Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dr. Suess screws with my head.

A person's a person, no matter how small.
-Horton, who heard a Who

Well, not really Horton, but we'll go with it.

I've heard that quote before, but I happened upon it again tonight & pondered. I mean, it sounds cute & sweet, right? Of course, I can't help but to think about how it's used in pro-life terms. I suppose I'm somewhat of a hypercritical person, I expect my dead baby to be acknowledged as a human being who deserved a chance at life, but at the same time I'm crazy pro-choice.

Oh well, one of my many faults I suppose.

Anyway, as I continued to ponder I decided that Horton is basically the story of a dead baby parent.

...I know, I know, but hear me out, will you? Besides, it'd be Horton like of you.

For those of you who don't know the story of Horton, let me give you a run down. Horton happens upon an entire community of Who's, who are very tiny & live on a flower. He then has to save them from everyone else who doesn't believe they are real. Horton fights for their little lives...and wins.

I don't know much about winning that battle but at least Horton does.

In my original idea, I was just going to post something quick & with a picture of Horton. But as I googled, I saw my life as a dead baby mom play out before my eyes.

Again, I know I'm crazy. But work with me here.

One day, I was pregnant.



Go through a few months & everything is suppose to be peachy.

Find out at the last minute, things may not be peachy as we thought.



But then, someone changes their mind, everything will be fine.


Happiness yet again.

Then, when you're at the finish line...


You got it, bad news again. Worse news possible really.

You go through the worse experience of your life. You're ushered out of the back door of the OB department carrying your precious bowl of a lock of hair, tape measure, & a hat.


At least you have those beautiful treasures, right?




This is it?


REALLY? Nine months of my life, 26 hours of physical pain, & everything else that went along with it all & this is it? That's all I'll ever have to show for it?

You're fucking kidding, right?

After you get over that shock, life will continue around you.

You'll have at least one person who is really great...


and will tell you how you killed your baby. If you're lucky, they will tell their entire family that the baby died, in part, because you sucked as a mom & refused to go to a doctor. Where that comes from, you have no idea. Other people will passively mention things. Like your mom will call you 5 months post dead baby & tell you "I saw a baby autopsy on TV...they said the baby died because they let it sleep on it's stomach! Don't let your baby sleep on it's stomach!" & will go on & on about the baby autopsy & when you point out that may not be the best subject, you'll have it turned around on you about how you always make them the bad guy when they were just trying to share information to protect your next baby. You only hear, "listen dumbass, you killed one, I'm not going to let you kill anymore!" You wish you could go back to the days where you could just hear people like the teacher in the Peanuts cartoons.


You explain yourself over & over again. It does nothing. Nothing at all. You're still the bad guy. Either to your face or behind your back. People wonder what you did to have something like that happen. People remember how your colored your hair that one time, or that coke you drank at dinner, or how you lifted your arms above your head. A deadly combination, you know.

As the time goes by & you speak to people you've not really interacted with for months, even years, you may mention your dead baby. But they already know. How?


The birds. They are everywhere. The little birdies that tell people "did you know Jessica's baby died!" People you may not have even spoken to in high school find out. I'm sure they then say things like I mentioned above. You'll also have "friends" who tell you that you don't have to worry, they won't tell anyone about your dead baby, even if they ask about it. They will find that helpful. You? Not so much. You know that just screams "it's a secret, so she must have done something she wants to hide!" Of course, this is from the same group of people who admitted after high school that they were asked, because I didn't slut around enough as a teenager, if I was a lesbian & responded with, "I don't know, maybe, she's not told me about it yet."

BTW, not a lesbian. In case you were curious about that one.

Anyway, you'll wish people would ask you how your baby died or why your baby died instead of just assuming, but they don't. Can't say I blame them, as I've said before, dead babies aren't really listed as talking points for people. But still, you'd rather be asked than just know everyone is around you, talking about it.


If Horton can hear a fucking Who on a flower, then you will eventually hear all the crazy shit people are saying or assuming. Its impossible not to. People never think that way though. It's a common occurrence, you'd think people would realize that once you say something it's out there & can't be taken back & will spread eventually. I mean, didn't most people learn that in like 2nd grade? When will people start being taught tact? Let's hope soon.

You go through your life. You cry. You laugh. You yell. You smile. You throw things. You play with your toddler. You cry in your bathroom, just thinking that you want your baby back. You go to bed, without a baby just like you wake up without a baby. Much like you explained yourself & why you didn't kill your baby, you have a new quest to explain to everyone.


That your baby was a person. And that your baby will always be your child. But sadly, you usually get the same results...avoidance & people who just don't get it. And they never will. And you have to accept that.

If you're brave enough, you want to, & you're lucky enough, you'll get another chance at being handed a living, crying baby after delivery.


You'll be happy.

But then you remember. You remember everything. And alot of times, people won't let your forget.


You'll be scared shitless to try to cross over that bridge from conception to bringing baby home. Because you've learned that the bridge is long & not always sturdy. You're proof that the bridge can fall, causing your to fall & shatter into a million pieces.

And, of course, you get to deal with people again. You will live in your double standard, where it's alright to doubt yourself but you don't like the idea of anyone else doubting you. You can write on your blog how you are always surprised to hear a heartbeat, but when your husband reads it & tells you he feels the same way you don't find comfort in his worry. Instead, you hear "it's always great to know you've not killed my next baby" even when you know he doesn't think that way. When your mom asked "did you hear a good heartbeat?" you only hear "you've not killed this one yet, right?" At a point, you kinda want people to just start saying that because that is how you'll hear it anyway.

Horton saved his Who's.



You just want to make it to that good side of the bridge & hold on like hell in victory of making it. Not only for the obviously reasons, but also in part because you want to show those little birdies & all those naysayers that they suck & that you did nothing wrong last time, it was just a tragedy you were the one to have.

I hate heights, therefore I hate bridges. I'm personally holding on like hell through the entire distance.


  1. Jess, I've been reading your blog for some time now and am always blown away by your quick wit and your ability to make even the saddest of situations seem comical. This post truly spoke to me because I know that fear so well. I remember dreading to go to my ultrasounds because I had gotten so used to hearing, I'm sorry, there's no heartbeat. I would imagine after losing a baby before birth would make that fear as real as someone who had miscarried six times as I did. From what I can see, you and your husband have a pretty special relationship and although I can understand what you felt when he asked about the heartbeat, I also know that there is a deep love between you and that although it may be what you're feeling was said, you know deep down he didn't mean it that way. I just wanted to tell you how your blog, even the not so happy posts usually brightens my day. Wishing all the best for Picadilly and your family in 2010. Hugs, Margaret

  2. Found your blog though the 'dead baby photo' thread on Babycenter, and just wanted to thank you for writing this, I found it selfishly very comforting to read... When my baby died, I wanted to use, "a person's a person no matter how small...' as a tattoo, but then realized how easily it could be mistaken as a pro-life message... so I am on the fence... because really, what I want so desperately, is for the rest of the world to see that this WAS a person, not something 'to get over...' and I appreciate your words about clinging to that bridge. We haven't tried to have another baby yet, and I just hate how something that was once so beautiful and amazing to me is now something to fear... There's a signature I saw, "nobody ever told me grief looked so much like fear", that is how I feel... Sending all the good thoughts I can in your direction... thank you for opening your heart and words to others.

  3. I loved this post and found it comforting to read as well.



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