Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"at least God has given you another baby"

This is supposed to be helpful? Coming from my counselor?

She said this within the first five minutes of my appointment, and it just set the tone. Trying to explain, she said that I shouldn't think about what I don't have and just concentrate on the future. I shouldn't worry or be sad because that's not good for me or this baby.

Also, I should come up with a plan for how to deal with feelings that come up during labor and delivery. Her suggestion was just not think about my miscarriages and first two babies.

Apparently, I grow defensive when I think that no one understands what I've been through. They don't have bad intentions.

Well, people don't know how I feel unless they've been here themselves. Pregnancy after loss. Sometimes intentions are more easily passed over than others. If someone were to use a racial slur, but claim no ill intentions, is it still okay? You cannot tell another that they don't feel offended. I am allowed my feelings.

Yes, I've thought about flashbacks during labor and delivery, especially given the traumatic incident with my first miscarriage. I can't tell you how I'll react...I can't tell you if I want an epidural or not! My plan is awareness. All I can do, and with Paul's support, is to recognize feelings and thoughts, recognize them as valid, feel what I need to feel, take a deep breath and come back to the present. Ignoring doesn't work for me.

I AM very thankful, grateful and humble that I am pregnant with another child. NO ONE gets to assume that I'm not. But those two little flags. Words that appear on every list of what not to say to a woman after a miscarriage. Drop those nasty words. "God has given you another baby". YES! That is true, and I am so excited. "I'm glad God has given you another baby." Thank you, me too.

One child will never replace another. Ever. Is it okay to tell a mother after one of two school-aged kids dies, "at least you still have one"? NO!

I don't live in state of perpetual sadness and crying anymore. That doesn't mean that words or memories won't trigger grief feelings. I expect that the intense feelings of loss won't always be so raw. They have changed even within the last year. But it's a process, and one event doesn't change that.

I am okay with where I am. Even happy and proud. I love ALL my babies, including this one who is doing barrel rolls at the minute and gives me far too many scares. I cannot wait to hold this baby, a fulfillment of hopes and dreams to have and raise children.

But I will not forget my first two babies. And like a good mama bear, I will fight for them and my memories of them. No one gets to take them from me or harm my memories.

6 kind words:

  1. I think your counselor needs some serious counseling themselves on what to and not to say to a mom who has lost. Sheesh!! I agree with you totally Karin!

  2. OMYGOSH! NO they didn't! Okay, I was a practicing therapist and I can tell you that was THE WRONG THING to say to you! They should be leading you in questioning you feelings and NOT directing you to FEEL any way at all. I am so so so sorry!

    All I can say, is this person is trying to give you some hope in a backwards sort of way. And it is NOT how a good therapist should approach anyone ~ period! Obviously, they are using their own uncomfortable feelings about the death of a child, and projecting how they 'think' they would feel onto you. That 'grateful' line is just a bunch of crap. I would totally confront them on it, if you end up going back. Just remember, You don't have to stay with this counselor, especially if they are ineffective!

  3. Karin,

    I am sorry you had to hear that from a counselor. Sounds like they need to be retrained! I have heard a lot of things from people who I know meant well, but what they said really hurt! I would expect more from a counselor! You are right, a new baby does not replace the ones we have lost!

    (((Hug and))) Prayers

  4. Karin,

    I am shocked and sad to hear this from a trained professional. Well, of course, you are grateful for this wee one, but that does not negate your missing your other babies. I hope that counselor will be educated and not make the same mistake with another mother.

    Hugs and hugs...Karen

  5. Wow that is awful that your counselor would say that! I am so sorry! <3 (((hugs))) <3

  6. Trying to catch up on blogs...thank GOD for FB so I can at least stay somewhat abreast!! for that remark.

    UGH. All I have heard from so many is how we must be so thankful for the second chance we've been given.

    Because we screwed the first one up, right? People are SO STUPID. Even counselors who THINK they are being helpful.

    I feel like two different people...Matthew's mom and Luke's mom. Each child requires different things of me...Matthew, sadly, mourning and longing. Luke, joyfully, tending to and raising. Neither's needs outweigh the other's, as would be the case if both were living. Don't let anyone give you any different lines. It IS hard and you are right...only those of us who have been there (and are here now!) can understand.

    You are loved, and CERTAINLY not alone!