search discussions

glow in the woods

front page
the archives
what is this place?
the contributors
comment policy

Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

for one and all > Addressing grief with logic

I don't really know where my thoughts are going with this, because they've honestly been a jumble. There could be a million things I could write about in my post but it would be too excessive and rambly. I was just curious if anyone feels that they have adopted certain "tactics" to aid them with grieving in a healthy way. I know we must allow ourselves to feel sadness and pain rather than ball it in, but there's a point where I've noticed I've veered towards "unhealthy" thoughts and they trouble me. I'm normally a very level-headed person, so I don't want to get stuck in the tunnel of "what-ifs." There's also the vicious cycle of blame....often I'll be struck by daily grief, a few times a day. I will feel sad and cry, and that is totally fine and necessary. But then I start to think awful thoughts such as "I killed my baby," "It's all my fault,", and if I LET myself have these thoughts I feel like it just becomes a downward spiral and I cannot function.

I was thinking that it would help to talk inwardly to myself. I did start doing that here and there, answering my thoughts in a way. Telling myself things like "It was an accident," "How could you have known he was dying," "These things just happen." I've recently begun to think of how unfair it is that I could have given birth to my son a week prior, or the week before that, or even a few days before his death, and he would be alive with me now. But then there's another answer for that--"It just happened, how could anyone have caught on, the doctors thought it was a low-risk pregnancy and so did you." And onwards....

Did anyone find it helped them to do these this? To "fight" your thoughts? I know at some level I have to embrace them, but I can do some really destructive thinking if I let it get too out of hand...and I really don't want to feel worse than I already have to feel.
January 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNada

I wish we could be friends in real life. Your posts always connect with me. I do understand what you mean. And yes, I try to use my rational, logical side to talk to my emotional, guilty, "my life is over" side. I also like to wallow in my pain sometimes, and I think that's normal and healthy to a degree. In fact, even as I write to you now, I feel I am extra sad and emotional and upset lately, due in part because I have been stressed with work and other things and have not had the time to explore my grief in the ways I often do. I quite literally NEED the time in grief. But yes, then I hit a point where it's like, to keep living with any semblance of quality of life at all, I must figure out a way to process some of this and to even talk rationally with myself about some of my hardest thoughts at times. I understand the what ifs and the unhealthy thoughts as well - and, like you, I would be considered by all accounts a very stable, level-headed person before all of this. It's really scary to see what such a tragedy can do to my thoughts and how quickly I was willing to blame myself for anything and everything. I have the "I killed my baby" thoughts too. I also have "I am so stupid; I didn't even know my baby was in distress, dying, or dead" and "I guess even my baby didn't want me" (I know that last one is particularly irrational, but in my lowest moments I have thought it).

As for the talking inwardly, I understand what you mean and have tried some of the same tactics you have. "It was an accident" - sometimes it's helpful to remember that there was no intent, no ill will, no premeditation. Even IF it were technically your fault or my fault (and "fault" is not the right word), it STILL wasn't purposeful; it was TRULY an accident... which makes it not really anyone's "fault" at all. It was a tragic accident, an unfathomably awful one, but it was an accident. "These things just happen" = also true. Think about all of the weird, random, horrible, tragic stories that exist in the world. Perhaps before now, you or I could sit back and think how lucky we were that those things hadn't happened to us (yet). But they do happen, to someone. No one is immune. I'm SURE there's an OB or a midwife out there who has lost a full-term child - a person whose profession and livelihood are based around understanding pregnancies and what's going on in the womb. It's not a perfect science. We don't have a nonstop window into it, or only undeniable signs something is wrong like we do with many other physical conditions. A lot of it is a guessing game, and many times people who think something is wrong find out that nothing actually is, and vice versa. We VERY often hear that weird things in pregnancy are actually normal, or that people are worried about nothing. It gets into your head that things are usually going to be okay. It's just not a perfect science.

