donderdag 1 februari 2018


Tomorrow 17 years ago I became mother for the first time. Mother of a still born child.

Jasper had died the day before, on thursday 1 February 2001. We had seen him die on the ultrasound and heard his heart beat fade away. I or actually we had a massive bleeding on the placenta, one of the possible consequences of HELLP syndrome. I was only 26/5 weeks pregnant and at that time policy was to not do anything harmful for a mother under 28 weeks of pregnancy. A cesarian without blood platelets and with high reflexes ending in epileptic convulsions can be pretty harmfull. I told the obstetrician who made the ultrasound that it was ok. Deep in my heart I knew it was supposed to happen. Of course it wasn't really ok and afterwards I often thought, how could I be so cruel to say it was ok that my child was dying. Or was it just a reflection of that deep inner wisdom that I touched at that moment?

My whole belief system was shaken up by the death of my child. Until that moment I always secretly thought, this won't happen to me. Not only a child dying I mean, but with everything less desired that could happen to me. It had happened to me. My child died because my body failed, my body let my precious child die.

Please if you ever meet a parent of a still born child who is mourning (you can do/tell me these things now, I can handle them but I couldn't handle them at that time):
* don't start to scream when you are holding the child that he is cold and that the mother should warm the child. You can warm up a dead child but it won't start to live again. If warming up would be the solution, the mother would have done it for sure. Really.
* don't tell the mother she is still young and can have another baby. That doesn't take the pain away in any way.
* don't tell the mother you know about another child who was born under 28 weeks of pregnancy who is doing perfectly fine. You cannot compare children, HELLP syndrome also sickens the child a lot. And it hurts. It just hurts. Now you can tell me, and we can talk about it. I know that some children live and others don't. But those first months after Jasper's birth, I could not hear these words.
* don't tell the parents not to give the same name to their next child (of course we didn't but if we would have, it would have been our choice) or to compare the next child with Jasper. First, I never saw Jasper take a breath on earth and second, Tijmens birth was still a long time ahead of us. I wasn't planning of comparing him with a still born child. Tijmen was far from still born :)
* don't tell how long someone can mourn or think that the different stages of mourning described in books are a linear process. You can do perfectly fine for weeks and then suddenly it hits hard, my child died because my body failed. It still hits hard sometimes.
* don't tell me (at least me, it might be different for someone else) it was not my body that failed. It was my body who made a mistake with the umbical cord, with the placenta, with blood pressure. It were my kidneys and my liver who completely failed, it simply was like that.

Please remember Jasper for who he was. A tiny little baby who died at the (in some ways) safest or at least warmest place on earth. Please know that I am more than grateful to have four super lively children. I would not have believed that 17 years ago.

To Jasper. 

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