Sunday Synopsis

10 types of disenfranchised grief– though the list addresses miscarriage and abortion, I’m going to argue that babyloss in general should be counted.  Though, in a weird way, I consider myself “lucky” in the babyloss world (hah!), because my daughter technically lived for 6 hours and thus gets some recognition for life, I also feel disenfranchised because few people met her, so she wasn’t real to them. Plus she had birth defects, and I constantly worry that people think she was worth less because of them.  And then there are those who lost babies to stillbirth- the same kind of disenfranchised grief.  And those whose babies lived only inthe NICU.  When it comes down to it, people listen easily when people talking of their parents,  or grandparents dying, but nobody likes to hear about a dead baby.

64 things about grief– do you agree? anything else you’d add to the list?

Grief Gifts Guide– What do you think?  Did you get any gifts like these for the holidays?  Did you get anything else that you would add to the list?

Confessions of a burnt out physician– Though this might not resonate with those non-providers out there, I hope it can help bring some understanding.  I do love so many aspects of my job, but the intense timing of it is not one of them. I’m given 15 minutes to see patients- whether it’s a simple fetal heart rate check or discuss their recent miscarriage.  It’s not a lot of time.  It does force me to put up some barriers and boundaries, which is not how I envisioned practicing when I enrolled in midwifery school.  ah, reality.  I also post this because I know many of you have had difficult experiences with your providers.  This is not an excuse for bad behavior, but perhaps can provide insight into the pressures at work.  I remember a patient being ticked about waiting 45 min for her routine prenatal.  I wanted to tell her, “I’m sorry I’m running late,  but I just spent all that time talking to the patient before you who is carrying a baby that is going to die.” I couldn’t and didn’t, so I simply apologized.  Sometimes the stress of closely packed patients can make some providers even leave the profession.

Experiences which expanded my empathy  I find babyloss has certainly expanded my empathy in many ways.  I am much more sensitive to loss in general, especially at work.   Though, sadly, I also find some situations harder to find empathy as well.  You?

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6 thoughts on “Sunday Synopsis

  1. My MFM is always late – because he takes the time each patient needs. (My first meeting with him, a few weeks after the twins were born, took 90min. Luckily it was the last appointment of the day, and everyone was long gone by the time we left.) I imagine not every provider or practice can “get away” with this, but I greatly appreciate it. After many visits I was sent these customer satisfaction type questionnaires, often starting out with the question whether I was seen within 15min of my appointment time. I always made a point of including why [I think] he is late, hoping that whoever evaluates these answers will see that time is not the only, or most important, variable here.

    • I’m so glad you had that experience with your MFM. In my experience (and maybe others have had different) MFM can often get away with it- their job is often dealing with the difficult. yes, some less complicated or happier outcome pts go through them and when they complain to me about their wait times there for their ultrasounds, I explain why they are probably waiting. that usually helps pts understand.

    • right? when your grief doesnt fall into a neat category- as you know with Paul. there should be a category for a perfectly healthy baby that dies for no reason (in the same way there should be a category for babies that we carry with life limiting conditions). The kind of grief that makes people very very uncomfortable.

  2. Hi Meghan,
    I found your blog through Roo’s site and have been reading your story for over a year now. Although I have no kids yet, the story of you and Mabel has made a deep impact on me and I feel I have learned a lot from you. Recently, an acquaintance of mine had a baby who was born still. I struggled with what to write to her, as I wanted to avoid all the well-meant but possibly offensive lines that people fall back on when addressing someone who is grieving. I thought of you and remembered how much you appreciated it when people talk about Mabel and use her name. I wrote to her of her son, using his name, and talking about certain traits I imagined in him given his journey to that point. I worried maybe it sounded weird. But when she finally responded, she thanked me and said I was the only one who had acknowledged him as a person, that it was hurtful when people said ‘it will work out next time’ because any future children don’t make up for *his* life being lost. She thanked me for honoring him like that. And in turn I wanted to thank you, for giving me a better understanding of what it is like to lose a child, and showing me how to interact with a person who is going through that loss. Thank you for sharing your experience so honestly. And good luck and lots of strength to you as you continue your journey, especially as Mabel’s first birthday nears.

    • Gina, this warms my heart very much. And I”m sure it warms the heart of so many other loss moms on here. It is so lovely to read a comment from someone outside the community- to know we are reaching, helping, teaching. I am so so sorry your friend’s baby died. I am so impressed you reached out the way you did. I can imagine just how touched your friend must have been. I am constantly amazed by people, like you, who read and can empathize. thank you so much for sharing thins. ❤

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