14 June 2010

Why Didn't You Tell Us?

"Through all of this, they experienced also the normal side of pregnancy: the nausea, the cravings, the anticipation, the movements, the expanding waist, the doctors appointments and the questioning eyes from others. By this stage normally they would have told everyone that they were expecting, but what do they tell them now? What are they to say when they are still trying to understand it themselves? Energy is at a premium during these times and so slowly they had energy enough to share their pregnancy news, but understandably not enough to go into all the intricacies of the challenges they were facing. So because of this, it wasn't widely known that while they were expecting a baby, they were also expecting a loss of a child." (Taken from Charlotte's eulogy, written by Heather Crane)

Many people naturally questioned whether I was indeed pregnant. Some asked, others didn't and were left wondering. Our baby was very small so I wasn't as big as I normally would be for my dates so some people didn't even realise I was pregnant at all. But as Heather said - What were we supposed to tell people now? "Hi I'm pregnant but it's not good news. Our baby is not expected to live." For us, this news was extremely devastating and we could not communicate the enormity of the situation in a brief conversation. The 'joy' of sharing 'good news' was gone.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
 Be sad, and you lose them all - (mmm, probably not all :)
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
taken from Grief and Grace by A. Axelby

Naturally people dont want to hear bad news as readily as they would good news. Ever so slowly we began to share with friends our sad news. Often people would congratulate us before I could get to the next part. At times, I just accepted the congratulations and left it at that. I didn't have the emotional energy to tell everyone everything. We also didn't tell many people that our baby had Trisomy 18 - we were concerned that some may look it up on the internet and get an inaccurate picture of our baby. We wanted somehow to preserve her integrity. You may ask: "But didn't you want people to pray for you and your baby?" Absolutely! We had a core group of people praying for us and our church pastors were also informed.

"This.... speaks a hard truth, but one we might as well accept nonetheless: pain is harder to share than joy." - William J Bennett - The Book of Virtues


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