Newborn class

“Have you singed up for childbirth classes?” I asked.

“Yeah, we signed up for a bunch- the labor class and hospital tour. Oh and the newborn class!  You know, the one where they teach you how to keep you baby alive?” she said with a little laugh.

The fun little repertoire we had going came to a standstill.  It wasn’t her fault; she didn’t know my newborn had died.  I could see a little confusion on her face as her chummy midwife suddenly became all business.

“Which arm do you want your flu shot in?”

SiIlly me, I only signed up for labor classes.  I hadn’t taken the newborn class.  Do you think if I did, I would have been able to keep my baby alive?


Are there jokes you once easily laughed at that you don’t find funny anymore?




10 thoughts on “Newborn class

  1. Oh, truly, i can’t imagine how you face that kind of situation on a daily basis. Sounds really painful at times.

    I am not sure about jokes but i react a lot stronger than before to the kind of comments like “parenting is difficult. If you keep your baby alive and fed, you’re doing fine”. I didn’t agree with that kind of statement before, but since i didn’t have children, i didn’t feel the legitimacy to respond. But as i was pregnant, i researched breastfeeding, baby-wearing, alternative parenting, stimulating bedroom environment, thinking i wouldn’t be happy with the bare minimum, that i wanted a happy, loved, intelligent, curious baby. And then, despite all my research and reading and caring, i couldn’t keep my baby alive. It keeps me up at night. Trying to figure out where i went wrong.

    • Thank you for your validation. I have lots of little scenarios like this everyday and I just want to share them with people who can understand. my mind just spins! thank you.

      I had similar feelings regarding raising children before I had one, but often remained silent or tried to be more diplomatic because I too felt I had the legitimacy to respond with full opinions. Now I have even stronger opinions about some things, but feel I can’t share them because, the “do you have kids?” question will come up and i’ll have to say she died.

      We should get awards for preparation- I felt similarly in preparing for a child with Down Syndrome- simply the act of not terminating, but also all the conferences, research, reaching out to people- I felt like i should be rewarded with a baby. I see people not doing any preparation at all go home with babies all the time. it’s cruel that we worked so hard and had our babies taken.

  2. I used to say (oh so casually) ‘well, we didn’t kill the first one, we’re much more lax with the second one, we call it second child syndrome (SCS).’ The irony of my words now. I would now probably blog about the past me and what a %^&$#%^ I am!

  3. Of course – and I should have taken cervical competence 101. Or something.
    I continue to be amazed by how you manage to do your job given your loss. While I do remember both H and myself being annoyed by silly jokes from colleagues in the first months after we went back to work, I don’t remember any specifics (nothing baby-related though). It all just seemed so irrelevant.
    However, I am glad I’m not big enough for anyone to ever casually ask whether I’m sure I’m not having twins…

  4. I don’t know about jokes, but I’m definitely less sympathetic with people who are over-exuberant mommies! Like our friend who is considering a new nanny because hers will not write out lesson plans for activities with her 8-month old. My wife and I were like (in our heads) seriously?! You care about something as inconsequential as lesson planned activities for an 8-month old? And you’re telling your “problems” to a couple whose baby – would would be 9-months old – died?

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