Thursday, March 6, 2008

What about our living children?

I have read a lot of blogs lately that mention the fact that many people not in our "club" are so clueless, and never, ever think it could happen to them. This is very true, I honestly don't think anyone in my life since my loss, has thought, "gee, that could have been/could be me".

Then I had this thought- what about our living children if we are lucky enough to have them? I guess I started thinking about it because my l/c is a girl, and there is a good chance she will want children and if she is lucky, become pregnant one day. She won't be able to claim ignorance, after all, it happened to her mom. And because I imagine she will know details of my pregnancy loss, she won't be able to think the thing many people do to protect themselves, you know, the "there must have been something wrong with baby/mom/both of them" that lets them continue to believe it won't happen to them.

Now, I know there are women out there whose moms have suffered a loss. I wonder though if the way society handles it now compared to then will make a difference. We dead baby moms talk about it more, and many of us include our babies in our family, so our living children know about the sibling and the loss. Not so true just a generation ago even. There is a woman in my support group whose mom had a stillbirth and this woman did not even know that until she suffered the loss of her own newborn daughter. I find it touching that at the walk to remember, this woman always walks not only for her daughter, but her sister too.

I wonder, if baby girl A ever is pregnant, how will her pregnancy be? Of course I think she will be thrilled and excited, but will she have that bouncy innocence so many of us had before and so many women have now? I hope that she doesn't let her knowledge take away her joy (after all, she isn't the one who experienced it) but I do hope that knowledge lets her be more watchful, careful, and assertive with her doctors. And that, should the worst happen, she will know she wants the pictures and momentos.


CLC said...

It's sad how women were treated after they lost their babies only a generation ago. I guess we can be thankful (?) to live in this time and at least get to grieve our babies openly.

As for your daughter, given the fact that she did not experience the direct loss herself, I would imagine that she will still feel joy should she ever get pregnant. I think she will be just more aware, not naive like the people who have been untouched by loss. Sometimes the thought of getting pregnant again even excites me, and I've been there. I know it will be a whole different ball game this time, but I would like to think that I can think positively and hope for the best, rather than assume the worst. Although I am sure that's a lot easier said than done. What about you? Did you feel any moments of joy during your pregnancy with A.?

Julia said...

You know, Monkey did witness it happening, and she is deeply affected by it now. I hadn't considered a pregnancy question for her and I now wonder what it will be like for her. Probably different than for any subsequent children I might have.

Here's a thought, though-- maybe by then technology will be so much better that with proper health care the number of dead babies will be so much less than it is today that our daughters will be able to truly worry about a much smaller number of things than we do these days. I'll drink to that.

Monica H said...

My mom's first child (my sister)was stillborn. I always knew this, but wasn't any less excited when I was pregnant. It wasn't because I didn't think it would happen to me, but because the thought never crossed my mind. I just thought our circumstances were different. And I didn't really know any details of her loss. She didn't and still hasn't really said much about my sister who died 31 years ago. Maybe it was just her generation and she felt like she couldn't, but even after all these years, still nothing. I worry about my subsequent children, but I also worry about my sister now. She's 22 and although she says she doesn't want children, she could change her mind in a few years. I worry about how her body will react to a pregnancy. Will she be okay, or will she lose her baby as my mother and I have? Will these thoughts ever cross her mind?

loribeth said...

Interesting. I knew that people lost babies -- my best friend's mom lost one of twins, & was one of the first people to call when my daughter was stillborn -- but it seemed like it was something from another era, that modern medicine had made pregnancy loss (especially late-term & neonatal loss) a rare occurrence. Boy, was I in for a shock. :( I wonder if the next generation will have similar thoughts -- it was something that happened in Mom's time, but we've come so far these days... I pray that will be the case, but somehow, I doubt it. :(

Tash said...

I think that the conditions for losing children even just a generation ago were so different -- if your child was born prior to 36 weeks, there was enormous risk, and usually death, just as an example. (These days, a lot of women in the risk categories are overjoyed to make it to 28, such are NICUs.) Point being, I think it's rarer now, hence the "it won't happen to me" attitude, and hopefully in the future, it will be rarer still.

I'm in a slightly different boat, that my daughter may have to worry about a funky recessive gene. Funky enough that she probably doesn't need to worry that her partner will be the 1:billion or whatever that will trigger a deadbaby, but . . . .at some point we'll have to tell her. Not sure how that will effect things. But it's something I think about constantly.

Tricia said...

I had not thought about this yet...but I think more because I don't even want to picture my living children having sex let alone pregnant.

Although I know it reduces innocence, I would rather my sister...really anyone...go through pregnancy with knowledge and if the worst does happen, hopefully less guilt then I carry with me today.

Amy said...

My Grandmother and my fiances Grandmothers first born sons were both "blue" babies. My uncle would be sixty plus years old (not that I don't have his exact bday written down, I do I'm just too lazy to get it!) And my fiances uncle would be about 70 now. Our Grandmothers had to "pretend" that it didn't happen. My uncle lived for 2 days and my Gma never got to see him. She has 1 picture that the hospital took. I'm not sure about S's Gma. I'll have to look into family history. Like CLC said I guess we should be thankful for the time in which we live. At least we got to spend time with our babies and we have support such as this.

As for your daughter, I hope that she has knowledge but can also still be blissfull too! I know she will never be ignorant to what can happen but with luck and maybe by her time research to prevent such horrors will be in place! Wishful thinking I know but hey!

mj said...

Here from Tash's blog. I have mostly been thinking about how this grief journey is forever for my 2 girls. They are old enough (4 and 6) to fathom the loss, and misses their baby brother, and I have seen how their grieving had changed over the past 8 months. It kills me to know for the rest of their lives they will still know this loss. For the pregnancy part, I sort of think how I handle this next pregnancy (hopefully it happens soon and goes well) will also affect how they feel in the future. I can only keep my fingers crossed.
And yes, I will drink too to Julia's proposal/prediction.

Seven_Shades_of_Red said...

I think about this too!!! I have 2 DDs and I constantly wonder if they'll be fertile and have healthy, live babies. They're only 3 and 1 right now! At least I don't feel so weird for thinking about it when they aren't even pubescent yet!!!