December 31, 2013
The past couple of days have been rough. I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy time for me. My mom said she really didn’t expect New Year’s to be more difficult than Christmas, but I did. I was pregnant a year ago. I didn’t know it yet, but I was.
On Sunday, the blog post about my meeting with the hospital went live. Rereading it was tough. And I didn’t think to add a reminder to people that the post had been written almost two months ago. Even though the first line of each post is the date on which I wrote, people still treat some of my posts like current news. This led to some unsolicited advice about going over the autopsy results. FYI, people, don’t do that. That falls into the realm of “things not to say” or “grief: you’re doing it wrong”. Well-meaning advice from well-meaning friends can still be the wrong thing. I can tell you, I’m going to be much more conscious of everything I say in the future.
And then I did something on Facebook that I avoid doing. As opinionated as I am, I’m still a good Midwestern girl. I hate conflict. I really don’t care to argue with people. But I waded in on a friend’s post. I wasn’t going to, but there was something that I couldn’t let pass. She’d shared a post about vaccines. One of her other friends commented about how vaccines are worse than the diseases they treat, especially since most people don’t get these diseases anyway. And besides, “whooping cough… it’s just a cough”. Yeah… That would be why I had to step in. Because pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is not just a cough. My brother and one of my nieces had been sick for weeks. They had trouble breathing accompanied by a bad cough. I was on the phone with my brother.
“I coughed so hard that I cracked a rib,” he told me. (Yes, our mother has heard this story. But, yes, he also told me this before he told our parents.) Yes, they were both finally diagnosed with pertussis. It is well known to cause adults to cough so hard that break ribs. It can easily kill infants who are too young to be vaccinated. It’s the very success of vaccines that allow people to falsely believe they aren’t necessary. Unless and/or until these diseases are fully eliminated, the best way to prevent them is vaccines that have been proven over decades to be safe.
I had tried to avoid reading the comments on the post because I knew someone was going to comment with anti-vaxxer propaganda. I’m very sorry for the person who posted who believes her son’s autism was caused by a vaccine. The science will tell her that it wasn’t. And, believe me, I know how much you want a cause for what’s wrong with your child. (Speaking of which, don’t even try to play a “woe-is-me” game with me. I hold the trump card. Not that she was trying to. But if she had…)
Needless to say, the whole thing made me mad. And it also made me wish that I could sic Smita on the anti-vaxxer commenters. I didn’t have the energy to argue, and she would have done it so well.
I’m trying to look on the bright side. I’m more regular than I ever was (being on the pill excepted). My period was supposed to start today, and le voila! I’m sure my hormones weren’t helping.
But, yes, here I am. Reliving the painful episode of the hospital meeting. Missing my daughter. Definitely not pregnant. Crying in the middle of the night. 2013 started with such promise. I won’t be sorry to see it go.