Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The Facebook Post
So, I know I don't have to give any of you a reason to hate FB. You already do, right? What's there to like about logging in and reading about everyone's seemingly shiny happy perfect lives while we mourn our babies and wonder if we'll ever be "normal" or "okay" or even functional? Sounds like a blast, right? Oh, but maybe what we can do is start posting about miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss! Then we'll be spreading awareness, right? Sounds like a plan. Except you get one or two "likes" from women who have lost babies themselves while the rest of the world posts what organic ingredients they used in their dinner that night or how excited they are about learning how to crochet a bikini so they can be "grandma-chic".Fail.But I will be the first to say that I don't give a crap; I've already lost enough. I'll be jiggered if I have to delete my FB account too...I know in the grand scheme of things, having a FB page means next to nothing. Because for the most part, that's true. However, my FB experience has evolved over time, and I need it now more than ever before, and it means more to me now than it ever has. Part of that is because I am involved in two baby loss forums on FB, and I find it incredibly healing and therapeutic to post and read comments and help maintain these boards. I have met some of my closest friends (Hi if you're reading this!!!) through FB group pages like SOBBS and CLIMB. And I DO like the awareness I can spread, even if only one person notices...To me, that's making a difference. Just today I posted this along with many of my FB BLM friends, "September 6th is Stillbirth Remembrance Day. Stillbirths tragically strike 1 out of every 115 pregnancies. In the USA, 26,000 babies are stillborn every year. That's approximately 71 precious babies every single day. Remembering all the babies lost to stillbirth today and everyday." It felt good to post that, to be bold and brave and talk about something so taboo. I also have an Elias album on FB, where I post photos of gifts people have given to me in his remembrance and images with his name. I find this album to be very comforting when I am having a really bad day, and I love getting the message across to others that I not only want but NEED for my son to be acknowledged, that I need him to be remembered, and that I welcome them to speak his name and send me little things that remind them of him. I don't mourn him alone; I don't remember him alone. Anyone who sees that album gets the message loud and clear, and in a way that in and of itself is a way of spreading awareness.I also honor my son by "paying it forward" to others when I can by making remembrance images in honor of their precious babies. I hope the images end up in their own remembrance folders on FB and that they may be inspired to make images for others and keep it going. I keep a calendar of remembrance dates and honor them by creating or editing an image; then I upload it to my BLM folder and tag the person. When I hit "publish", I feel I am spreading awareness, because those checking their newsfeed will see a pretty image created in memory of a stillborn baby and realize that this grief needs to be spoken and that healing takes time. I don't do the images by request; rather, it's something I do when I feel the inspiration hit and feel the desire to honor our babies and the friendships built through our losses. I always say that our friendships are planted from our common experience, but they grow to be about so much more than that.Needless to say, I love my BLM FB friends, and if any of you ever want to connect with me there, let me know.However, FB, you're really pissing me off lately with these "This day in 2010" posts. I mean for freaking real, why don't you just take a machete and thrust it through my broken heart and then twist it? My day to day life isn't already painful enough; let's PILE ON the agony by reliving all the hope I had a year ago and thinking about how STUPID I was to think I would actually come home with two precious babies. Just so you all can wallow with me, I will share my post from a year ago. I wrote this post at a time when I was getting really frustrated with coworkers who kept telling me, "Just relax! Everything has been going so well; you have nothing to worry about!" because at times I would open up about my anxiety, which is to be EXPECTED from someone who has had a prior loss and someone who is carrying multiples!!! Friggin' idiots. So anyway, I posted this a year ago today to get my point across to people that when they would say things like "Stop worrying, things have been going so well!" all it did was make me feel like they were discounting how difficult the pregnancy had been for me thus far. And boy, I hope God wasn't saying "I'll SHOW those people a real pregnancy complication!" (I know God doesn't work that way, but oy...I get shivers reading these posts from last year..And then I just want to curl up in a ball and die...)THIS YEAR IN 2010: "One of my good friends recently said I was doing a "great job" with my pregnancy... And you know what? I am. I’m sitting here taking stock of it all, realizing that we are only a few weeks away from the 3rd trimester. And we have come a long way. I know some acquaintances refer to my pregnancy as “uncomplicated”, but those of you who know me better know that we’ve been through the scare of “threatened miscarriage”, two ER visits due to bleeding, an ER visit due to suspected PPROM, severe morning sickness that wouldn’t respond to the strongest medication, trouble gaining weight (extremely scary when you’re carrying multiples and at increased risk already of preterm birth), and GERD that went undiagnosed for weeks. So you may say that’s uncomplicated; I say that I am proud of every week these babies stay put, and as we are only days away from viability, I am celebrating. : ) I really have so much to be grateful for. I thank God every single day for these two little miracles." And it's true. I prayed my ASS off. Not because I necessarily expected God to "listen" and answer my very specific prayers that my babies would be born happy and healthy but because I truly was just so overwhelmed with love and gratitude to have them in my womb. I was so overcome with emotions - love and joy - at times that I would just sob, and my husband would say, "What's wrong?!" and I would say, "I just love them SO MUCH, and I want them to both be okay SO BAD, and I'm just SO LUCKY to have them, and I don't know what I've done to deserve such amazing blessings in my life!" I hadn't yet learned that "blessings" aren't about deserving or not deserving, and that tragedies aren't about deserving or not deserving, either. *sigh* Just to add insult to injury, I read people's responses, mostly saying how PROUD they were of me (so apparently now I'm just a big disappointment), but this one killed me: Someone had the nerve to comment “You are doing wonderful, but remember having them is the easy part, feeding clothing and educating thru college at a State supported University in today’s $ is north of 250 k each. Xoxo.” I couldn't MAKE this sh*t up if I tried. My response? “There has been little that has been easy about this. I know we will have challenges and the expenses are going to be huge, but I will be so grateful to have them and that we made it through a rough pregnancy that I will not take them for granted! Even through all the future hurdles. It’s just changed my perspective on everything.” I didn't need another LOSS to change my perspective or learn to not take things for granted; my lesson has already been clearly communicated, LOUD AND FREAKING CLEAR! Again with the love hate...FB has served to remind me that I DID appreciate things, that I DIDN'T take a damn thing for granted, and I need to be kinder to myself for that...I was a good pregnant mama...And yet FB has reminded me that I was SO DUMB in thinking that I had already been through the worst of it, that nothing could possibly go wrong once we were past viability and better yet that 28 week mark. I am not deleting my account. But oh, is it tempting.