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.


  1. This very notion that we were obviously not getting proper medical care or checking every box in our pregnancies was the cause of losing our children is what disconnects me emotionally from so many non-babyloss people. I'll admit, I didn't anticipate losing a child. I assumed I'd probably miscarry (and that I did as well), but I never thought I'd lose a full term, baby. I wasn't big on flaunting my pregnancy as I didn't post on facebook about Andrew really at all and stayed pretty much to myself throughout the process. However, I was definitely naive. 26,000 babies isn't all that much in the grand scheme of births per year. And of course now I think that number is astronomical. 26,000 new (or returning? GASP) babyloss parents a year-- and that's not including losses before 20 weeks.

    It eats me away inside how outsiders view us and our children to have something wrong with them because they are no longer living. That God/satan/doctors/parents had a role in ending their lives. That we didn't do enough. That we weren't taking all the precautions or fully educated. My recent rant via blog was speaking to that very topic-- on how others view me as someone who obviously doesn't have a handle on being a mother because my son died. That I don't know the correct products/procedures available to be as a mother. That I'm naive.

    It's infuriating. Karma is crap.

  2. Oh I so hear you... I have had it with people who are so smug and "immune". I have unassociated myself with "friends" who act like that, but the random people still get to me.

  3. I believe you can be blissfully ignorant,,, but it doesn't protect you from losing a baby. At least it didn't protect me, that I know for sure.

    Oh, and smug pregnant ladies bug me too.

  4. You know what really chaps my hide?? Ladies who take for granted that they are pregnant and live in that "ignorance is bliss" lala land. I have had several friends who I almost cut all ties with because I felt that they were not taking care of the most precious gift of all, their unborn children.
    One I could tell was restrictive eating so she wouldn't "get fat" while pregnant. Another went tubing (I don't know if ya'll have that where you are at but just in case it riding a river current in an inner-tube) while 20 weeks pregnant. Why would you put your own child's life at risk?? And on purpose!
    I would have given my own LIFE to save my daughter's and they were playing with fire and didn't seem to even care!!
    I wish that they could have the feeling that I felt (but with out loosing their child of course) of having to bury their child. Oh the joy of saying I told you so...
    Sorry, this is probably a horrible comment. Your post today really hit a nerve with me. Sometimes, even a year and half later, I'm just still so bitter and angry.

  5. I hear ya! One of the nurses I encountered post loss shared with me that she also had a full term stillbirth. It's oddly comforting to know that you aren't alone - especially with those in the medical community.

  6. I'm not sure if knowing that it could happen makes it any easier though, so perhaps they come out net ahead? Though look like fools to others who have experiences that deny them the possibility of that naivety.

  7. One of my cousins sailed happily past 41 weeks with her baby girl last month, saying she "trusted nature" to know when was the right time for labor to start. When I found out, I started shaking and crying. She KNOWS us and she plays with fire like that? What on earth makes her think she's so special and immune to tragedy? I was terrified for her little baby girl (who did turn out fine, thankfully). I guess we all have stories like this...

  8. Very well said. Totally agree with all you have to say here.

  9. Nodding along. Many of these also get 'on my last nerve' and I also love that turn of phrase. That's exactly how it feels, so grating and annoying!

    I was always cautious too. Sigh.

  10. Yes - to every word of this. There was no plan, it's not karma and it was sheer horrible luck and it could happen to anyone - even those who believe it couldn't.