I wanted to contruct my own list of things that I wish people wouldnt say and do.
DISCLAIMER: If you begin reading this particular post, please read until the end, so that I can explain and clarify reasons for what I have said at the beginning. I am nervous about this post and do not want to upset anyone. I do still feel a need to be as honest as possible, especially for any other stillbirth mums out there who may be feeling this too. I do know that stillbirth is a very hard situation to deal with for a third party, and many people just dont know what to say and do. Now that my initial despair that my baby was taken from me has lessened slightly, I can respect and understand that most people react in the best way they can, taking into account both our feelings, and their own.
I'd also like to say that the comments below have been few and far between, and the majority of people have been spectacular in their support.
I wish they wouldn't:
- Tell us that we are still young and can have another one soon.
- Tell me they know how I feel, because they have had an early miscarriage themselves. (a miscarriage of a foetus, although devastating, is not the same as losing a baby in the third trimester, a baby who has a birth certificate, a death certificate and a funeral).
- Tell me that it was for the best, there must have been something terribly wrong, and it was the most humane outcome. (I would have taken Sybella any which way, as long as she was alive).
- Refer to Kelvin and I as having one child. When Kelvin and I actually have two.
- Make assumptions that Sybella died because of something I may or may not have done.
- Suggest external ideas as to why Sybella died.
- Put a timeline on my grief.
- Assume that, if I am having a good day because I laugh at a joke or engage in a conversation, that I have "moved on" or "put her away" (One never moves on from losing a child, nor will Sybella ever be put away).
I need to clarify, however, point two. I have a huge amount of sympathy for mothers who have miscarriages, especially recurrent ones. The bond between a mother and a baby from the point of conception is incredibly special and unique, and I hope that no-one thinks I am down-playing a miscarriage experience. I myself, was devastated when I thought I was miscarrying Sybella in the early weeks. A miscarriage is a terrible loss, whether it is at 4 weeks or 23 weeks. A late miscarriage, especially is a heartbreaking experience, particularly if your baby is days away from viability, too early to be considered a stillbirth, meaning you miss out on the recognition of your baby as a human being, not a foetus. And if one has had a miscarriage after infertility, well, that's just an utter tragedy.
But when one is grieving, and their full term baby is compared to a miscarriage, it strikes a chord of unhappiness and resentment. If Sybella had been born alive at 34 weeks, she'd have a fantastic chance at survival. As Maddie says in her comment, a misscarriage is very different to holding a still, silent baby in your arms.
I hope I am clear and havent alienated anyone. I am sure that when people say this, they are trying to comfort me so that I dont feel so alone in my loss, to explain that they too know how it feels to have hopes and dreams shattered. I hope you can understand that my feelings come from a place of deep grief, at the time when a mother of a stillborn baby is angry at absolutely everyone.
This post was not meant to be a personal dig, it is merely an honest expression of how I felt, especially in those early days after Sybella's death.