Katja Fortak noticed in the 34th week of pregnancy that their baby has stopped moving. In Urbia interview she talked about the silent birth of her dead son and the time after that, because they find it important for pregnant women, but also for people who are dealing with grieving parents, not to repress this topic still taboo.

Suddenly, the baby stopped moving

Female hospital bed holding hands

Photo: © iStockphoto.com/ Claudiad

Urbia: Her son Charlie has come stillborn. Please tell about it.

On Friday, 1 February 2002 I noticed around noon that my baby had not moved all day long. I tried a few tricks, abzulocken our Charlie any movement. Although I did not succeed, I thought it may already be time that the little one is not moving. Moreover, I thought that, too little is still room in my stomach, I was finally as early as the 34th week. So I tried to distract myself and to push the panic from me. By the next day, but again nothing did. Nevertheless, I was still relatively quiet to work. As the evening, however, did nothing still decided my husband and I, but to drive times to the hospital to have to make a CTG.

The midwife looked quite desperate for Charlie's heart sounds, but just could not find anything. I could not believe, while my husband totally desperate and dissolved sat there. A young doctor then took us to the ultrasound and Doppler. But they could find no sign of life. But she said only that she would win the senior physician now, maybe he would discover something else. So I still had hope and simply struggled myself against the reality. Of course, the head doctor found no sign of life, and only when he said, "Your baby is no longer alive"I understood what was expired just next to me. Suddenly my whole world has collapsed! The doctor left us alone for a moment and we lay our first time weeping in the arms. After a while he came back to us and told us what would happen now. I wanted by Caesarean section rausholen this lifeless thing out of me to let. Because at that moment I was disgusted just before! The thought of wearing a dead baby in it was abhorrent! But was not that simple. The doctor told us that it was better for my health and especially for my psyche to deliver the baby normally. I let myself be so convincing and am very, very grateful!

We we got in the hospital a room which was in the range of the delivery room. They wanted us so before the happy mothers with their babies fresh "protect". I got a blow-promoting agent inserted and should sleep. it but due to the fast coming labor was virtually nothing. In the morning I was again put this gel. And again this severe pain! It pumped me literally with painkillers to, but the cervix did not open much. So they recommended me the PDA, so you could hang me to the labor drip. Shortly after my parents arrived at noon, so you put her PDA and get in behind labor drip. The also acted promptly, as the PDA. I felt not only woe, although they were probably partly quite strong. From 19.30 then everything suddenly went very quickly. I had four Preßwehen and then our son was finally here. During the whole procedure, my parents, my husband were, of course, and finally even my sister in the delivery room present. When Charlie was then there were all crying around me, I alone could not cry. They took him to the next room to wash him and dress. We wanted to see him, after all. All this time I lay there exhausted and kept thinking "now she comes right with him back in and then he cries, then it was all a mistake", But the midwife was not with my son screaming again.

It was not until I had our beautiful son in her arms, I realized the reality again and the tears are just gekullert so! And yet it was in a way a very beautiful moment. I was finally able to see my baby, hold it, feel it and smell it! My sister then took some pictures that have become a real sanctuary. After that, my family said goodbye and we had a few very sad, but also happy hours with our Charlie. We had time to say goodbye to him. When I wanted to but see him again the next morning, this was no longer possible.

Externally, Charlie was a very healthy baby, developed completely normal. During the subsequent autopsy also showed no different results. The Cause of death was due to my placental insufficiency. However, no one knew anything about it my pregnancy was a dream. Everything was always very well. The only one who had something to notice, was my former gynecologist. In 30 weeks he noticed that Charlie had the development of a fetus in the 28th week. but he is not describe all of it and found it normal. He also noted nothing and controlled not once growth even after a short time. It annoys us, but we can change now nothing more. Charlie comes alive through anything and that's why we leave it at that.

Now it must go to be slow good

Urbia: Have you prepared in any way to such an event?

On something I was never prepared. In the first three months we all know that something can go wrong. But at such a late stage was something not at all possible for us. We have traveled a little calmer than we had crossed the 30th week of pregnancy. Because from there probably survive all premature babies. That a premature baby we thought likely, but not to the death of our baby.

Urbia: How did your surroundings react?

Actually, they were all very shocked. At first at least. My family was as I said always there for us, helped us with everything. Even in our most difficult transition, namely the undertaker, they were there to support us. It was the best help that we had.

After some time, such as three to four months later, we were able, however, then already feel the differences, how to handle people with it. For many, even in my husband's family, then the thought came out, now would indeed slow times be good, now should you look so do not let go so and one would be so times slowly abandon the idea of ​​having had a baby. It's just dead and finished! The End! We were very very upset, and we have very taken our friends under the microscope and made some friendships's just become an acquaintance.

We have often cried together

Urbia: What help did you hear? For example, through friends, doctors, counseling services, books?

From my former gynecologist we got no support, help or otherwise. Nothing! Even when I had during childbed medical help needed, you have comforted me, because you did not have time. So I drove back to the hospital for ambulance, where you already know me. The doctors and midwives there helped us. They were all very kind and compassionate. A young doctor recommended me the book "Good Hope - abrupt end" Hannah Lothrop. That was a big help to me since I could read there, that my despair and sadness are normal, I'm not crazy. It has also helped me to accept the pain and live.
Another great help was also our new family doctor for us. He has really looked after me, has made an appointment at Pro Familia us to get psychological support. We were there three times, until it brought us nothing.