"How could you have known he was dying?" - I do this one, too, when I try to be real with myself about what normal human beings, without magical powers and crystal balls, are capable of knowing. We like to think we have a lot more control than we do, and I know I also (clearly) had a false sense of security in my pregnancy. My experience was so wonderful and flawless, I had no idea it would or even really could go wrong. Sure, I wondered what my delivery room story would be - would my epidural work correctly? would the pitocin be too strong? would there be pressure from nurses to get the baby out in a certain amount of time, or a C-section threatened? I wondered these things, knowing that birth plans can go out the window at any moment, but I never thought my baby would DIE. I never had heard of such a thing. I had no experience or reason or history or anything whatsoever to make me think I ought to start freaking out at the bitter end of a beautiful, textbook pregnancy.

I don't know about you, but I question movement all the time. I know from my research now that fetal movement is likely the only potential indicator I could have had as to my baby's well-being or lack thereof. I honestly did not know the importance of it so much at the time. My doctor did ask me at each appt if the baby was moving, but it was not a super specific discussion in great depth. It was very general in nature, and I never counted kicks or thought that was a necessity. (No one made it sound like a game-changer either.) While I can feel stupid and irresponsible for that now, I also recognize that I attended three classes at the hospital (and paid attention/took them seriously), read multiple books about pregnancy, and attended every prenatal appt with a prepared list of questions. I thought about, talked about, and read about pregnancy constantly. I ate well and had the best nutrition of my entire life. I did everything right that I knew to do, except I didn't closely monitor the freaking kicks. Despite all that I did very, very well in this lovely pregnancy, even including stress management and maintaining an incredible sense of calm the entire time, I still can beat myself into a pulp over my laid-back attitude about movement. I now feel that my calmness, which seemed to serve me so well at the time, was a flaw and means that I was too chill and smug and just assumed everything would continue to go well since it had gone so well for 40 weeks already. But was that crazy of me to think? Sure, now I wish I had suddenly for some reason begun to panic about movement at the final moments and intervened in just the right way, etc., but am I nuts for not doing so? Am I actually crazy for thinking I'd be bringing home a live baby? I really don't think I was. I had too many checkmarks in the "things are going just like they should" column.

As far as movement, here's one of my attempts to use logic to get out from under some of the guilt. Either the movement stays about the same/seems fine, or it changes. Well, even if it changes, it seems it would change either quickly or slowly. Ok... So if there was a slow change in movement, then how are we to have really picked up on that? Wouldn't it be near to impossible to notice something so gradual and subtle? I think a slow, steady decrease would be hard to question, b/c even if movements slowed, that would be considered "normal" to you, because it would have been slower for a while. And on the other hand, if movement changed quickly... like if suddenly it went from normal movement to very little or none, and it was drastic... Wouldn't it be likely that some kind of distress had already happened? Or it could have even happened so quickly that the baby is dead by the time the mother could even have noticed? It seems like the only way to catch the distress after it is happening, but isn't too late and past the point of already being damaging or fatal, would be a very narrow window. A small timeframe where there's just enough distress happening to where the mother notices a symptom, but not enough to where the baby is seriously compromised. How big is that timeframe??? Even if the mom does notice in that timeframe, does she also have time to get to the right place, for the right people to realize what's going on at the right time, for those people to contact the doctors and call a C-section at the right moment, etc.? There are a LOT of things that need to work out perfectly in order for a different outcome, besides ONLY realizing something was wrong. Simply knowing something was wrong doesn't change the fact... it just means you know something in your head. To make the outcome actually different (i.e., the baby is alive and well), there would have to be multiple things to happen differently. At least that's how I feel about my case. Granted, I also can do the "what if" thing and can come up with scenarios where it doesn't take as many interventions to have a different outcome... Like if I had been induced earlier than I agreed to, I would already be at the hospital, I would be monitored instead of having to pick up on distress based upon movement alone, etc. Some of the variables would already be in place for a better outcome. However, I still don't know how many decisions would have to be made differently and perfectly for me to have had a desirable outcome even then. Certainly I wish I had taken that option, and maybe I wouldn't even be here on Glow. But in any case, I know there wasn't just one single, simple, obvious, easy thing that would have made my ending for sure perfect. I know even in my best-case daydream, I would have ended up with an unplanned C-section in order to get her out in time and safely... so even that would have some drama and what ifs to it, and I can't know how it would have gone. Probably not worse than my reality, but I do acknowledge that it wouldn't necessarily have been perfect either.

