I have changed the tagline of this blog to read “A regular dad, dealing with the stillbirth of a baby girl” – it used to say ‘…dealing with the death of a newborn baby girl’ but that suggests that our Littlegirl was alive when she was born, when sadly she was not.
I don’t really like the term ‘stillbirth’ as sometimes people refer to children who have been stillborn as ‘a stillbirth’ which to my ears strips the children of the limitless potential that they held before they died. They are babies whose whole lives have been imagined while their arrival was anticipated, not statistics. They are children who are gone but have left a vacuum on this earth, an eighty year long space where nothing that might have happened will now occur.
Having said that I’ll use the word ‘stillbirth’ here as it does convey what happened to Littlegirl more accurately. She never got to draw a breath, to live, although to us we felt her moving about inside her mother and limbering up for life on The Outside during the months that she rested up for her big day.
Littlegirl’s death has certainly changed my perception of what it is to be alive. Once I would have thought that we only to be alive at birth while now I’d argue that there’s a thread of life that extends back into the womb. How far back I cannot tell…is a baby ‘alive’ from conception, from the time she is viable outside the womb with all the support of modern medicine?
That I cannot answer.