July 6, 2015 1:05 PM   Subscribe

Dispatches from Trauma Island. An essay by author Katie Coyle regarding the loss of her daughter, who was stillborn in May.
posted by zarq (11 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Thank you for this.

My son was born 10 days ago at 34 +5. He's in the NICU but doing well and should be fine. I feel incredibly lucky right now.
posted by threetwentytwo at 1:32 PM on July 6, 2015 [19 favorites]


I read this a few days ago. It is a very, very good essay.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 2:24 PM on July 6, 2015

Oh that last paragraph. So beautiful and so sad.

posted by billiebee at 3:20 PM on July 6, 2015 [3 favorites]

How cruel, having to labor, knowing the outcome will not be what you have hoped and dreamed for.

This is good writing. It brings us in but doesn't hit us over the head. Thank you for posting, zarq.
posted by tuesdayschild at 3:51 PM on July 6, 2015

It's a club you never even thought existed. Then you are an unwilling member. And your life is forever different.
posted by Windopaene at 3:53 PM on July 6, 2015 [4 favorites]

Katie Coyles "dispatches from Trauma Island" is spot on. Every time I watch this song, it brings a tear to my eye, it's good to remember and it's good to cry.

Threetwentytwo - Having a premi in NICU is super stressful for parents. Good luck to you and your family.
posted by Dr Ew at 4:17 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

sorry, can't read
posted by growabrain at 4:21 PM on July 6, 2015

threetwentytwo, my kids (twins) were preemies, but slightly older. 36+2. I remember how scared, stressed and anxious we were about them. I'm so happy for you that your son is okay. Good luck.
posted by zarq at 4:36 PM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

After the tragedy comes the math.

I experienced this with the first miscarriage. I'd wake up and think, "I should be 14 weeks today." And time felt like it was whizzing past and I was stuck like a rock in the river, waiting for something to break loose. But then I got pregnant, and I stopped thinking about it, and then my daughter was born and it was okay for a while.

Until this year. July 4th I couldn't help but think, "I should be having a baby right now." I lost that pregnancy in December, right before Christmas Eve.

And looking to my future-self, around Christmas I'll probably be thinking, "I should be having a baby right now." That one's the most recent. Lost it in May. Still dealing with the fallout, physically.

You never stop doing the math. It's human nature to focus on what we've lost. As for me, Mr. Offalark and I will be trying one last time, and then the doors shut and the way is closed, because my heart and head are tired of looking at dates and thinking, "My child should be born right about now."

I'm so sorry for her loss.
posted by offalark at 5:34 PM on July 6, 2015 [16 favorites]

offalark reminds me to make this public service announcement: when someone you know experiences a pregnancy loss, make note of the expected due date and get in touch with them about that time. A card or note will likely be much appreciated. The due date can renew a grief that for people not directly involved can feel like it faded into the background a long time ago.

See also: anniversaries of deaths. Make little reminder notes in your calendar and touch base with people at times when their grief is likely to renewed. They will be glad to be remembered.
posted by not that girl at 7:19 AM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

Threetwentytwo hoping your little one is doing well. And offalark I'm so very sorry - those losses are so incredibly hard. Hoping a third pregnancy goes well for you!
posted by leslies at 7:29 AM on July 7, 2015

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