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To feel like a murderer

(77 Posts)
TheWorstPain Thu 20-Feb-14 16:19:00

I have never known pain like this
I feel like my life is over

My child was stillborn recently and I feel like I killed her. So many things I didn't do 'right' in pregnancy through ignorance or being too blasé about it all. We don't know why she died yet.

The main thing that's worrying me is that I had a few rare steaks and medium burgers. One just before she died. I've now read about toxiplasmosis and how it can cause stillbirth and I just had no idea. I thought the worst you could get with undercooked meat was a nasty bout of vomiting. I didn't realise there were direct risks to my unborn child. And I consider myself educated and well read up on pregnancy. How could I be so stupid.

I also didnt know there was a listeria risk from pre packaged sandwiches, bagged salad and cold meat. I do now.

I've convinced myself that it was one of these things that killed her, in the absence of any other solid findings. She was just healthy and fine one minute, and dead the next.

If I find out it was something I did, I really don't know how I can go on feeling like a baby-killer.

My heart is breaking. I feel like the unluckiest person in the world.

jendot Thu 20-Feb-14 17:04:45

This is not your fault. It is grief messing with you. Eating a rare burger or pink steak was NOT going to harm your baby. You would have had a serious bout of food poisoning first and even then in the majority of cases no harm would have been done to your baby. Please please do not blame yourself in any way for this. Sending hugs.

NaggingNellie Thu 20-Feb-14 17:07:34

theres no way on earth you should feel like this,

these things do just happen, be kind to yourself

I'm so very sorry xxxx

PotteringAlong Thu 20-Feb-14 17:12:01

Sweetheart, if it was the meat then you would have been very ill - listeria would have given you serious serious d & v - you couldn't hand had it and not known about it.

This was just the worst hand you could've been dealt; nothing you do or didn't do.

rumbleinthrjungle Thu 20-Feb-14 17:32:33

I'm so, so sorry thanks

I felt so responsible after a late mc, no logic to it at all but I dreamed for months afterwards about the guilt. Even a kitten in the house months and months later triggered me as I felt so totally unsafe to be trusted around something tiny and vulnerable. Or maybe the conviction it had to be my fault was trying to make sense of something too wrong and devastating to be processed, that just should not in any fair world have happened.

So sorry, please look after yourself.

CremeEggThief Thu 20-Feb-14 17:48:38

So very sorry for your loss. What an awful thing to happen :-(. You were not to blame in any way. thanks

sebsmummy1 Thu 20-Feb-14 17:58:41

I refuse to believe the things you listed were the cause of your baby's death either. I think you are grieving and you are punishing yourself.

I don't know what to say. I have had an early mc myself recently and am struggling, absolutely nothing compared to a still birth. But if the pain I'm feeling can be multiplied by a thousand I imagine you're probably another few steps up from that. Devastating and I wish we could turn the clicks back for you and make everything ok.

Have you joined any groups with Mothers who have been/ are going through the same? I have no idea if it helps but it makes sense to me that talking about an event with someone who has gone through the same might give more comfort than trying to talk it through with someone who has no idea.

Cinnamon2013 Thu 20-Feb-14 17:59:36

I'm so sorry you are going through this. A huge loss. Please don't make it harder by punishing yourself - it was not your fault. As others have said the chances of the things you say as minute. There's also a whole load of contradictory information (and just plain misinformation) out there, so I've yet to meet the pregnant woman who's sure she's doing everything right. Try and be kind to yourself and give yourself time to process what's happened. You are a good person and sadly you've have had a tragic experience. I wish you strength.

ohfourfoxache Thu 20-Feb-14 18:04:18

Oh sweetheart this is not your fault at all sad

I'm so, so sorry x

neverthebride Thu 20-Feb-14 18:04:19

Listeria or toxoplasmosis would have given you symptoms - you would have known if you had it.

So sorry for your loss. Wasn't your fault x

Stockhausen Thu 20-Feb-14 18:06:10

Im so sorry, but its not your fault.

Please speak to someone (your gp or midwife) or even just sands.

As upthread, heroin addicts & even people who starve themselves have healthy babies.

I also remember reading about french women eating blue cheese & pate etc. The author said something along the lines of it being a miracle the french existed if we were to believe all the do & donts.

dont suffer in silence. I hope you can find some kind of peace soon.

Ohbyethen Thu 20-Feb-14 18:16:25

I'm so sorry.

When we lost our son I thought I already knew about grief and so when I felt guilt that felt like it would crush the life out of me I accepted it as truth, I felt guilty because I was to blame.
It's not truth, you will feel guilt and that is the cruelty of the grief that losing a child in any circumstances brings. If only I had/hadn't/did/didn't, what if?

You didn't cause this to happen. You loved, wanted and cared for your baby. You did nothing to harm her.
After we lost our little boy I got pregnant again and I had no idea until 5 months (due to fertility issues it was unexpected) in that time I had eaten and drunk freely & hadn't ensured I hadfolic acid or anything like the best diet - he was born a healthy little boy. That should have been joyful but if felt a bitter pill for a while - how could a well managed pregnancy mean one died and an unmanaged one lived. Eventually as I worked through things I could accept that it was not as simple as that, it wasn't cause and effect - it was nature and luck.
And it's hard to accept how little control one has over something within your own body.

You can't make yourself feel differently but please know that this will not last forever. You will never forget but you will be able to see past this fog of pain. There are sadly lots of people to talk to, when you feel able it can be very helpful. Permission to feel how you do and will can be invaluable.
You probably won't feel deserving at the moment of being kind to yourself, but cut yourself some slack at any opportunity. Don't punish yourself for something you didn't do.

Slutbucket Thu 20-Feb-14 18:24:33

To say the information is everywhere I certainly wasn't aware of pink burgers. I knew about alcohol. If it was really that much of a risk your midwife would have drummed it into you. Please be kind to yourself. Unfortunately still born births are remarkably common and can just happen. I think losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to you so please accept my sincere condolences. X

RhondaJean Thu 20-Feb-14 18:28:00

I am so so sorry for your loss.

Are you able to tell us your little daughters name?

Mumoftwoyoungkids Thu 20-Feb-14 18:32:53

Agree with what several others had said. If you had had listeria you would have been very very ill.

BlueFrenchHorn Thu 20-Feb-14 18:38:07

Op it was nothing you did, nothing. What a horrible thing to have to go through you have my sincerest thoughts and sympathies but it was nothing you did.

DreamingofSummer Thu 20-Feb-14 18:52:02

So sorry for your loss.

You did nothing wrong, please do not blame yourself.

DevlinMaccabee Thu 20-Feb-14 18:55:44

I'm so,so sorry. It wasn't your fault. Like a precious poster said, you would have known if you had been poorly due to the meat.

Tell us more about your daughter, what was her name?

maddening Thu 20-Feb-14 18:58:55

you did nothing wrong thanks

and until you get the results then consuming yourself with what ifs is only going to tear you up and most probably unnecessarily while you could take this time to deal with your grief and loss. The wanting to know is natural but definitely speak to someone like sands and your gp to access help.

so sorry for your loss xx

joybee Thu 20-Feb-14 19:04:54

I'm so sorry for your loss. Please don't torture yourself this way. Sometimes terrible things just happen. Nothing anyone can do to stop them. Sending you lots of love.

Acinonyx Thu 20-Feb-14 19:15:20

I think there is something in our mental make-up that makes us think like this. My first pg was m/c and I became quite obsessed with the idea that I had killed it. There was no substance to it - but I just couldn't shake the conviction and became, frankly, quite unhinged for a while. I do hope you are getting some counselling and help. I do understand how it is to be gripped by this idea - but it's just that - a compulsive idea. flowers

Heebiejeebie Thu 20-Feb-14 19:18:28

Our brains are hard-wired to look for meaning in chaos, for faces in the fire or pictures in the clouds. That's how we spot the tiger in the jungle or a friend in the crowd. Sadly, it also means that we look for a reason in the senseless, to try and find an anchor in a storm. It iS not your fault, it is an incomprehensible tragedy and your grieving mind is playing tricks on you. I am so sorry that your baby died. You are not to blame.

TheWorstPain Thu 20-Feb-14 20:01:03

Thank you for all the comforting posts, it really means a lot
Everyone I know is telling me I'm being irrational, that it's the grief talking, and that makes me feel better but it still feels very real to me, that I could have let my baby die due to ignorance and a very cavalier attitude to this pregnancy

I won't say her name for fear of someone recognising me, but she was a beautiful, chubby little girl with perfect hands, long nails and feet and little rosebud lips. I adored her.

Calloh Thu 20-Feb-14 20:04:08

I agree with what everyone else said - Listeriosis is incredibly rare (maybe one outbreak every decade) and even if you had got it (which you would definitely know about) it might not have effected your baby.

There is nothing you could have done to stop this happening, nothing. It was shitty, shitty luck. I hope the pm comes up with something concrete but regardless you must accept it was not your fault and was beyond your control.

I am sorry TWP. thanks

AnnieOats Thu 20-Feb-14 20:37:34

Oh love you didn't do anything to cause the loss of your baby. You're thinking like this because you're trying to find a reason for it happening. Like others have said you'd have been really ill yourself if you'd have eaten anything dodgy.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Try not to be too hard on yourself. thanks

AndHarry Thu 20-Feb-14 20:44:08

I am so sorry that your baby girl died. It isn't something that any parent should have to endure.

Please talk to SANDS. They will help you to stop torturing yourself like this. As other posters have said, if anything you ate had the potential to harm your baby you would have been very unwell yourself too. Your daughter did not die because you ate a burger or steak.

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