Didn't know what to say...

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krazykat's picture
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Didn't know what to say...

So on Thanksgiving, I spent the evening with some friends I met from a playgroup I joined. Both of their children were born within a week of mine, so it was pretty cool. The MIL and BIL were there as well, and it was a really great dinner.

We were sitting around talking afterwards and my friend's MIL was asking about Justus' birth, etc and I told her he was a planned HBAC turned transfer. So she says, "I planned a home birth with my first too." I thought to myself cool! And I said, "Really?" in a kindof excited voice. And she says, "Yeah, and he died." :eek: The room got really quiet, and I just said, "That's awful." She went on to tell me that she wished she had been in the hospital and utilized the equipment and expertise since the only reason she wanted a home birth was b/c she didn't like IVs or needles. Of course she has a million what-ifs even though it happened many years ago.

My poor friend sent me a text afterwards apologizing for what MIL said and hoping it didn't ruin the evening, but really I was honored that MIL was comfortable enough to discuss it with me. I didn't feel like she did it in a chastising or judging manner, but I just felt like she was sharing her experience.

My heart went out to her, but I just didn't know what to say. Things like that really affect me, especially now that I have my own children... I think of them and my heart just breaks.

abkinsey's picture
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I think you did the best thing anyone could do in that situation: listen and be there as a friend. Anytime someone loses a baby it's such a tragic thing and one of the most difficult things as a parent who has lost a child is when someone pretends they know what it is like when they have no clue. The very best thing is when people just have a ministry of presence and are there and listen. You did the very BEST thing, so good for you!

It is normal to feel a little uncomfortable or unsure of yourself and to have your own feelings on it. Let yourself have your own process with it.

Babies sometimes die no matter where they're born, unfortunately. It's one of those things we do not have control over and it's very hard to think about when we love these little ones so much.

I know a lot of women who have lost babies in the hospital and at home. Some babies die in hospitals that might not have died at home and others die at home that might not have died in a hospital. It really depends on the situation and there are risks no matter where a mama decides to deliver, so it's all about which risks a person would rather take on.

I know moms who lost babies in the hospital who insist on birthing at home because they feel the hospital was at fault. Others want to birth in the hospital again because they felt it afforded them every chance to try to save the baby. I know moms who lost babies at home who would never try a home birth again because they feel it was the lack of technology that cost their baby's life. Others felt that the baby would have died anyway and are grateful for the peace and quiet they were able to have at home. Yet others feel that the midwife didn't handle the birth properly and choose another midwife with more experience for the next birth. Any of the above is so normal and I think it all comes down to the fact that it just seems so unfair when a sweet little baby dies. I try to trust and have faith that God has and is using that little life to touch people.

Thanks for being such a good friend to your friend. I'm sure that means more to her than you know.

krazykat's picture
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"abkinsey" wrote:

Any of the above is so normal and I think it all comes down to the fact that it just seems so unfair when a sweet little baby dies. I try to trust and have faith that God has and is using that little life to touch people.

Thanks for being such a good friend to your friend. I'm sure that means more to her than you know.

Thanks for your encouragement. What you said is all so true!

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its hard to know and understand if it makes a difference in any given situation. thats a call nobody can make, sometimes even in hindsight.

I'm sure i would greive for a time in either situation- if i had a homebirth and lost the baby or if i had a hospital birth and the baby was whisked away and i missed an integral part of the experience- and if the baby did survive there is always the chance and fear of complications or defects that cannot be avoided. I cannot make the call to say that i'd choose either way but each choice has its own benefits and risks.

Just like vaccines- they say OMG you didnt get the flu shot, what if you get sick and DIE from the flu!?!?!? well, that would suck. and it would suck if i got in a car crash too. and it would suck if i felt like i was compromising my personal beleifs on the small chance that IF i get the strain of the flu that the vaccine is designed for, that i will get really sick vs just a little sick or that i will have complications from it. i'd rather count on the rest of a healthy lifestyle than a prediction of what the most prevalent strains could possibly be this year.

mandora's picture
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I echo what the others said. Good for you for just listening. She probably doesn't have a lot of other home-birthers to commiserate with, and probably has second guessed her experience and felt tons of guilt over the 'what ifs' over the years. Probably just having someone who could understand and listen without judgment meant the world.

And what others said is true - we've become so dependent on the idea that babies are safe and birth is safe (we are SO lucky to be in a developed country/countries where this is usually true), that we forget that every birth has the potential for a negative outcome, no matter what. I know that's something I had to make peace with before I could feel comfortable homebirthing (and attending other births in a support capacity), but it's unfortunately so AWFUL when you learn about it first hand.

TyrantOfTheWeek's picture
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I know of lots of loss mamas that have lost babies in the hospital for whatever reason. And like a pp has said, it sucks. Death sucks and unfortunately it knows no age.