27 January, 2012

it's that time of year again

this wednesday will be the fourth anniversary of your brother's birth. and death. it's an overall crappy time of year since your dad is deep into wrestling season so you and i are alone a lot. and it's cold and dark. but on top of it, the thoughts of your brother are always jumping around in my head.

the thoughts vary from day to day. from year to year. but mostly this year during this time, the thoughts have been visions of holding him in my arms while he took those labored breaths. of sobbing and of your dad stroking his tiny head with all of his hair. of asking good old dr. kimberly bridges-white with that oh so very popular practice garden state ob/gyn if he was in pain. and of her telling me 'no, i don't think so'. and of the memory that i did not really believe her.

he was in pain. i know he was.

but now on top of those images and memories, i find myself placing more blame on myself for knowing so little.

for a while i forgave myself for knowing nothing. but these days, these weeks, i have really been hard on myself. i wish i had known to hire a doula who would have known more than i did. i wish i had known anything. i let them induce me because i had gotten a fever (because so many of their grimy fingers had been in my vagina because i didn't know to tell them not to do that) and i didn't even know that the pitocin contractions would be harder than natural ones. so i got the epidural because why should i suffer with this pain when i he wasn't even going to live? and of course i was on my back and tied to a monitor. and i was thirsty. so effing (see i am trying really hard to lay off of the foul language) thirsty. but i could only have ice chips. wtf? so stupid...me and all of their policies and procedures. i wish i had known what i know now.

i am not saying that your brother would have lived. but things would have been different. very different.

had i used a midwife...i mean a home birth midwife who took an hour with me at every appointment to listen to me and to really care about what was happening with me and with my body and my baby, i would have been cared for in a way that both cooper and i deserved. my midwife would have checked me for bv and treated it. and even if she didn't, and my water had still broken, she would have had me stay at home and rest and drink fluids and monitor my temps. and then had i gotten an infection and cooper had to be born, he would have been born quietly and peacefully at home. but let's say i did go to the hospital. and let's say i didn't have a midwife. if i had at least known something. anything other than what i had learned on that g-d baby story, i would have known to tell them not to do vaginal exams on me after my water had broken. why didn't they know that? why? i will never never understand that as long as i live. never. and even if they had done exams and i did spike that fever, and i did have to get induced, i would have known how to deal with those contractions. and at least my little tiny one pound, six ounce baby boy would not have been pumped full of drugs when he was born. maybe he would have had a little bit of fight in him. maybe. and maybe not. but at least if i weren't so drugged up i could have gotten up out of bed and carried him after he died and given him his only bath and dressed him in his tiny little baby doll clothes myself instead of having some strangers do it.

but intead i knew nothing. i had no support from anyone who cared or knew anything, except from your dad who knew nothing, too. all we knew was that we were scared. and our baby was about to die.

and we trusted our doctors.

we didn't know shit.


  1. I hear you and I see you, Tiff. I see you in your heartbreak, and your rage, and your pain. I see you in your strong warrior-mama self, in your anger towards others, and in your anger toward yourself. I see you in your fear, and in your not-knowing. I see you in your vulnerable, trusting, new-mama self who wanted nothing more than to have this precious life, fully grown and in her arms, who knew nothing more than to trust those that she had chosen to be her protectors and guides. I see you in that place of grief, and unmeasurable loss that reaches across a lifetime in a way that only those who have endured the pain of loss can know.

    I see you. I hear you. I witness you fully, and I honor you fully in all of those places.

    Cooper's lifetime was so short, but the work of his lifetime - touching your own life in the way that he has, and reaching forward to create change in the world one birth at a time - is powerful. I thank him for that, and I thank you for sharing your story.

    Peace and ease.

  2. This breaks my heart. I'm so so so fucking sorry. Those are the only words I have. Want to give you big giant hugs.