Friday, August 7, 2009

The Blame Game

In looking for an answer of "Why did my baby die?," I always turn to myself. I have blamed myself for anything and everything I can think of that might be an answer. I don't blame the things that doctors have theorized might have caused problems - the antiphospholipid syndrome or the low thyroid. These are things I have no control over and had no idea existed within my body, and therefore couldn't do anything about. No, I blame myself for the things that I can control. When our baby died in the summer of 2008, I was convinced it was the bug spray I used that contained DEET. I only used a little bit a few times when the mosquitoes were really bad, but I told myself for a long time that if only I hadn't used that, my baby would have been okay. Then, I became obsessed with the idea that the peppermint herbal tea I drank to soothe my morning sickness caused the baby to die. I only drank it a few times, but I was convinced the herbs killed the baby.

This all makes no rational sense. The female body does an amazing job of protecting a baby, even to the detriment of the poor mama. I remember vividly having a terrible stomach flu when I was five months pregnant with Tyler. I spoke to the nurse on call in the middle of the night, so worried that throwing up for six hours was harming the baby. The nurse reassured me that I was suffering much more so than he was, and that my body would protect him before it would protect me.

So, why do we blame ourselves? It's not because we hate ourselves. We are looking for a REASON to explain the unimaginable. Babies don't just die. There's got to be a reason. That's what we want to believe. The truth is that so much has to go right that any baby that survives pregnancy and is born healthy is a miracle. When a baby dies for no known reason, we want to understand. The only thing we can turn to is our own bodies and our choices. Then, when we're pregnant again, we'll avoid those things that caused the problems. That will give us some control.

When the test comes back that the baby wasn't healthy and would not have survived if born, it's such a relief. The trouble is, the tests can't find everything. Medical science doesn't do much for us. Very few clinicians study miscarriages; there's no specialty in obstetrics and gynecology for miscarriage. We're at the mercy of those dedicated professionals who want as desperately as we do to find an answer.

In the absence of an answer, what reassurance do we have that it won't happen again?


wifey said...

I keep thinking I want to start fundraising for miscarriage and RPL research. I'm tired of hearing my RE say "We just don't know" when I ask questions.

Oh, and I nominated you for an award. Check out my blog!

Christa said...

Unfortunately there is no reassurance that it won't happen again. This is why we feel so helpless. Friends of mine whom hadn't seen me in years were so surprised of how much of a control freek I have become. They pointed out that most likely I have felt no sense of control with my losses, therefore I am over compensating by controling anything I can. And they are probably right! It's so frustrating when you hear the doctors say they can't help you, and that the treatments they offer are a shot in the dark. How is that supposed to make us feel good? I totally know where you are coming from Cynthia, there's just no logical explanation as to why we have to lose our least none that I can see. ((Big Hug))

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