Stillbirth

This week I watched a very emotional scene on All My Children of a grieving father who held his dead baby while his wife lay passed out on the sofa.  His wife had concerns about the pregnancy because of her age yet she looked forward to having the little girl she named Ellie, after her husband’s beloved grandmother.

They were in the middle of nowhere and she had contractions.  Her husband called for help.  She ended up passing out and he was left to deliver the baby.  There wasn’t any crying.  She lay still in his hands.   Baby Ellie was dead.  Tears came to my eyes as I watched her father break down as he cradled her in his arms.

I cannot imagine what it is like to lose a baby you have been looking forward to meeting and having to go through a delivery.  I was pregnant when I was 40 and at first, I worried that I would miscarry.

I read a heartbreaking story of a woman who was going through a divorce and lost the baby she had waited for all her life.  She was five months pregnant and didn’t feel any kicking.  When she went for her checkup, the nurses confirmed that her baby had died.  This loss made her lose her faith in God, questioning how He could give her the child and then take him away.  She still grieves over her loss (http://www.birthstories.com/stories/stories-of-loss/my-baby-that-i-waited-for-all-my-life-6935/).

What are the causes of stillbirth?

There are no known causes of stillbirth, but there are several conditions which may lead to stillbirth. Stillbirth refers to the loss of a pregnancy after the 20th week of pregnancy which is due to natural causes. It can also occur before delivery or as a result of complications during labor and delivery. Stillbirth can also be described as IUFD, or intrauterine fetal death.

There are many factors which may cause stillbirth:

  • Diabetes in the mother
  • Hemorrhage
  • Infectious diseases within the fetus which includes syphilis, German Measles (rubella) and influenza, toxoplasmosis which are parasites in the infected mother being transmitted to the fetus characterized by lesions of the central nervous system causing blindness and brain damage.
  • Spina Bifida is a congenital defect in which the spinal column is imperfectly closed so that part of the spinal cord may protrude often resulting in neurological disorders.
  • Postmaturity is a condition in which the pregnancy lasts 41 weeks or longer.
  • Alcohol use, as well as drug abuse along with cigarette smoking increase chances of stillbirth.
  • Placental problems may involve the placenta separating too soon from the uterine wall.
  • There are umbilical-cord problems in which the cord comes from the vagina before the baby blocking the baby’s oxygen supply before it is ready to breathe on its own.
  • Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia are disorders of late pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure, fluid retention, and protein in the urine (http://www.allaboutlifechallenges.org/causes-of-stillbirth-faq.htm).

How do you cope?

One mother who suffered a stillbirth when she was 21 weeks pregnant had this to say, “If you’ve recently had a miscarriage or stillbirth, my thoughts go out to you. It’s never the same, but it does get better, with time.”  And she offers the following advice tips:

  • Ice cream & romantic comedies (brainless, and you generally won’t run into sensitive subjects.)
  • Exercise 3-4x per week. This was a huge help – physically, mentally, everything. I enlisted my husband’s help to get me to the gym regularly.
  • Set a goal to work towards – for me, it was to read the “top 50 novels of all time”.
  • When you see pregnant women, remind yourself that it’s ok to be jealous, and also, that you don’t know her story. She could have had 5 miscarriages before this pregnancy, and could be scared out of her mind. I’m pregnant again, and I’m absolutely terrified.
  • Keep a journal (http://miscarriage.about.com/u/sty/stillbirthlateloss/stillbirth-stories/Stillbirth-at-21-Weeks.htm)

If you have experienced a stillbirth, my heart goes out to you.  I hope that in time you will heal.  May the words of this poem bring you some comfort.

You’re Not Alone

Jeannie Sousa

We’ve never met yet we share a common bond.
Each of us held a child that now is gone.

You’re searching for reasons why?

I wish I could tell you how.
But no one has the answers right now.

Knowing far to well just what you are going through.
It wasn’t that long ago
Someone was there for me.
If you need me, I’ll be there for you.

You are not alone

Through restless hours of sorrow and pain
As tears keep falling like rain.

How could it be so suddenly?

You’re not alone

Lord knows you are not to blame
Feeling life just isn’t the same.

You’re not alone

Hours turn into days.
Days turn into years.
The memory of your precious baby never disappears.

Behind each storm there’s a rainbow.
Beyond the clouds skies are blue.

You ask how could anyone understand? Believe me I’ll be here for you

You’re not alone

Through restless hours of sorrow and pain
As tears keep falling like rain…

And though your storm has just begun,
Keep watching for the rainbow…

It will come (http://www.mothersgrievingheart.org/yourenot.htm).

 

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3 responses to “Stillbirth

  1. Pingback: WORLD WAR 3 PREDICTIONS

  2. “You ask how could anyone understand? Believe me I’ll be here for you”
    That is the correct lyric.
    Jeannie Sousa

    • Hi Jeannie,

      First I wanted to say what an encouraging poem this is. I cannot imagine how tragic it is to experience a stillbirth after looking forward to having a baby. My heart goes out to the women who have gone through this experience.

      Thank you for visiting my blog and for sending me the correct lyric.

      AB

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