Every year, 26,000 babies are stillborn in America. In 2003, one of them was my son.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Socialised Medicine

Obama was in my town yesterday, talking about healthcare. And there were many protesters around my house, anti-healthcare for all. Which I don't get, having lived in a socialised medicine country (England) and seeing all that is wrong with our system here. We pay far too much and get far too little, on the whole. Imagine losing your job and not having to worry about healthcare. Or starting your own business and not having to pay sky-high premiums for insurance. Yes, Brits are taxed more than we are, but you know what, folks? They spend less on healthcare than we do and are healthier than Americans.

Mrs. Spit, a Canadian, wrote an excellent post about universal healthcare that I wish every American had to read. Find it here, and I will get off my soapbox now.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Son of My Sorrow

Some months after Ben died, I went online to look up the meaning of his name. Because he was the second child, I had not obsessed over his name as I had with my first child; we knew, more or less, what we would name a son, having decided during our first pregnancy.

The definition I found hit a little too close to home:

"A biblical name borne by the youngest of the twelve sons of Jacob. His mother Rachel died in giving birth to him, and in her last moments she named him Benoni, meaning 'son of my sorrow'. His father, however, did not wish him to bear such an ill-omened name, and renamed him Benyamin. ... In the middle ages the name was often given to young boys whose mothers had passed away during childbirth."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Great Article for Co-Workers of Those Who Have Lost a Baby

I just discovered a fantastic article at Open to Hope on how employees can help their co-workers who are returning to the office after a stillbirth. Though I was a stay-at-home mom when Ben died, I know there is a need for this information and hope it helps people learn what to do--and what not to do--in this situation.

Click here for the article.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Support Stillbirth Legislation

I've written about this legislation before, but it's time to write about it again. Stillbirth legislation has been introduced to Congress (again--I don't really understand why the "again," but such are the mysteries of our government). Information on the bills can be found at the First Candle website; an excerpt is here:

First Candle is pleased to announce that the Stillbirth and SUID Prevention, Education and Awareness Act of 2009 was filed on July 14 by Senator Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ. A companion bill was filed in the House by Frank Pallone, Jr., D-NJ-6. This bill would improve the collection of critical data to determine the causes of stillbirth, SIDS and SUID, increase education and awareness about how to prevent these tragedies in the future and expand support services for families who have experienced a stillbirth, SIDS or SUID loss.

We need to have letters written within the next week to members of Congress in support of finding the causes and preventing stillbirths. Please, write a letter and pass this information on to friends and family so we can make a difference for parents--and babies--everywhere.

26,000 babies stillborn in the U.S. every year are 26,000 too many.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Something Kreativ

Monica from Still Hopeful tagged me a few weeks back for the Kreativ Blogger Award, because of my love of poetry. I love Monica and wish I lived near her, in part so I could indulge in some of the wonderful goodies she creates and bakes--I keep hinting she needs to open a bakery. Thanks, Monica!

Here are the rules.

1. When given the award, you write about seven things that you love.

2. Pass the award to bloggers that you love, and be sure to tag them and let them know they've won.

So, here goes, 7 things I love:

1. My husband. I don't always know how or why he puts up with me, but he does, and after nearly 13 years of putting up with me, I know I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

2. My kids. They can make me crazier than anyone or anything else in the world, but in return, that's just how much I love them.

3. Coffeeshops (not the Starbucks variety) and nonfat vanilla lattes. There's a great coffeeshop near my house, independently owned, that I just love going to when the kids are in school and I have a few hours to myself to write and work. I'm missing going there during this summer vacation.

4. Traveling. We are planning a trip to England to visit my husband's family and hubby and I are going to Venice for a few days while we're there, for an early celebration of my 40th birthday.

5. Books. With two degrees in English, what would you expect? I don't have nearly enough time to read, and the pile of books by my bed and on my "to read" list numbers in the hundreds.

6. Gardening. I'm not very good at it, but I love to putter around and get my hands dirty. I love watching my plantings grow, I love picking out new flowers to plant in the ground.

7. And, since this is why Monica nominated me, I couldn't neglect to say: poetry.

So, I will leave you with this, from William Wordsworth:

Splendour in the Grass

What though the radiance
which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass,
of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

I tag: Concrete & Honey because of her gorgeous photos, and Holly at Decor8 - her blog is just gorgeous. I'm sure there must be others, but I'll have to add more later.

Monday, July 6, 2009

For Parents, After a Baby's Stillbirth

I've just published a short guide, When the Baby Dies: A Guide for Parents After a Stillbirth, on Smashwords.com. It's a 10 page ebook offering some advice on surviving a stillbirth: relationships, grief, funeral planning, plus additional online and print resources. It's designed to be short enough to read through quickly; I remember after Ben died not having the attention span for longer books.

It's for sale for $4.00 (I hate having to charge, but I am a professional writer, and feel this is a very nominal, and fair, fee), and you can purchase it by clicking on this link above, or here.

You may read the first few pages for free; if you do purchase it and find it useful, please let me know. And thanks.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Right now, I am waiting for something to happen that may or may not change my life.

And it's driving me crazy.

I'm not ready to disclose what that thing might be, but perhaps in a few more weeks I'll be ready to share. (And no, it has nothing to do with having another baby, though I do think about that a lot. We gave the crib away yesterday and we've agreed we're done. That doesn't mean I'm happy about it, but I believe I've already posted about this elsewhere.)

So, to go with my theme of waiting, I'll direct you to some other bloggers who are also waiting:

- Monica, who is waiting for a BFP

- Niobe, who is contemplating another baby via surrogacy

- Mrs. Muelly, who is waiting for her baby girl to arrive after losing two boys

- Jen, who is just simply waiting, and surviving

- Shana, who is waiting to wake up from a nightmare that will not end.