Sunday, July 25, 2010

What I would like to say

A few weeks ago I had lunch with a nurse who is the 'bereavement coordinator' for the NICU. (Yes, she deals with baby death. All. The. Time. and yes, she's very good at it, if one can actually be good at something like that). She was a woman who I had thought of contacting in the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy when we knew things were likely 'not going to be okay'. I knew she would be supportive. That she would understand. As it happened, I never actually got in touch with her until after Aidan died. She asked after I e-mailed her to tell her what happened, "why didn't you contact me prior to losing Aidan?" She didn't ask it in a critical way, just wondering. My response was that "You deal with death, and I wasn't ready to give up hope on him yet. I was his mommy. I had to have hope for him". She understood.

In the weeks since, she has been very nice. Very supportive. She was even a reference for me for my new job. We had lunch together a few weeks ago, and I was detailing what happened during my pregnancy and what happened during my delivery and what we thought happened to Aidan. As I was describing it to her, she said that as a nurse, and as a cardiac patient, I would have a very interesting take on the medical care that I received during that time. That if I ever wanted to write out 'my story', she would help me look for a nursing journal to publish it, if I wanted to go that route.

I have considered it since. I think one day I will do it. I have even started. Maybe some day I'll finish it. I don't know if anyone has noticed, but I have never actually gotten around to writing on here, my blog, the last part of the 'how it all went down'. I'm not sure I can yet. But I will. One day.

I would also like to write a post or postings on here about what it was like to grow up with a heart defect. I've written that I indeed do have a fairly rare heart malformation. I haven't mentioned what kind I have, because really, it's just medical lingo and unless you have an interest in cardiology it would mean nothing to you. But, no matter what my condition is called, it has affected my whole life. It colours my personality, my inner thoughts and my outlook on life. I would like to organize my thoughts around my heart someday.

But those are future posts.

Today I was in the shower and I was thinking about books I like. I like books. Wait scratch that. I love books. Books are my friends. You know that taunt when you're little "if you like them so much, why don't you marry them?" I'm the kind of person who just might. I have often considered what it would be like to live in a bookstore or a library. All I would need is a cot. I could just curl up in a corner somewhere. Living off the written word around me.

I was thinking about a book that I once read, probably two years or so ago. I wanted to put it down here as suggested reading. It's not particularly about being babylost, but it is about motherhood, reproduction and reproductive issues. It's a collection of short true stories. The book is, CHOICE: True Stories of Birth, Contraception, Infertility, Adoption, Single Parenthood, and Abortion. Edited by Karen E. Bender and Nina de Gramont.

Read it if you want to. Or don't. But I might just have to find it again at the library or at the bookstore.

Sorry for the rambling post. I'm kind of sad tonight so you'll have to excuse me. So, my question is do you like to read? Do you have any book recommendations for me? I'll pretty much read whatever, as long as it's in English. And I'll try very hard if it's not.


  1. I read your blog and thought, "Oh my word, Emily and I are on the same page tonight - ha, ha." Then saw your comment and really started laughing. Glad to be sharing the book love tonight. I have recommendations up the wazoo (three years working in a bookstore will do that to you), but I will start with one: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. It's sad, it deals with death, but it is so, so good. Oh, and I've read that book you mention and it's good too.

  2. I used to love to's been hard for me since Bailey's death. It was a ritual for "us" every night. I would get into bed, read for a little while, then go to sleep. It was "our" time.

    A book I read a couple of years ago that I enjoyed was Water for Elephants. I don't remember who it's by, but a friend recommended it to me, and I read it. Love, scandal, has a little bit of it all.

  3. I look forward to those future posts. I'm curious about which heart defect you have...I'm not in the medical profession, but I've always found medicine interesting. I thought about becoming a nurse when I was in high school, but got intimidated by the chemistry and math, although I regret not doing it.

    Some of my favorite books are:

    Poisonwood Bible
    Pillars of the Earth
    Memoirs of a Geisha
    A Fine Balance
    In a Sunburnt Country
    Angela’s Ashes
    The Red Tent
    The Book of Negroes

  4. I would love to hear your story. I LOVE books as well. It often becomes as escape for me from reality especially when I am feeling blue. I hope you feel better. {hugs}

  5. Emily, I am so sorry for your loss. There is a beautiful memoir by Elizabeth McCracken about the loss of her infant son. It's called An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination. Also Ann Hood, who contributed my favorite essay in Choice, has a wonderful new novel called The Red Thread.

    I send my best wishes and deepest sympathy,


  6. as far as non-babylost books, i second danae's recommendation of water for elephants, and i also recommend the help and my name is memory. all books i've read relatively recently that i loved.

    yes, i had noticed that you hadn't yet written the final chapter of how it all went down, but was waiting patiently for you to be ready. take as much time as you need - even if you never publish it on your blog, it might be good for you to write it out for your own sake.

  7. Hello, I just wanted to say thank you for the comment you left on my blog. I was really sorry to read of your loss.

    As far as books go, I have enjoyed The Time Traveller's Wife and I like silly fiction like the Hitch Hiker's Guide books.

    I hope that your return to work goes gently for you.

    Emma's Daddy

  8. I also LOVE to read & absolutely love bookstores...I had already purchased several books for our daughter and read to her throughout my pregnancy. One of the books in particular meant a lot to me & I read it at her funeral, On The Night You Were took on special meaning after her death.
    Anyway books pertaining to infant loss. An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination is supposed to be very good (I've bought it, but haven't read it yet) and I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief & Joy by Angie Smith is excellent (some religious references though so depends on if that is something you're interested in). Non baby loss related, The Help by Kathryn Stockett is fantastic & if you haven't read The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo series I love those as well.

  9. I'm a reader too - have been since before kindergarten!

    As far as babyloss books - the one that helped me the most is not actually about babyloss, but it is about grief. Why Bad Things Happen to Good People, by Rabbi Kushner. I've read lots of babyloss books - but that one was the most helpful. I find myself returning to it often.

    For fiction books... I like some oldies like Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier. For a light, fun read I like the Stephanie Plum series. James Michener books are HUGE and not exactly light reading, but one of my favorites is The Source.

    So many books, not enough time...