I understand now. What I was asking about, when I asked about what to say to those who only focus on a 70% chance of a baby living.

I understand. Behind the numbers, the scenario’s, the low dose aspirin, the serial ultrasounds, the plans, I am really holding out my hands and saying:

I am frightened.

I am frightened. Will you hold my hand?

Will you hold my hand and tell me that you will stay with me? Walk with me?

We have learned that there are going to be those who will not hold our hand. Who would not come close to such sadness and sorrow and fear. Those who would insulate themselves from us, hide behind their children, their faith, sunshine and roses. They would not walk through the valley of the shadow of death with us. They would be on the cliffs above, saying “that must really suck.” And perhaps, they would not realize that the sub-context of our conversations about statistics is about fear.

And I believe that God will be with me. He will understand my fear, he sobs with me. His rod and his staff, they do guide me and comfort me. I know His Son understands the feeling of being forsaken. But I need others, too.

What I am asking, when I tell people about the risks is this:

Will you hold my hand. Will you acknowledge our fear? Will you understand that I am frightened? I am frightened of days of worry, of constant concern that pre-eclampsia is starting again. Will you understand that there is nothing that can be done? There is no fix, no magic bullet, no cure. There is only waiting. And fear. And the comfort provided by those who sit with us. Who pray with us. Who bear this burden, with us.

Will you understand that I am frightened that I will die? Will you understand that I am frightened that I will have to leave Mr. Spit behind? Will you understand that my greatest joy has been to be his wife, and that I do not want to leave him? Will you understand that I am concerned that my life will be reduced to a few lines in the newspaper? Will you understand that I am concerned about all I have left to do, to be?

Will you understand that I am afraid that my world will fall to pieces? That in another instant, my life will be shattered, again? And Mr. Spit and I will be left to cradle another lifeless infant? We will be left to plan another funeral, plant another tree. Pack up nursery furniture. Acknowledge, with the death of another child, that our plans are over. Will you understand my sorrow at never again feeling my abdomen swell, never feeling the secret communication that is a baby kick?

Will you understand that we will give up dreams for children? Will you understand that we will never have a first day of school, never send a child to university, never be at our child’s wedding? Will you understand, as we participate in those things for your children, that we grieve our own? Will you be with us as we wash and dress a child for the first and last time, again? Will you hold our hand as we pray the prayers of baptism over an infant who will never take the vows confirmation?

Or, if things turn differently, will you be with us as we sit next to an isolette, willing bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh to just take another breath. And another? Will you understand our obsession with gaining grams of weight. In a long and hard journey through NICU, will you stay with us? Or will you forge on ahead? Will you celebrate the victory of a level 2 brain bleed, because it is not all that serious? Will you sit with us when the fear and the worry leave us breathless, and we do not think we can live another moment with our heart and soul breathing labouredly in an isolette, where we cannot keep it safe?

And if, if the worst happens, and our world shatters again? If we bury another child? If then, will you walk into that dark and sad place, and silently, slowly, gently, begin locating the pieces of our souls and hearts, and will you carefully stack them up? Will you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, will you hold us up, when we fall down? Will you sit with us when we cannot walk, and walk with us when we cannot run? Will you come and stay, and hold our hand? Will you sit and cry with us?

When you look at your own children, will you remember ours? Will you remember what was supposed to be? Will you understand that the sorrow of lost children is always with us? We are always aware of who is not here, that should be?

I am frightened. Behind statistics is fear.

This entry was posted in Friendship, Meme, TTC # 2. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Fear

  1. Antigone says:

    I will abide with you.

  2. yummysushipajamas says:

    My heart hurts for you, knowing just what that fear feels like.

    You will not be alone. We will all walk with you on this journey, and if the worst happens we will rally around you and hold you up when you cannot stand.

  3. loribeth says:

    I’m in tears, reading this. I try to hold fear at bay, but it is so hard sometimes. You’re not alone — we can do it together! (((hugs)))

  4. G says:

    I will hold your hand, if you hold mine.


  5. Candid Engineer says:

    I will be hear, listening, to whatever you have to say. Thinking of you, Mrs. Spit.

  6. JuliaS says:

    I will hold your hand. I will cry with you.

    I won’t ever say that 70% is greater than 30% and your fears are unfounded. I will walk alongside you through the 30%. You can talk and I will listen.


  7. Julia says:

    I am here. I know the fear, it lives in my house now. It’s not exactly like yours, but it is big and dark, and multidimensional, and suffocating. Mine doesn’t include the part about me dying, but it does have many of the other parts you talk about.

    I am here, and I will be here, no matter what. And yet I understand that no matter how many of us say that, it’s not enough. You need people in real life to understand too, and it’s so very hard when they don’t, when they just blow you off.

