Sunday, September 10, 2017

Can't sleep

Can't sleep... It's 0141.  Swirls of thoughts in my head... pictures, recap of conversations, feelings, misunderstandings, and the sad attempt of trying to make sense of what seems like a giant entangled hair ball called grief.  I'm comforted by the research I ran into while putting together a powerpoint on perinatal loss.  It stated that the intensity of grief can last 4 years or longer in parents of a stillbirth (Heazell et al., 2016).  I need these confirmations that I'm not crazy but normal.  Here's my random thoughts I just need to share:

It doesn't matter what hardships life has brought you, pain is pain so don't say that my response to the loss of Vivian is harder because you presume I haven't experienced loss before.  Bullshit.

OB providers who say "I'm here if you need me; just call if you need to see me" might be more comfortable with this, but I'd encourage you to instead say that you want to see her and offer her an appointment in a week.  If she wakes up and doesn't want to see you that day, then she can cancel.  Two very different approaches.

"Time doesn't stop, Tiffani" said in a cold hearted tone.  It's actually ok to wish it did.  AND No one knows the reality of that statement more than those suffering through grief.  A punch to the gut.

Tough love has no place in 'supporting' someone in grief.  Listen, acknowledge and encourage.

Some areas across the country are doing perinatal loss beautifully in their hospital settings.  It's a bit of a curse to hear the stories and meet those on the front lines serving & caring for families in a mighty way.  Where is the buy in here where I live?  It needs to be FAR more than something we get through as nurses and providers.

People are great first responders, fantastic really (as we're witnessing with the hurricane disasters) but we suck with follow through.

Our hospital sent out an email with an article they wanted us all to read "It's Sarah, not Stephen" educating us on the transgender population and their discomfort in not being addressed correctly.  Less than 1% of the population is transgender.  I think it's great this article was sent out.  It also makes me quite upset that we see far more families with a baby loss and yet so many health care providers are not educated on how to best care and support them.

You know how the crowd in the Hunger Games, touches their 3 fingers to their lips then holds them in the air as a tribute to Katniss?  A silent salute of sorts. It's powerful.  It may sound cheesey but I think it would be so thoughtful if we did something like it when a Mom makes her way down the hall without a baby in her arms before heading home.  It was absolute torture to be wheeled out of labor & delivery with empty arms and to see that a few looked at me with tear filled eyes while others went about tasking as usual as if it was just another day.  It was brutal and disturbing and I'll never get the images out of my head.  We need to do more.

Empathy.  It connects us.  We need it.

Heazell, A. P., Siassakos, D., Blencowe, H., Burden, C., Bhutta, Z. A., Cacciatore, J., & Downe, S. (2016). Stillbirths: Economic and psychosocial consequences. Lancet (London, England), 387(10018), 604-616.

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