Audra sent me this email and gave me permission to post it here for you all. I think she expresses so many things I feel myself. Thanks for sharing, Audra.
Martha from St Killian's RC Church send the link to your site. I was
looking at your site and thought I'd share with you the things that
were the most difficult for me after our loss. First off, I'll tell
you that we lost our son William John died shortly after birth Jan 16,
2007. We found out at our 20 week ultrasound in Sept of 2006 that he
had a fatal kidney anomaly. It was heartbreaking. I feel so thankful
that we had any time wIth him at all and feel strongly that I am a
better person for having had William in my life. People don't get
that. It is a hushed subject - never to be spoken of. I agree with
something I read on your site - people, in general act as though I'm
doing something terrible to them when I speak of my son. That makes
me so sad because I really think of his short life as a blessing.
The things that were the most difficult for me:
I have two older children, both boys, then William, then a girl and
finally a boy. After I had my daughter many people (those that knew
about William) said things like "Now you got your girl". I felt it
was really discounting my precious son (not to mention the older
boys). I felt like telling people how happy we were to have a healthy
child and that really, truly I did not care about gender. I tried to
do this without being too preachy:-)
While I was pregnant but knew how sick our son was, many people asked
about my pregnancy, not knowing that our son was dying. It never
seemed like the right time to tell such people. I mean, if I was
never going to see them again then it was easy - I said nothing about
the matter (it was too painful) simply answered their questions. "We
are having a boy." "Yes, 3 boys" "My due date is February 10."
etc. But when I knew I'd be seeing people again it got tricky. How
was I supposed to answer someone casually asking about my pregnancy at
my son's kindergarten Halloween party? or at a soccer game? It just
never seemed like the right time. And so I went the remainder of my
pregnancy with none of these acquaintances knowing about our dear baby
boy's illness. It was easier with my younger son's pre-school class.
The teacher made an announcement to the parents as they picked up
their children on the day I was induced. But my older son was bused
to kindergarten. It was terribly painful to have people asking to see
my baby weeks after he had passed. I'm sure you can imagine the
reactions I got when I told people that our son had passed away. Some
people thought they has misheard me. There were quite a few stares
and, contrary to popular belief, I did notice when people were
pointing at me and whispering. I got through it though. I felt then,
as I do now that my precious son was with me. My desire has been to
respond with love and show people that if they see me as a kind,
patient person, it is in large part, because of the love I feel for my
son - what a better person I am for having known him!
As you may know, my greatest wish is that people would talk about my
son more often. I want to tell them "Please stop saying that I have 4
Kids. I have 5!" I don't want him to be forgotten.
Things that have helped me:
Something that really helped me was writing thank you notes to the
many wonderful people that helped support us as we carried, met, and
buried our son (You'll notice I used the term "we carried" that is
because my husband, an amazing man, truly carried William with me and
his loss/ grief is as deep as my own). I also sent lunch for the
nurses at the hospital on his due date - they were amazing and I
really wanted them to feel William's birth as a positive experience -
one in which they shared.
I also gave several talks on infant loss including 2 to nurses at the
hospital at which I delivered. I had pictures of William which I
shared. I see people that were at my talks semi-regularly and there
is a special connection that is there.
I also do small acts of kindness that I dedicate in my heart to my
Great job on the web site! It is so wonderful what you are doing.
I'm praying that the women that need your site find it and realize
that they are not alone.