Monday, February 20, 2012
Ignorance = Bliss?
There's nothing that irritates me more than a pregnant woman who seems to think she is immune to loss. Guess what, honey? You're not. Nobody is immune. In fact, most of the loss mamas I know are extremely educated, received great care (and would not switch their OBs post-loss for anything other than simply not wanting to invite flashbacks), ate well, rested, read every pregnancy book they could get their hands on, and loved their babies with everything in them. Society projects this idea that healthy people with solid medical care (especially with all that technology)don't lose babies. I realize this is why there are so many smug women out there who truly believe they will never lose a baby (or babies). Ok, fine. So do we blame society? Then again, that mentality isn't even what pisses me off so much as that many of these blissfully naive and ignorant women also flaunt their seeming invincibility against harm (if you think I'm exaggerating, stop it. I'm not. I could give you countless specific examples of said flaunting that has been done in front of myself as well as in front of other loss mamas who have shared their frustrations with me, but I won't. At least not today). And, well, there's just no excuse for that smugness. None at all. Nobody is immune to tragedy. Who in their right mind truly believes they are? I hear some speak of "God's plan" and knowing it. Well, all those weeks when everything was PERFECT with my babies, I thought God had a hand in that too. I felt blessed too. Doubly blessed. What happens if/when your blessing(s) gets taken away? How do you reconcile that in your mind with a God you believed to be all-loving, all-powerful, and knew your heart and your innermost prayers? Did God fall asleep at the wheel? And please stop with the "Satan stole your baby" crap. I swear, there is nothing that makes you sound much crazier. (Yes, I had someone tell me that.) I've had extremely religious people during my pregnancy literally say that God spoke to them and told them both of my babies would be born healthy and safe. Why would they say that? Post-loss, they expect me to not grieve because it's "part of God's plan". Really? Wait, I thought God told you his plan, and this wasn't going to be part of it. So...Did your signals somehow get crossed? *sigh* These women who apparently feel they have a direct line to God, know his plan, know his plan could never entail heartache or tragedy from them because they are "protected" or invincible somehow, they SERIOUSLY get on my last nerve. Show some humility. Show some respect. Realize that the unfortunate reality is that loss happens more frequently than you'd think (thanks, society, for covering that one up with all the shiny happy baby shower bull!), and that loss does not discriminate. It doesn't care about your color, race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, education level, morality, finances, state of health, or anything else. In fact, the day after my loss, one of the L&D nurses came to visit me and shared that she has suffered a full-term stillbirth. She gave me her phone number, and she shared some very personal things about her loss, and I will forever be grateful to her for not only those things but for the lesson she gave me. Which is that even doctors, L&D nurses, doulas, and midwives experience stillbirth. EXPERTS in the field of pregnancy and delivery. This shouldn't come as a surprise, but for me it initially did. I have had to take a hard look at myself and my perceptions about loss and confront the fact that I must have also thought that with enough knowledge, care, and caution, people wouldn't lose their babies. So why, you ask, do I have a "right" to get frustrated with others when I may have had a similarly naive view? Here's why. Even before I had EVER experienced a loss, I was always cautious about the topic of pregnancy. I was never one to shout it from the rooftops the first sign of a "plus". I was always aware of the pain and suffering in the world enough to call my best friend and tell her the news but then follow it with, "Should I tell anyone else yet? I mean, what if, God forbid, I lose this baby?" (Then, I did miscarry.) Never once did I feel "above" experiencing a loss, even with all those things that I admittedly felt would put the odds very much in my favor of a successful outcome. So no, there's no excuse for the arrogance. That's the part that drives me bonkers. Is there some correlation between being a cautious, mindful, caring, humble person and experiencing loss? Because it seems that I have met the most amazing people inside this very community, the loss community, and it really makes me wonder. I used to believe in karma. Well, karma is crap.