Living with the loss of stillbirth and learning to live in the sunshine of our new normal.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I always feel like I have so much to say, and yet, I keep forgetting that I started a blog. Anyway, the big issue today is parenting. I have been on a pregnancy/parenting message board since I was about 3 months pregnant with Sophia. There are hundreds of women there that are basically a big, dysfunctional family. And just like in any situation you will ever find yourself in, there are differences. And I don't mean, "oh, my baby doesn't like that brand of diapers." No, I mean, "I am willing to put my child in harm's way because it's easier than hearing her/him cry." Yes. Those kind. As in, the people I wish I could punch in the face. Only I'm not a violent person. Sigh. And yes, I know that there are 17,000 sides to everyone's stories. Everyone has their reasons for what they do. But I know that babies die every day "for no  reason". We all know right and wrong these days. We have television, and as sad as that is, we can learn from it. We have books, though unfortunately some people choose not to read them. And lastly, we have the good old internet. For finding information, it's great. For making new friends, it's great. The other day, as the discussion was being pulled between whether a mother should be allowed to disobey the law and put her 5 1/2 month old child in a forward facing car seat (because that way the baby didn't cry as much in the car), and what not to feed babies so young as to try to avoid food allergies (milk, eggs, ice cream, nuts..) I was simply amazed at how some of these women not only refuse to listen to the experts (Their argument is always, "It's MY baby, I know what's best.") but they refuse to listen to the women they come to for advice. Now, I will admit that some of the women (including myself at times) jump right on the "You're being bad, Stop it now!" bandwagon, but honestly, we are trying to help. If someone, no matter who they are, asks me a question, I have to assume that they are looking for an answer. Or at least my opinion on what the answer might be. But these women (and I'm not saying they're all this dumb, only a select few) continue to ask a question, and then get extremely defensive when they do not get the answer they were looking for. They say the women on the board are being "rude" and "judgmental". Well OF COURSE we are going to judge you for doing something we think is wrong!  However, I began to defend some of these women (some of the gals do tend to get a bit excitable!) and I was saying.. "I'm sure they didn't mean to put him/her in harm's way. She says she didn't know the right thing to do at the time." I was trying to take a deep breath and assume that they were just stupid, and not cruel. But then, someone pointed out that this person should have looked into the safety of such things before putting her daughter/son in danger in the first place. In other words, if you have a question about something, ASK someone! Maybe not this group of women that all have healthy babies of our own, but a doctor? And I realized that I was being a sucker. By trying to keep the peace and see things from the "other side", I was being blind-sided by stupidity. We just had babies 5-6 months ago! I read all the books I could get my hands on, I asked my doctor idiotic-sounding questions, I researched everything I bought before I bought it. In other words, I prepared myself to have a baby. I didn't just let it happen and hope for the best.

It amazes me how many people have the "It wont happen to me!" mentality. I know firsthand that it will happen to me. I probably at one time, thought I was safe from the worst things, but now I know better. So I try, in as gentle way as I can, to share my knowledge. It can happen, don't sit around and LET IT happen! But they don't want my help, they want my support. And I know damn well they would expect my sympathy if God forbid, something bad happened. And yes, we all know bad things happen to good people, bad things can happen for no reason, you can live in a bubble and still die.. Blah blah blah. But isn't the point to do what we can?
I find myself blogging this here instead of on that message board because I am terribly tired of hearing the complaints about being "attacked" by the women that are supposed to be supportive. I can only support what I believe in, and that does not include being a freaking moron when you are supposed to be a mommy!  This is my own little corner of the world, and I will bitch about whatever I would like to bitch about. I can't even hope that these women will try to listen to reason, because I know that they disagree with what I think reason is. And honestly, that's okay. I know that in life, no matter where you're living your life- we can't all get along. We all see different angles and different stories. And I also know that if I really hated all of the arguing and "drama" that much, i would leave the site. But truthfully, it keeps me entertained. It keeps things light, mostly. But on weeks like this last one, when I fear for other people's babies, I find that it's not so much fun to laugh at people's mistakes. Not when these slip ups include a 5 month old baby. It just makes me sad. I wish I could project my feeling, just for a second, on these women who treat their children like dolls to dress up. I wish they could feel what it is to love someone so fiercely that I would do anything, anything- just to make sure Sophia is healthy and safe. I wish I could show them what loss is, what it feels like to have life taken from you. Because maybe then they would be able to appreciate what they have been given, instead of starting fights over who is being mean to them because they don't know how to safely raise a child. I wish I could make that much of a difference, but instead I will shake my head a lot, be called a bitch- A LOT, and try my best to show what I think is right. Because no only do I try to show, I watch and learn. Sometimes I learn what not to do. Sometimes I actually learn things that even I- self proclaimed baby expert, LOL- did not know yesterday.