Quiet Mourning Thesis

Pages: 12 (3698 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children

¶ … Quiet Mourning

One has a tendency to remember special events when they are happy, disastrous, or sad. I remember the very moment I first suspected that I was pregnant: where I was, who was present, and, most importantly, how I felt at that very moment. It was a spring day, and while I was out walking my dog, I stopped for a moment in the park to admire the day. I sat on a bench and I let the bright sun wash over me as though it was washing away the gloom of winter. There, basking in the warmth of the mid morning day, from what at first seemed at a distance, then nearer, caught my attention, and I turned to see children playing. Imagine that, children playing in a park. It was just then that a very pregnant woman stepped into my view, and I smiled at her roundness. Then, I realized that in the past months I had become so comfortable with the idea of if it happens, fine, if not, don't worry about it, that I had lost track of time and dates, and that I, too, might be pregnant.

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At that moment I jumped up, raced home, put the dog up, and raced to the drug store to pick up the latest home pregnancy test. The few minutes that I had to wait for the test stick to react seemed like suspended time. I thought about how to express my happiness; should I call my husband at work to tell him the good new -- if indeed there were good news to share. Or should I prepare a quiet and romantic dinner for two at home to spring the news on him. When the test stick told me that I was pregnant, the answer as to what to do was clear to me. I took an afghan from the closet, and snuggled with my new life on the couch. It was my first real bonding with the tiny life inside of me.

I know that most people, including physicians, do not think an embryo at eight or twelve weeks is a human life. This is not about the debate for that idea, or against it. It is just about the way I felt about the life growing inside of me at that moment in time.

Thesis on Quiet Mourning One Has a Tendency to Assignment

As my pregnancy progressed, I felt closer to my growing baby. I thought about names for a girl or a boy, and how I would decorate the child's room. I thought about clothes, and I went shopping for the essentials: crib, blankets, diapers, and a stroller. I was too excited to contain myself, even though others advised me to wait to buy things like the stroller and the crib. I didn't care, and I didn't listen, because I felt so connected the child inside me.

I had loved Dr. Seuss children's books as a child, and I had also read that parents should begin reading to their children while they're in the womb; I did that. I enjoyed that, and I even put my favorite music -- the gentle music -- on the stereo and put the headphones on my either side of my small belly so that my child could listen to my favorite music. I was bonded with my child. I loved my child.


Obstetrical and gynecological visits are a very impersonal thing for a woman. Whether the physician is a man or a woman, most women seldom get excited about seeing their OBGYN; until they're pregnant. This happy moment in a woman's life is shared with her physician as the physician monitors the progress of the pregnancy in terms of the mother's and child's health. My first sonogram, when the heartbeat of my child filled the room brought forth from me a flood of tears of happiness. The very sound permeated me, and I felt a love that I had never known before. My physician smiled, assuring me that everything was progressing as expected.

Then, in the fourteenth week of my pregnancy I woke to find myself lying on sheets soaked with my blood. Panic overwhelmed as I realized what was happening to me. My body was rejecting my child, and was spontaneously aborting the fetus. I was alone at the time, and as quickly as I realized what was going on, I began feeling excruciating pain in my lower abdominal area. The pain was the most ferocious cramps I had ever experienced, and it took all the focus and strength I had to dial the phone and get help. When my sister arrived with a bag of pads, I had managed to dress myself, but I had in that short period of time gone through more than a dozen pads already. I tripled them up, and we rushed to the hospital emergency room. On the way, I called my doctor, who was at the hospital but was in surgery. I was assured that I would see him as soon as he was finished with surgery. I could hear the sadness, the sympathy in the nurse's voice when I explained why I had called. Sad, sympathetic, but final, and I knew that there would be no saving the child I come to love over the past weeks.

In the emergency room there were sad looks and expressions of finality from the hospital staff. There was no saving this child, and the ER physician broke that news to me with the saddest look of anyone. He told me that he and his wife had lost a child to miscarriage. He shared more than needed to, but I was grateful for his sharing that with me, because it took away the sterile medical impact of the environment for a moment.

By the time I was taken to surgery I felt as though I had spent a lifetime in the emergency room. Perhaps I did, because the entire lives of myself and the child that I had just look flashed before my eyes: the quiet hours nursing, the photographs, the playgrounds, and so many other things that we might have done together. I did not know the sex of the child I lost that day, and, going forward, depending on my own mood, some days I would imagine it to have been a daughter, other days a son.

When I returned home from the hospital I arrived home to a big sense of emptiness, a sort of black hole in my world, in my home, and in me. My favorite place on the couch where I had snuggled the day I learned I was pregnant, where I first bonded with my baby, was a place that I now avoided. Without even thinking about, I gave up my favorite place on the couch and began sitting in a large overstuffed chair where I had never sat until I came home from the hospital.

Days later, when I still was unable to pull myself out of the funk that I was in, I thought about the ER doctor who had shared just a little bit of his own life with me. Then the social worker, who had visited me and left a card for a self-help group for people who had lost children. I found a book by Nancy Kohner and Alix Henley (2001), When a Baby Dies: The Experience of Late Miscarriage, Still Birth, and Neonatal Death. I didn't think that it exactly pertained to me, but I bought it, because I thought that losing a child at any age must be the same emotional experience, even though the actual experience of child birth and rearing might be different up to and at any age or stage in the child's development.

I read the stories in Kohner's book with something that was almost a hunger. I wanted to relate to others, to be closer to people who experienced the same loss I had. The book brought me a certain comfort, because I quickly realized that while I bonded with a child inside of me, that child was nonetheless a mystery to me as to his or her personality, and that I had only imagined the many life experiences between us, while others, the people in Kohner's book, had actual life experiences that they shared with their child. The children were born, and they were real personalities who were interactive in the lives of the parents, the families. Mine was interactive on a level that was surreal, but nonetheless real, because there was for a period of fourteen weeks a life growing inside of me. That life, though invisible to the world around me, was very much a part of me, inside of me.

As I thought about the child inside of me, I suddenly realized that my child was gaining its vital nourishment through me. I suddenly began to wonder if I had perhaps done something that was not healthy for my child. Was my womb poisoned by something… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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