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 it...it 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.