Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Angel Babies

The online community can be a wonderful thing. But there are days when it gives me cold and heartbreaking glimpses of the world outside of my shiny happy bubble. There are days when I just want to grab my girls and curl up in a little ball around them and keep them safe and warm with me. 

These days started when I became a member of the March '09 Mommies board on the What to Expect website. Within a month, I read about several mothers who had lost their babies, whether to miscarriage, still-birth, or sickness after birth. Angel Babies, they call them. 

I read their stories and cried. I tried to stay in touch with the women I had made friends with, and I sent messages of condolences to the ones I hadn't yet met. 

And I prayed that I'd never read another heart wrenching story like theirs again. As hard as it is for me just reading it, I can't imagine how hard it is on the women who have to write them. 

Over time, I began making friends on Twitter and through my blog and other blogs and found myself reading more stories about these Angel Babies. A friend will post about someone she knows, someone whose blog she reads, and she says, "Go read her story - it could save your child's life."

So I go. And I read. And I cry. I think about how lucky I am to have happy, healthy children and I hug them tighter than I did before. 

I'm not a particularly religious person, but when I read these women's sad stories, I pray for them. I pray to whoever may or may not be listening that they find some sort of peace in their loss, even if it is a long time before it comes. 

I try to find reason in the stories, but is there any? Sure, there are new precautions I take now that I would have never thought about before. I ask all of my pregnant friends to be sure to ask for a pulse oximetry reading on their newborn at around 24 hours after birth. I diligently watch my children any time we are in a home with a pool. I am in the process of anchoring all of my heavy furniture to protect from tipping. My children are safer because of these stories, but I feel like it's at the cost of another child's life. 

I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with this post or why I'm even writing it. All I know is that I'm sitting here, my cheeks stinging from the tears left there to dry, and I need to get something out. 

I guess I just want to say to all the Angel Baby parents out there that your stories have affected me in a very deep way and I think about you and your little ones often. Thank you for sharing with me, even if it hurts.