Sunday, February 10, 2013

Stillbirth. Help Break the Silence.

I was out running errands that Saturday morning when Sarah called me and asked me to come home.  She was a week beyond her due date and we were both anxious to welcome our first child into our lives.

Looking back, the drive to the hospital that June day in 2006 seemed to be a long one.  I honestly don't remember the conversation between Sarah & me. I do remember Sarah being tense.  But at the time, I figured it was just a "normal" nervousness.  I know now that it more was than that.

Within an hour of our arrival to the hospital, we were told our baby had died.

"The baby's heart stopped beating."

"I am so sorry."



There must be a mistake.

Shock, disbelief, anger, grief, sorrow, more anger, followed by intense sorrow and depression-like feelings have been with Sarah and me since then.

Sometimes the feelings are overwhelming. Sometimes faint. But the feelings are always there.

We learned about stillbirth.  We found out it happens more than one would think.  BUT no one talks about it. NO ONE. It makes people uncomfortable.  People say some absurd things.  It hurts.

First Candle shared a video (link below) which I hope you will watch and share with your family friends.  I think it may help those who have not delivered a child sleeping (and those that have for that matter). 

Since Abigail, neither Sarah nor I have known anyone in our close circle of family and friends who have experienced stillbirth.  However, coincidentally enough, I received an email from my brother a day or two after I started to draft this post.  A friend of his, whom I had met on a couple of occasions, had lost his son to stillbirth.  His wife was in the hospital preparing for labor and their son died.

Please take a few minutes to click on the link below and watch the video.  And please also remember Abigail Ruth (June 4,2006), Robert and all the other children born sleeping.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Blizzard of 1978

If you live in the Northeastern part of the United States you are well aware that a storm described as possibly "epic" is churning over us as I write this.  And if you are over the age of 40 you may remember the historic storm of 1978 which occurred at about this time 35 years ago - February 6th and 7th, 1978 to be exact.

I was living in a section of Boston called West Roxbury at the time, and I am fortunate to have fond memories of the Blizzard of '78. We were without power for a few days and our street was not cleared for days as well.  But, unlike some others, none of us were left stranded on any of the impassable roads.  There were many people who were not as fortunate  - stranded during the hurricane force winds and freezing temperatures. Schools were closed for 2+ weeks and everyone was using sleds, toboggans and skis as their transportation!

The town I live in now is one of the towns which could see up to 30 inches of snow before Nemo leaves the area on Saturday.  That is a lot of snow!  There are a few differences between the Blizzard of '78 and Nemo, however.  The biggest difference is that everyone has known DAYS in advance of this storm.  Meteorologists were predicting 6 inches of snow before the Blizzard of '78 - it caught everyone by surprise!  Most people didn't have snow blowers back in 1978 either - we just used good 'ole muscle power!

My dad (God rest his soul) and mother got a few brief video clips from the Blizzard of '78.  In this clip are my two younger brothers Chris and Don, my dad, my mother and myself: