I was thinking over the weekend
that it was time I wrote a more upbeat post here. Because life right now, here in
New Zealand, is good, and only a few weeks ago I wrote about the importance of
gratitude. So I should practice what I preach! Then this morning I heard an
interview with a couple who had lost their baby shortly after birth. Their
story is the first in a podcast series about being produced by Radio New Zealand
(RNZ), and rightly, the podcast is getting plenty of publicity from our
national radio station. And I have to say, as sad as the story was, it was good
to hear it at peak time on Monday morning, sandwiched between political
commentary and news reports, less than two months from our own election. The
interviewer too, let them talk. It helped that the woman in the couple is a
journalist for RNZ, and they were both very open and articulate.
You can hear today’s interview via
this link, and the five-part podcast is aptly titled, The Unthinkable. Episode
One, about the first couple’s experience, is already up.
One issue that the father talked
about is one I could very much relate to. He talked about those first fleeting moments
of happiness or laughter, then being wracked with guilt. “How could I laugh
when I’ve lost my baby?” he remembered feeling. I lifted my head and looked to
the sky and said, “oh god, yes!” I had exactly that reaction, almost verbatim, numerous
times. Until I realised that it was okay. It didn’t mean I didn’t love the baby
I never had, the pregnancies I had lost. It didn’t mean I didn’t deserve it. I’ve
written about this a lot, most recently here
and all of them labelled “guilt” are here. But even
though I knew all this, it was very good to hear it being said, and very good
to know that others in need were hearing this too.
Another interesting point was they
talked about a subsequent miscarriage, in between the two children they have
had since. They talked about how hard that was, and how that brought
considerable fear the next time they got pregnant. Many can relate to that. It
was the theme of my post only a couple of weeks ago. Our innocence – that we
can have a pregnancy (healthy, or at all) – is gone.
Yes, it can be hard listening. It is far from upbeat. But
there is really good advice about relationships, about how people can help (we
can all relate to that I am sure), and about the hope. Because there is hope
there too. Hope for recovery. Hope to understand that they will feel happy
again. Hope to know that a good life is possible; in fact, inevitable. And that's the best news any of us can have.