Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Community We Build

Blogs are such amazing tools. Yes, they provide a place to vent, to share, to giggle, but most importantly? They provide a place to connect. Humans, even loners and misanthropes, need connection. Blogs let us connect without having to leave home and make ourselves more vulnerable than we want to be. How grand is that? Want to talk to folks about your love of classic cars? Go for it - someone out there will read you, understand you, and make the connection. Angry about politics? Boy, have we got some blogs for you!! I know that, through e-mail, I connect with women from all over the world. I have friends (yes, friends - I love these women just as well as if we lived next door instead of never having met) in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, many of the United States, and all over Europe. We support each other through rough times, share our laughter and heartache equally, give each other the heads up on new products, laws, people, and places. We are a parenting resource for each other, and I know I've told them many times over the years that they are welcome in my house if they need a place for a day or a year. When I win the lottery, I'm buying a bus, painting it up in crazy beautiful colors, and going on a tour to finally, finally meet all these amazing, inspiring, and deeply moving woman. Heh, several of them are even blogging now so we have the double connections of e-mail and blog space.

Through blogging, I have "met" some terrifc folks, men and women both, who are as much a part of my daily life as breakfast is. And you should know from reading my posts about cooking, I don't often miss breakfast! Some of them are listed over to the right, if you're interested.

So I was reading Mommy Wants Vodka (I just can't bring myself to refer to people casually by name when we haven't met in person - how old-fashioned am I??) and she has this post up, which led me to page-hop a bit to check out and ultimately donate money to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. Sniff. They're beautiful. This? Is building a community, making those precious connections, finding a need and meeting it. This is humanity finding a way to shine, despite how weary we are, despite how isolated we are, despite how pessimistic we have become as a race.

In a semi-related bit of news, Georgia has been considering the "No Heartbeat" Act, an act that would permit mothers of stillborn infants to receive birth certificates for their little ones. I am not surprised as much as horrified that they've been denied this simple, compassionate thing that acknowledges they carried a life, they labored, and they delivered body if not soul.

SB 381 was heard on March 28 in the Rules Committee meeting, and I don't know if it passed...but I hope, oh, I hope it did. I know it's only a bit of paper...but even if it said "Certificate of Still Birth" instead of "Certificate of Live Birth", it could help give some closure.

I know, I know, giving birth certificates to non-viable fetuses (one of the terms I've heard used for stillbirths, isn't it just awful??) could open up a can of worms for all sorts of other issues I won't discuss here, but I just can't seem to indulge in my doom-and-gloom tendencies with this. It's about compassion, about love, and about recognizing that there are women (and men) who grieve deeply and might find a bit of peace having that simple official recognition of their labor and loss. We are a world of documentation, of "official" existence, and there are those who crave that for their lost loves as well. What good comes of denying them this small solace??

I added a link to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep over to the side, if you're interested. I've never lost a pregnancy, having just had the one, but I hurt all the way down to the bone over other women's losses. I feel them keenly, and I mourn. All the hope, fear, and love that comes with being pregnant doesn't just go away when the child is born still and silent. Imagine going through that labor, that strain, pain, indignity, only to have loss and sorrow at the end of it instead of a wriggling, squalling, amazing bit of wonder. Imagine having to tell people who ask after the baby, opening up that wound over and over again. The very least a mum should have is that stupid certificate saying that the government, that the legal community, recognizes that she went through that, and maybe a few sweet, beautiful, poignant photographs to put in the album that won't hold anything else. Is it really too much to ask??

How's this for synchronicity? As I was writing this, I got another bit of semi-related news - my preemie nephew is now up to two pounds, twelve ounces!!! His mum has finally been able to hold him!! He is breathing on his own, and they've decided not to transfer him to another hospital because by the time he met that hospital's criteria for transfer...he could just go home!!!! Keep up the good work, little guy...I'm banking on you being a six foot, three inch tall pain in the ass for your parents one day!

Welcome to blogopolis, the community we're constantly evolving.


Becky said...

Thank you so much for spreading the love around. It's been truly humbling to see how much people really care about each other.

And you can always call me Becky. Please do :)

foolery said...

Okay, this is why I try to read S&S at home, not at work, because I'm all sniffly now. I haven't been around in over a week, so I have lots of catching up to do, but I think I'd better close 'er up for the moment, sniff.

This was a beautiful post. As always you have my admiration, Kyddryn.

(Oh, and I hope I'm not crossing a line calling you by your name instead of blog name? I will certainly change that habit if it's grating. Feel free to write Foolery or Laurie, whichever is most comfortable.)

-- Laurie

Kyddryn said...

Becky, I'll try, but habit is an old horse...

Foolery, Sorry I made you sniff...well, not too sorry, but it's not like I set out to make someone cry on a daily basis. I save that for the singing. It's always a successful performance if someone is weeping at the beauty of the music (at least, I hope it's the beauty). Also, if I'm being honest...Kyddryn isn't my legal name. It's my pen name, my craft name, and it's the name I use on every online forum I am part of, from AOL to Blogger to Yahoo, even Kongregate. It's what I would have changed my name to, if I'd ever changed it...so it's fine with me if you call me that, since much of the time, it's how I think of myself.

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...

Thank you so much for posting this. Most stillbirths occur to fullterm or near term babies, well past viability. There is more info here:

We appreciate your insight!

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

My Grandma does sewing for those still-born... a wrapping blanket, a little bonnett, a pouch for the certificate...
It's just...

tough subject... excuse me, will you?

very touching post, Lady K...