I've noticed labels seem to be a theme in lots of blogs. Stillbirth blogs, NICU blogs, autism blogs.... This concept just seems to plague people across the spectrum of existence.
While I still get bothered by labels, I believe I took a big step the other day. Ever since Aurelia died, I haven't liked the phrase we lost her. As in, we lost her to a cord accident at 24 weeks. We NEVER lost her. We knew exactly where she was. When we ultrasounded Chiron, she was there. When he was born, she was removed first. I can't really say she was born first since born implies life (see, the dang labels), and I still haven't seen any official sheet of paper showing it, but she was removed from my body at 08:15 and he was at 08:16.
Losing her somehow makes it sound to me like it was an act of negligence. Like we didn't care enough to keep track of her. Like I didn't love her enough to keep sending her oxygen through her cord. Like there is action I could have taken that would have kept her alive. Similar to how hostile interuterine environment bothered me because hostile sounds like it is the product of intent.
Despite this, I've kept using the phrase. It seems to roll over people well and not upset them. Losing her somehow makes her less real. Real things die.
At Trajan's first play therapy session, I departed from this practice. I said, "his sister died due to a cord accident at 24 weeks." I want to add in likely cord accident, but I think it's cleaner this way.
I've tried it a couple of times now and I would say that saying your child died is a little harder on others than saying you lost them, but I just don't think it's about them, so I'm going to stick wtih it.
Next step would be for me to use her name. I still have trouble doing that. As a final funny thought, my main problem with the name Aurelia was I wasn't sure about the pronunciation. Turns out that was a total non-issue. .. So, for practice: Aurelia died in utero at 24 weeks gestation. I think I've got this! :-)