Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A loss is a loss

My nurse for the day came in this morning to do the standard vital signs, blah, blah, blahs and noticed a picture of Chuck, Lily and me together that I have on my bookshelf in the room. *A post about this awesome picture is to follow after I can load a picture on here to show all of you* She asked me when we lost Lily and I told her 23 weeks and replies back to me (and I quote) "I know it doesn't feel like it to you but that is still very early on in pregnancy." This instantly sent me into defensive mode and I replied back to her "I don't think it matters at what stage in pregnancy that you lose a baby does it? It hurts all the same." Homegirl seeing that she had hit a nerve replies back "OH, I don't mind to diminish your pain, its just that I feel so badly for the women who lose their baby at full-term." By this point, I am just floored that she is that insensitive (especially at 7 o'clock in the morning) that I'm moved to speechlessness...which rarely happens in my world!

I have seen on various blogs the debate about whose pain is greater, stillborn vs. miscarriage is a good example. I've always stayed away from this debate because I always knew how painful it would be to have someone compare my loss at 23 weeks to losing a baby at full-term. Today, I found out how badly those comparsions can feel...and it sucked! I have "met" some very lovely mommies whose babies didn't make it to that "magical" 20 week mark to classify their baby as a a stillborn. If that loss occurs at 18 weeks does that make her angel any less important? NO. Granted a women that carries her baby to full-term and death occurs shortly before birth does have weeks more of daydreams BUT her love and her feelings of loss are not more important than mine because I lost my baby at a *meager* 23 weeks.

I'm going to ride out this day with civility with this woman but will request that I don't have her anymore after today. She hurt my feelings when I have enough going on in my life! A comment will be made about her insensitivity (and ticking time bomb lady!) upon my discharge. I think about that heifer making a comment like that to a mommy in here that is 23 weeks pregnant and is praying to keep her babies inside of her until 24 weeks just because the medical community only saves babies that make it to this (AGAIN) "magical" week mark and it enrages me. Isn't one life just as valuable as another?

Let me some of you for giving me comments on "viability stage" because I'm well aware of why the medical community has that guideline. It doesn't make a mommy or daddy feel any better though~ my hubby watched his daughter's last heartbeat on the ultrasound machine because she was a week shy of the viability stage and I can promise you that logic doesn't change his grief, either.

17 comments:

Marie W said...

kUDOS for speaking up Jen! I am reminded daily what ignorant people we have working in the medical field. My response would have been, "when you lose a baby, then you can talk about loss. But for now, please keep your opinions to yourself".

AKD said...

What an awful thing to say, especially from someone who should be so intensely aware of how hard ANY loss is. Good for you for speaking up.

Jessica said...

Jen, sending a *high five* sista!! Especially being a nurse on a L & D floor you would think she would have seen enough loss to know that the pain is there whether the child is 18, 23, 36 or 40 weeks. It doesn't matter. A loss is a loss. I don't know what I would have said, but somehow I don't envision it being pretty. Thats awesome you had the courage to stand up to her.

Emily said...

Lemme at her!!!!!

Seriously, Jen, they just don't get it. *No one* gets this until you've lived it. I'm glad you spoke out, but it feels like an unwinnable battle.

As a side note, I'm so glad to see where you are in your pregnancy! Unfortunately, we know better than to breathe a sigh of relief, but I still am for you. ((love you))

Bluebird said...

You're so right, honey. And I'm just impressed you had the nerve to say anything at all! I'd have been so caught off guard I think I would have been rendered speechless - until she left, of course ;)

You know - our babies were 3 days shy of the magical 20 week mark. But I cannot for the life of me see the difference. I delivered them, they were born, ergo (in my opinion), they were still born.

I too refuse to get into debates re pain levels. I appreciate it when someone who had a 7 week miscarriage recognizes that our situations are not exactly the same - but I still respect her pain. The only exception I think I make is for someone who's child survived for days or weeks in the NICU - I think that creates a different experience. . .

Anyway, I'm rambling. I'm proud of you, and I'm so sorry you even had to have that conversation. ((Hugs)) Oh, and I can't wait to see the beautiful photograph :)

Julia said...

I am glad that that you are brave enough to stand up for yourself and request not to have her back in your room! I was actually thinking about the whole miscarriage vs stillbirth thing the other day. I did have my son just days shy of 18 weeks. I had to BIRTH him. I went through labor and gave birth to him. Really, it was a miscarriage?! Then again, I don't really care what you call it or when it happens, our babies are gone and that hurts enough.

Trennia said...

