Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Why and How

Why blog this?

I am a very private person. So the decision for me to blog this journey out here in the world wide web was not an easy one to make. I decided to keep this blog for several reasons:
  1. I want a record of the story of Pip's quilt.
    I usually keep a private journal, but this way it's easier to share how the quilt is going with family and friends and people can choose to visit whenever they feel like for an update, as opposed to me bombarding them with updates that they may not want.

  2. Between the time of our second scan and while I was waiting for my natural miscarriage to occur, I tried to research what I could expect to happen. I found a lot of resources for D&C's and miscarriages, or as it's known in medical terms, "natural abortions". However, these were mostly factual documents, and while they are important and helpful, I wanted to hear from other women, couples and families who had experienced this themselves. I had a good idea of what might happen clinically, but I wanted to know more than that. So my hope is that by telling my story and what happened for us, it may help others out there who like me are looking for something more.

  3. This is my way of talking about the hopes and dreams we had for our baby. Most parents love talking about their children, as parents-to-be,even though we were only just newly expectant parents, we had our own hopes and dreams for our family. Every piece of this quilt has a meaning and in that meaning, is a reflection of our love for our baby girl.

  4. Why did you call this blog "Heart's Piece"?
    Well, truth be told, "Heart's peace" was already taken. But then that's a really good thing that it was, because I think this name reflects the true identity of this blog a lot clearer. This blog is ultimately about my journey to healing, which I mostly envision will be through the making of Pip's quilt. So like a quilt, every little piece of fabric matters and is usually carefully picked to complement the finished product as a whole. Every little blog post (some are nice posts, others are downright ugly), or every little piece will be one piece closer towards completing the picture of my journey to healing.

How do I behave around someone who has had a miscarriage?

Most people mean well. But sometimes people just don't know what to say or how to behave. I thought it may be helpful to share a couple of comments on this from our own experience.

  • Please don't call my baby "it"
    Even though it was too early to tell, using the medical technology we have today, whether our baby was a boy or a girl, in our hearts, we had no doubt that Pip was a girl. My mother strongly believes Pip was a boy, but my husband and I both felt very strongly that she was a girl right from the start. I don't know how we knew, but we just had "a feeling". We gave her the nickname Pip because when my pregnancy was confirmed with a bloodtest, she was the size of an apple pip. Our baby wasn't a "thing" that just happened to be inside me. She was a living, growing person. Until the day she stopped living and growing. Nothing is more insulting to her memory than to treat her like she was a non-entity. So please, don't call my baby "it".

  • Don't tell me, "At least you know you can fall pregnant. You can always have another baby!"
    Actually, I don't know that. No one knows for sure. While there is no medical reason why we can't have a baby, plenty of couples in the world have difficulties conceiving when there is no known medical reason why they don't fall pregnant when they try. There is no guarantee that we will have another baby. When we were trying to conceive, all I wanted was a baby. Now that we have fallen pregnant and lost our baby, all I want is my baby back. The thing most people fail to understand is I don't just want any baby. I want my baby and I want her back. That is something that is never going to happen. So please understand that while I know this comment is coming from a space of love, with the intention to encourage, it often has the opposite effect and can be very hurtful.

  • Do talk about my baby and ask questions
    I am happy to talk about my baby and about my experience to people whom I feel are being respectful. Yes, I know my baby no longer lives, but most of the people I have met who are experiencing a similar loss and who are grieving it are only too happy to talk about the little ones they have loved and lost. I don't know why (yet) we had this experience, but maybe by talking about our journey, we will find out why.

  • When offering advice, please think if it's appropriate first
    While this sounds very obvious, we had a well meaning person enter our home and tell us how we could "get rid of it" by activating certain pressure points in the body. This person had also experienced miscarriages and while I am very sorry for that, I don't think they understood where our hearts were and what we needed at the time. I wanted to keep my baby with me for as long as I could have her. I understand that not everybody gets that. Waiting for a natural miscarriage to happen was my choice. What I did not need was someone offering advice that was inappropriate to us. So please think if what you're about to say is appropriate. If you're not sure, go with the safe option and keep it to yourself. 

  • This poem says it better than I could, so please read it if you really want to know how...

    Somebody said it was all for the best; 
    That something was probably wrong.
    Somebody said it was meant to be.
    Different verse, same miserable song.

    Somebody said,"You can have another!"
    As if that would make it alright.
    Somebody said,"It was not a real child."
    Somebody's not very bright.

    Somebody thinks it is helpful
    To say when grieving should end.
    Somebody showed their true colors.
    Somebody isn't a friend.

    But somebody said,"I'm sorry"
    And sat quietly by my side.
    And somebody shared my sorrow
    And held my hand when I cried.

    And somebody always listened
    And called my lost baby by name.
    And somebody understood
    That I'd never again be the same.

    ~Gwen Flowers~
  •  Links
    10 ways to support the person in your life who has just lost a baby
  • Another mum's perspective on what not to say

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