I had a low-risk pregnancy, too. If I had ever been made aware that I had a looming cord accident in the works, I would have acted differently. If I'd been told it was serious and potentially fatal without a C-section, you bet your bottom dollar I would have scheduled a C-section as soon as I could have. If I had been told it was there but likely not serious, I would have had educated conversations with doctors, done research, etc., and I don't know what decision I would have made, but I know I would have at least had the knowledge to think on it. In my real situation, I had NO CLUE. None. It was complete news to me, only after she already died and was delivered. If knowledge is power, then I was powerless in that sense.

Anyway, I do try to fight my thoughts. Sometimes it offers a brief respite, and other times it's no use. In any case, I still return to the circular pattern of guilt and what ifs before long anyway. Your last sentence resonated with me - not wanting to feel worse than you already do. This is actually another place where I use logic sometimes. I tell myself, "Even if you DID do something wrong, even if you SHOULD have noticed something, even if it is all your fault... have you not paid the price already???" We already are enduring the worst punishment imaginable. Yet we're so mean to ourselves on top of that. Honestly sometimes when I use that last logic (not deserving to be punished even more), sometimes I will STILL make myself the villain again... I'll be like, "Well, but you really, really, really wanted to go into labor on your own. You really wanted to avoid interventions unless they were necessary, and you were horrified at even the thought of a C-section... so your heart and mind were not open enough to the safer ways this child could have entered this world, and you are a selfish, irresponsible human for not jumping at the first opportunity to be induced when it was offered and to have medical professionals keeping an eye on your labor. You CHOSE not to take the first options, and it was after those dates passed that your child then died. You CHOSE it." See? I can be so mean, as though I really chose it, when I know only literally did I choose a date on a calendar - I did not "choose" death. I didn't know or even think for a minute that death was part of this decision. Had I known, my god, I would do anything differently. I didn't know. Should I have known? Well, that starts the whole cycle of thoughts all over again.

It's maddening, isn't it?! I hope you at least know you are not alone. I am right there having the same troubling thoughts (as I write you from my perfectly ready but uninhabited nursery). Thank god for Glow... I needed this. Hugs, Nada.
January 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNM
In my own developing grief I have found that I need to address the guilt both with logic and acceptance. On the one hand I need to reassure myself there is nothing I could or should have done differently. That's very important. But on the other hand I need to embrace the guilt as well, and to mentally accept how very, very sorry I am that I couldn't save her, that I didn't do more. I imagine myself apologizing to my sweet little girl, and I cry bitter tears, and it helps.

Parental love is not supposed to be rational anyway. The guilt you are experiencing is a normal parental feeling, just taken to the extreme. You can let yourself be a parent, and give your guilt some space. The good thing is, it's possible to simultaneously hold in mind all the rational reasons why you did nothing wrong. As long as these reasons are not used to push emotion out of the way. (Because, in my experience, the emotion just comes back in some other, less controllable way.)

And you did nothing wrong. If you knew there was something you could have done to save your son, you would have done it without hesitation.
January 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAna
Dear Nada, like NM I too find I can really relate to what you have written. You have been very brave on here talking about feelings that so many of us find so hard to express - myself included.

I do believe that we become a bit (a lot!) irrational from the trauma and stress of our losses. And there is some comfort to be had from standing back and employing a bit of rational thinking. Far more, for me anyway, than I have gleaned from any religious or spiritual comforts.