Oh my goodness what the heck is that lady's problem?
I lost twins alittle over 13 weeks pregnant and Emily at 35 weeks and 5 days I can asure anyone I think of all three of my babies I have lost! Some people just piss me off! They are so unsentive..my dr. when I was pregnant with Emily told us "Well you can try again!"..I was so sad...even if we could've tried again, but we didn't get to I loss my uterus that next child never could replace Emily! My dr. said, well me and my wife had one of these babies that wasn't compatible with life and we terminated and went on to have a healthy baby girl! I said, Well that's ya'll, not me! What kinda bull does these nurses and dr. think we are full of? Once your pregnant there is (LIFE) inside you...I know I instantly fell in love with my child soon as 2 lines showed up on a pee stick..
Many wonder if I would have terminated Emily, could I still be having children...umm not sure, but what I do know is I would never ever kill one of my children so I can have more! I can rest at night knowing I choose life for Emily and I have (NO) regrets!
My dear friend Jen Jen,
Tell that loser nurse she is in the wrong line of work, if she don't have any remorse for her patients then she needs to change her job...oh wait she's prob. in it for the money anyways...
(((HUGS)))

MendedHeart said...

Oh Jen! I am both speechless and angry. How cruel can one get? There you are at your most vulnerable and here she comes in like a bulldozer. People like her don’t have a heart of flesh but a stone in their chest. She could count herself very lucky that I wasn’t there. Obviously she still has a lot to learn in life. Let’s pray they offer her a job in road works.

A client once said to me after losing his 21 year old son to a motorcycle accident that whether you lose a child young or as an infant, the only difference is the memories one have. The trauma is the same. It kind of made sense to me then. With us DBM’s it is so much more complex… doesn't matter at what stage of the pregnancy. A loss is a loss.

Big hugs to you Sis! :)
xxx

Jess said...

Hi Jen,
I am new to your blog, but just wanted to say, I am so sorry you had to endure such insensitive comments from a nurse of all people, when you are just trying to get your next little one safely into the world! Unfortunately, some people just really don't think before they speak. I too have had some people say to me right after my loss at 26 weeks, I feel so bad for so-and-so, she lost her baby at FULL TERM, as if to say what I was feeling is nothing compared to that! I don't like to compare either, but in my mind at the time, I couldn't imagine any greater pain, even if I had delivered closer to my due-date. I'm glad you spoke up and won't have to see her anymore. Wishing you and Cooper all the best!

Emily said...

I'm so sorry that this happened to you. Why do people feel the need to make comments like that at all? If she really feels that way she can just keep it to herself. I can't imagine losing my baby at any stage, whether he was full-term or still embryonic.

Good for you for defending Lily (and yourself). You're a good Mommy.

Michelle said...

That was just plain wrong. People don't get it. I lost my daughter at 20 weeks and I don't compare my situation with anyone else's. I have a friend who chose to miscarry naturally after her baby's heart stopped beating at 10 weeks. She waited a month! Then she saw her baby, counted the fingers and toes and everything. I've held her through the tears and helped her find a place to cremate her little one. Every loss is a loss and people should be sensitive to that.

Heidi said...

Hi Jen. I just stumbled across your blog while doing research - thanks for sharing your story. I lost my baby boy at 36 weeks (also a placental abruption) and around the same time a good friend lost her baby at 8 weeks. I can tell you that we were both devastated! You're right - a loss is a loss.

I'll be walking in a 5K tomorrow to raise money for pregnancy loss, stillbirth and infant death support programs in my area. The event slogan is "We walk for the steps our babies never got to take." I'll say a prayer and take some steps for Lily, too. The good news is that I'll be pushing my rainbow baby girl in the stroller while I walk. :-) Your rainbow baby boy will be in your arms before you know it! Blessings to you and your family.

Never forgetting Gregory said...

How dare she?! I can't even believe someone in that field of work would be so ridiculous. I used to compare myself to people and think that I wasn't worthy of the support as much as someone who lost their baby at full term. It is nonsense. Our babies were beautiful and it hurts to lose them. I'm glad you said something and hope you do follow through with an official complaint. Sorry you had to deal with that.

Violet said...

I really dont get that debate either. This summer two of my friends lost their babies. One at 8 months gestation, and one at 21 weeks. When I heard, my heart broke for both of them. I saw them both go through immense pain. I never thought to compare the stages, in my heart I knew they both lost a baby, a baby they both wanted.

I'm praying for you and this little one.

LK said...

WOW WOW WOW!!! Was that supposed to be helpful? Were you supposed to say, "Huh. Never thought it that way. Now I don't feel bad anymore. Thank you!" What on God's green earth was the point of saying such a thing to you? I am in rage for you. Why is an insensitive moron working in that department at all? All this "what hurts worse" is all BS and is so irrelevant. If you lose a baby, it HURTS. Period. Being told someone else's loss was worse or not as bad as yours is so stupid! Grrrrr!!!

MoDLin said...

Well said. I'm so sorry you had to have salt rubbed into your wounds by that woman. Loss is loss and it's painful.

Thinking of you and wishing you all good things.

Joshua said...

Just please tell me you're not at Kennestone Hospital. For some reason there is a nurse there that made my wife cry every time she came into the room and asked whey the baby wasn't with us. I snapped at her and the charge nurse. Sending a newborn to the NICU is bad enough without people constantly asking.

Good luck to you.