Monday, 18 January 2010

terminology

if i say my baby died, people assume it was born and then died.

if i say i had a miscarriage, people assume it was before 12 weeks, and that it wasn't a baby that had every likelihood of surviving. (i keep coming back to that 0.6% less than 0.6%. six people in a thousand. why did it have to be us?)

if i say my baby was stillborn, i'm lying. even though that's what it most feels like to me.



i don't know what to call this thing that happened. i don't know details i feel i should. i was never offered the chance to hold it, to find out whether it was a boy or a girl. to find out why it didn't survive.

am i a mother? i've never given birth to a living child. so no. but. i was pregnant. i wanted my child. i loved my child. so. yes?

there is no answer. i'm in limbo. both one thing and other. both a mother and not.

7 comments:

Jorgelina said...

I think a mother is a woman who loves her son or daughter - in the womb, just born, adopted, you name it. My youngest sister was still pregnant with my niece for her first Mother's Day ever, and we gave her a present from her baby who wasn't born yet.
I think trying to label it makes you feel you are in limbo. You had a baby, you are a mother, you shouldn't try to put yourself or your baby in any category. You loved you baby, you still do. I think that makes you as much of a mother as any other in the world.

Kate.Kingsley said...

I agree, you're a mother. You'll always be the mother of your baby, even though the wee one didn't make it. And one day you'll be the mother of a baby that does make it. But you will always have been the mother to your first baby. And for the time that s/he lived you were their whole universe.
But yes, it is a strange limbo: you're a mother who doesn't have a child (yet). And its hard to know how to explain that, to yourself and to others.
Just realised that I didn't text you back after all that snow the other week ~ really really sorry, will text you asap!!
xxxx

biojen said...

Of course you are a mother! You nurtured that baby as long as you could. I struggle with the terminology also, was he an abortion, a miscarriage, a stillbirth? I tend to tell people I had a stillbirth because they do dismiss miscarriages, and I don't want my son and what he means to me dismissed. I believe A stillbirth includes every baby is that died in the womb and was taken out - no matter what it took for that to happen. Any women who nurtured an infant (in or out of the womb) is a mother.

B said...

Thank you so much Jorgelina, Kate, and Jen. I was struggling yesterday... calm, no tears, even when I was writing this (and even when I was writing the details of being in hospital in my journal), but... not right. Too many people around. Just too much. Reading your comments today has made me feel better, and brought the tears I wanted yesterday. Today I'm fragile and low, but I can feel the progress I'm making. Through this grief.

I've never really grieved before this. I thought I had but I hadn't.

I don't know what I'm trying to say. Except thank you. Thank you so much.

lunarossa said...

You have been, are and will be a mother, believe me. And grieve if you need to. It will get better. Hugs. Antonella

CottonSocks said...

Giving birth to a live child is not what makes a mother. Caring for another human, from their earliest days, at your own sacrifice, loving them beyond hope and expectation - that is what makes you a mother.

I personally didn't feel like a mother before I lost Gabriel - he is the one that developed, that grew, that I knew so well.

But I am no less a mother now that he's gone than anyone else who is holding their babies; just a different kind of mother.

And that is absolutely true of you as well.

B said...

thanks antonella.

and thanks e. it means a lot.