Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The purpose of this blog

I have been thinking a lot lately about why I am doing this blog. What I hope to achieve through writing it. Why I am sharing Benjamin's story in this way. A lot of people keep telling me that they are touched that I am sharing such a personal part of my life. That I am sharing so many private details. Sometimes I wonder if I am sharing too much.

I want people to know that stillbirth does happen. To anyone. It's not fair and it hurts like hell, but it does happen. I want people to have a better understanding of the experience; of the pain and heartache. But also of the love and happiness. It's so weird. Benjamin died. I never got a chance to properly meet him; to see him smile, hear him call me mama. And that makes me so sad sometimes that I just want to curl up and cry for hours. But I still got to have him in my life. And that? That makes me so happy. I got to have another son. A son that, as my dad put it, will always be my sweet baby boy. I will never see him grow up, but he will always be a beautiful perfect little baby. My little baby. And for that I am happy.

When I first decided to post the story of Benjamin, in it's entirety with photos and all, I discussed it with Brian. I would not have done it if he had not been okay with it. It's not just my personal private story. It is his too. Benjamin was his son too, and he hurts from this enormous loss too. It would not have been fair to me to share all of this without his consent. At first he had a hard time with it. He felt it was too personal, or too morbid, or something. He's not so good at putting this into words, lol. He was very uncomfortable with sharing photos of Benjamin. I think he felt that people would only see photos of a dead baby, not of our son. I understood his concerns, but to me I wanted people to get to know our son; and I felt doing this would accomplish that. If Benjamin had been born alive this entire blog would have been filled with photos of him, of him with Jackson, of stories of his birth, stories of his first smile, his first steps, his first laugh, his first everything. It made me sad to think that we wouldn't share anything of him. I explained all of this to Brian and he agreed. He is okay with me posting all the story. I'm not sure if he reads it when I update it, and I'm okay with that. He knows the story well.

Stillbirth is a strange thing. It's like some secret society. Before I had Benjamin I never really heard about women having stillborn babies. It wasn't something that was talked about. Since I have gone through it I have found that nearly everyone I talk has either had a stillbirth or has someone close to them that has. The nurse at the hospital, the woman at the engraving kiosk in the mall that made Benjamin's ornament for me, relatives, close friends of mine, my neighbour, the local librarian. It's like they just come out of the woodwork. Why are these women not talking about it? I know that a lot of people cannot talk about their experiences; it's too painful for them. I'm not sure why I am able to talk about it so freely, but I am glad that I can. I am glad to be able to share my story. I hope that it sheds some light on the topic. Allows people who have never had a stillbirth to, in some small way, experience the heartache and happiness involved. I hope it increases awareness and increases compassion for this type of birth. If it moves anyone reading my story to help other women going through this then it makes me very happy to share my pain.

I have this dream of publishing my story. Writing a memoir. After Benjamin was born a friend of mine sent me a link to an excerpt from a memoir written by a lady who had a stillborn son. I read the excerpt days after I got home from the hospital. It was amazing. It was like this woman was writing my thoughts. She was telling her story in such a way that you could feel the love and the happiness. Sure, you could definitely feel the heartache and the despair, but it wasn't all about that. I have skimmed other books on stillbirth and they are all about the mourning and the pain and sadness. They rarely talk about the consuming love and joy in having your child; getting to still have him in your life. I went out a few days later and bought the book. I read the entire thing in a weekend. It was a fantastic book and I definitely recommend it to anyone, whether you have had a stillbirth or not. Here is a link to her book info http://www.elizabethmccracken.com/ Recently I emailed her to tell her how much I appreciated her book. She actually emailed me back today and is a very sweet lady.

I'm not sure if I would ever pursue publishing my story. I don't even have a clue how to go about doing that. I just know that I want other women who have gone through this experience to know that they are not alone. That there can be joy again after your world comes crashing down. I want them to know my story and know that, even though the experience was by far the worst of my life, it was also a joyous occasion. My son was born and I got to hold him and kiss him and see him.

There are so many things I want to do from this experience. So many thoughts and plans and dreams. I know I won't accomplish all of them, and even if I only do one or two of them at least I have made a difference in the lives of other moms who are hurting. I have donated a cd player/radio to the room I was in. I hope that it helps to block out the noise of the fetal heart monitors in the neighbouring room. I have donated boxes of tissues to that room since the hospital issued ones are inadequate (to say the least). I have donated notebooks for the moms to write their thoughts. A pad of lined paper and pens so they can write a letter to their babies.

So anyways, that's why I have posted Benjamin's story. That's why I am sharing so much personal information. I want people to know. Know the story of Benjamin. Know the experience of a stillborn. I want to help other women that have gone through this, or are going through this. I want to break out of the secret society. I don't want there to be such shame, such silence about these beautiful babies. Our sons and daughters deserve to have their lives known and celebrated. It's unfair that they didn't get to be born alive, and it's unfair that people don't hear of their short lives. I am able to share the story of my son's life, as I know many other people are unable to do. I hope, in some way, it helps to make their child's life known too.

No comments:

Post a Comment