Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lost in the Middle

The past several weeks, I've either read or thumbed through several books on pregnancy loss.  Some were of the lay person medical variety, discussing the causes and noncauses of pregnancy loss, and how to cope.  These books typically deal with first trimester losses, or "typical" third trimester losses. By "typical" I mean what people usually think of as stillbirth, where the baby dies in-utero unexpectedly, at or post term.  Second trimester losses, like ours usually get short shrift though they are officially designated as stillbirth if its 20 weeks or more gestation.  Cervical insufficiency, in general, also doesn't get a lot of attention.  Chromosomal defects of the first trimester, and cord accidents of the third trimester tend to steal the show.

I've heard that a lot of women take offense to the words "miscarriage" and "stillbirth".  I'm sure they'd be more upset at "spontaneous abortion" and "fetal demise".  I've always been careful to use the first set of terms with those who aren't in the medical or semi-medical fields, but otherwise, I really don't have an opinion.  I do feel that neither of these words fit us very well, and I feel lost in the middle.  I was comforted, early on, when I picked up an article that was buried in a pile of school work that defined stillbirth as a non-living infant born at 20 weeks or more.  A technicality, sure, but a being identifiable as a baby, that I could hold in my hands, did not fit into my mental definition of miscarriage.  At the same time, Morgan didn't die at some point between office visits, either.  She was fighting hard until the very end, and died sometime during the labor and delivery process.  But, she was born, and she was still.

I guess I just feel like I've been forced to join this exclusive club, and I don't fit.  I don't fit in a world of women who have happy, healthy babies. I don't fit in a world of women with  no babies. And, I don't fit in a world of women with dead babies, either.

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