Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Glimmer of hope

"If you know someone who has lost a child, and you're afraid to mention [the child] because you think you may make them sad by reminding them that [their child] died-- you're not reminding them. They didn't forget [their child] died. What you are reminding them of is that you remembered that [their child] lived, and that is a great gift." -Elizabeth Edwards

This is so true. In fact, it can be hurtful when your child is not mentioned. It's not that I need Olivia brought up by someone every day, but sometimes when she's forgotten during a discussion that is relevant, it really hurts our feelings.  This something that I struggle with now that I'm pregnant again, there are people who act as if Rainbow baby is our first child. It makes me feel as if I have to fight even harder to make people remember Olivia. There will always be someone missing in our family, no matter how many children we end up having. And while we are both very excited (and terrified) to be expecting another baby, it doesn't fix what we've lost, we're both still very sad that Olivia is not here, and nothing can fix that.


Last night at our support group, there was a woman who lost her first baby a long time ago but I've never seen her at a meeting before. Her story is all too familiar, she developed pre-eclampsia and HELLP at 19 weeks and had to deliver her baby. It's rare, for me to run into someone who got sick even earlier than I did.  This woman apparently got pregnant again, and with her next pregnancy, she made it to 34 weeks before she got sick. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to talk with her later to ask if she did anything major differently. (There's not much that I can do differently that I'm not already doing, anyway. ) But still! 34 weeks! I know that both of my doctors would be thrilled to get me to 34 weeks. (34 weekers generally need a couple of weeks of NICU time as "feeders and growers", so it's still sucky because we'd have to leave the hospital without our baby. We've done that once and I don't want to ever again.) I'm stubborn and determined to make it all the way to 36, but one milestone at a time.  Also, there was someone new that we talked a lot with, it turns out she was born at 24 weeks (because her mom got severe pre-eclampsia and probably HELLP but they didn't test for HELLP back then), and that was in the 80's. I needed that reminder, I guess, that 24 weekers CAN live and be perfectly normal. Our goal is not anywhere near 24 weeks, but getting there with everything going okay will be a relief. 


I'm sure it won't be long before I'm panicking again. But for now, I am hopeful.


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