Share My Vantage Point

Last night, I saw a postdates mama (41 weeks pregnant) advised to “turn off the part of the brain that is telling you something is wrong”. This is a perfect example of why I feel strongly that the culture of a “perfect birth” can be very dangerous.

I didn’t see it until I had lived through it, and my baby hadn’t.

A vaginal birth is a beautiful thing. A healthy baby is so much more beautiful.

For the fortunate who have had both, it can be hard (almost impossible, it seems) to see that it is not right, healthy or ethical to push a woman to have her baby naturally, no matter what.

It’s not that simple for every woman, because every woman and every baby is different.

If you only know a person online, you are not qualified to give them medical advice. Too many pregnant women (myself, included) get stuck in the thought process that “they did it, so I can too”.

Maybe you can. Maybe you can’t.

You can’t know that you should have done things differently until it is too late, and no one else should have to go through what our family is going through now.

I did not want a third c-section. I wanted a vaginal birth after cesarean very badly.

Right now, five months after our daughter was born still, I can tell you, without the slightest doubt in my mind, that I would endure a cesarean section every day this week if I could just have my baby back in my arms, alive and healthy.

Read what I have written. Learn from my mistakes and loss.

Click through and share “The Vantage Point of Hindsight” with anyone you know who is pregnant.

Share it for Clara.

We Are The Rememberers

David and I are going to our first infant loss support group meeting tonight, hosted by Share Upstate. We’ve talked about going to a meeting since July, but he normally works too late. I’m very nervous about going, at the same time that I’m looking forward to it. I think it will be a very good thing for us to have people around us that have been through similar losses.

I’ve met wonderful people online who have helped me in processing Clara’s death, plus I have this blog as an outlet for my emotions. David doesn’t have those connections or the writing outlet, and he feels like this will help us with working through our grief.

I hope he is right.

Not an hour passes without Clara passing through my heart and mind, and while I never want to forget her, I would like for the pain to dull a little, for it to not cut through me like broken glass whenever I remember her sweet face.

We are the rememberers poem

We are the rememberers,
the people left behind,
to keep the one who’s gone from us
alive in heart and mind;
the people left to cherish and preserve a legacy.
Yes, we are the rememberers…
and we will always be.

Grief: A Painful Blur

Yesterday was our little nephew Jasper’s 2nd birthday party. All week, we planned to go, and looked forward to going. When it came down to it though, we didn’t go.

I feel really bad for this, and it’s hard to explain to those that we love. We don’t want to hurt feelings, or have family angry with us, or thinking that we just don’t care. We care. We care a great deal, and that’s part of the problem.

David and I still struggle, every week, every day, sometimes every hour, with the loss of Clara. The smallest things — a certain song on the radio, a comment a stranger makes in passing, pink balloons on a neighbor’s mailbox — unhinge us. Something will strike a nerve with me, and I feel a lump in my throat, a pounding in the back of my head, hot tears rushing to my eyes. I look at David, and he’s looking back at me, and we both know that the other is feeling the same wave of pain. One of us reaches for the other’s hand, and we get through it.

We’re always waiting for the next time that grief will swoop in, out of nowhere, and we haven’t yet been disappointed. We tend to just avoid situations and things that we know will upset us, but even that isn’t as easy as you might think.

Even our television shows are full of babies lately.

The Walking Dead (spoiler) — baby and a c-section that kills the mother. I thought the baby was stillborn at first. We almost had to turn it off… it was hard.

Once Upon A Time — a memory scene where Snow White mentions that her baby daughter never spent a night in her nursery, complete with audio of a baby crying. We both cried, like babies.

Doctor Who (Season 6, Episode 12: Stormageddon) — adorable baby. That’s all it takes really… we cried.

Babies are everywhere. I notice that a lot more now that I’d rather avoid them, so as to not fall apart. There are a lot of babies in our families. Sisters, sisters-in-law, cousins (lots of cousins)… I am so happy for every new baby born, every new life that we add to our families. But oh god, it’s hard to be around.

I have to assume that this part passes at some point in the grieving process. David and I both have cousins with babies that we haven’t met, but would like to. We’re frozen by this desire to see/touch/hold the babies, and terror that we’ll fall to pieces if we’re in the same room with them.

We’ve missed out on happy moments because of our grief. I haven’t been able to babysit my niece and nephew like I had planned, because it was too hard to be around them all of the time. We missed Jasper’s birthday party, because it was a particularly hard weekend of missing Clara, and we knew we couldn’t handle being around little ones.

It’s frustrating and heart-breaking… and I don’t know if we’ll ever get over it, but I hope so. I really don’t want to be stuck in this repetitious and painful blur of grief for the rest of my life, and I know David doesn’t either.

Grief: A Painful Blur
No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear. – C.S. Lewis

10 Reasons Why I Voted Today

1. I voted today because it’s been less than 100 years since women were granted the right to cast a vote in this country. It is my duty to pay homage to the ceaseless work of suffragettes like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, by casting my vote on every Election Day.

2. I voted today because I always vote, even the non-presidential elections. Change begins at home, and those local elections are every bit as important as the presidential elections. The politicians that we elect on a local level will influence the decisions made on the national level.

3. I voted today because it is important to me that my girls appreciate their role as decision-makers in this country. The votes that I cast today affect the world that my children will inherit as adults. I have taken my children with me to every election since they were born. My hope is that, by teaching them to be involved in the election process now, one day they will take an active role in shaping the government for their own children.

4. I voted today because I strongly believe that all women should have the freedom to choose. I have never, and will never, cast a vote for a person who supports anti-choice legislation. I will always cast my vote for those who believe in my right to choose what is right for my body or for my daughters’ bodies.

5. I voted today because I live in a Republican state. I love where I live for lots of reasons, but the political climate is not one of those reasons. As a liberal in a conservative state, I feel it is my responsibility to make my mark, to voice my opinion in the form of voting in the elections. If Democrats and Independents do not vote, we have no hope of ever changing the political landscape of states like South Carolina.

6. I voted because I believe that all people should be free to marry whomever they choose. I know far too many members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community who are not currently able to marry their partners, and I think that is shameful.

7. I voted because I care about the environment and the planet that we live on, and I’d like for it to still be around for my children’s children’s children to enjoy. At the rate we are going, that might not be the case, and issues like climate change and conservation need to be seriously addressed so that we can ensure the continuation of life as we know it.

8. I voted because no person should have to suffer and/or die because they cannot afford basic healthcare. Our country needs universal healthcare, for the sake of all American citizens, particularly the mentally ill and the poverty stricken in our population.

9. I voted because we need more jobs in America. We need to stop sending our jobs overseas. There is a large amount of the population that has been unemployed for a very long time. There are too many people who have been unable to find work, well-trained people who are having to move back in with family or friends because they can’t afford basic housing costs. They are willing to work, but there aren’t enough jobs.

10. I voted because my vote counts. Every vote is important and this election is too close to not cast a vote. I want my voice heard. I want my opinion counted. I hope that, no matter who you voted for today, that you did vote.

10 Reasons Why I Voted Today