As many of you know, last weekend we were at birthing classes all weekend at the hospital where we will be having Caleb sometime in the next four weeks(!). They were helpful, we saw a lot of videos of births and learned about some possible situations that folks might not be expecting (e.g. emergency c-section). But, for anyone who has experienced a miscarriage, infant loss or stillbirth, there’s an obvious elephant in the room: your baby could die.
I apologize for the Debbie Downer vibe of this post, but that’s the reality that we don’t talk about. Life is incredibly fragile, precious and should never be taken for granted. And I suppose it’s primarily those who have gone through infant loss for whom this reality is all the more potent.
Everything has gone really, really well for us this pregnancy. Our doctor doesn’t have any particular concerns. Things should go ahead as planned. But, now that we know so many people who have lost babies, that’s still in the back of our minds. It has to be. I don’t know how you get that out of your head. We met people at our grief support group whose babies were stillborn. Everything perfect for 40 weeks, and then…something just happened that wasn’t supposed to happen.
Miscarriages, stillbirths and other forms of infant loss are incredibly common today (just browse through some of the stories on the Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope website)…and yet it’s still something we’re uncomfortable talking about.
We didn’t get into any in depth conversations with the others who were at the classes, but looking around, I just knew I didn’t want people to go through what we went through, and what so many others have gone through before. I wanted them to at least be prepared for the possibility that something could go wrong…very wrong.
But that’s not what we want to talk about.
I don’t know, what do you all think? Is it appropriate to broach such topics at birthing classes so people will be prepared? Or is that the job of the OB/GYN toward the beginning fo the pregnancy, to set realistic expectations? Getting pregnant, in most cases, is such a joyous occasion, and I understand why people don’t want to talk about it. But I don’t think that helps us for when tragedy strikes and there is such a general unease about the topic in general. Thoughts?