The Club Nobody Wants To Be In (Part 2)–They are Still Fathers…

This is a link to an older article which does a “Where Are they Now?” type of thing on David Smith–Susan Smith’s ex…

http://www.hlntv.com/slideshow/2013/10/09/david-smith-susan-smith-killed-sons-where-are-they-now

Having lost a child, this is a common thing to happen–where he talks about having more good days than bad,  but still having those days that bring a person to the knees…I still have them, but my son’s twin wasn’t murdered…The baby died early in the pregnancy and they insisted at the doctor’s office that I was no longer pregnant…When I went back  later with the ever-present morning, noon and night sickness that went on for weeks after losing the baby, they discovered there was another baby in the other sac.

I simply do not understand why society expects men to be what I can only describe as “unattached” to their own grief.  This is something we as a society need to move away from. Those who push this mentality need to be strongly addressed.  Men are every bit as emotional as women are, and they may not always show it in the way society has demanded, but society and it’s expectations should not rule how an individual would handle this issue–ever…Quite frankly, I am surprised at how many experts on grief, as a general rule, think that they are qualified to address the issue of  how to handle losing a child. This is especially true of those who never experienced such a loss.

Losing a child in any way is hell, but losing two in the way that Smith’s were lost would break even the strongest of men. However this man, despite those bad days, still drives on.  For that I admire him.  Nobody likes this little club that anyone who has lost a child is in, but I would like to see society lay off of the men…They can hurt like everyone else. Let them grieve because they also lost a child or (as in this case) more…

And for those who lost a child like I did, the men are still fathers just as assuredly as women who lost a child are still mothers.  People need to understand this, so please think before commenting and be just as considerate of the fathers as you should be of the mothers. That lost child (or those lost children) will remain a part of them forever.

 

We ARE Mothers…

There are times I get really pissed at the way the medical profession and some magazine writers try to dehumanize the experience of a miscarriage.  One article said, “…We imagine ourselves as mothers…” Oh hell no! They did not just say that! I don’t care if it is a loss at six weeks or six months–I am still a mother who has lost my child–and my ex-husband is a father who lost his dammit!

Then they call it “products of conception” or “fetal tissue”.  All I can say to any medical professional who would use that type of terminology to a woman and her partner who has miscarried is a phrase not fit for this post so I won’t repeat it here.  I lost my child. When they acted as if I did not know what I was talking about, I switched doctors. If the difference between one mother’s child is that it was a wanted one and someone else’s was not, then save the terminology for the abortion clinics and read the frigging chart before you shoot your mouth off because if it is a mom in a very emotional state you are dealing with,  she might just come unglued on your ass…IN fact, I know several mothers who lost children who would. I know I would if I endured it AGAIN and was treated as if the being  carried inside of me was not worthy of being called a “human being” but relegated to being called “products of conception” or “tissue”.

NOTE: This post is NOT about abortion. However I think a lot of the people in the medical profession try to treat this  experience like one and that is what pisses me off.  Even the old term for it (if it is not in use now) was “spontaneous abortion“.  The experience of losing a wanted child is unique and personal and should be treated with the same care and compassion as losing a loved one would be treated had it been a stillbirth–including offering referrals to counseling for couples going through this. Support groups for grieving parents who have experienced this are amazing, I think. 

Losing a child is a gut wrenching, physically painful, horrible experience regardless of what stage of gestation and if people in medical profession are trying to help us by dehumanizing the experience, they are deluding themselves.  Those in psychology tend to do the same.  It is because of this lack of consideration for those of us who go through this that I am writing this.  I know there are places out there somewhere that don’t conduct themselves in such an android like fashion when dealing with that type of grief, and I would like to know where they are. I will gladly refer people to those from this blog. As of right now, our group is unique and in a class by itself. In short, we stand alone.

Now if you have family members going through this, just listen and show some empathy.  Don’t say things like “Well, you’ll have another one someday.” or “At least you know you’re capable of having a baby.”  These are very insensitive things to be saying and it is pure bullshit.  You will alienate anyone you say that to over time if you do this–especially if the event might have left them unable to conceive. Trust me. I’ve cut people off for this.  Why? Simple. One child will never replace another.  We don’t forget the pain of losing the ones we lost and I can tell you from personal experience that even after 27 years, there is still ONE empty space at my table I think about from time to time.  In short, if you want to keep your friend, and you are not sure what to say, just be quiet…PLEASE…

This was not the only miscarriage I had, but it is the one that stands out because it is my son’s fraternal twin. It is VERY rare to not lose both, but I didn’t lose Brian. They said two weeks later when I still had morning sickness and got into it with the nurses that it was all in my head and I was NOT pregnant…They were going to send me to a psychologist. I said get the test and we’ll settle it now–among a few other choice things…Voila! I was STILL pregnant with that one and they rushed to do a sonogram.  Brian’s sac was in tact but it was considered high risk because I lost the twin. It is also very, very rare to keep one twin after losing the other–especially as early as it was.

In short, if you don’t understand it, just be willing to listen and don’t say anything.  That’s really all we need is a listening ear and a good shoulder to cry on.  You don’t know if or when a couple will be able to have another child, so it’s best not to comment one way or another on THAT issue too.

 

26 Years After Losing a Child, I Still Wonder…

It was 26–almost 27 years ago that I miscarried. I remember the sac and such.  I was told I wasn’t pregnant anymore, yet two weeks later I still had morning sickness and such.  Then that doctor said, “It’s psychological and was going to send me to a “counselor”.”  After ranting for about 20 minutes about how having a kid is like riding a bicycle, they decided to do an ultrasound and another pregnancy test.

When the test came back “positive” my doctor was baffled.  Then they did the ultrasound. Sure enough, there was another sac with a fetus inside of it–with a heartbeat.  That was my son, Brian.  The doctor looked at me and said, “It is very rare to lose one and keep the other but it has happened before.  Most of the time these pregnancies are difficult and still result in loss…” and I stopped listening at that point.

The pregnancy was difficult. I spent the last few weeks in bed. Brian was 6 lbs. 8 ounces when he was born and was still estimated to have been born 6-8 weeks early.  He had reflux and had to sleep at an angle after he almost died at 2 months.  His stomach valve wasn’t fully developed and this caused his milk to go to this lungs when he spit up.

To this day I wonder what his twin might have been like. Boy? Girl? Red haired and blue-eyed like him, or more like me–dark hair and green/hazel eyes…I can say this, no child replaces another. I still mourn the loss of the one. It is very insensitive to tell a mother who has lost a baby via miscarriage or stillbirth anything such as “Well at least you can have another one.” or as in my case, “You don’t need any more children anyway. You already have one.”   I never spoke to that “friend” again either.

I also want to add losing a child does not mean one is not a mother or a father. They still are. They still grieve and mourn and go through the gamut of emotions that go with any death of a loved one.  The fathers go through the experience as well so it is not fair to expect them to be any less traumatized or hurt. Guys, if you have a male friend whose girlfriend or wife went through this, let him grieve and listen. At least then you are being a true friend to him. The same goes for the women who have never experienced it. There is NO right thing to say, but just listening helps.  So do hugs and allowing the person their grief.  This “being stoic” thing is bullshit.  Don’t expect that. We are human. We feel. We cry. We mourn.  Deal with it or just keep  quiet.

We do make our way back eventually, in our own time and in our own way.