Friday, September 9, 2016

Through Different Lenses

I'm going to a childbirth class at a local hospital as a support person for a pregnant mommy.

Last night, the class facilitator asked the group if they've been counting their babies kicks and if their doctors have mentioned it to them. One mother said she had heard about it, but admitted that she hadn't been faithfully counting. She shrugged it off like it isn't serious. Another mom said she hadn't even heard about it. Most were silent.

I raised my hand and said something along the lines of "the Count the Kicks Campaign has a website where they explain how to do it, the importance of it, and they even have an App or a print-out page to keep track." The facilitator thanked me for sharing and that was that... class moved on.

My heart was racing when I spoke and in the moments after. This was an open door to share about something I am passionate about! But in the minutes afterwards, as I looked around the room and noticed that the parents seemed disinterested and didn't jot down the name of Count the Kicks to look up later, I felt sad and frustrated. I felt like I should have said more. Hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it?

I wish I'd really stressed the importance of counting baby kicks in the womb. I wish I'd shared that it has literally saved babies lives and reduced the chances of stillbirth. I wish I'd shared about my sweet full-term baby girl and how I lost her around her due date, for no known reason. I wish I'd stated how I wish I'd known about Count the Kicks while pregnant... but my doctor never mentioned it. I was naive and innocent about pregnancy, just as these parents are. I can't fault them for that and I hope that they give birth to healthy babies and maintain that naivety. But I feel like it is my duty to Lily and other babies who have been lost to stillbirth to share what I know... because of experience.

When you lose a baby, you see pregnancy, labor, and birth through different lenses. I didn't want to be awkward or make the parents fearful by looking through the same lenses, but they need to be knowledgable about stillbirth and how to help prevent it. That way they see but a glimpse into these lenses and don't have to clearly see it in the same way.

I am thankful that I was able to even mention it at all. I honestly wasn't expecting it to be brought up after wondering if it would be. I said what I knew to in the moment. I know more of what I want to say if it comes up again in the future. And I'm also planning on printing out a page with information about Count the Kicks (with a page for tracking) to give to the facilitator at the next class and encourage her to pass out at the classes she teaches. I'll at least be able to share with her and hope more can be done in the future. And I can pray that the Lord will remind these parents to look up Count the Kicks.

On another note, I see through my being able to go to this class and not completely lose it how God has healed me in many ways over the years. Yes, it is sad in a way to think about Lily and think about wanting to have more babies, but it's not unbearable. Jesus is carrying me and giving me what I need the moment I need it. He gives me difficult circumstances like this to show me how much healing He has worked in my heart.


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