Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dead baby judgment .

Since October is dead baby month, I figure I'll do a few ultra depressing blogs that I've put off. Here is one of those.

A new interwebz friend mentioned that she'd delivered her baby early because of a bad diagnosis. Person shall remain nameless because, well, it's not my business to share with the world (even with you, peeps) if she doesn't want to. In telling me this, she mentioned that she didn't tell many people because basically alot of people judge their decision but she felt OK telling me.

I'll admit, at some point in my life I thought "how can someone do that, not even give the child a chance?"

Now? Not so much.

If I had known Joel's outcome, what would I have done? I would have carried him & hoped I was told wrong, that he'd be fine. I'd settle for him opening his eyes once, or taking a single breath. Basically, I'd take anything over what I got. Even when it'd been confirmed several times that he was dead, I still held out hope for life once he was born. We know that didn't happen.

So how can people do that, choose that? Even if you know your child will die, maybe die before birth or within hours of birth, why not give them a chance? Why not get what you can with your child? Because I sure as hell would want anything I could get.

I'm selfish. And I'm not brave.

Don't get your panties in a wad, if you carry to term I don't think you're selfish or chicken. But for me, I could never do anything but wait & see. And hope. Because I'm not brave enough to let go of any hope & maybe my child would suffer because of the decision that I didn't want to make.

Not a single one of us dead baby parents are selfish, & we're all brave. It's just different for everyone. I can't imagine choosing to induce early or abort. Just like I can't imagine knowing in advance my child will die & continuing the pregnancy, knowing how it ends. Just like I'm sure the people in those two groups can't imagine just finding out their baby is dead without any warning like we experienced.

People who go that route do not love their babies less than I love Joel or my other kids. They don't miss their kids differently. But I see message boards or websites just ripping people to shreds. The people who carry to term look down on the people who don't & I've even seen it said that those people don't love their children. The people who don't look at the people who carry to term like they are selfish assholes to put a baby though whatever pain may occur.

Who the hell am I to decide who is bad in this situation? Who am I to look at someone else & think that their child mattered less to them? If they opt for labor & delivery, is it easier for them? Do they experience some amazing, pain free labor? No matter what they opt for to end the pregnancy early, do we really think people don't cry or miss out what might have been?

The truth is that we're all dead baby parents. We were all cheated. And we're all damaged by it. No one deserves a medal for not ending a pregnancy early at the news of a bad diagnosis. We all deserve medals for surviving the death, no matter when or why it occurred. We all deserve to grieve. We all have enough judgment as it is...I'm sure people wonder why I got pregnant again or wonder what I did to cause my baby to die. We all have enough of that in our lives, we don't need to do it to each other.

So consider me a dead baby safe place. If your child died, by whatever means at whatever time, I'm sorry. You don't deserve it. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry you went through whatever you went through. We all have our stories, our painful looks back at the death of our children. Those flashes of memories, & wondering how the hell we made it through that awful experience.

There aren't alot of people who know what it's like to experience this type of death. There is no need to categorize people into groups. Be there for & watch out for all of us, despite how the death occurred. Pain is pain. Don't judge it.


  1. You are, of course, awesome. I don't entirely know what I want to say, just that I'm very fortunate to not have had to make that sort of decision. Honestly, I'm not sure what I would do. Even if you've experiened loss, you haven't experienced everyone's loss so you just don't know. You rock for supporting everyone, no matter their choice. How awful for people to be throwing around judgements about baby loss.

  2. AshleyquitefranklyOctober 5, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    Jessi, I really like you. Like a lot. I admire you (not in a creepy, lurking behind the camo tarp fence and leering at you sort of way...yet.)

    I hope one day you meet up with sweet baby Joel in a cabin in the woods in the sky and get all of those slobbery kisses and chubby baby hugs that you are owed.

    Keep on keeping on, lady.

  3. I know exactly what you're talking about. When I found out Ian was going to die I was told that his death could be on my terms, or I could get sick and die with him. It's not a decision that any one should ever have to make, and no one should be looked down upon because of the path they took. And you're right, I can't imagine carrying to term then loosing, especially without any warning like with Joel.
    Thank you for being a safe place for all of us :)

  4. You're right! I think it is hard for any of us to imagine going thru anything other than what we endured. For me, I think it would be hard not to have known ahead of time and had that time to plan.

  5. Are you talking about me in this post? Or do you have other new interwebz friends?

  6. Obviously, I don't care if you share that it was me, since I just outed myself.

  7. Thanks for posting this. I've been in the position of both. Jenna was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, and we decided to end the pregnancy. To make a long story short, we weren't able to do so, but we came as close as getting to the clinic.

    We all have our reasons for doing what we do. It doesn't mean we are selfish. It means we looked at the situation and did what we thought was best for our families and our children. I have debated this topic many, many times, but the one thing I would never do is tell a woman who carried a sick baby to term that she is selfish.

    For me, I didn't want my baby to suffer. I wanted to see her and hold her, but I couldn't stand the thought that every breath she breathed would be painful for her.

    She was stillborn a few weeks after our trip to the clinic. I am grateful to this day that she was never in pain.



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