Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What no parent should ever have to live through.

I want to thank those of you who read and commented on Abbey's story and to those of you who shared stories of your own. And a special thank you to Curtis's mom - I can't even put into words how much that meant to us.

I only wish that there weren't so many babies to be remembered in this way.

I didn't mean to scare anyone by telling Abbey's story. That was not my intent. Unfortunately, I think that this is how the topic of stillbirth becomes sticky. Doctors and nurses do not want to scare their patients so patients remain uneducated.

While pregnant with Abbey, the nurse would ask me how the baby had been moving during each of my appointments. At one appointment, I casually mentioned that the baby really hadn't been moving that much that morning. What followed was the equivalent of setting off a fire alarm. I didn't understand. The baby had been moving. Just not as much. Plus, I had been rushing around trying to get ready for my appointment and had to drive in heavy traffic. I hadn't been paying attention.

I didn't fully understand until she died.

It's easy for me to look back now, after the fact, and turn everything into a warning sign that I missed. Do you know what drives me insane? Reading threads on message boards and seeing an expectant mom post that her baby (or babies) hasn't been moving all that much. Please call your doctor and do not ask a message board to justify that it is normal for babies to run out of room. Babies do not slow down because they run out of room.

If you would like to read more about kick counts and stillbirth, I urge you to check out First Candle.

So, this year, instead of taking pictures of my four year old in a party dress, blowing out candles and opening presents, I took pictures of this.

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This is what no parent should ever have to live through.

Society needs to change. Babies need to be remembered and legislative actions need to occur. Do you know what it is like to be handed a death certificate for your child all the while being told that no birth certificate can be issued? Do you know what it is like to be asked if you would like an autopsy performed on your baby so that maybe they can figure out exactly what happened. So that maybe another baby can live. Some hospitals don't even ask if you want an autopsy. Parents don't know what their options are.

And that is why I write....


BreezieGirl said...

I'm glad you write. ::hugs::

Heather said...

I am so glad you share all of this. I wish you didn't have to and you never went through it. I'm so sorry for you... but thank you for sharing.


Jennifer said...


janineb said...

thank you for writing, and sharing all the girls' stories. we appreciate it more then words can describe.

Hope's Mama said...

By writing this, you not only honour Abbey, but all the other lost babies out there, Hope (and Curtis and many others) included.
So I say thank you. I clearly remember telling my midwife on the phone, the morning she died, that she had been moving, but not as much as normal. At that moment, she was still alive. Some hours later, she was gone. Being a week overdue and already a few days in to early labour, why oh why weren't alarm bells ringing in anyone's heads? If an ob or midwife had bothered to "scare me" in the pregnancy, the alarm bells might have gone off in my head.
Sigh. I guess I'll never know.
We'll always wonder.

Amy said...

I always wonder too about the people posting to message boards about certain things. Just go to the doctor! I'm also a bit perturbed by people who post and only want the "happy stories". I totally get wanting encouragement to know that other people have walked in your shoes and everything turned out okay. But when I was pregnant, I knew there was a 50% chance that Caitlin would be stillborn, and I still wasn't totally prepared for how devastated I would feel when we learned she'd passed. I can't understand people who don't want to know the bad things that can happen, just so they can be partially prepared. I don't know how we would've coped if we'd just kept our head in the sand and said "Well, we're just going to fall in that 50% where the babies are born alive."

Jamie said...

So nicely written, Sarah. Thank you for posting and for sharing such an intimate part of you & your family.

Lani said...

Thanks for talking about this. I am so sorry that you had to go this, I just wish no one ever had to. But by sharing your daughter's story, you truly may be able to save other lives... so, thanks for doing this.

The Power Family said...

Thanks for sharing Abbey's story. I'm so sorry she isn't here with you on her 4th birthday.

Thanks for writing. I love reading your blog.