OK, so I have a small list of TV shows that I download from OnDemand and watch when I stay up late knitting or working in bed. One of them is Obsessed, which is interesting. It follows people who have OCD and their treatment process, whether they are able to work through it or not.
I’m finishing up a heel flap tonight and have Obsessed on while doing so. This woman, who is a hypochondriac, had a miscarriage 7 years ago, about 6 or 8 weeks into her pregnancy. Then the music gets to that tone they use to mean “these people are completely insane…” as she reveals that she has… dum dum dum… the remains that the hospital let her take home still in the freezer. The screen then says “her husband allowed her to keep them so that she wouldn’t get upset.”
Now, it’s not like she gets it out and rocks it or anything. She said, in fact, it’s in the same place it was when they brought it home, it’s never been touched. It’s there, because she’s not ready to do something else with it. And she admitted that mostly she’s just not sure WHAT to do with it.
Let’s pause. First, let me state that keeping things like that is NOT CRAZY. It’s not. Says the woman with a 6 week embryo in her freezer, right? (And, honestly, I seriously regret that I have nothing from the second one. I have nothing. Just a memory. Nothing physical, nothing tangible. That bothers me, a lot.) I also have two placentas in the freezer, and I know dozens of women with placentas in the freezer, too. Why? Mostly, they’re not sure what to do with them!
OK, so this woman is NOT as crazy as the TV show people want to make her out to be. (I mean, she clearly has a problem, but IMO, the baby in the freezer is not it.)
So as part of her therapy, the therapist had her get it out and look at it. That was probably good for her. But then she was encouraged to see it as not a baby. She even said that she knew it wasn’t a baby, but it seemed like a baby to her. The therapist encouraged this thinking of it as not a baby. She eventually said that she was finally able to see it as just some blood and tissue.
Just some blood and tissue.
I don’t know. Maybe that’s what she really believes, but she sure seemed to want someone, anyone, to acknowledge with her that she had a BABY. She had a baby. And that baby died. Yes, that baby died very very early on, but it was still her baby.
Just some blood and tissue.
I can’t tell you how bothered I am about that. Well, bothered enough that here I am at 2 am writing about it.
(Also, she said that she had some OCD before the miscarriage, but then she had the miscarriage and then her subsequent child was diagnosed with autism… I can imagine that seriously ratcheted up the OCD. She said she blamed herself for the autism, with things she ate or did during her pregnancy. I do wonder about the role her high level of anxiety might have played.)
They did ultimately have a little funeral, at a cemetery, with a small casket and a burial plot and everything, which was a nice little closure for her. I appreciated the respect they showed there.
PS, no, I won’t be having a funeral for ours. I know some people actually do. Part of my 1001 things list is to do something as a memorial for the babies. In the meantime, the one sits there in the freezer. Because I just don’t know what to do with it. I want to bury it, with something. But what? And, well, I don’t want it to be something I’ll kill. Because I know I’ll see it like this: something else I killed. And I don’t want to see it/me/anything that way.
But that’s partly why we haven’t buried the placentas, either. One part is that we lack space/need for more trees. The other part is that I don’t want to bury them with something that dies.