Reflections On Medical Care

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Recently, I asked Sue if she remembered the first time that we spoke.

“It was on the phone,” I said, “And I screamed at you.”

Sue is the perinatal bereavement coordinator at the hospital where I delivered Nelle and Iris, and also a labor and delivery nurse.  While I was in labor with Nelle, her name came up over and over.  “Sue’s not working today, but you should really talk to her.”  The nurses, the social worker – everyone kept telling me that I should speak with her.  My only thought was “Well she’s not here.”  I was handed a folder of information on What To Do When Your Baby Dies.  It included a list of funeral homes, information on depression, and a brochure about the hospital’s support group, SHARE.  I threw the folder away. Continue reading

Light, Words, and Gathering

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The only event on my calendar yesterday was a Luminary ceremony hosted by the loss support group of which I am a member.  My nanny’s exclamation of “Cinco de Mayo!” and various photos I saw of the Kentucky Derby reminded me that many people had very different celebrations yesterday.  Whereas for my circle, we gathered to light up the Angel Garden at the hospital and say our babies’ names out loud, in recognition of International Bereaved Mother’s Day. Continue reading

When Two Years Have Passed

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After taking a few months off, I went to SHARE last night.  I found that while Autumn was still a very young baby, it was too difficult to support other loss parents while simultaneously struggling with having a rainbow baby at home and the emotions that followed the daily ins and outs.  Now that Autumn has reached eight months, I felt that I was in a place where I could go to a meeting and not feel drained for days following. Continue reading

Tell Your Story

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Let me tell you what I wish I’d known
When I was young and dreamed of glory
You have no control:
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?
-From ‘Hamilton’

For the third time, I appeared before a group of hospital staff to tell my story of being a patient in Labor and Delivery who would not be taking my baby home. Continue reading

Pass It On

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It took me 406 days after Nelle was stillborn and 255 days after losing Iris to attend my first SHARE meeting.  The first meeting is always the hardest, even more than a year after my losses.  Being in the room with so many other parents, all of whom knew that pain, brought much of the hurt to the surface again.  I cried for days after.  I didn’t go back.  It wasn’t until I was pregnant with Autumn that I started to attend Sharing HOPE (Having Optimistic Pregnancy Expectations) and that monthly meeting became a necessary part of surviving the months until she was born. Continue reading