And yes, I think it can be helpful to counter your negative thoughts with more realistic, logical ones, but like NM warns, there is the danger of pushing away valid emotions (and let me be totally clear, by valid I mean in the sense that everything you feel is 'valid', not that you deserve to feel the way you do) for them to come back in more unhelpful ways.

I also think that it depends on the sort of person you are/mood you're in. I've never been an affirmations type of person - eg if I was feeling insecure and told myself 'you are strong and confident' there would be a little voice piping back 'haha...nope!'.

I've talked a little in your other posts about what has helped me. And I'm sorry if I come across as science/philosophy/psychology 101 :) but reading up and trying to understand my actions has been a comfort to me.

So: I have found the idea that none of us has any true free will to be especially comforting. In my head, I truly TRULY believe that we are not in control of what we do (or do not do), and that is backed up by some pretty convincing science. Getting my heart to believe it is of course a whole different thing.

But with my rational head on, I believe that our actions are fully determined by our surroundings and our previous experiences. I don't believe there's anything more mystical at play - it's just input and output. So how I acted during the time of my baby dying was determined by everything that had gone before that - the feelings I had about pregnancy (pretty safe), the information I'd had about monitoring movement (pretty vague) and all the million other things that were happening at that time. The equation, had it been ever so slightly different, could have led to her living - but it didn't. And that wasn't in my control. Expecting anything different would have been asking for something beyond the laws of the universe; in essence, for a miracle.

A lot of the mental torture I've experienced comes from the fact that, on some level, I believe I CHOSE my daughter's death. I believe our brains are wired to make us feel, after the event, that we had a say in our actions (this feeling is what allows us to take responsibility for our deeds, which is important for society). But it's an illusion.

It feels sometimes like I'm letting myself of the hook. But I truly believe this.

So why is it so hard to accept it? Well, I believe there are a few things going on. Some of it is magical, wishful thinking - I think there's this part of us that thinks 'if only I could have...' and believes it will somehow change the reality.

But also it's to do with hindsight. I'll take a different example. For months I beat myself up about not booking an early third trimester scan, which could have detected a problem and saved my daughter's life. Why didn't I do that? It would have been so easy. It was only a good while later that I realised that - during my pregnancy - I had NO idea scans saved babies' lives. I know NOW that scans can detect poor growth, blood flow issues, placenta failure...all sorts. But I did not know that at the time. I thought 'growth scans' were to check the baby would not be too big to be delivered naturally. So why would I have felt any need to book a extra scan in an uneventful pregnancy?

The thing with hindsight is that our brains are developed to pick up new information and immediately disregard the older, less accurate knowledge that we had before - that information becomes very hard (often impossible) to access and the result is that we feel like we always knew what we know now. And that's the trouble with hindsight - we harshly judge our past actions believing we had knowledge and information that we just didn't - couldn't - have had at the time.

There is also confirmation bias - the idea that because an outcome has happened, we feel the 'clues' we had leading up to it predicted the outcome with far more certainty than they really did. For example, there's an experiment where they tell people the height of the Statue of Liberty and ask them then to say what they would have guessed - they will always be more accurate than if they weren't told the height in advance. So I think the same can be said for your concerns about not noticing sooner the cues that Riyad was going to die/had died. You know the outcome - he died - and so your brain tells you now that it was obvious. But it wasn't. Not at all. Babies stop moving for extended periods all the time - and the overwhelming majority are totally fine.

Perhaps I am not making sense. These are my random, caffeine-fuelled thoughts anyway.

Take care lovely Nada. Your love for your son shines through all of your posts and I'm sorry you're on this journey too x
January 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCyan
I've been thinking about this topic a little more and have some other thoughts about addressing grief w/ logic... Again, such an interesting topic and thank you for starting this conversation, Nada.

