Monday, June 20, 2011


aWhy our labels so challenging? Miscarriage versus stillborn? I know with almost every definition she was a stillborn, but I feel like a cheater in the stillborn club. She died at 24,0 or 24,1 which is the very edge of viability.

And then wasn't born for another six weeks.

And we also got a live baby when she was born.

Would I really feel better if there was a perfect label? No, but that doesn't stop it from bothering me.

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  1. It bothers me too. No matter what description I pin on my daughter and her death, I always feel as though I am making either too much or too little of it? If that makes any sense?

    G was not stillborn but lived only with maximal intensive care. As she was born before viability, here in the UK, her birth was a miscarriage. But, as she lived for three days, she's classified as a neonatal death and had a birth certificate. Very confusing.

    But, as you say, would I feel better is there was a perfect label? No. I guess I just want to be accurate as there is so little that I can say about her.

  2. Wow, you absolutely nailed it with "want[ing] to be as accurate as there is so little that I can say about her".

    It's amazing how someone else can clear up your thoughts.

  3. It blows my brain that she could be anything else but a neonatal death given that she lived and hello exhibit Jessica!

    But when we tally it all up at the end of the day, it's still the same hole.

  4. Thought provoking post and comments. You raise good points.

    I never felt comfortable calling my failed IVF embryo attempts miscarriages. But they were a nameless event too. We just said it didn't take or didn't attach. I felt that calling them miscarriages wasn't fair to those women who had fetuses that were really growing and then died. But I wanted my event to have a name too, because it was an emotional time for me as well.

  5. Is there any term for failed embryo attempts? I know I've heard things liked missed cycle, but that doesn't seem to convey that there was definitely a growing creature...

    I like the phrase didn't take for some reason.

    I made progress on the label front myself yesterday. We were at a play therapy session with our older son and I used the word died instead of lost. I don't know why, but I really hate the phrase we lost her, but I've been saying it all along "we lost the girl twin at 24 weeks..."

    One died at 24 weeks from a cord accident somehow makes me happier.

  6. Oh those labels... I hear you. I am a parent and yet I am not parenting. Just because my son was stillborn, some people don't even see me as a mum (which makes me want to jump into their faces... butt first). My level of sleeplessness in the first year was probably equal that to any "normal" new mums... same same but different.

    So someone is instantly my friend when they just naturally see me as a mum, just like the judge during my divorce who stopped the recorder to offer condolences and say sorry that a stillborn baby counts as zero.

    I guess no matter what label we fit into... our lives will always have someone missing. Thanks for this post.