The greatest help, however for me was my husband! He was really there for me, took care of me and very often we cried together about our son. This experience has so much us together that we married three months after Charlie's death to have.

Going to the cemetery helped me

Urbia: Have you felt well cared for medically? At the hospital in any case. Only afterwards not of my former gynecologist. I have therefore also changed him.

Urbia: Have you ever felt lonely with what happened?

Yes. Despite the great help of my family and my husband, I felt sometimes very lonely. Especially after about three to four months. Then was for the environment again all right and hardly anyone even had understanding for me. Even the side www.schmetterlingskinder.de could not help out of the loneliness. Since there are forums for women whose children during birth or shortly after birth have died during pregnancy. You can exchange there with the affected women.

Urbia: Who or what could donate to you in this situation consolation?

Trost gave me mainly my husband. But even a cuddly teddy that was intended for Charlie gave me comfort. It is about the size of Charlie. Also the Going to the cemetery, Charlie "to visit" helped me a lot. It has always calms me to enjoy the fresh air and the tranquility there. In order to process everything better, it also helped me very much an album with all the happenings around Charlie's death and birth to apply. The design of a homepage for Charlie has helped me a lot. I have been doing always felt somewhat liberated.

People need to realize that this happens all the time

Urbia: Is / or the subject of death. made stillbirth in their opinion pregnant sufficiently known?

No, I do not think so. From my own experience, I am sorry to say that over and over again such sad topics be kept away from a pregnant woman, so as not to disturb.
Although we read again and again that one should go to the doctor when they occur, and those things during pregnancy, but what really is behind it, is concealed in my opinion. As I said, I myself knew until then did not know that it is possible so late that the baby dies in the womb. I have replaced me with many other affected and non-affected mothers about it and we are largely in agreement that you simply taboo subject.

Urbia: What would have to change in connection with this issue in your opinion?

The most important thing must just change in people's minds, is that it just happens again and again that a baby dies shortly before his birth or during labor and that this is not as rare as you always think. Despite the well-developed technology in medicine. should change something in our health care system. Indeed, there are also the cases that just have no signs of abnormalities in pregnancy and still something is wrong. If you, for example, the simple Doppler studies involve the checkups would and would not offer a voluntary investigation could, I think, many stillbirths prevented. Much suffering and pain could thus must verhindern.Ändern in any case I believe that in no pregnancy counselor this topic is mentioned. The only way to do something against the taboo. Also in the preparatory courses this issue must not be left out, even if it is perhaps a little disturbing. But I think every pregnant woman should be aware that until the end always something may happen that no one can talk about it freely.

Friends who are not afraid of their own tears

Urbia: The environment of mourners are often accused of having an interest in too little or try with superficial phrases like "Maybe it was better that way" to comfort. What behavior, or what words would you wish from your friends in this situation?

Helpful are friends, which not shy away from his own tears, because such experiences often go to the heart of friends or acquaintances, actually from anyone being told this story. Many themselves have a problem with that, to show their feelings and their tears, and therefore they push this issue away from him. It helps a lot to have friends who go to one active at hand. Because when you come to this worst point, one has no strength for anything. No power for the household, no power to make something to eat. Appetite one has not anyway. But if someone comes and a nice set the table with many delicious things and then together and eat, then that's a huge help.

Many also do not know what to do say and go one out of the way. This is exactly the wrong thing! You feel even more lonely and punished. It would be better if these people would just say, I'm sorry, but I do not know what to say. So you can already begin rather something and you know where you stand. In addition, it helps a lot if you will simply be treated like a normal person. If you, for example, enters a room and suddenly stop off total silence because people think you could hurt me when people laugh. You feel again completely marginalized. Here you can also laugh at the stage of deepest sorrow and rejoice alive.

What is still often bothers me is this. I work in a small optician's shop and the customers have noticed my pregnancy. Now I am often asked why I work again if my child is well cared for and housed. If I tell what happened, then all apologize first time that they have asked. They always think they would do me so again especially hurt and I did not want to talk about it. But it's not. Of course there is then always a stab to the heart, but that now belongs times of my life to it, and sometimes I'm very glad if someone asks me about it. I do talk a lot and also very open about it. So I think these excuses always something inappropriate, especially since most can not even know what happened. But it is probably normal that one apologizes.

Men and women grieve differently

Urbia: What would you like to say on this subject that has not came up for discussion?

Very worth I still find different funeral of husband and wife. Only when men and women accept that their grief paths can be completely different, they can properly deal with each other and the relationship may not be lost in it. Unfortunately, that is about half of all relationships after such a tragic experience differ. Most simply because mutual understanding and acceptance of the partner is missing. Men show their sadness almost nothing. They cry inside and bear their grief hardly outward. Therefore, it is considered also in society that men such an experience easily "put away", My husband was always asked how I was doing. Hardly anyone has ever asked how he was doing at all. For him it was still painful, because no one has admitted his sadness by him.

There are a few lines from Hannah Lothrops book that I would like to quote here:

Your tears flow into your heart, my flow down my cheeks.
Your anger is reflected in your thoughts and movements, my gallops forward, for all to see.
Your desperation is in your dull eyes, my shows in line upon line that I write.
You grieve for your son, I my baby.
We grieve at different times.
Of different lengths, in different ways.
But we are still the same, still one, our child's death is aware of them.