Two weeks ago, my son was stillborn at 38 weeks gestation, after what we think was a cord accident. While most people have been simply wonderful and offered my husband and I nothing but kindness and support, a handful of encounters have left me questioning my own behaviour and some of the decisions we’ve made.
Firstly, we decided to not opt for an autopsy to determine what may have happened with Eric. There was signs of damage to the cord and placenta (tests are being run on these to see if a vessel ruptured) but as paramedics who’ve seen an autopsy before, my husband and I both felt that we’d rather avoid that happening to our son. I know I’d like to have a solid answer for why it happened at all, but the chances of an autopsy revealing anything that we might have prevented is fairly small according to our midwives and the doctor who helped deliver him. However, when I communicated this decision to a friend of mine, she was shocked and actually proceded to lecture me on why this was a bad decision, why it would make me more paranoid when we tried again (as if I could be more paranoid), how it was neglectful given there could be genetic problems involved, and various other reasons. Now…aside from the fact that I found her lecturing me at a time like this somewhat distasteful, I wanted to poll opinions on whether or not we may have made a bad decision. Is it better to have an autopsy done, in spite of there being no guarantee that anything would be found? Should we maybe have just steeled ourselves and had it done, in spite of knowing just what would be done to our little guy while searching for answers?
The second thing is, about three days ago, we went to the Humane Society and adopted a cat. We’d wanted a cat for awhile, but hadn’t adopted one since pregnant women shouldn’t clean litter boxes, etc etc, and we had no idea whether or not our child would be allergic. Well…now that he’s gone, I’ve been feeling a horrible need to have something to take care of, and to keep me company when my husband goes back to work. So we adopted a perfectly precious little kitty, who is no doubt the friendliest, spunkiest, sweetest fuzzy I’ve ever had the honor of caring for. However, another friend is insisting that we’re being cruel and unfair to Callie the kitty by adopting her to ‘replace’ our dead baby. Obviously, I don’t feel that we’re replacing my child at all, as nothing could possibly replace him, but again I’d like to hear the opinions of others.
I know the language of this post sounds a little stiff. As a longtime lurker, I’m more used to reading than posting. But this has been nagging at me for the past few days and I’d like to get it out. Thanks for reading.