At times I realize I'm not always being fair to myself when I feel so guilty about everything and question every move I made around the days my girl died. I had a flawless, textbook, uneventful, peaceful pregnancy until really close to the bitter end, when I started getting incredibly anxious and emotional about it all. It was bizarre, since I had previously been SO calm and unrattled about anything. This restlessness and some of the emotions lasted for about two weeks at the end of pregnancy. But more of a panicky feeling, and INTENSE emotions, like to the point of having trouble getting myself to stop crying, happened for about four days before she died (and then, of course, ever since). Certainly I think all these emotions are a little unusual given what happened... and I'll critique them and feel like I was an idiot for not picking up on anything else being awry - if there was anything I could have picked up on, that is (and I'll never really know). So this is where the addressing grief with logic comes in... I have to actually tell myself that not only was nothing I was feeling all that crazy given the circumstances, but I also play devil's advocate and ask myself, what if she had died and my mental state in the lead-up to it had been exactly the opposite of what it really was? Then I'll realize that in that hypothetical situation, too, I would still think I was an idiot somehow. Basically, if my daughter is going to die unexpectedly at the very, very end of a beautiful pregnancy, I'm simply never going to be ok with anything about it and would have questioned and picked apart everything about myself and my thoughts no matter what.

For instance, what if I had NOT been emotional at all in the lead-up to her death and birth? Well, I probably would now say "It was SO weird... It was my first child and yet somehow I wasn't even emotional about her birth or anxious or anything... Shouldn't I have been? What if I was so chill that I missed a sign? What if being more worked up about it all would have put me more in tune with unusual things potentially going on?" even though currently I'll think the opposite: "I wish I had been calmer, like I had been the entire rest of the pregnancy, and I feel like being so emotional distracted me from being in tune with her movements, or lack thereof." Basically, damned if you do, damned if you don't. If my daughter is dead, I'm going to tear myself up as I reflect back on everything, no matter what actually happened... I'll simply never be ok with the outcome, which then makes me not okay with the lead-up to the outcome... but I wouldn't be okay with it either way, if she still died.

In truth, a lot of what I was feeling was probably really normal anxiety that first-time moms are expected to feel. It's kind of a crazy proposition, after all, to think about how the baby is getting out and to not know exactly when such an enormous life moment will happen. We spend the rest of our lives planning and scheduling, and then this HUGE event is a wild card. That IS kind of scary and crazy, although also exciting (and I WAS excited, too, don't get me wrong!). So, I felt probably like you'd expect me, or anyone, to feel. There are lots of aspects of the days leading up to the death/birth that were really quite normal and typical, and even when I try to pick them apart and to dissect them and figure out where I failed in those times... I also have to take a step back and realize that if I had acted completely differently, I'd be wishing I had acted the way I really, in real life did act... and she still died then.

I agree w/ Cyan that using these trains of thought (attempts at being rational) have been far more helpful than religious or spiritual comforts for me as well. I connect with so much of what Cyan so beautifully articulated. Definitely agree that with hindsight, the catch is that we now think we knew the same info back then... like the new knowledge sneaks in and we start thinking we were negligent back then, and we have trouble realizing and remembering that we did NOT know these same things then. I've turned into a self-educated fetal movement expert only AFTER the fact, so now I feel like I have all of these moments of neglect in my pregnancy where my attention to movement was vague but SHOULD have been so much more specific. But I did not know then what I know now. I had NO idea. Call me crazy, dense, stupid, uninformed, innocent, naive, whatever I might have been... but I never knew to be so anal about movement. And even within this topic, it's STILL not a perfect science even if you are indeed really particular about it. But hindsight plays tricks on us... We now see exactly the best moments when we could have intervened. Sometimes I have to play make-believe and pretend I'm back in my pregnancy in its final days, like actually almost really believe I am, and conjure up those feelings I was having, the mindset I was in, the confidence and journey of a beautiful pregnancy already in my back pocket... and then I see, well, I probably felt and acted a hell of a lot like every other woman who does end up with a live baby. Those women just, luckily for them, didn't have the same awful tragedy strike like I did. They weren't necessarily brilliant, aware, more dutiful geniuses... they simply didn't have the same problem pop up that I did. There might be some small exceptions here and there... but by and large, what happened to me (and in most of our cases!) was so freaking rare, that no one is really educated to be on the lookout for it... not even doctors and ultra-sonographers, it now seems. So how would I have or could I have assumed it was a risk for me? I only NOW know all this info about it, too.

