Sometimes I don’t know what to say. I am supposed to be a writer, a teacher, an English Major for goodness sake! Yet words often fail me. They get lost on the highways and byways of my brain. Somewhere between the thought and my mouth the words I want vanish. Or worse, they come out and are absolutely no good. They don’t fit the situation, they are mispronounced, or they are non sequiturs. And sometimes there are situations, where no matter what words I carefully choose, they will never be enough, mean enough, help enough.
Just over three months ago, on September 26th my best friend’s mom called me. At first, when I saw her name pop up on caller id, I was excited. She’s two weeks early, I thought, but Sara must be in labor. But Joyce’s voice quivered over the line and she asked me softly if I had heard from Sara that day. My stomach dropped. I shook my head and tears welled in my eyes because I knew something had gone wrong.
Wrong. What a deceptively small word, like she had chosen the wrong answer on a test.
“They lost the baby,” Joyce’s voice cracked and became muffled as if she were speaking through her hands. “Her heart just stopped. They are going to induce labor.”
On September 26th I knew that stillbirth didn’t happen. Not today. Not in a world that prides itself on medical technology.
On September 28th Sara delivered her daughter, Lauren Joy, stillborn.
That day I learned that stillbirth does happen and more frequently then one can imagine.
For three months, I’ve been helpless to help Sara. I haven’t known what to say, what to do. I still don’t know.
As short as this post is, I have been working on it for three months. Each time I sat down to write I struggled with the topic. One thing that I kept going back to was the fact that stillbirth is not discussed. It is swept up and tossed out. Since that day, I have read baby loss blogs where far too many moms were told to “get over it” and “move on.” Moms who thought they couldn't talk about their baby...or felt pressured not to. And blogs where doctors were indifferent and never discussed the possibility of stillbirth with the moms.
Sara is a writer and blogger. Her post today helped me to figure out what I can do. I can help to keep Lauren’s name heard by sharing Sara’s story with as many people as I can.
After three months, I still grieve with Sara and her family. Not a day has gone by that I do not think about Lauren and miss her despite never having met her.
This is Lauren’s Story.
She is not a statistic. She is real. She is loved. She is missed.