Warning!! If you’re here from the ALI community and are feeling fragile you might want to skip this post on the subject of loss.
As part of my efforts to make myself a more attractive candidate for a sought after place on the degree, I recently joined a forum for prospective midwifery students. It’s been great sharing the stories of other hopefuls, getting tips on the application process and generally talking with like minded people… but tonight as I logged in I read a story that brought such a lump to my throat. I haven’t really been able to stop thinking about it this evening.
The heartbreaking news was that one of the women lost her baby in the beginning of September at 23 weeks gestation. I can’t begin to imagine the pain and my thoughts have been with this lady and her family all evening. There are no words when a perfect little girl just passes without any real explanation. There are no words. Reading the story of her sleeping baby’s birth had me in fighting back tears I don’t mind telling you.
I know that in my chosen career I will come across families in this agonizing situation and to be honest I’m concerned that hopefully somewhere in my training I’ll be given some small idea of anything I can do to support those who end up in my care after such a tragic outcome. People say in life you can always find somebody worse off than yourself and I believe that’s true. I may be unable to conceive but I will never have to endure this pain.
I realize as a professional I can’t fall apart when a baby in my care does not make it. I know I will have to be strong and realize that while the grief is terrible it does not belong to me. It wasn’t my child. I need to remain professional to provide the best possible support and care. However I don’t believe I would make a good midwife if I wasn’t affected by the tragedy. Surely caring for your patients properly means that you do CARE when things don’t go to plan. You take pause and try to learn all you can to make things better. Perhaps you go home, light a candle for the memory or shed a few tears in the bathtub after your shift. Is that wrong?? ‘Cause if it is, maybe I’m not cut out for this.
But recently I’ve been thinking families experiencing loss also need a midwife to reach out to. Mothers still need care and most of all compassion. Someone has to step up to the plate and be there for the children born into heaven. Maybe if I could find the strength. I would train to be that person…..