Sunday, March 15, 2015

Life and Death

On the day that my niece was born, I found out that a friend of mine lost her baby at 16 weeks. 

Earlier this week, another friend gave birth to a happy and healthy baby boy. The next day, I learned of a relative of a friend who delivered a baby sleeping at 22 weeks.

Miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Studies reveal that anywhere from 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. 

From what I know, stillbirths happen to 1 in every 160 pregnancies.

These numbers are staggering. 

Who is to give these babies a voice? Who stands up for the moms and dads and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins who never get to see their baby cry or crawl or walk or talk? Why do some babies come into this world with such ease while others never get a fighting chance?

I went for a run this morning and I was thinking about life and death. This time last year, my dad was dying. We knew it. I suppose he knew it. For 40 years of my life he was a presence. Now he is not. How many people have I buried in my lifetime? And how many of those compare to the grief of picking my daughter up at a funeral home in a box? 

I do not know if death works in stages. Could you imagine if death looked like this?
  • Child, Stage 1, Horror of Horrors
  • Parent, Stage 2, Totally Sucks
  • Sibling, Stage 3, Yuck Yuck Yuck
  • Aunt/Uncle, Stage 4: Grief and Despair
I think all death stings and burns and takes your breath away and leaves you sometimes wanting the same fate for yourself.

This time 4 years ago, the nursery was painted, the crib was assembled, the registry was complete. I was counting kicks and drinking chocolate milk and wondering what my precious daughter was going to look like. I was getting annoyed that I had to wait till May as I was ready now.

I think back to that naive person and I want to slap her. Enjoy every moment. Enjoy every kick you feel from the inside. For they will stop soon and you will never experience that again.

My support group doesn't meet any more. We lost our charter and have been looking for a new location for over a year. I do not feel the urge to go anymore, but I do miss the safe place where I can talk about my first born. Where I can be there for others as they were there for me. 

Death...dying...life...living...where does the cycle begin and where does it end?

I do not take a moment for granted anymore. I learned that from my first born.

Born still but still born.

I wonder what she would be like now?


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