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Midvale School for the Gifted Alumni Association

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Unimaginable

I had every intention of logging into my blog today to bitch about work. It was another fantastically long, crazy day, challenging all of my professional resources. Then, I checked my email, and I found out that someone I know--not well, through the blog world, but we are friendly and have some really good mutual blog friends--lost a baby. She's been struggling to conceive, and this was her first round of in vitro, and she lost it. It's terrible. I'm not surprised, though. Saddened, for sure. Not necessarily surprised, though.

You see, in this past year alone, I've known 4 different women, under the age of 33, who have had weird complications with pregnancies and conception. One of my colleagues in my former school lost a baby at 31 weeks; her umbilical cord began to leak into the womb. She'd had no complications conceiving, and it had been a normal pregnancy. My school psychologist went on bed rest for 2 1/2 months; she went into preterm labor at around 26 or 27 weeks. My friend Brian's wife just told me that her friend, who is only 26, just gave birth to a baby with Down Syndrome; they had kept that secret from their family and friends. And my CLOSE friend conceived in vitro, finally, after losing babies two times in a row, and conceived triplets. She delivered at 26 weeks because the girl triplet had a placental abruption. My friend had to have an emergency hysterectomy to save her life, and 8 weeks later, they lost one of the triplets to necrotizing entercolitis, an infection preemies are prone to. The surviving triplets are developing well, but they face a lifetime of challenges.

And I am so sorry for these women I know. I can't imagine the pain they are going through. And, at the same time, I look at my work, and the rise in developmental and neurological disabilities in children, and the complicated, nearly medical services schools are enlisted to provide, and I wonder what we are doing to OURSELVES, as a SOCIETY, with the chemicals we ingest, the pollution we are forced to live with every day, the stresses we need to endure just to make ends meet, that our own bodies could betray us in these ways? It's a horrible thing to consider, and it's no one's fault, of course. None of these women asked for any of these trials, difficult conceptions, complications with pregnancies, death of their children. But for me, one woman, to know of five different YOUNG, healthy women to have such dramatic and tragic events trying to accomplish simple biology--it scares me shitless. I've never been pregnant, and I'm closer to 40 than any of these women, with an underlying condition that will make conceiving hard for me anyway--should I ever want to--and I get scared, and think, should I ever want to?

I wish I knew what to make of it, really. As much as I'd like to think it's a coincidence, or statistical probablity, because of all the different people I know, I wonder. Truly. Particularly since three of these five stories took place in ONE SCHOOL BUILDING here in Massachusetts. A building that has also been plagued with people with odd respiratory illnesses, and three deaths from cancer in as many years, plus two current staffers currently undergoing treatment. Why are these young women having to turn to such extreme measures to conceive? Why do I know at least three women with polycystic ovarian disease, myself included? Had any of us even heard of that 10 years ago? My prayers and concern and sympathies are with this friend whose news I heard today, and my friends from my former district. I hope with all sincerity a baby comes their way. But, still, I wonder...

...and pray that tomorrow is better.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Ernie said...

I would not trust that school building. My Wife worked in an asbestos filled school for years. Then it was found out the building inspector never had a license.

A real inspector came in and made the discovery. They literally evacuated the school!

I wouldn't trust it.

9:42 PM  
Blogger EDW said...

It's scary and sad.

9:21 PM  

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