Motherhood

I hate when people say,

“On (insert baby’s due date)
I’m going to be a mother/father.”

I saw it on a new reality tv show recently, too,
when a woman was giving birth.

The midwife said,
apparently as encouragement,

“In 5 minutes,
you are going to be a mother””

I was a mother
long before I gave birth to
Malou.

It’s insulting to think anything else.

Giving birth to a living baby
isn’t the only way to be a mother.

Motherhood
in my opinion
can come in many forms…

from adoption to fostering
to miscarriage and stillbirth.

***

I wrote the above
last week
and yesterday I again saw
the tv show
I mentioned…

I’m starting to think
I shouldn’t watch it.

A little boy
was born,
he came out
floppy and blue.

My heart dropped
and Tom heard me gasp,
and stopped to watch it too.

We sat there,
with tears in our eyes,
not breathing…
hoping the baby would make it.

The parents on the show
didn’t seem too concerned
but we were.

We saw the doctors
working on the little boy,
helping him to breathe.

Finally
he gave a little cry.

And Tom said to me,
I’m scared to have
another baby.

Me, too.

I’m also afraid
to continue watching this show.

Because
I am afraid they will show
a baby born still.

I used to be angry
when tv or movies
would only portray happy endings…

but now
I don’t want to see
a sad ending
either.

I guess I am hard to please.

But, as Tom said,
we’ve seen enough with
Malou.

We don’t want to see any more
dead babies.

We don’t want any baby,
anywhere,
to be born dead
ever again.

And I know that’s
not realistic.

And that’s when
I come full circle again
(my circle tends to be
anger-fear-sadness
in terms of grief)…

for some reason,
our world doesn’t prioritize
dead babies.

I know everyone
has a cause near and dear to their heart…
but
I really don’t see how
acknowledging
a baby’s birth
(even when they die…
did you know most parents
come home with a death certificate
but no birth certificate?)
or
creating a national
(or better yet international)
database of autopsy results
to try to discover
WHY
so many babies are stillborn
every single year
should be so difficult,
to do or to understand.

The difficult part
is going home without
your future.

***

Wishing peace to all the
mothers and fathers
out there
who are parenting a memory
and
nurturing a hope.

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Published in: on September 29, 2010 at 09:18  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Agree with every word, as always.
    Interestingly, I got a birth certificate, but no death certificate. Because according to the way we look at it, she never died because it happened before she was born. The certificate has “STILLBORN” slapped across the top of it, just to make sure everyone knows she wasn’t a real baby, and I didn’t really become a mummy in that moment.
    xo

  2. I think I know that tension between the hatred on the perpetual round of happy endings and not wanting to see any other kind. Not another sad ending. I’ve seen my own happen and I know of far, far too many.

    It is such a strange thing. My daughter was a beautiful little baby in my eyes but she was born so soon that many would not consider her a human. In the UK, she could have still been aborted legally. Technically my pregnancy ended in miscarriage but, because she lived for ‘so long’, she was issued a birth and death certificate. I would have been heartbroken if her sister had a birth certificate and not her. So she had one. And it seems bizarre that Malou and Hope don’t when they were so much closer as it were. Heartbreakingly so.

    Don’t really know what I am trying to say but you are right, it shouldn’t be so hard.

  3. Sounds an interesting program. I love shows like this but always fell everything too, tears in my eyes, heart in my mounth etc. but want the happy ending. Unfortunately we cannot always have that. Yes you have had enough sadness in that area and have been through it all. Now, thankfully, you have a happy little son whom we all adore. I WILL meet him in the not too distant future!
    Love
    Carolyn

  4. I just came across your blog from a friend of mine who follows and I want to thank you for writing. This post in particular but all that I have read are so beautiful. I have experienced 2 miscarriages in the past year and while they were fairly early on I still am greiving every day. I don’t have any babies, but I feel like a mother and this post helped me feel like that’s okay.

  5. Hi Liz,
    It’s so nice of you to comment. I’m glad my writing could help you even a little bit.
    I truly believe you are a mother to two babies…of course it is natural to grieve that they didn’t make it. Having a living baby won’t make you forget about your miscarried babies I’m sure, but having a physical person to heap all that motherly love you have will hopefully help. I wish that for you soon – a happy, healthy pregnancy and child.
    xo
    Stephanie


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