Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Dead Baby" (keep reading, you'll get it)

Not still feeling so p*ssy pants negative today, but I wrote this the other day and wanted to just throw it out there for your consideration.


Fetal Demise.

Those words rattle around in my mind almost every day. I hate those words with an unspeakable passion. They mean, under no uncertain terms, that something terribly tragic has happened.

Those are the words the radiologist used to describe what had happened to our baby on November 23rd in the ultrasound room at the hospital. After the ultrasound technician searched, without success, for a tiny heartbeat, she retrieved the radiologist. The radiologist searched, and searched, and searched again for that little heartbeat and couldn’t find it either. He turned off the machine, put down the “magic wand,” and turned to face us.

“I’m sorry to tell you this,” he said, brow all contorted in negativity,” but our suspicions have been confirmed by the fact that we cannot find a heartbeat. Your baby stopped developing at 13 weeks, 5 days. At this stage in pregnancy, we don’t use the term miscarriage. Instead, we use the tern fetal demise.” He said a couple of other meaningless things that I don’t remember, said he was sorry and then left the room.
That is when I grew to hate those two little words.

Think of it this way, sort of how I think about it, starting with the definitions for these two words straight from Meriam-Webster online:

Fetal: of, relating to, or being a fetus.
(Note: Fetus is defined as “an unborn or unhatched vertebrate especially after attaining the basic structural plan of its kind”)

Demise: Death. A cessation of existence or activity. A loss of position or status.

Here are my problems with these words:

Our baby was not a fetus. I have hated this word for as long as I can remember, because it’s harsh. It’s cruel. Our baby, just like any other, had a heart he would have fallen in love with. He had eyes, probably beautiful blue eyes (I say that based on how genetics work), that he would have seen this world with. He had ears, a nose, a mouth, 10 fingers and 10 toes, legs, arms, and the list goes on. He was a baby from the moment he was conceived. Our baby was NOT a fetus.

Demise is a horrible sounding word. It’s so… final. While I realize this situation is equally final, I already know my baby has died, so do you have to use that word? Tell me I’ve lost the baby. Tell me what to do next, but don’t use the “death” words.

Put fetal and demise together… you get baby dead. "Dead baby." Thanks… I get it. What a brilliant way to describe our precious Brody, who should still be with us today.

2 comments:

ryan said...

I love you baby!

Olive Lucy said...

christina- from one mother walking along this path to another. it gets easier i know it does not feel like it no where you are but it does. I often tell myself just because you are the mother of a dead baby does not make you less of a mother.

I decided to leave my comment on this post because this term is one of the hardest to swallow. But after nearly 6 months i can read it and say these words without venom rising in my throat. I understand that the medical profession needs to remain clinical, but i am also the first one to correct them when the refer to my loss as "fetal demise" i tell them why don't we call her Lucy we did give her a name. and then they realize and the agree ok Lucy it is.

Brody's life matters most in your heart and in you husbands heart. what is written on a hospital report or record means little in the grand scheme and as you remember him you will be comforted. IN time there will be NO word that is used to describe your child that will hurt less than these two. but there are many that can that will take away your pain. LOVED, MISSED, WANTED, CARED FOR you get the picture.

sending you many peaceful thoughts and wishing you peace, light and love on you journey toward healing and trying again.

~christine (Lucy's mom)

 
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