Death is taboo. Stillbirth is even more taboo. It’s not something we’re overly comfortable in thinking too much about or even accepting.
Even after death we go through denial and guilt still believing it can be prevented. But it can’t not forever.
We have to accept death unfortunately but there’s nothing wrong in hoping it won’t happen.
So why is it taboo besides the fact we dislike it.
Stillbirth challenges what you know the life and death cycle. You are born, you live then you die.
A baby dying in the womb dies, then is born but never lives a life after birth. To the majority you don’t exist. You are a bump or a slightly rounded tum. Sometimes if mummy is lucky you aren’t even a bump. You are a picture, a hormone level, 2 lines on a stick. You are a sensation no-one else felt. You are a nursery full of hope left to go dusty.
To the postman and the shop cashier you were nothing. They may never have noticed. To the neighbours you were an future and a fat tum.
You weren’t a person to them you were a situation. That’s why its taboo. Do we ask her about her baby? Do we want to know? Do we say congratulations or sorry or both? Do we pretend it didn’t happen?
Tell her something positive like she can have another because really she was only having a baby. You see very few people even knew Elva was a girl and even fewer knew her name so to the majority she was nothing.
People are afraid they will get upset and don’t want to face the misery that is grief. What if she talks to me about how she feels. What do I say?! What if she talks about the baby what do I say? What if she shows me a picture and the baby is odd looking?
I’m in a rush today I hope I don’t see her.
I’m pregnant, what if her bad luck rubs off on me? What if I lose my baby just from talking to her? Maybe if I avoid her I can pretend this kind of tragedy doesn’t happen.
She’s not happy about my baby so she’s a cow I’ll avoid her still.
These are just things I imagine people think I don’t know. But happily for them I’m keen to avoid them also!
Death is taboo because its sad. Its painful and no one wants it to happen to the one they love. Many of us are scared to die and pretend like it doesn’t happen. But it does.
Mummies of ‘angel’ babies don’t want to talk about death or horror. They just want to share beauty so go talk too one. Shock, horror they learn to make jokes and have normal conversations quickly after too just make sure to follow the do’s and don’t’s.
Then if that mum decides to have a rainbow pregnancy talk to her. About it all be nosey because this time she will tell the world her baby is a girl or boy and their name something she didn’t do last time something she may regret.
Ask her if she’s any worries because often we don’t express our worry for fear of sounding stupid. Share a worry you had in your pregnancies to make her feel better and listen to her.
Remember she won’t EVER forget her baby and she won’t ever stop talking about her baby so if you’re not comfortable with that its your issue not hers.