Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stillbirth The Destroyer of Dreams

I've heard stillbirth being called the Destroyer of Dreams and its that and so much more. Here it is almost 10pm and I cant sleep as usual. My mind is going crazy so here I am.

To me stillbirth is more like, well picture it this way. Your life is a puzzle take the pieces and toss them in the air and put them back together. But one piece is missing. You will never be able to complete the puzzle without that piece. And not only are you missing a piece but you held on so tightly to those pieces that the edges are worn and jagged so putting it back together us impossible because it will never fit the way it was before. Yes that's exactly what stillbirth does.

It robs you of all the dreams you planned the past nine months or longer.

Getting the email or phone call weeks after the funeral from someone who hasn't heard the news, asking how the baby is? or how much longer till the baby is here? is crushing all over again.

The due dates that come and go. The day you had your baby will not be the only anniversary for yrs to come. It will be due dates, the day you found out your baby was dead, the day you delivered, the day you buried your little one, the actual day of the week of the loss or birth,
We vividly hold on to all those things because its all we have. I can tell you that the last time I felt Ethan move was Monday the 11th, I found out on Tuesday the 12th he had died, I had him on wed the 13th and I buried him on Monday the 18th. We don't forget we cant.

It takes the innocence and joy from future pregnancies. Because now you know the sad truth that getting past the first trimester is not the safe zone. The safe zone now is actually holding a baby in your arms.

But even then fear lurks around your every corner. Because stillbirth has implanted this thought into your head that something will rip away your every ounce of happiness.

You come to learn how cruel jokes about death are. Just hearing a joke about death makes you cringe.

You begin to talk about death as a common place thing/event. And it is but society doesn't work that way. But you know somewhere out there death is lurking around the corner. and you want to tell every pregnant woman you see, what to look out for.

You spend your nights trying to figure out a way to change the world, so you never have to hear of another family burying their baby.

Stillbirth robs you of the joy of everyday life. You do find joy again after months of gloom. But its never the same, because you know at any moment just when your feeling a high. That grief will knock you down and some days as hard as the day you found out you lost your little one.

Common place events are no longer common place. It takes strength and energy to face the world, attend a birthday party, see a little one in the grocery store the same age as your little one would have been.

Holidays are so different. Its no longer just Christmas its trying to figure out a way to honor your baby. And then of course the Pampers commercial to silent night comes on and your a emotional mess. The word silent now holds so much more meaning.

You live everyday to its fullest now, but with a heavy and scared heart because tomorrow may never come.

If you have other children you want to put them in a bubble because you know anything can happen at anytime.

You become lonely because people you knew are tip toeing around you, not knowing what to say and afraid if they say something you will cry. Not knowing you want more than anything for them to talk and listen, but at the same time you feel like a burden having to ask for someone to listen to you.

Your emotions will now always be at an all time high. You can be looking for a birthday card and happen to glance at one for a 1st birthday, a sympathy one that's looked like one you received, your child's name written on something. Then all of a sudden your crying.

You have more kleenex in the house than ever before.

If you have other children then having to decided whether or not when a stranger asks how many kids you have, whether or not to acknowledge your angel. Because by not you feel like your dishonoring your baby but by doing it the person will shy away like you have a disease.

Also with other children you now have to explain death in a way no parent should have to. Trying to find all the right ways to tell a young child without scaring them by saying something like "they were sick" or "they were sleeping", or lying.

For me having to prepare new teachers for my sons possible story of his brother if it comes up, and then seeing the look on their faces of either sadness or horror.

You either have friends that become even closer friends or you realize people you once thought of as friends leave and were never really friends at all.

You learn how petty things in life can be and decided to only make time for the important things.

I'm not saying that stillbirth only brings about bad things by any means but it does forever alter your world. But as a parent of a stillborn baby I wish it could be so much different.


  1. Angela... I wish deep in my heart that I had words that would heal your pain, words that would make any day easier or a night less sleepless. I don't know what it feels like to walk in your shoes and I don't have the words that will make everything seem ok, but I do love you, and I love Ethan and because of him, and because of you, the world is becoming a better place. You and Ethan are making an impact on the world, one family at a time, you are showing them that life does go on, and that no matter how hard it is, its going to be ok. Your pictures will help some other family get through the hard times. I hope you know that Ethan will never be forgotten and that he is proud of the mother he has, who is trying to make a difference in the world in his honor. The pictures and the things you do to educate people about stillbirth are amazing. I can only imagine that some nights are harder than others, and please know you can call me anytime day or night to talk... I love you, and all four of your amazing children. Huge hugs my sweet friend.

  2. I left a comment, then it took me somewhere else so I don't know if it went through. So I will say it again. Sorry if it did go through.
    It is not fair that you, along with so many others, have been given this journey/path that you must now walk. A journey with deep sorrow.
    ((HUGS)) I am so sorry.

    I wanted to thank you for becoming my 70th follower. I've been looking at the 69 and just feeling so old. I graduated HS in '69. Yes I am old and thankful for all the God has given me.