Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I said I wasn't going to do it, babyloss blogging that is, but here I am again, babyloss blogging. Well, not true babyloss blogging as most of us are attuned to. Just general comments, I suppose.

Imagine a baby website. Well, no need to imagine really because this one actually exists. And many of my readers will know exactly which one I am referring to. This website contains message boards and blogs and other ways for moms or moms-to-be to connect. There are more than thirty-five message boards, with a range of topics for those considering trying to conceive to those in each of the three trimesters to those with six to twelve month old infants to those with toddlers older than two years. Out of all those message boards, there is one for "miscarriage/pregnancy loss." One.

Now I know what some of you are thinking - But there are websites just for women who have lost their babies. I'm sure there are a variety of websites specifically just for those with early pregnancy miscarriages all the way up to full-term losses. (And by the way, I try not to use the words "lost" or "loss" in the real world but I usually end up using them anyway because that's what everyone uses. I didn't lose my baby; she died.)

My issue is that it feels to me as if society as a whole is still trying to hide the fact that these "losses" occur. The main page of this baby website features birth stories, pregnancy stories, and the like. Here's a sample of some of the birth story titles: "Hailey's Early Arrival," "Jack's Long Delivery" and "Caitlyn's Luck-Filled Birth." What about the unlucky births? The silent births?

How many women know what happens when a full-term baby passes away? Some may think that you are knocked out and wake up hours later, the baby no longer attached to you. That's not how it happens. I know how many don't know what happens because I've been asked. Many times.

I thought about posting a birth story on that baby website. And not the triplets' birth story either. I'm sure it wouldn't make the main page. I thought I could be clever and write the whole story as it happened, leaving out the fact that my baby would never cry until the end of the story. Unfortunately, I can't do that there (or here) right now for unblogable reasons.

I agree that there is no reason to scare women into believing that something horrible may occur during their pregnancy. Have you ever noticed how doctors use percentages when discussing these "wrongs"? For example, a woman who successfully reaches the beginning of her second trimester is most likely told by her doctor that the chance of something going "wrong" at that point is less than 3%. It would sound a lot different if that doctor said that three out of one hundred babies won't be born alive. Wouldn't it?

Back to educating. Women need to be educated not scared or intimated. How many know how to properly count fetal kicks? What they should be counting? When they should be concerned? No one should rely on mother's intuition. It may kick in too late.

I'm on a crusade and I hope I'm not alone. Actually, I know I'm not alone.


His Mom said...

I am on a huge kick count rage because I know, without a doubt, had I been educated (not scared, but educated) it would have gotten Curtis here alive. I noticed he had decreased movement, but ws told it was "normal" as he got bigger.

And I believed it.

had I learned what I know now, how that is a big fat myth...I would have insisted. Had I had a chart like I did with Claudia, to show the change...maybe I would have been listened to. When I was pregnant with Claudia, I even had a genetic counselor tell me "well, you don't need to do kick coutns every day if she is moving." Um, YES I DO. How else would I know if she decreased movement?? She can still move and have a decrease, lady!!

It drives me nuts that the Back to Sleep campain (a good thing!) gets sooo much attention and doctors are willing to "scare" parents on that and parents are willing to listen. But educate parents on kick counts? It maybe is a sheet that is shoved in their prenatal folder on their first visit and never address. It could dave thousands of babies a year.

I belong to a few baby boards out there. I post about kick counts and the myths behind them, My threads get VERY little views and even less for replies. How come people educate themselves on SIDS but not SADS?

I hear those statistics get flung around it drives me nuts. We were told we had a 90% chance Claudia would be okay. That felt like a death sentence for her because we already had been the 1%. Not fun.

Hope's Mama said...

Oh Sarah, you are NOT alone. I am so with you on all of this. All of it! Could have written it myself. If I'd known what I know now, my Hope would also be here - ALIVE. I have wanted to post her birth story on so many message boards. I have also wanted to send her beautiful photo to our newspaper here that prints photos of newborns on Sundays. I wonder if they'd run it? Probably not. I never heard statistics on stillbirth through my glorious, uneventful, incredibly healthy, full term pregnancy. I found out about them later, after the fact.
I can also vouch for the fact I was not knocked out and the baby just disappeared. I pushed and grunted like everyone else did. I held my baby for hours and hours after the birth like everyone else did. I just had to go home empty handed the next day.
Like His Mom says, it is frustrating SIDS gets so much more attention than SADS. Stillbirths are 10 times more common!
And yes, Hope and Abigail are not lost. I know exactly where she is, and she's 6 foot under at our local cemetery. No mother should ever have to do that. Especially not to a first born, full term, healthy baby who never drew breath.
Thank you for this post.

The Beers Family said...

I agree with all of you completely. I wish I had some more information early on about the 9% of births that have some sort of problem be it early birth or stillborn - I know doctors dont want to scare their patients but I would rather be informed.

Sarah said...

I'll be happy if I reach one woman but I'm determined to, someday when the girls are older and I have more time, become more involved with groups. I'll be an activist!!

And Sally, Rich and I took a child birth class when I was pregnant with Abbey. They made a big deal about your water breaking and if it happened you would be admitted to the hospital even if not in active labor. The nurse teaching the class NEVER focused on the risk of infection.