Wishing you courage

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow'."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Monday, July 14, 2008

Still not gardening

With my husband out of town last weekend my nightly, private cries continued. By day I stumbled through social commitments, puffy eyed, all the time one thoughtless comment away from sobbing. That sounds like I didn't have a fun weekend but there were really fun moments and really sad moments. Stupid emotional roller coaster.

A grumpy rant
Two expecting friends have expressed, in my presence, how unnecessary they consider prenatal screening. The perceived (and INCORRECT) dangers, the high rate of false positives, and most gut wrenching, the fact that a poor prenatal diagnosis wouldn't matter to them.

"It doesn't matter if the baby has Down's".

Doesn't matter!!??

Regardless of issues of pregnancy termination I'd say few things matter as much as your baby having Down Syndrome or any other serious, life altering/threatening condition (Down Syndrome just seems to be the condition they are most familiar with, not knowing of other things that can go wrong).

"Oversensitive" may be an understatement for my feelings lately but I take great offense to opinions against prenatal screening said to me by people who know my baby was determined to be incompatible with life while in utero. But not because I'm so pro prenatal screening, it is a personal choice. But it feels like they are saying that not only are they immune to a poor prenatal diagnosis (unlike those poor saps whose babies are doomed, people for whom parenthood is just "not meant to be"), but also that they love their babies so much they could/would never interrupt their pregnancies. Seriously, do you not remember visiting me in the hospital last fall? When I went in pregnant and emerged 4 days later, a depressed, unstable wreck, with an empty uterus?

My wish is that all pregnancies end with a healthy baby and I'm so happy and relieved that my pregnant friends have healthy pregnancies so far. But the lack of empathy is surprising since they are only one bad ultrasound away from joining me in stunned sorrow. I think opinions against prenatal testing is a topic that should just not be discussed with me.

I cheered myself up with superhero-hood daydreams. The cause: generation of compassion in expectant parents toward deadbaby mama's, in particular those whose babies received a lousy prenatal diagnosis. Weapon of choice: Jizo statue head. Outfit: none - not as in naked (especially with the pregnancy weight gain I haven't bothered to lose), rather no costume changes are needed; the compassion smack down can occur in whatever I happen to be wearing. Like in this tea party outfit.

Of course the Jizo head thwack will be metaphorical to avoid assault charges, and the head is rather heavy to carry around constantly. I imagine this will involve an educational component as I correct misconceptions and depending on my mood a heavy guilt trip with tears.

On a different note, a happier note in an odd way, today I was interviewed for the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. I collected all of my pregnancy records and spent an hour and a half on the phone for the interview. I'm so relieved that somebody cares about my son and my family's loss. He is being counted. There are 9 states included in the study and I'm not sure if all pregnancies and infants with diagnosed birth defects in these states are included or if a sample is selected. I was contacted by them and I don't know if it's possible to be included in the study if they have not contacted you.


debbie said...

Less than two weeks after my termination, a good friend, slash that, a formerly good friend who had just recently told me she was pregnant, called everyone we know, except for me, to poll them about their opinions on pre-natal screening. It was so odd on so many levels. I thought the only person who could ask someone to weigh in on their own deeply personal decision is someone who truly thinks nothing could ever go wrong with their pregnancy. This would be a truly absurd standpoint as she was clearly aware of my experience.

After a little more thought and some serious friend fumbles on her part, I eventually came to the conclusion that she's just stupid and we're no longer friends. You're far more kind than me.

Oh, and I just noticed my blog in your list. Aside from my husband's constant flow of kindness, I think that is the nicest thing anyone's done for me in a long time. I feel so honored. Thank you.

Carrie said...

Personally I vote that you should give a Jizo thwack to the head of the man who asked you to shop with his wife and then one to her!!! You are one STRONG woman, IMO.

I found you through your comment left on "Trying to live life" at