Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Topics for discussion for you all to take a look at

As I'm preparing drafts and timelines for how I will blog about our pregnancies, losses, children, and experiences, I came up with a list of topics that I will cover. I thought I would post the list now for you all and get your opinions on what you might want to have discussed first. Maybe you are dealing with one of these topics right now in your life and would benefit from reading about mine and others experiences with it, discusssing/venting about it, etc. So below is the list and please don't hesitate to tell me if some interest more than others. There are A LOT. Also, if you have a topic that you don't see here, let me know and I will add it. Thank you all! Melanie
Expectations/Dealing with others who haven't been through this/Societal pressures:
*Expectations to be "all better" after having a rainbow baby.
*Continuing to grieve for my angel baby when others feel that my rainbow baby should be "erasing that pain and lessening my grief".
*After losing an angel baby, experiencing an early miscarriage or another type of loss that others feel "isn't as bad as the other so why are you so upset."
*Wanting to talk about my angel baby the way I talk about my living children but making others uncomfortable and being accused of "not coping well if she has to bring up Ian after eight years."
*Discussing the reasons I didn't reach out and connect with others until now.
*Informing outsiders when they are saying things they may not realize are insensitive- "just have another baby" or "must have happened for a reason".
*Dealing with friends/family/strangers who are unhealthy during pregnancies (smoking, drinking, drugs) and those who treat their children poorly.
*What to say when people ask you how many children you have, feelings involved such as guilt, embarrassment, not wanting to make them uncomfortable or sad.
*Dealing with work after a loss.
*How to have realistic expectations for yourself and not getting caught up in what others are expecting from you.
*Going out in public after a loss.
Emotional Health:
*Being made to feel like a bad mother because I suffered terrible long term post partum/chronic depression and anxiety after my healthy rainbow baby.
*Getting through the holidays that come after losing an angel baby.
*Why early miscarriages can be can be more difficult after a later gestation loss- not being able to name and hold a baby lost during an early miscarriage, others may find it less "important" than your other loss and offer less support.
*Finding meaning in your suffering and loss-wanting your angel baby to make a difference and never be forgotten.
*Dealing with regrets surrounding the circumstances when you lost your angel baby.
*Dealing with feelings about your body after delivering a baby you can't take home.
*Things people who have been through this told me and I didn't want to believe however they are true.
*How your internal dialogue changes after a loss and the affects of that on your mental health and relationships.
*Feelings surrounding having to take anti-depressants-particular guilt that I felt having to take anti-depressants during a subsequent pregnancy.
*Dealing with the stigma of seeing a psychiatrist, taking medications, and/or being diagnosed with a mental illness after a loss.
*Substance abuse and suicidal thoughts after a loss.
*How helping others going through the same/similar thing is therapeutic. Discuss fascination and sometimes obsession with other currently experiencing a loss and helping them.
*Discuss how men grieve differently than women and how that can cause problems in a marriage and what you can do to avoid this.
*Coping in a different way than my husband (I wanted to talk and have pictures around, he was the opposite) and the difficulties in maintaining a healthy relationship when two individual people have been changed in different ways by a loss.
*The long term effect that losing a child has on a marriage and the false assumption that with time and other children, your marriage will "go back to normal".
*Discuss couples therapy non religious and couples therapy-religious.
*Sex and intimacy after a loss.
*Deciding when and if to have another baby-taking into account both partners feelings.
*I will discuss my diagnosis' in depth- incompetent cervix, cerclage placement, PCOS, difficulty conceiving, insulin resistence and Metformin during pregnancy, Group B strep, infection of the amniotic fluid, preterm labor, viability age, etc. I will give a full account of all of my losses.
*Discuss how the medical practice/system may have failed you and your baby, how to deal with anger and blame, how to advocate for yourself in subsequent pregnancies, becoming informed about the poor standard of care (for example if my doctor had done a simple cervical check via transvaginal ultrasound during my regular ultrasounds at any time before the 22nd week, we may have been able to have an emergency cerclage placed), getting a diagnosis and becoming informed about your diagnosis rather than relying on your doctor to inform you and make recommendations.
*Stress surrounding gaining medical debt but no baby to take home.
*Discuss medical myths regarding losing a child, bringing him home or to the morgue yourself, your rights, etc.
*Discuss the frustration with having miscarriages and later losses with an unknown cause.
*Dealing with the irrational feeling that my body "failed us" and caused so much pain for everyone.
*Making the decision to continue trying for biological children or possibly adopt.
*Importance of ultrasounds and possible 4D ultrasounds in subsequent pregnancies.
*Dealing with the opinions of religious persons after a loss that may not necessarily be your own.
*The long term tumultuous crisis in faith after a loss, changes in my relationship with God, and the feelings associated with that- guilt, anger, am I being punished, inadequacy.
*Comparing myself with mothers who suffered a loss and whose faith increased, their relationship with God improved while I struggled for so long and felt like I was evil and deserved the suffering in my life since I was having these harsh feelings towards God.
*Discuss religion based therapy.
*Experiencing changes in your belief system after a loss and how to inform others that you would like to work on this alone and for them not to verbalize any expectations, time frames, or hopes for the outcome.
*Discuss my life long fear of eternity and struggle with thinking about the afterlife and how having an angel baby has changed that for me.
Remembering and sharing your angel baby:
*Discuss naming your angel, memorial services, caskets, cremation, burial, headstones, visiting, bringing subsequent children to visit, etc.
*Discuss celebrating birth days, angel days, due dates, and how to incorporate your angel baby into yearly family traditions and holidays.
*Discuss the different ways you can share your angel baby's story. Does it differ from your husband or other family members?
*Discuss regrets or information regarding things you would have done differently during your pregnancy, birth, afterwards.
Rainbow baby/living baby after a loss:
*The challenges of teaching a rainbow baby about his/her sibling who passed. How to discuss the fact that your rainbow child is living and your angel baby died.
*Discuss any hesistation you may have regarding having another baby that is the same/different gender concerned you.
*The challenges of parenting a living child after having a loss or struggled to conceive/carry a pregnancy.
*Dealing with hypervigilance, stress, and anxiety during subsequent pregnancies.
*Dealing with hypervigilance with a newborn rainbow baby.
*Changes in expectations for how your relationship will be with your living children- more dependant, less strict, etc.
*Changes in feelings towards working after having a rainbow baby- stress that could cause in a marriage.
*Feelings of disappointment after having a much anticipated and much wanted rainbow baby because so much emphasis was placed on getting them here alive and then you realize that you still grieve for your angel baby and that this rainbow baby can't ever replace your angel baby.
*Discuss allowing your rainbow baby to have access to a counselor in school as they grow up and may have questions- friends may have questions about why your child has a sibling that isn't alive.
Friends/family members:
*Discuss notifying family and friends of a loss and what to do about returning gifts.
*Discuss jealousy when friends and family announce pregnancies and have seemingly uncomplicated pregnancies, births, and children. How to decline baby showers or explain an absence from facebook for example.
*How to remind family if your angel baby is no longer regarded as a first grandchild or something to that effect.
*Dealing with a lack of family support or their lack of insight.
*How to ask for support from others after a loss- what things helped or would have helped your grieving process (homemade meals, a friend on call to listen, vacation, extended time off work, staying with family for awhile, etc.

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