  8. Martha says:

    I will be with you both. I will acknowledge your fears and yes, your hopes and dreams.
    My sister is a pediatric oncologist, she taught me this about statistics, “If it happens to you, it’s 100%. If it doesn’t happen to you, it’s 0%.”
    I will be praying and hoping for you to be on the happy end of the statistics. God Bless, Godspeed on your journey.

  9. Aunt Becky says:

    I’m holding your hands with both of my own, Mrs. Spit.

  10. alicia says:

    I am secretly terrified as well, and I have not been through a loss like yours, but I have heard of so many. I want to transport make in time to that first month of TTC and be sheltered in that feeling of totaly thrill and hope and excitment and no nothing of dead babies, and still births and miscarriges, I don’t want this fear either. I wish none of us had this fear, but you are right, God will be there for you through it all, but you are also right that you need a little more, some human support. I will tell you truthfully that that list is inspirational, but hard to do. So I will try, we do not live that far apart and you have touched my life so deeply that I would travel that distance in a heart beat to hold your hand, let you cry on my shoulder and I will just listen. But what I hope for you, is that you will soon have a wonderful, healthy baby in your arms, and then I will be there to celebrate that mircale with you, thats what I am praying for.


  11. Tash says:

    I’m here. I’ll be with you. I’ll probably be thanking some deity that it’s not me. And like the above said, there’s just the bare grim bones: It will happen. Or it won’t.

  12. SAHW says:

    I will be here, and I will do my best to understand…I pray your IRL friends will too…when you get pregnant again, I think you should send this post to them, b/c you’ve expressed everything beautifully here.
    Fear is so painful and so powerful…but we will be here for you.

  13. Mr. Spit says:

    Once again I sit in awe at the power in your fingers my love. You express our plight so well.

    I love you.

  14. CLC says:

    I am here with you Mrs. Spit. I will gladly hold your hand. I only hope that your IRL friends and family can do the same for you.

  15. The Rebound Girl says:

    I am truly touched by this post. I am with you and God is with you always.

  16. Carbon says:

    I will be holding you in good and active thought. I will be listening with my eyes as I receive your words. I will comment occasionally so you will know there is another entity who cares, as much as one can care through the cold stream of ones and zeroes. I will do my best not to minimize your fears or struggles regardless what the statistics say, regardless what reality comes to pass.

  17. luna says:

    what an achingly beautiful post. we are here, holding your virtual hand as you ponder the unknown.

  18. Geohde says:

    I acknowledge the fear, Mrs Spit. I will read.


  19. Amy says:

    I am crying now, and I am with you in fear, and in hope, and I will be here through whatever may come. What a beautiful, heart-wrenching post.

  20. excavator says:

    I’ve been thinking about this post for days, and just rereading it now had to sit silently and feel the breathless space that such writing leaves in me.

    (shakes head, inhale, exhale. A few times)

    I went back and reread your “Risk Managment” post, and the responses.

    What I was with was not just your visceral reaction to the 70% people, but also the need to know what that reaction was REALLY saying.

    It must have been such a relief to pour out this post, to translate that feeling into this achingly honest expression.

    Your power with the use of language to express complicated feelings, yearning, realities is–well, it leaves me shaking my head and speechless.

    I don’t know if you felt release in stripping away everything extraneous to the essence of truth, but I felt release in reading it.

    You truly gave me an experience of the world of tears behind the dry statistics.

  21. jodie38 says:

    Oh, my God. You’ve spoken what my heart has been feeling for months. Living with statistics instead of answers. I’ll hold your hand, along with so many others who are walking this path with you.

  22. Ya Chun says:

    You have named your fear. I will stand (ok, well type) with you.
    I don’t need everyone, or even a majority. of the people in my life to get it. I don’t always even get it. But words like yours help to bring it into focus, allow me to see inside, and behind, my own thoughts.
    The only way to get an answer is to try it. There’s neither prediction nor map. Once you choose your course, you persevere, you face you fears. I know you are brave and courageous and together you and Mr Spit can walk this path, where ever it may lead.

  23. Busted says:

    This is so beautifully written. It puts into words my feelings of why I hate when people are too optimistic for me, when they try to downplay my fears…I just want them to listen and understand, not try and convince me otherwise. I will hold your hand and walk with you. No matter what.

  24. Queenie. . . says:

    This is a beautiful post. You will never be alone on this journey, and even when you think you have no strength to go on, this community will carry you through.

    I think your husband’s response to your post is incredibly beautiful, too. You are very lucky to have found him.

  25. Trish says:

    I will.

  26. Banana says:


  27. Kathleen says:

    “Watch one hour with me, when my alleluia days turn into blues and greys, watch with me, stay awhile.” Joe Wise

    Yes, I’ll be there to watch with you.


  28. hgswtj says:

    Cheryl and Owen,

    My wife and I , having walked where you have walked, having feared what you have feared, want you to know that we will stand beside you and lend you the strength of our hearts and the warmth of our embarce.

    God bless you both.

    And, woo-hoo! We’re pretty damn excited that you’re going to try again!

    Howard and Laura

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