This morning I received a notification about a stillbirth. I am always so saddened by these notifications and I know there are many stillbirths throughout the day but for some reason this morning, I received this one and read about it and watched the video created by the doula that attended to this family. For the doula, this was her very first birth.
That was a HUGE fear of mine as a new doula. I was afraid that my first birth would be a stillbirth, death, or there would be something wrong with the baby. I was blessed to have a “normal” first birth as a doula (although it was over 48 hours). The next one came and went with no issues either but as the months of normal births came and went, I knew that one day, I would be faced with the inevitable “unexpected outcome.”
My unexpected outcome DID arrive. I had two during my busiest time as a doula. 1 was where my doula client lost her uterus due to complications during a C-section and the other was a baby with a terminal heart condition. He survived but it was a very rough start. I also had a client hire me where their baby had HLHS (Hyperplastic Left Heart Syndrome) and they wanted compassionate care for their baby.
Unfortunately, during the prenatal process, they changed from a hospital birth to an unassisted homebirth and I could not ethically attend that birth. As much as I wanted to support this family through the death of their baby, I knew I was the only one there with any form of medical background and I would have been held liable. I don’t think the family would have done anything but I could not risk my family to attend their birth.
I wrote a letter to the family but never mailed it. I still have the letter. I should post it some day. I know that the family had a blog and I learned that they ended up going to the hospital only to have the hospital NOT respect their wishes for compassionate care and attempt to save their son’s life. It was a very traumatic experience for them as they did not want this at all. What a difficult decision it must have been to say goodbye only for the doctors to try to save his life.
The post was for Sophia Marilyn. She was born in the hands of her creator on July 26, 2013. This was just so recent. I clicked on the link entitled Random Acts of Kindness in Memory of Baby Sophia Marilyn. Within the link was a note from her parents thanking everyone for responding and their post was the video. I hesitated to click on it as I KNEW it would be very emotional but I performed the inevitable “click.”
Beautiful music and I was touched immediately. Timmy, was just 4 feet in front of me in his bouncer. He was facing away from me and we were separated by my computer and a banister. I could hear him bouncing away with his bird toy jingling as he bounced. As the video played and I watched, the tears flowed down like rain. The raw emotion in this family was displayed in the pictures. I couldn’t imagine going through this kind of birth.
I was devastated and torn. Why? Why did this happen to them? Why does a baby have to die? She was full-term. She was over 38 weeks. The mother experienced what is called a placental abruption and because of this, her only daughter died. The last 9 months could not be taken back. 9 months of expectation, anxiety, joy, excitement, doctor’s appointments, bonding with her husband and two sons, the growth of her belly, and the kicks of her daughter within her womb could not be taken back. Her thoughts and dreams for her daughter remained, as did the scars from her pregnancy and the milk that would fill her breasts to nourish the baby that passed.
As I continued to watch this video, I felt guilt. Guilt that my son was playing in his bouncer just a few feet away. Guilt that I wasn’t holding him. Guilt that I wasn’t looking into his eyes and soaking up every moment, every smell, every smile…GUILT…that my baby was alive and hers was dead.
I am horrified when I hear about the death of a baby; whether from a miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss, or abortion. It hits me so deep inside. It’s not fair that a baby has to die. It’s not fair that we, as parents, have to bury our child. It’s just NOT FAIR!
Tonight, I will pray for this family. I will participate in their request for a “Random Act of Kindness” which is to take place on August 26, 2013, just one month after Sophia’s death. I have posted this event on all my pages. I will post this blog on all my pages and I will ask my readers…whoever you are to PLEASE sign up for this event. Please help to bring some peace and comfort to this family, in honor of Sophia Marilyn Seymour.