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Posts Tagged ‘Stillborn’

Confession: When I was pregnant or trying to conceive, I hated hearing stories about pregnancy loss and stillbirth. It wasn’t just because I felt sad for the families involved (though I certainly did); I wanted to pretend that such losses didn’t happen to women like me — those who went for regular sonograms, took prenatal vitamins and avoided risky behavior. Hearing stories of tragic loss spoiled my happy delusion.

Two miscarriages and a stillbirth later, much has changed, yet much remains the same. I am now the woman whose story many prefer not to hear. Mention of my baby can silence a room. I am a painful reminder of the fragility of nascent life. For some, it is easier to resort to platitudes, pity or a quick change of topic than to listen to what I am feeling or what I’ve been through.

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To tell this story is to tell its end first. On Sept. 1, 2012, Makenna, the only child of Heather Thompson and Geoff Duff of Alexandria, Va., was born dead. She had been alive in her mother’s womb on Aug. 30, but no heartbeat could be found the next day. Her umbilical cord had knotted, then wrapped around her neck, and, at 39 weeks, she was stillborn. Until her baby’s heartbeat could not be found, Thompson says, the pregnancy had been medically uneventful.

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Marirosa Anderson was still sweating from a workout when her cell phone rang at 8:20 p.m. on Nov. 11, a particularly cold night in northern Virginia. Anderson had planned to spend the evening with her husband and two small children. Then she saw the caller-ID number. She took a deep breath, readied herself and answered the phone. Karen Harvey, a labor-and-delivery nurse at Inova Fairfax Hospital, gave her the rundown. A baby was about to be delivered by C-section and the parents wanted photographs. Could she come right over?

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The Nursery

Quite often I find myself standing outside the door.
A folded crib against the wall closet of clothes that were to be yours
Sometimes, I turn away before the hurt sinks in
Other times, I open my aching heart just to feel…

If you were here would you be asleep or awake, hungry, wet, or dry
I have these things to care for you
They remain packed away and I wonder why
For now you sleep away from me
Perhaps in a better place

I carried you with a heart full of love
Full of dreams, hopes and what would be
I wanted an angel to look after,
instead I have one looking after me

Grace, I love you and miss you, Your Mom

By Nancy Trunzo, In memory of Grace Isabella Stillborn at Term 9/21/99

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Two Years

Sometimes it still seems like yesterday
So many have walked up to me to say
You must be better
now that you’ve had another
They see him as a replacement
and not as Okilani’s new little brother.
She’s an older sister he will never know
But, that’s the way his life must go
Together we will never see them play
She won’t be there to share his special days
Right now he’s much too young to understand
but when he’s older, we’ll do the best we can
To let him know that the sister before him
Will always be loved and never forgotten.

Written by Crystal Suan-Olivarez, in loving memory of Okilani Keikialoha Stillborn at Term 10/6/94

And in memory of Keikilani Miscarried 6/98

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The Headstone

We stood in the rain,
One cold afternoon,
We stood at her grave,
Our lives in ruin.

Her name etched clearly,
For all to see,
We look at each other,
Our sweet Natalee??

We stood in the rain,
Our eyes filled with tears.
For our angel is gone,
For all the lost years.

The stone looked so dark,
Her name, so bright,
This isn’t a dream.
This happened that night.

We look at her headstone,
Our hearts full of pain,
Our baby is buried here,
We stood in the rain.

By Anne Musial In memory of Natalee Elizabeth
Stillborn at Term 12/26/99

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Invisible Wound

Life goes on
all around me.
Others don’t know,
nor do they see.
My silent pain
rages inside.
All I want to do
is cry and hide.
Tears are falling
like pouring rain,
cold rivulets
of icy pain.
My heart is empty
and it feels broke.
I try to talk,
but I just choke.
This inner pain
hurts so bad
as I think of all
we could’ve had.
My empty arms
ache to hold,
but all that’s felt
is bitter cold.
But life goes on
all around me.
Others don’t know,
nor do they see.

By Stephanie Marottek
for Amanda Joy – Stillborn March 2, 2000

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