Monday, May 14, 2012

Some Things Do Get Better

The more blogs I visit, the more I realize that some things do get better.

I remember (way back when) talking to my neighbor who told me about her experience having a baby who lived a few hours after being born. Back in the 1970s, it was different in labor and delivery. After her baby was born, they took the baby away to live its last few hours alone. My friend never got to hold her baby. How sad is that?

A loss like this is hard to endure, but it's so much better now that hospital policy allows mothers and fathers to hold the baby, name the baby, dress the baby, and be with the baby for those precious last moments of life. I know it would have helped my friend.

Later, I had a miscarriage between 15-20 weeks. My husband and I didn't get to hold the baby, but the doctor did let us see him for a few moments. The reasoning here was that tests needed to be done to make sure there wasn't something that would prevent us from having other children. It was weird, and I wanted to have a funeral, but it wasn't done back in the early 1980s. I don't know if that's changed, but I hope so.

Instead of a funeral, we had a memorial service a week later. Our pastor was very supportive and let us choose the scriptures and songs that helped us. He incorporated them into the service. Not that we had that many friends and family, but the church was packed. My sister observed that scattered around the church were several women who sat alone and seemed to be crying. I knew a little about a couple of them, but some were new to us. Our theory was that these women may have had miscarriages or abortions but never had a chance to grieve the loss. It was an acknowledgement and release for them.

It's still hard to endure the loss of a baby and that doesn't change ever. But it's much better now that mothers and fathers who wish to are allowed to hold their little ones and grieve properly

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