Amen to what Cyan said about confirmation bias, too. So true.
January 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNM
Thank you everyone for your wonderful words and support. It really helps me to read through your experiences and your thoughts. It reminds me I'm not alone at this time. I think things are getting harder for me at this point. The shock is gone and the reality is settling in. It's easier for me to function but the grief still hits (of course) and when it does it is really raw and a sharper pain than before.

NM, I too understand your thoughts and wish we could be real life friends! I am sorry that you are feeling extra sad and emotional lately. I do understand what you mean about needing time to wallow in your grief. I have a busy Saturday today, where I'm expected to do "fun things" like go to a comedy show and be with family (although it's funny because I suggested we see the show, so I can't really blame anyone for this)--and I have to run and do something work-related in an hour, so I feel like I won't have any time to myself to grieve. I guess I try to fit in having time to grieve each day, because like you said, sometimes I just need to be sad. And some days if I don't feel like I've grieved enough I will find myself in tears at work or during other functions.... the grief will just find its way, and it will come. And when it does come after I've been pushing it aside, it is way more intense than allowing myself to be sad when necessary. BUT, if I can use logic to address the self-blame I keep ailing myself with, I find that it's less of a downward spiral and more of me being able to just be sad about the unfairness of this world, and the fact that we lost our children. We lost our CHILDREN. Why do we have to make it worse by blaming ourselves??? We've suffered enough! I am allowing myself to be sad and focus on the unfairness, the bitterness, and the shiftiness of reality right now. I need to focus on that. On the fact that my son is gone, my baby is dead, and it just sucks.

Yes, you did everything you could to have a beautiful pregnancy. Like you said, I too, researched, lived, and breathed pregnancy for the entire 9 months. I did EVERYTHING possible to be safe and then some. I was more active than other pregnant women and took additional DHA supplements, etc. We were both so careful and cautious. And, like you said, movements did gradually slow down. The more I think about my son's death, the more I realize his movements gradually slowed down over time. And how were we to actually think it was odd? Especially because everyone told us--even my high risk doctor said it--that babies slow down before labor. I had cramps, but I thought they were "labor" cramps. That it was approaching. It didn't worry me, it more so excited me. And yes...our situations are SO rare. If I don't blame myself, as Ive been working on with my therapist, I have come to believe that my son probably didn't die on that "Wednesday" that I've been obsessing about. I think he died the day before, which was the same day as my OB appointment. I think it was a few hours after we heard his strong heartbeat. After we left the doctor together, I went to the mall with my sister. We walked around. I cramped slightly, which I believed was just normal, and I slowed down. I remember telling my sister that my son was "going crazy" with his kicks suddenly, as we were sitting and eating. And then he stopped. And I thought it was normal. I thought he was being active and he really liked something I had just eaten. I was reassured by my fantastic doctor's appointment. And the day later--no movement at all. So he died, most likely when I said he was kicking like crazy, or at night while I slept. And I, too, truly had NO idea at the time. None whatsoever. If anyone would have suggested my baby was dead, I would have thought they were insane, because I had just heard his heartbeat hours before, and had just felt him moving about in my belly. I think in the midst of my illogical grief, I have wanted to blame myself so badly so that I can feel in control. As the fog has been slipping way, the fact that he most likely died the same day as my doctor's appointment, when I truly had NO CLUE that something could have been wrong--well, it's unsettling. Because I would have to accept that we truly can't control everything. That these things really do just "happen" and nobody is truly to blame.

