Saturday, April 2, 2011

Death of innocence

Losing a newborn baby in the hospital is a bad place to be in. Its a terrible place to be in. I look back and think how insensitive people have been. If anyone's reading my post, I'd like your opinion on whether I'm over reacting (my baby's death is taking its toll on me) or you find my observations normal. Now, the reason am saying this is because how can so many people (they haven't lost babies of course) can have an opinion/reaction so extreme to my own.

Scene 1: When my baby was still sick in nicu I had some visitors who told me directly that I should have rested and not travelled - causing my water to break prematurely. I was feeling guilty about this as it is. Even if it were true, how could someone say this to me when my baby is still sick and no one is sure if he will live. Rather, can't they at least try a lie and say a few words of comfort?

Scene 2: My baby had just died. His lifeless body was in the nicu and there were a few people in my hospital room. Somebody said, its good for you as you'd have hard time taking care of a pre-term baby. You are saved from the future problems. You will get more healthy babies soon.

Scene 3: Am back home lying on my bed with no baby at my side. I just have a c-section wound to nurse. Best of the insightful suggestions were saved for the last and they came now. When I told them how I had started weaving my imaginations and naming him and talking to him once I knew he was a boy (in India they don't disclose the gender of the baby. in Dubai, they do), somebody told me I were stupid to have got so attached to my son whom I hadn't seen yet. Somebody else told it was good the baby hadn't come home from the hospital because that would have been more painful to lose a baby that lived with me for few days. Somebody phoned my home the week after my baby died and when my mother said I was still sad, expressed surprise on how I could still be attached to a pre-term baby that didn't even come home. Someone told me to forget this whole affair as a bad dream.

Scene 4: I return to my house in Dubai. A cousin who was the last person whom I had seen in Dubai before I'd left for my delivery calls after a month and talks about how I'm enjoying (yes, she used that word), the new flat (my husband had shifted to a new flat when I was still in India). She invites me to come over to her place for a relaxed, carefree (yes, she used those words) weekend. No mention of anything else. She was in a hurry to put the phone down. I guessed that she was worried I may bring up the topic of my baby.

Scene 5: This cousin calls again after 2 months to invite me to her baby's first birthday party. I tell her 'I will try'. She guesses that I may not turn up, so calls V to give him some tips on how we should not sulk. Of course, she doesn't mention the baby, the hurt or anything. No acknowledgement. For her, babies die on another planet.

Scene 6: V's sister was in the hospital with us the day my baby was born and had called me once when my baby was getting better in the nicu but I haven't heard from her since. She lives in AD, some hundred kilometres from where I stay.

Isn't losing a baby a terrible place to be in?


  1. People say really stupid things. It's hurtful and insensitive. I think the reason they do is they want to minimize the pain you're in, because if they truly had to imagine it would be too much, so it is easier to think "well, that's not so bad", or "it could be worse", or say a dozen other platitudes which are not helpful.

    I'm sorry you're having to endure such comments. I had a very hard time with this after I lost my son.

    Losing a baby is heart-wrenching and you have every right to mourn this much loved and wanted boy. And try and remember that you did nothing wrong, please don't blame yourself for his death. I think we all go through that, where we feel responsible. Be gentle with yourself and know you are not alone. Sending you so much love.

  2. Please ignore the ignorant. Most of them say some stupid things since they dont know what to say. They think that whatever they are saying will make you better and you will forget(!).

    When I had a miscarriage my own husband did not know how to handle it and has said some hurtful things. He did not mean it but at the same time he did not what/how to say.

    Losing a child is un-imaginable. Vitu is part of your life and will always be. He may not be there with you in a physical form but is immersed into your soul.

  3. Unfortunately, people try to explain things and sometimes it is more for themselves than for us. They can't seem to comprehend this kind of loss. It is an unimaginable amount of pain and if they had to put themselves in our shoes they couldn't do it. So to appease themselves they come up with "reasons" which explain why it happened and they think that by sharing it, it will help you.

    You have every right to mourn your son. He was and always be your son. Regardless of how much time he was with you. He was still with you.

  4. Namaste.
    I am not a parent, nor do I think I will be in this lifetime. I came across your blog after reading Devdutt Pattanaik's article. You have my condolences.

    Shanti Shanti Shantih.

  5. I cant believe how insensitive people can be. I think its more to do with the fact that they have no idea how to deal with infant loss. Perhaps they are not trying to intentionally hurt you. They are just stupid.

  6. Oh Chaitali, you have been on my mind the past few days. I'm so sorry that people you know and care about have been so insensitive. Another mother said to me how much work it to forgive others after such an experience. It's all too true, isn't it? That after everything we have been through, now we have to forgive others for their insensitivities. It's mind blowing. Love to you, sweetheart. You are not alone in this, please know that. xo

  7. People are very ignorant to the suffering of a grieving parent. I agree with some of the prior commenters- those who haven't experienced this type of loss want nothing more for the "old you" to come out, and are trying to make you feel better, although nothing will.