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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Loss is a Loss is a Loss.

It's funny how people categorize losses. Like, if you lose a parent, the pain couldn't possibly compare to that of losing a spouse, but the pain of losing a spouse, of course that doesn't come anywhere close to losing a child. And don't even get started on random friends or second cousins, those really don't count at all.
And the baby loss. The baby loss is something that is also set into categories. If you lose a baby in the first trimester, it doesn't count at all, the second...well, that's sad, but it couldn't touch losing a child in the third trimester, and none of it compares to losing a child that was born and lived a few days or months, maybe even years.
This is the loss competition and I don't want to play.
It's hard to have a stillborn child. It's hard because I had hopes and dreams for my baby and they will never happen. It's hard because so many people believe that somehow it shouldn't hurt me as much as if I had met her, outside the womb, alive. If she had lived for five minutes, that would validate her life for some people. Others feel that unless you have had time to really get to know a child, it doesn't count. I mean, how can you miss someone you never actually met?
A woman that lost a child that had lived for a while, maybe even a few years, commented that it must be harder for a woman that loses a baby before seeing them outside the womb, to never see them smile or see their eyes open from that slumber.
I say, it IS hard, it's the hardest thing I have ever experienced, but it's not HARDER.
Today I spoke to a woman and she told me that she had miscarried at 10 weeks. For a lot of people, this may not be a big deal. For a lot of people that have never been there, this woman has no right to feel the same loss as a mother that has lost a child in the second or third trimester, or after birth. This woman though, as I spoke to her, I understood that her pain was just as real and just as valid as mine.
I have never thought otherwise, but this really put it into perspective for me. I have spoken a lot about my hopes and my dreams for my daughter and this woman who lost her baby at 10 weeks, made me really see, how similar we are. She told me that her baby was to be born in August, her first summer baby, she said finally a summer baby. She called the baby "he" and added that that's what she liked to think of him as. She told me that she never got to feel her baby kick, but he was real to her.
It made me so sad that she had to qualify her statement with "to me" Her baby was real and her pain is real.
All of our pain and all of our loss, it's not a competition. It's certainly not a competition I would want to win. In pregnancy, when you are excited and you have hopes and dreams, your loss hurts horrifically, no matter how far along you are.
We don't need to categorize our losses, we need to understand that no matter who you lose, it hurts and the degree of that pain depends not on who you lost or how, but who your are as a person.

8 comments:

  1. A loss is definitely a loss, no matter what. I know many people who had early & late losses, but their feelings are all the same. Thinking of you.

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  2. Thank you. This means alot to me.

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  3. I totally agree. There are a lot of women on BBC who apologize for complaining about a baby they lost early on when there are others who have actually had a baby live and then die. I always tell them a loss is a loss. I KNOW that if I had lost my baby at 10 weeks I would definitely feel the same way I feel now...like complete shit and I hate that we feel like we have to validate our feelings. So sorry for people that categorize our losses and make us feel unworthy of feeling sadness. Thinking of you and every other person that has endured a loss.

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  4. Very well said Melissa.
    I believe that our Spirits are eternal, meaning we have no ending but we also had no beginning. I fully believe that we knew each other as Spirits before we were born and knew what family we would be sent to, etc.
    When I was trying to cope with the pain and loss I felt after losing my son even though I had never felt him kick and didn't even know that he was a he until I gave birth, I realized that it is so hard because my Spirit knows and loves him. Our Spirits are connected and always will be, so my Spirit was grieving a very real and profound loss. This knowledge was comforting to me because even though I never met him as a living, breathing outside of the womb human, I still know him.
    Hope that makes sense.

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  5. Well put. The other day on BBC someone brought this up and I was quite disgusted with what some people were saying. A LOSS IS A LOSS IS A LOSS.

    My daughter lived for 10 weeks in utero. I knew the moment she died. My suffering is hard. Losing her and still carrying her sister, that's harder.

    This is a beautiful post. You should repost it in your journal on BBC. I seriously want to copy and paste it to my blog :) (i want, it's just that good though)

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  6. I really needed to read this today. My heart hurts with the constant grief competition. I am sick of people, including those very close to me, comparing losses. Twice in the last week I have had people give me the "It could have been worse" statements. I didn't ask them if it could have been worse. I didn't ask them to compare.

    And you know what? I lost my child. There is no way that it could have been worse.

    Thank you.

    Daisy Li--Gabriel's Mama <3

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  7. Having miscarried in the early 1st tri, and then losing second tri babies who lived for a little while, I agree. The pain of having a child die- no matter their age- is devastating and incomparable.

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