Sunday, 12 November 2017

STILL-BIRTH: A PERPETUAL POST-NATAL DEPRESSION



It is  48 years since  the stillbirth of my identical twin girls, Sarah Robyn and Ruth Glenys Urbani.  They  arrived in Heaven on the 10th November 1969 although it wasn't until 12th November that labour set in and they were born. They were 32 weeks gestation.

Over the years I have blamed myself for not knowing that something was wrong, but I had just turned 16 and didn't know much about pregnancy.  I wasn't sure how often I should be feeling a baby kick- the only thing I was sure about was that I wanted to be the best mother I could possibly be. My child would be loved!

Devastated and not knowing why my babies had died in utero, I blamed the doctor who was supposedly looking after me.... he didn't treat my kidney infection adequately- and that was what eventually killed my babies.  I also blamed my mother for not telling me more about childbirth and leaving me in ignorance- perhaps with a little knowledge, I could have gone to the hospital when I didn't feel movement.  Perhaps they could have given me antibiotics and saved the girls...

Not knowing that God was loving, I was too scared to approach Him for help in my grief... as a pregnant bride at 16, I was sure that He was punishing me by taking my babies. And I blamed my father, who in an alcoholic state on finding out about my pregnancy, cursed me and my baby, telling me he hoped I suffered badly when I gave birth.  He got his wish.

The blame game was pretty rife through out my pregnancy actually.  Dad drank himself into a stupor  which resulted in him having his first heart attack. He was forbidden by doctors to come to my wedding. My uncle gave me away. And Dads'  mother blamed me and didn't come to our wedding.  I had no one to love me for my new husband started his violence as soon as he placed the wedding ring on my finger...I had no one except my baby to love me... as it turned out, my babies...

I think the hardest thing in my life was leaving the hospital empty-handed. I never got to see my twins and was simply answered a terse "No"  when I asked if they were deformed...the nursing staff were horrid to me.

I arrived home to cry over the bassinette waiting in the bedroom and I cried afresh when I opened the music box that played Brahms Lullaby... which I often had played, fantasising about my coming child while I waited endlessly for my husband to come home to fill my long days at home alone.... I so looked forward to being busy with a baby.... and not so lonely.

My breasts ached with milk and I expressed them to make myself comfortable, feeling that I still had some connection to my babies.  I had nothing to show that they had existed except my milk and stretch marks and all I could do was name them and hold them forever in my heart.

No one else wanted to acknowledge that they had even existed.  No one helped me in my grief. Not even my husband, who insisted in the delivery room that I go to work.... I turned my face to the wall and cried in deep draughts that came from wells within me that broke and never really stopped flowing....

I hated myself for not even being able to carry my babies, my depression turned inward. I was convinced that I was evil because of the jealousy I felt on seeing a pregnant woman or a woman with a baby. ..Oh, I had more children and I love them fiercely, but the wells of grief still overtake me some days.

Each baby's face of both my newborn children and grandchildren is scrutinised, wondering if Sarah or Ruth's hair would have had the same little cowslick and if they were black haired or auburn like my firstborn child and youngest grandchild.  I never got to know if it were so or.... to see... to touch... to say hello and goodbye.....

48 years is a long time to grieve, but I guess I will always grieve for the babies who came into the world unwanted and unloved by all but me.and the LORD- for now I have met the LORD and  I know that I will see them in glory,  for I have found salvation and peace in a God Who grieves with me and helps console me in the most difficult of days of depression....

Stillbirth is a perpetual post-natal depression that time doesn't really heal.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Cast your cares upon the Lord, for he careth for you. I Peter 5:7

6 comments:

  1. Wow, the tears are falling. Really touched my heart. Praying for you.

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    1. Thanks so much, Denise! I covert your prayers! Blessings!

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  2. Greetings from Jamaica Glenys. I am so sorry to read that you loss your twins and also what you have experienced. I know what it is like to lose loved ones having lost my father when I was 13 years old, my identical twin sister in 2008 and my brother Sutcliffe last December. My Christian faith has helped me through these challenging times. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I am now a Follower of your Blog.
    Judy - JUDY H-J'S THOUGHTS

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    1. As you know from my comment on your blog, I too have an identical twin. Just yesterday I was talking to her on Skype, and it hit me how her voice is the same as mine... I thought of you! And my heart and prayers went out to you too... simply a loss every bit as deep as a stillbirth! I so look forward to sharing more cuppas with you! Blessings!

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  3. Hugs for you, Glenys, and praises to our God, that you will indeed see your precious girls, and this grief will come to an end!

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    1. The LORD knows I just want to see them... to touch them... to hold them.... it isn't not *having* them forever so much... they are in good Hands! I would relinquish them to Jesus after I said goodbye! The whole birth was handled wrong and there is not a second chance! if anything, I do lay blame at the midwives' feet... but I have to forgive them. That is the hard part! After all these years, I still have a way to go....

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