"Self pity is our worst enemy, and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in the world."
- Helen Keller1880-1968, Blind and Deaf Educator

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Club No One Wants To Join

Women like me who have had premature preterm rupture of membranes (PPROM) have a cute little name we use- PPROM Queens. It kind of lightens up the reality of what happened. It almost sounds like a sorority except no one ever asked to join it.

I have encountered so many wonderful and caring women since I started this blog- for this I am ever so grateful. I have met women who have had almost the exact thing happen to them (not the puerto rico nightmare, but the PPROM part). I have come to know women who have experienced the many possible things that can sadly cause a pregnancy to end with "fetal demise." I have also met women who had normal pregnancies, only to watch their special babies die days or weeks after birth. No matter when or how it happened, we are bonded together in this surreal space. We are women who all experience that raw feeling- emptiness, dread, longing- and yearning for what might have been.

A woman with a dead baby- we sit together behind a curtain. I never even thought I would be part of this club and didn't really care to peak behind the curtain to see what was there.

I think that the whole topic makes people uncomfortable. What do you say to her? What if I say the wrong thing? Maybe I should leave her alone until she is ready- she knows I am here for her. All these concerns have the opposite effect that was intended. In fact, they actually increase the woman's loneliness and isolation. But even with all the support and love in the world, the road is a lonely one that must be travelled alone. I am on that road now and wonder where it will lead.

I am so open and ready to hear about how others have coped with this kind of loss. What can I do to get out of my own way so that I don't make Sally Ann's memory something that overwhelmingly pains me? I want to be able to think of her and smile, knowing that she gave me the most special of gifts-hope.

What suggestions do you women out there have for me? My enquiring mind wants to know.


Mrs. Spit said...

I think there are a number of problems with baby loss. As a society, we tend to be terrified of death. We live every day trying to defy or cheat death. We are frightened of it. When you come close to death, like being the mum of a baby that died, you become almost tainted. People have to confront the reality of death, and that frightens them.

If your child could die, and you did everything right, then surely their baby could die too. Sometimes that can be more than they could handle.

Travelwahine said...

I know what you mean, I remember driving to the hospital to deliver our baby, I turned to my husband and said, "I don't always want to cry and feel sadness when I talk about Ethan". After I said it, I meant it but wondered how that could ever be possible.

But it is. It just takes time, lots of tears and pain. But at times, when I think about him moving or kicking or just remembering being pregnant. I instantly get a smile on my face.

Natalie said...

Right from the start I worked on Devin's scrapbook and talked about him a lot. Talked about the good things. The good memories. I don't know, I've always been able to split it 50-50... to be able to talk about him with joy and not just always pain. Not sure how. My husband never quite got there.

The people that I've most treasured through it all were the ones who didn't hold back in saying things. The ones who didn't tip-toe around the topic and pretend it didn't exist just in case I'd feel sad. They're the ones who came up to me and said, "Oh my god, this is AWEUFL! I couldn't believe it! Do you want to talk about it? Did you give birth?" I loved that. I loved to talk about it, so it was easier when people didn't seem put off by me. It's getting harder now, 6 months later, when I'm encountering people who don't know. I think at this point it's a lot harder for people to know how to react when I tell them about it.

kkwg said...

I too am a PPROM Queen, just beginning my 4th round of IVF. Thank you for sharing your story. I admire your strength and look to you and those like you for inspiration to do that which seems impossible.