Wednesday, May 23, 2012

TV Hitting Close To Home

Since I went back to work (over a month ago, and I’m long overdue for a post on that – I will do it soon!), my PVR has been constantly clogged with my favourite TV shows.  Most nights I’m lucky to be awake at 9:30pm because my days are so hectic.  Hubby has been out the last few nights so I’ve been able to catch up on one of my favourites, Private Practice.  I had 5 episodes taped, which is a lot to watch!  Where I left off a few weeks ago was Emilia finding out she was pregnant but resisting having any tests or ultrasounds done.

So needless to say I was blindsided when I started watching last night only to discover that her baby doesn’t have a brain, she’s past the point of termination and needs to carry a baby that’s going to die to term.  It was like someone kicked me in the chest.  I have to say that the writers have done an amazing job of capturing the emotions one goes through when they find out the child they are carrying will not survive.  The sadness, anger, frustration and eventual numbness.  The desire to just hide from everyone who is happy because it’s too painful. 

I got halfway through the next episode where she decided to stay as healthy as possible so her baby would grow strong and she could donate its organs after birth.  It made me stop and wonder.  If I had carried Olivia to term, could I have done the same and saved the life of another baby?  Or would she have even made it to term?  I was induced at 27 weeks after knowing something was wrong for nearly a month.  That was hands down the worst month of my life.  No one understood how I was feeling, it was like everyone around me was exceptionally happy and I was carrying around a sadness that pressed down on me like a vice.  Every kick and movement was a painful reminder that our time was coming to an end.  I can’t imagine carrying her for another 13 weeks knowing she was going to die. 

I’m sure the remaining 4.5 episodes will only get harder to watch.  The upside is that the public gets a tiny glimpse into what it’s like to lose a child.  If anything, I hope people realize that it’s awful, there’s nothing you can say to make the mother feel better, and the only thing you can do to help is to just be there to listen and provide support.


  1. It's amazing after so long that the same thing happens to me when I see miscarriage on tv or movies. I was totally not expecting to have to worry about that when I saw Marley and Me or Julie and Julia. It really does punch you in the gut.
    I've been thinking a lot about termination recently because my husband and I already know that we will choose to terminate if our amnio shows any issues indicating such measures. (No reason to believe anything is wrong, but just being prepared.) I can't imagine how that choice feels, but I remember with my first loss, the knowledge that I was carrying around a dead baby was overwhelming for me. All I wanted to do was get it out of my body so I could start to heal. I love the idea of organ donation, and am an organ donor myself, but I don't think I could carry a doomed baby for weeks without serious psychological repercussions.
    I haven't watched Private Practice recently but I hope you're able to continue to watch and enjoy them in spite of the storyline. Obviously you have to do what's comfortable for you.

  2. I was floored when I was watching as well Sheri. As you said, they really did a great job of capturing the real emotions involved. Yes each episode does get harder, so make sure you have a kleenex box. Part of me did not want to continue watching but part of me kept going as it brought up some deep emotions that I keep tucked away...and it actually felt good to let myself cry for the character...and myself secretly. I want you to know I thought of you each time I watched an episode, as I know your road was similar to hers. My heart aches when I think that women have to endure something so cruel.