The Hospital

She’s 17. In the miscarriage ward. Alone in the room full of beds with brightly colored sheets, none of them very clean. By American standards it would be a health hazard. She’s laying on the small, wire framed bed, a thin mattress holding her slight body. Barefoot and stunningly gorgeous as so many people are here. Curled up, she’s turned away from us as we gather around her bed – our own views and “rights” of privacy unknown in Zimbabwe. We’re touring this hospital to get an idea of what maternal health is like in Lupane.

This is a new facility, we’re told. One of the best. 

I can’t wrap my head around what others might be like in that case.

The nurse tells us her story while I think of all the HIPAA violations happening right now. There isn’t that level of confidentiality here – a land where the people are more group oriented in their actions than just individual ideals. Culture shock hits a little harder for me.

Zimbabwe with World Vision [Read more…]


Life After Loss

Jessica writes at Four Plus an Angel on her life and loss:

I would like to say that losing a child turned me into an indestructible momma who fears nothing because she’s already been through the worst.

But I can’t.

Losing my daughter turned me into a wimp. What was once a smallish issue with anxiety has snowballed into a big lump of fear that I carry with me through life.

Hadley died suddenly. One minute my husband and I were turning from isolette to isolette to isolette, marveling at our teeny triplets and the next we were looking at the sad eyes of a respiratory therapist explain what a pulmonary hemorrhage can do to such a tiny body.

I’ve never been able to shake that suddenness. The fact that one moment I was worrying about my c-section scar and eating hospital food for lunch again and then next I was experiencing the most heart-wrenching moments of my life.

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An Awkward Place In The Middle

Lori is the Owner and Editor of Still Standing Magazine. She is the mom of three little boys: Matthew and Trey in Heaven and Luke–the joy she is privileged to raise. A proud military spouse, she also blogs at www.loridoesmd.blogspot.com

How often is it heard, “I love each of my children equally. Different, but equally.”

All.the.time.

So, I don’t understand why some people don’t have that same mentality when children die.

Recently, I was asked to participate in a study on the ‘subculture’ of infertility and pregnancy/infant loss. In answering questions about how I felt about my infertility diagnoses, the loss of my first child, and then another loss after having a healthy, living child, a lot of emotions I’ve not felt in a while were stirred up.

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Zimbabwe Day 1

This evening we made it to Zimbabwe. We’d spent Sunday night on the plane, Monday night in Dubai, and now here (tomorrow night we’ll be in a different hotel as well).

I already love it here. It’s beautiful – a little wind and perfect temps today. It varies between lush green and desert dry, but it looks just like you grow up thinking Africa looks – the flatter topped trees, sunsets that looks like the sky burst into flames. We got in this evening, but took a van to the hotel before it was dark – I couldn’t get any photos that were able to show how beautiful it is. Soon! This is one I got from the van on our way to the hotel.

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It reminds me a lot of India here – especially how it smells. Like – kind of a sweet incense mixed with different odors. Not bad, not good, just familiar. It’s odd how 11 years later I can still remember that smell. We went out to dinner with the World Vision Zimbabwe team, the people who live and work here. We were able to hear and talk to the CEO of the Zimbabwe branch, as well as other staff. They were so amazingly wonderful, after just a quick round of introductions we jumped into conversation on maternal and infant health, our own stories, what they specifically do here – like we’ve all known each other for years.

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Sometimes, I Talk to Her

I talked to her tonight. My sweet little baby girl, who was taken too soon last May. After my son, Ricky, fell asleep on the couch and I tucked him in, I ran to the grocery store while my husband waited at home.

As I was driving, I heard something jingling in my purse. It wasn’t a sound I normally hear. And, as with most things out of the ordinary – a unique butterfly, particularly beautiful day or pretty little noise that seems to come out of the blue, it makes me think of her. Like she’s there, next to me, totally aware of what’s going on in our world.

I told her that I love her – more than the moon and the stars – the same thing I tell my little guy when I put him to bed at night. The jingle sounded again, “I know. I’ve been a little hormonal today. You’re right.”

Another jingle. “I love you too. So much.” And then I was there – at the grocery store.

I walked in, picked up something sweet, and started driving home. No more jingling. She was gone.

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