, indeed. Grrr...

Amy said...

Annoying! Not much else I can say about that. Sucks people so easily forget that while our babies not be here with us, we did actually go through labor and give birth. Been there, done that, thank you very much.

Kari said...

UGH! I remember being so annoyed after I delivered Liam that people really thought that. I think that's why I still feel the need to tell people "after 16 hours of labor I held him". I wasn't full term but I still delivered him. From their faces I could tell I crushed their "back into the bloodstream" fantasy.

Your post always make me crack up! Thanks!

~ Kari

Jess said...

I enjoy at the doctors offices with this current pregnancy...they always ask about the delivery of my first son. The hospital, the length of labor, his size, etc. But my full term stillborn son? I guess he got beamed up. I never get to tell how that labor was actually longer than my first or how big he was.

You're a better person than me. I couldn't help but to respond to, "Yeah, & this time I'll get to have a baby to take care of along with all of that!" & enjoy the look that came across their faces once they realized they'd shoved them foot way down their throats.

Heather said...

Yeah, people always appear shocked when it dawns on them that [GASP!] I actually DELIVERED the baby once it died. I mean seriously...Logan was 1.7lbs...not a pin dot! I couldn't just "pass" him like a kidney stone or something. Yup, they induced, yup there were contractions, and yup...I pushed that little body out, and yup I saw and held my very tiny child. It always takes me aback when I realize that sometimes people think there is some other option.

Natalia said...

Wow! That really is some wtf moments. I love reading your stories and yes, it's amazing how clueless some people would be, or insensitive. But, I guess it's just that some people need to do some research before they talk and even then I know they can't grasp what you went through. But yea, it is pretty crazy that the people that know what happened will make comments like that..ugh

Emerging Butterfly said...

Yes! I feel the WTF every day. EVERY DAY! People who haven't been there just don't get it. Any of it.

It always amazes me when total strangers feel completely at ease giving advice about things they know nothing about...but, yes, it's even worse when friends...the people who know you....are so clueless.

I had a friend who told me that I might really want to consider getting some help for my grief because she read my blog...and it made her sad to think I was sad...This is a person who knows my husband is a therapist...who KNOWS I have completed my degree in psychology. Does she think I don't know about therapy? That I haven't gone that route already? seriously....WTF !!

Brenna said...

I'm so sorry. My boys were born very early (barely into the stillbirth category) but they WERE born, so I can imagine what those comments must feel like to you. I had contractions, etc., with the triplets' birth--and remember bristling when a family member was trying to describe to me what contractions would feel like, and what it feels like when your water breaks. Ummm...I know that all too well.

AnxiousMummyto3 said...

Dude, that is seriously F'ed up!! Oh my gosh, it just astounds me how insensitive people can be. Urgh!! There just aren't enough exclamation marks for this one!!! This is just another reason why all us DBM's feel like we have to keep quiet-because how hurtful are those dumb comments?
Anyway Mon, you're awesome. Can't wait to read the other WTF post!

Being Me said...

Oh, dude. I am with you! (and everyone else who's commented) Don't be under any illusion that it's any different for a mum who's given birth to a live baby either, who subsequently died.

When I was told by more than a few people that my labour and birth with my little 3-pounder premie "didn't count", and was also told during my next pregnancy that "everything will be fine this time" - their mantra, not mine - I was seriously starting to doubt whether I wanted ANY friends or family anymore in my life.

Just wanted to say, I hear ya.

Chris said...

Everything I knew about birth pretty much came from synthesizing hundreds of television and movie portrayals. Now that I’ve been through one successful birth process, my knowledge includes that.

I had not one inkling of what happens with stillbirth and the related processes until I read this blog. I hope you can forgive the sins of the ignorant, because there’s just so little information out there. It’s not a common conversation topic, and I’ve never heard of stillbirth featured in a movie or sitcom.

That’s one reason why these blogs are important. Many readers are all too familiar with the heartbreak and reality of stillbirth, but many of us never had a clue.

KuKd Chick said...

Chris - THANK YOU! Amen. It's totally true, what you say. I honestly don't think there's intentional insensitivity going on. I think it's just ignorance - and aren't we all ignorant of things we've not been through ourselves! It think this is just one of those things that strikes a nerve with people who've been through it (as you can see from from the comment-string above - ha!). But I'm glad you're out here reminding us all of the perspective of "the other side."

Just Beachy said...

Really , are you kidding, I swear th eshit people say , they don't know I swear they must not know , I think they must later go over the things that they say and question them and second guess and wish they could take them back .
My SIL said to my other SIL who lost a baby at 34 weeks, she told her that that wasn't the baby god meant for her , the new one that was growing in her belly must be though right, but the kicker that baby died too at 24 weeks , now does that mean god didn't want her to have either baby.
And I was there for two deliveries , its labour , real and for true labour.

kb said...

wtf- for sure. thank you for your writing. I wonder if we should tell THEM that our milk comes in too... I wonder? wtf. seriously

Ya Chun said...

oh, I've had people say "they made you go through labor after they KNEW the baby was dead?!?"

Um, yeah, how else was she going to get out of my body?

"Why didn't they just do a c-section???"


Oh, and, one time I told two ladies about having to deal with my milk coming in.

"Don't they just have drugs for that?"

We certainly don't get the credit we deserve, do we?

PFM said...

Truly a WTF.

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