Rain, Pork, and the State

October 13, 2008

So Michelle arrived safe and sound, it was great to see her!  We had a blast, just hung out and talked, drank some wine, ate a lot of food and just chilled.

We took off on Friday to head to the family reunion early, sit on the beach, visit the Aquarium.  Well, it was overcast and cloudy but it was still nice to hear the waves crashing and some how, I managed to get sunburned on my chest – crazy.  It rained the whole time we were cooking the pig Saturday and setting up for the picnic.  The Festival (which is the same weekend and why we have the reunion that weekend, so there is entertainment built in) was cancelled – no parade, no concerts, no vendors.  The vendors are always good for at least one Christmas present out of the way….

We still ate in the rain and hung out.  I stayed busy helping to cook and avoid really talking to people until it was mainly my family left.  Everything was fine, although I had a lot of “should haves.”  My boys “should have” been there with me, in their cute little outfits I had picking out.  At one point, I had a vision of walking in with their blue plaid car seats and people just gushing at how cute they were (it is the grief, I’m not nuts…okay, I am nuts but the visions are just a normal part of grief, I checked, it’s all good).  I guess all my anxiety was for nothing but I was exhausted.  My mother, for the most part, really didn’t say anything to me.  She gave me a lot of distance, which was nice.

The dark spot in the whole weekend was Friday afternoon.  I got a call from Dr. S at UNC.  It seems the State wants a death certificate for the Baby A.  Under the State’s rules, a baby doesn’t get a death certificate if they die before 20 weeks gestation.  Since Baby B died at 22 weeks, he was issued a death certificate.  Since Baby A died at 18 weeks, he did not get one according to the hospital’s understanding of the rules.

This has bothered me for a while.  I wanted Baby A to have a death certificate.  Since North Carolina does not do certificates of still birth, I have nothing but the death certificate to show he existed and he didn’t get one.  It has been a great source of sadness and pain for me.  It’s like there was nothing showing he existed.  Hubby and I fought hard for those boys and it seemed like only one mattered because he hung on longer.  My “warrior baby” was recognized but my “gentle boy” was not.  When Dr. S called and said that the State was requiring a certificate for Baby A because technically, he was “born dead” at 22 weeks, I was very emotional and they were mixed emotions.

I was sad and angry that I had to deal with this issue.  The State makes the rules, if they can’t figure it out, then they need to make better rules.  In my line of work, I deal with death certificates a lot and the rules are incredibly confusing and what’s worse is if you get it wrong, an amended certificate is a nightmare.

But I was also relieved.  I wanted him to have a certificate.  It’s a blessing to me that the State is requiring one.  I wanted to get Baby B’s certificate but felt like it was incomplete somehow without Baby A.  I felt like I couldn’t get one without the other.  I had thought about asking my friend Jess, who is an amazing artist (you need to check out her jewelry on etsy.com), to make me a “still birth certificate” but really, who would want to do that.  That’s a lot of ask of someone.  And again, Hallmark doesn’t have something like this.

So I was sad and I cried on Friday but you know, I am happy he will have a death certificate.  I feel like I can go get the certificates, put them in the momento box and the boys will have been recognized as having existed in some other place besides our hearts.


3 Responses to “Rain, Pork, and the State”

  1. KB Says:

    Stuff comes up and it gets ya’ when you least want it or expect it to. You’re doing great at rolling with the stuff that tries to ambush your progress. You are doing great! Hugs.

  2. tntstanifer Says:

    I was in labor 3 days and I gave birth to my son Franklin. I gave birth, but he didn’t warrant a birth certificate. Even just a born still certificate? Anything!?? It’s unacceptable to me. I’m glad you are getting what you want.

  3. Dr. C Says:

    I am so very, very sorry…

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