Friday, February 25, 2011

The power of language

I hate the term "pregnancy loss." I've hated it since my first baby died and someone said to me, "I'm sorry you lost the baby." What? Huh? I didn't lose the baby. I didn't put him down and forget where I left him.

Why don't we call it what it is? Why can't we say to someone, "My baby died." I didn't lose a pregnancy. My baby died.

I also hate the word "miscarriage." Do you know what the term means? "Failure to attain the just, right, or desired result." Women all over the world who have this experience have been told they failed. The suggestion that we did something to end our babies is beyond cruel.

I know, I even use it in the title of this blog. I've been conditioned, I suppose. The rationale is that it makes people feel better. Saying a baby died is too harsh, too sad, too in-your-face. Who cares about other people's reactions? Why is that my problem? Why should I be made to feel like I did something wrong? The horrible guilt I feel for what happened to my children is enough on its own. Don't burden me with that label.

There's another term I've been seeing around lately - Baby Loss Mama (or BLM, if you're in a hurry). I'm torn on that one. I like the intent of it, but it still has the word "loss." It's also kind of a tongue-twister. Try saying it 3 times fast. Really.

The medical term for me is a Habitual Aborter. This is actually in my file. This is so offensive to me, it makes me sick to my stomach.

Maybe I should come up with new names. I could be an Angel Mama. I'm not sure how I feel about angels, though. I like "spirits." I'm a Spirit Mama! Hey Dr. Obstetrician - put THAT in my file!

Okay, I just had to get that out. Breathe, and release.


butterflymom said...

I like the "Spirit" Mama name. If you have to be anything, then I like that best for you. Wish it could just say "Mama," though, don't you? I hate that I have to be part of a community because I now have "loss" by name. Thank you for your honest entry/post. I love to read what you have written. You have a real gift, girl. ((hugs))

Joanna said...

A fellow blogger, Melisa, had a term in her post which I actually liked. She used the term "orphaned parent" and I feel that this works quite well, along with an Angel Mama.

In your list of hates, don't forget "spontaneous abortion" which was used for me. The resident came afterwards and apologized that his attending (a female) had used that term.

Rika said...

I could not agree with you more! That has bothered me so much since I "lost" my son. He died at 16 weeks, so I don't like saying miscarriage, even though that is technically what it was. I don't like saying still born, because that suggests that I was full term, but I feel like overall it is more acurate - since I delivered. I usually just tell people that I had a baby boy that died before he was born. It is a very frustrating thing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog. I am going through a loss right now and nothing I could find on the internet really spoke to me as this has.

Anonymous said...

I could not agree with you more! After my first baby died, I got a bill with the wording "missed abortion". Seriously?!! It literally made me sick. I had to read that every month until we finally paid off that bill. Thank you for all you write. I'm so sorry about your babies...

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