Thursday, June 24, 2010

There is a new guy at work, I don't know him well, but his wife is expecting. I told him he is going to love being a dad. That, yes, there are sleepless nights and fumbling through things but not to believe all the people who cackle and do the whole "just you wait" thing. That some of my best memories were those first few days home with each of the kids. He said that was a relief because everyone keeps telling him how hard it is. I hate when people do that. If it is so horrible why do people KEEP having kids then? Please.

He then asked how many kids I have.

Yikes. I make it a point to always mention Curtis. Not in a "feel sorry for me way" or "I want to scare the hell out of you way" but in the "he is my kid and a part of our family."

I did my standard "That is a hard question for me to answer. We have 3. A little boy who should be four but he passed away. Then we have our daughter who is two and a half and a baby boy who is 8 months."

He responded saying how sorry he was and asked how we lost him.

Hmmm. Now, I have to tread carefully. I do not want to scare him, but I want to educate him. I want to tell him what I wish I knew. I tell him that exactly. "Well, I don't want this to scare you...." and I tell him. I gloss over the hard details. But I tell him how it could be prevented. I tell him that if his wife ever feels like something isn't right, that the baby isn't moving much, to go in. I stress the importance of kick counts. Any change, Don't wait days, just call. Just go in. He asks questions. He asks good questions. Later on he comes back over and asks me more questions. I tell him I am not trying to scare him. He says he knows, he isn't scared. He wants to know so he can prevent something happening. He wants the education.

This isn't the first time I have had this conversation. I always stress to the person how preventable Curtis' death way. Had my doctor been more concerned with the heart decels. Had he listened more when I said the baby wasn't moving. Had I been educated on kick counts....I tell him if the doctor isn't listening, find another. Get more than one opinion. They see so many pregnant women on a daily basis, we are a dime a dozen. We live with that baby inside of us. They don't.

I always feel bad talking to a parent to be about this stuff. I was 40 weeks pregnant. People want to think it is so rare, but it isn't. But Curtis is a part of our family and...well, if I can educate people without frightening them...I will. I tell him to feel free to ask any questions. I don't mind talking about Curtis. I LOVE talking about doesn't make me sad.

I just never want this to happen to another baby. Another family. Curtis didn't get to live his life. Babies deserve to live. He had no choice, he died. But he taught us so much, he has given us so much...I try to give back to others in his name.


Kristi said...

:) I wish I knew then what I know now too! So glad you are helping educate! Curtis would be proud!

Hope's Mama said...

I wish I met you when I was pregnant with Hope, so you could have shared that knowledge with me. We have the same horror story - a baby lost at term who realistically, could have been saved, had those doctors/midwives just listened to us. I had a similar conversation (albeit over Facebook!) just the other day. This girl I know, who has also miscarried, had in her status update that she was worried - and sit down for this one - she had killed the baby with too much fat as she'd eaten McDonalds and then hadn't felt the baby move in a while. Lots of people joked around in her comments, then told her to lie down, drink water blah blah blah.
I messaged her right away and sort of genly reinforced my message which I thought she knew, given she's a FRIEND of mine, then she apologised and said she should have called the doctor right away and would do so next time if it happened again. (Turns out baby wasn't quiet for long).
There is a fine line between not wanting to scare people but trying to educate them. I think you do a great job. So glad the guy listened and didn't just fob you off as some crazy person with a very rare story. Our stories aren't as rare as most would like to believe.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let you know I read your story of "finding out" just now and completely lost it crying- we shared so many of the same things, your story brought a lot of those feelings back to me. <3

I try to help educate too- unfortunately, I think the reality of what happened to me scared the daylights out of all of my internet preggo friends- I was one of the first due out of my circle of e-friends due in May, so when I lost my baby April 27th, the rest of the girls had to watch my horror unfold- all while roughly nine months pregnant themselves. I'm sad that my story scared them, but I hope it also made them much more diligent and careful. (In my particular situation, we were actually at L&D about 6 hrs before she died and she was healthy as a horse then. We went in within an hour of noticing her not moving. Even so, it was STILL too late.)

Angie said...

That is great that you were able to educate him. I know so much now and wish I new more back when my babies died.

Ya Chun said...

i think that guy got some priceless info

Rich said...

I'm not sure of the right word for how I feel about your ability to openly talk to expectant parents about Curtis. I do know that I haven't been able to have that conversation with people who don't know our story. Thank you for speaking for all the babies who cannot speak and thank you for speaking for Abigail.