Perinatal Bereavement

I am sitting in my home office, typing this. I have just worked another 12 hour day, the latest in a long succession of days. It isn’t often that I look around and realize that this office still bears the pain from when it was supposed to be a nursery. Obviously, I did yesterday, but truthfully, I mostly just live my life.

Every so often though, for whatever reason, I remember. This wasn’t supposed to be my life. This wasn’t the life that I planned, chose, or expected. Yet, here I am. Today is Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day.

There are lots of things we could say about this day, but I’m bewildered by something it seems we don’t often say.

My son died of a 2000 thousand year old disease, and he died because there was no cure. My son died because white, middle class men don’t ever get pre-eclampsia, and there’s not a damn thing we can do to help when you get pre-eclampsia.

I’m devestated that my son is dead. My heart is broken, even still. But I’m also angry. I’m angry that we can cure your toe nail fungus and erectile dysfunction and not the 5th leading cause of perinatal mortality. I’m angry that a woman died while you were reading this.

I’m angry that babies are dying. I’m angry that my governments award niggardly funding to research, I’m angry that researchers and drug manufactures would rather cure toe nail fungus than deadly disorders of pregnancy.

My son isn’t lost. I know exactly where he is. He didn’t slip away, he died, gasping for breath, in my arms, because that’s what pre-eclampsia does. It kills women and it kills their babies. It kills their babies in the same way it killed them 2,000 years ago. It just kills.

Would I like you to remember that I had a little boy and I love him? Yes, of course. Would I like you to tell your pregnant friends, your family to watch out for the signs and symptoms of pre-eclampsia? Yes, I’d like that a lot too.

Would I like you to tell people around you that that there is a silent epidemic? Women and their babies are dying, all around us, they are dying while we live our lives. All around us are crushed and broken men and women, and no one has any answers for them. We live our lives while women and babies die, and I still don’t understand, how are we not rioting in the streets?

And that, that makes me mad as hell. I don’t want memory, I want action. I want women and their babies to stop dying.

Mad as hell. Really not kidding.

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16 Responses to Perinatal Bereavement

  1. Virginia says:

    Ditto.

    I’ve been blogging every day this month for stillbirth awareness and every day I sit down and face a blank screen and think, what will it take? What will it take to get the world to care?

    I just don’t get it.

  2. loribeth says:

    I never thought of it in quite that light (as an issue of women’s health vs men’s), but you are so right. If it were men having the babies that were being stillborn & miscarried, I’m willing to bet things would be a lot different.

    I was shocked to find out several years ago that some jurisdictions don’t even keep stats on stillbirths. Many places don’t require an autopsy to be done on a stillborn baby, & there is very little research done into what causes stillbirth or how it can be prevented.

    Things need to change.

  3. a says:

    I acknowledge your grief and anger, and send you support on this day of remembrance that seems extra difficult this year.

    There is one issue I see that is preventing us from solving this problem – no one wants to experiment on pregnant women, regardless of how clear cut animal studies might be. And you can’t test a treatment for pregnancy on non-pregnant women. How to solve that conundrum is beyond my intellectual capacity.

  4. Heidi says:

    I’m angry for you. I’m angry with you.

    I’m also remembering with you.

  5. HereWeGoAJen says:

    I’m angry too. It isn’t fair and it isn’t right.

    I remember your little boy and I love him too.

  6. Trish says:

    I’m angry for you.. for me.. for all of us who have been touched by this awful disease.
    I truly pray that someday SOON, there is an answer.

  7. Msfitzita says:

    On October 15th I always try hard to remember with love, but yes – the anger is always there. Babies shouldn’t die. Mothers shouldn’t die.

    I’m so sorry. For you, and for everyone who shouldn’t be in mourning today.

    Sending so much love.

    ox

  8. Ya Chun says:

    I don’t know what it would take. I guess we have to organize.

  9. Heather says:

    “and I still don’t understand, how are we not rioting in the streets?” I’m right there with you!! Why are there not cures, more research, legislation??? WHY? Why is it just “a part of nature” and “a fact of life” and “the chance we take whilst pregnant”? Why do we have to accept that its all “part of God’s plan” No. I don’t accept it, I’m mad as hell, so not kidding too!

  10. debby says:

    Mrs Spit. I thought that I left a comment this morning, but I see that it did not take. I wonder at the insensitivity of your friends. They had to have some awareness that the subject line would clutch at your heart.

  11. Angie says:

    I’m mad, and sad, for us too.

  12. lisa says:

    ((HUGS)) because I have no good words.

  13. Natalie says:

    Great post. I totally agree. A man the other say said to me, “Things today aren’t how they used to be, my grandmother lost 5 babies.” He didn’t say it outright, but the implication is that today we have hospitals! Doctors! And today, babies don’t die! He was an elderly man so I didn’t feel like ruining his day, but I wanted to yell, YES THEY DO. They do every damn day. With all that medicine, with all those hospitals, they really still don’t do much of anything to prevent our babies from dying. And that makes me angry, too.

  14. Michele says:

    Mad as hell with you.

  15. tash says:

    Yup. And dead babies don’t vote. Pisses me right off, too.

    Remembering with you, Mrs. Spit. And throwing my empty bourbon glass in anger and outrage.

  16. Jacinta says:

    Yes Mrs Spit, yes indeed. Good people in Canada are trying to find a detection test, but it isn’t a cure. And nothing can cure a broken heart

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