And I am not here to talk about whose grief is worse, that of a mother who had a miscarriage or that of a mother who had a stillbirth. We get so competetive about grief: my loss was worse than yours, I lost more than you did.
That is not a place I want to go. But I do want to clarify, for any reader who may have come here not understanding that a miscarriage is not a stillbirth. Calling Ben's death a miscarriage takes away some of his reality--for he was a full-term child with a name, a weight (7 lbs, 10 ozs.), a height (19.5"), and hair (brown). I will never know the color of his eyes. He was long and lean, had long fingers like mine, narrow feet like his father's. I held him. My husband took pictures of him, we undressed him, we kissed him and rocked him. You cannot do this with a miscarriage.
So, what IS the difference, you ask? These are the basics:
* A miscarriage is the loss of a child before 20 weeks gestation. (This is the US definition; I realize in other countries, like the UK, a miscarriage is a pregnancy loss before 24 weeks.)
* More than 80% of miscarriages occur before 12 weeks gestation.
(For more info, go to BabyCenter.)
* A stillbirth is the loss of a pregnancy after 20 weeks, or 24 weeks in the UK.
* In a stillbirth, the baby has died in utero before delivery or during delivery.
* Yes, a woman who has a stillbirth has to deliver her child, most often vaginally as doctors prefer not to do a cesearean in these cases, if possible. (Did you get that? I went into labor and delivered my son just as if he were alive.)
Yesterday I also found an article online, from England's Daily Mail newspaper. This paper is not exactly, er, known for its journalistic integrity, and the article reflected that. A British actress, Kym Marsh, discussed the "stillbirth" of her son, Archie Jay, in the article.
The thing is, Archie Jay was BORN ALIVE. He died shortly after birth.
I believe accuracy matters. Perhaps I'm being