Anyway, I am rambling. My therapist and I have started a project where I write down three "new" things (it's hard to keep coming up with new ones) that I can tell myself when I think irrational thoughts of self-blame. When I start to think it's my fault, I write in a notepad things like "it's not my fault," "this was out of my control," etc. Writing it physically so that it can stick in my mind. I will have to keep doing it, it's going to be a very long process, but hopefully some of these things WILL stick. We are so deep into our grief that our minds are conditioned to be depressed and illogical in our thoughts. It makes sense that I have to "re-condition" it to veer away from self-blame....and just focus on moving through the grief without it. We don't deserve to do this to ourselves, especially because we suffered the worst pain imaginable already.

Ana, thank you for sharing your experience. I agree. It's a balancing act. I still have to work through accepting that my son is really dead. It's hard. I too have to accept that there's nothing more I could have done. "And you did nothing wrong. If you knew there was something you could have done to save your son, you would have done it without hesitation." Thank you so much for really resonates and makes me feel a bit better. Because it's true. I really would have done anything I could have to save him. I was too late, but like everyone else here who has suffered a sudden stillbirth, I logically had no idea that this could and did happen.... I need to let myself grieve too, because I find myself feeling very numb recently in-between the shitty feelings. It makes me worry that I may be pushing it aside, to just have a worse reaction later on.

Cyan, I too find rational thinking more comforting than anything spiritual or religious. I'm really not ready to embrace any sort of spiritual thoughts right now. Especially because, if I TRY to remotely look at it in a religious way ("It's God's plan," "He's in a better place,") I just mentally recoil and get SO angry. Like, okay, so God just chose to take MY child away from me when everyone else's is alive? What's the fairness in that? It's interesting though because I know two other loss moms personally. One had a stillbirth at 6 months, another had a full-term stillbirth like mine--it's a bit creepy to me, but she had it at the exact same gestation, 38.5 weeks. And they both tried to comfort me with platitudes such as "It's in God's plan" and "your baby is an angel watching over you." I guess I could see how that comforts some people, but it just doesn't for me. I need logic, I need rational thoughts, I need something objective and real to get me through this. And I'm just too bitter at this point to think about God, fate, and all of these other things people can use as comfort.

Hindsight and confirmation bias make sense. If I think about it, my brain is also wired to think that I always had all of this omniscient information at hand and I should have foretold my son's death. It's funny that my mind is geared to shift into this irrational thinking, especially because my OBs were SO optimistic and had no inkling that anything could possibly go wrong. If they didn't know or suspect anything, how could I have known? If my son's measurements were always perfect, his heartbeat was strong at every appointment, and he was always doing some degree of moving--and I didn't know truly how important movement could I have possibly known I "should have counted his kicks more" or that a strong heartbeat isn't a true indicator of a child's wellbeing? Logically, I was accustomed to going to my weekly appointment, and getting a heartbeat and blood pressure reading, and...that's it. I would talk to the OB if I had any questions, but as long as they heard a strong heartbeat, everything was fine! They sometimes asked me if he was moving, but they didn't ask me how many times. My main OB would mention here and there that kicks should be ten in two hours, but even then he mentioned exceptions such as "the baby having a lazy day" or "sleeping," etc. Nobody felt the need to pull me aside and suddenly tell me that counting kicks is a life or death situation and that I should rush to the ER if I notice anything amiss. So...there's that.
January 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNada
It's a new day and I feel like my attempts at logic are faltering lately. I am feeling very, very raw. Maybe it's because it's almost the 3 month mark. I think about how I should have a baby in my arms, and the unfairness of it all. I think about new research I've found about sleep positions and how they decrease the likelihood of stillbirth (i.e. on your left side)....and I think about how I kept rolling onto my back before I lost my son. I feel guilt, that I've let down my husband, my immediate family who were so anticipating the birth of my baby, and myself. And here I am, struggling to become "rational" again. I didn't feel raw for quite some time but now I feel practically split open and beyond upset. I was functioning just fine but now I feel as if I'm being torn apart. It feels like the first few weeks of his death, but without the fogginess of shock. It's more like the cold, harsh reality sinking in...

I just needed to vent. I'm functioning, but I feel very empty. And yet I have to just feel it.
January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNada