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.