Sunday, September 26, 2010

Real Life Proof

I just finished a book called "After You" by Julie Buxbaum. I picked up the book knowing it was about a woman whose best friend dies. The female protagonist decides to leave her husband and fly across the ocean to help her best friend's child and husband come to terms with her friend's sudden and violent death. I picked up the book thinking it had to do with loss and since that's something I can relate to, it was sure to be a satisfying read.

However, a short ways into the book you find out that the reason it was so easy for the protagonist to leave her husband, fly across the ocean, and spend weeks sorting out the life of her dead best friend is because the protagonist and her husband have been slowing growing apart for over two years. Ever since their son was stillborn.

Damn, that dead baby radar of mine just keeps kicking in. I pick out a random book at Chapters and whatda ya features a dead baby.

It did end up being a pretty good book. Along the lines of Jodi Picoult if you like that kind of novel. It had some very accurate thoughts regarding babylostness. However, if you really want to read it for yourself and want to be surprised at the ending please stop reading now.



Still with me? Okay, so part way through the book, the protagonist's husband flies overseas to visit her and tell her that since she hasn't returned home, and seems uninterested in continuing her marriage, he is filing for divorce. Since the death of the baby they've grown apart, blah blah blah etc. They are both sad and hurt, too much has been said or not said on either side. But, of course they go for that one last night of pity sex. The break-up sex that precedes the break-up. If you have any imagination at all, I bet you can guess what the results of that one random night of sex are...yup. A baby.

Of course.

So, I finish up with "After You" and download another book to my kindle. It's called "Sarah's Key". It's about the Holocaust...another depressing read. Death, death and more death...not a birth in site. Perfect. So the book flips back and forwards in time, partially following a young Jewish girl named Sarah in 1942, and then jumping forward to 'nowish' when a 45 year old female journalist is tracking down the details of Sarah's life. Then, all of a sudden, just like that, the 45 year old journalist is PREGNANT. A whoopsie, pregnancy to boot after she has had multiple miscarriages in her life. AND, just to cap it off, the 45 year old journalist has a sudden gush of blood at 8 weeks and is afraid she is miscarrying. It turns out NOPE, her baby is just fine after some BED REST!!!!

Did I happen to mention she was 45? And had a history of recurrent miscarriages? And experiences a giant gush of blood where she passes out and thinks she's miscarrying and THEN EVERYTHING IS FINE!!!! Oh and just to spoil the ending, no the baby doesn't have any genetic or birth defects...even though her mother is 45.

Did I miss something? Did I just not notice before Aidan that all books feature a miraculous pregnancy? I guess I should read The Bible next...(HAHAHA).

These are works of fiction of course...but seriously? Do they have to read so damn FICTIONALLY. In the real world (my world actually), the baby dies and despite trying for months afterwards, timing intercourse *just right*, the protagonist does not get pregnant. The dead baby does not magically lead to a healthy pregnancy where the couple have to face their fears, and move past it to welcome a new life in to the family. In my world the bloody gush in the 1st trimester is only a foreshadowing of things to come. It does not turn out fine. There are no rushes to the hospital where things are deemed 'okay'. Best rest is only ever just that...lost of rest. The baby still dies.

Why, oh why, is there the universally held notion in any book, movie, tv show or discussion about sex (especially with under age teenagers), that one random night of sex automatically leads to a pregnancy, and thus of course, a baby. And that 45 year olds get knocked up and have children with no genetic abnormalities after a life time history of recurrent miscarriages. I know, I know, these books are suppose to leave you with the warm fuzzy notion that "miracles do happen" and the "circle of life continues"...but I'd like to see some real life proof please.

My real life proof, to be specific.

Are you tired of reading/seeing/hearing about other people's miracles? Even fictional ones? What do you think of when you read these? Hope for the future? Or bitterness for the past?


  1. I've noticed by hovering around TTC circles, and in looking for more stuff about Clomid that people love their success stories. People love to see that someone "just like them" did it, so they can too.

    I'm not sure if that is some sort of delusion that they're participating in, or if they're somehow fundamentally more positive and optimistic than I am capable of being.

    I'm tired of the success stories. I can't flail my arms about in frustration without smacking someone who has living children or isn't pregnant and happy and warm fuzzy and for whom things all turn out perfect in the end.

    Except for me.

    I don't look at the success stories, the people with their BFPs and think "wow, see, there is hope for me yet!" I just see ONE MORE DAMN PERSON THAT ISN'T ME. Nowhere in that does it translate to me thinking that things will stop sucking for me.

  2. I should add that the most satisfying ending I've had in a book lately was one where the protagonist and the potential love interest do NOT get together at the end because their lives where just too involved in other things and the major events that the book was really about, and part ways.

    That felt like how reality really turns out.

  3. i am a writer and one of the most important things is:

    if a gun is shown in the first act, it had damned sure better go off in the third.

    so that is just shitty writing right there. you can't foreshadow something happening like that and then not let it happen.

    aargh. that would have driven me mad.

    also, i read two books recently with dead husbands. and i just thought they were pretty shit. i didn't buy the grief at all.

    there is hardly any realistic grief in fiction. i wish i didn't know that.

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  5. I hate coming across those kinds of miracle stories - it especially seems to happen in TV shows.

    People get pregnant - and everything just turns out peachy. Even if there is a scare or two.

    I also hate how you pick up a book or movie - intending to slip away into another world and forget the one we're in... and then babyloss pops up. Ruins the whole "escape from reality" thing.

  6. Hey Emily - just another quick note to say I nominated you for an award on my blog.

    I've always enjoyed reading what you write, and I appreciate your straight-forwardness in regards to grief and babyloss. I'm just sorry you had to start this blog after losing Adian.

    Anyways - I just think you are great!