May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
-Irish Blessing

Friday, November 2, 2012

Family - Going, Going, Gone?

Reflection, does a body good.  Or wait, is that vitamins?  Regardless, I find myself reflecting lately.  Specifically, my mind travels back to March 2011 and the months leading up to Eli's birth.  The agonizingly long yet fleetingly quick months during which I carried a precious baby not destined for this earth.  I have found myself walking on a similar path lately to the one which my family walked while I waited to give birth.  Shadowed by sadness and anxiety brought on by health problems beyond my control.  This time I am perfectly healthy, albeit extremely exhausted, but it is members (yes, members) of my extended family that worry me.  No less than three of my family members have received troubling medical diagnoses in the last month.  During that time I have found myself searching for and doing anything I can think of to help out in any fashion, often at the expense of my own physical, mental and emotional well being.  I've done these things without saying much and not seeking anything in return (honestly, I hate to even put those sentences in writing because it's just not about me).  I am being hit by such strong emotions that I just have to.  I have to.  

Yet this brings me back to Eli's pregnancy.  Not one person offered to cook me a meal while I was pregnant or brought anything by for our family.  No one came to visit and just sit with us.  No one babysit our three children so we could have a little time to ourselves.  In fact, during family gatherings (which were few during this time), pretty much nothing was even said about the tragedy playing out in my life.  There were a few extra phone calls from long distance family to check in every once and a while both before and after Eli was born.  But hey, no one in my family even asked what we would name our little one until the day before he was born!  There is one thing in particular that just stabs me every single time.  A family member had offered to take us on vacation before they knew about the pregnancy.  After finding out, talk of the vacation continued but we were not willing to commit to a destination at that time.  Then when we got the news about Potter's I think my husband may have politely declined.  We were a mess so I really can't remember.  So, this family member goes ahead and books a couple only vacation for the week after Eli's birth (I'm sure they didn't know it would play out so close to his birth but they did know my due date well ahead of time).  Then, this particular family member later broke the news that their family could only come for Eli's birth or the funeral - one or the other, due to time off concerns.  You know, that big week plus long vacation they were going to take after Eli was born.  

I don't expect people to go out of their way for me.  Honestly, that's usually just not the way our family plays things.  But seriously, you only come to visit a few days for our son's birth, skip the funeral and then go on a nice long no-kid vacation a week or so later?  I would have loved to get away from my life and the reality of my second dead child for just one day.  How wonderful would it have been for them to have planned a vacation for us in the wake of our grief (since they had offered it anyway)?  How wonderful would it have been for them to have just forgone the vacation and used that time to help care for our children while we grieved and I recovered from a c-section?  This is why the "what ifs" just don't belong in reality.  It is what it is.  But I just can't help wondering why I read about other families who have gone through situations similar to ours and they have had friends and family go out of their way to support them before and after their babies' births and ours just didn't really do that.  I have never felt so alone as I did during those quiet quiet months and the even quieter ones that followed. 


  1. Wow, this post hit home. I am 33 weeks pregnant with a Potters baby. My family has been amazing but there are people who have completely abandoned us. My best friend in particular has only spoken to me 3 times in the past 3 months we have known what is going to happen. Just when you need people the most they leave you. It hurts and I am struggling to come to terms with why some people react the way they do. I guess you cannot change them, just use what you have learned through all of this to be a better person. That is what I keep telling myself anyway. Thank you for writing. It helps some of us to not feel so alone in all of this. I blog at if you want to stop on by. It started out to document my sewing but morphed into a little of everything after we were diagnosed with Potters.

    1. Thank you for commenting, Diane. I am so sorry you have to experience Potters too. I understand people don't know what to do but you're right when you say that's when "you need people the most". I am trying to turn my experiences of hurt into moments of compassion for others. I will be thinking about you as you face the upcoming weeks.

  2. I just think people have no clue about what to do or say in a dead baby situation. And that's just those who reorganise that it's a big deal. And those who don't go on holiday. Or send you pictures of their new baby just when yours was due. Or tell you they can't make it to your baby's funeral because they've started a new job, before letting slip some weeks later that their new place is very relaxed and they can take time off whenever they want it. The list goes on. Sigh.

    1. I agree, no one except someone who has dealt with this (and even then sometimes not) knows the inner workings of losing a baby. I hope that your examples are not from your own experience but it seems like we all have our sad sad stories, as if losing our children wasn't enough. Sighing with you.



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