In memory of a little girl I didn't know

by Jen on April 9, 2009

in I'm all out of clever today

The blogosphere is a big place and — even though I’ve tried — I can’t read every blog out there. (Hell, right now there are probably a thousand unread posts in my feed reader spread among dozens of various blogs; this is even after the devastating “mark all read” incident of a few weeks ago.) However, when I’m out there reading, commenting and twittering, my path often crosses that of other bloggers who I become familiar with, at least by name.

Yesterday in my Twitter stream, many of those I follow posted their sympathies for Heather Spohr of The Spohrs are Multiplying and Mike of The Newborn Identity. I think I’d visited their blogs a few times each, but as of yesterday about all I could remember were the titles. (How could you forget those blog titles? Those are great titles.) With a sinking feeling, I realized that the Spohrs had lost their daughter Maddie.

Although I knew they had a daughter who was a former preemie, I didn’t know much about her story and so — like apparently everyone else on the planet Earth — I tried to visit Heather’s blog. But the excessive traffic had crashed the site and Bluehost suspended the account. Just when they most needed the support of the Internets. Nice one, Bluehost. Remind me not to consider your services when I finally decide to get my own domain. (Thanks to other helpful blogwizards, most of her blog is back up at a different host.)

One thing motherhood does for you is turn every baby into your baby. (Or your baby into every baby. I’m not really sure how this process works.) I love even fictional babies on ER* like they were my own. I empathize with every mother when anything, good or bad, happens to their children. I could not stop thinking about Maddie. I could not stop thinking about her parents. I felt physically ill.

Last night I rocked Goose to sleep an extra long time. Just so I could hold him. Just because I could. Today I wanted to see if I could find out any more information and if there was anything I could do. Finally able to access her blog, I discovered that Heather had pPROM at 19 weeks. Anyone who’s read this blog knows that, having suffered pPROM at (a thankfully relatively safe) 34 weeks, it’s still one of my biggest pregnancy fears. There’s so little doctors can do to predict it, so little they can do to treat it and the results are so often devastating. I felt a further connection with the Spohrs, muddled together with a there-but-for-the-grace-of-fate sentiment. I wanted to reach out to them, but as a stranger, what could I do?

Then Alexa at Flotsam wrote this today:

A Paypal account has been set up to help cover Heather and Mike’s expenses, because on the list of “Things No One Should Ever Have To Do,” “Pay For Child’s Funeral” comes right after “Have Child’s Funeral In First Place.”

Boy, that hit home. I couldn’t agree more. As of this moment, there have been more than $18,000 in donations made to Maddie’s March of Dimes page. Since I already donate to the March of Dimes in the Monkeyboy’s name, I made a PayPal donation. If my small donation can do anything to alleviate even a few seconds of pain or slightly ameliorate the insult of having to pay for a funeral being added to the injury of losing their daughter, then the Spohrs are welcome to it. I will be keeping them in my thoughts.

And I keep thinking about Maddie. For a little girl I never knew, I’m sure I’ll never forget her.

*I stuck with it for fifteen years until the bitter end. But I’m only 2/3 of the way through the DVR’d finale, so don’t tell me how it ends.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura April 9, 2009 at 2:18 pm

I totally agree with you about how every baby becomes YOUR baby when you become a mother – this is why I run a foundation for a little boy who I never met, though now his family is our close friends and their cause my own. Today was the first time I had even been to Maddie’s parents’ blog, yesterday the first I learned of her passing. Life is too precious, too unpredictable and too fleeting. I too will donate to help them ease their financial burden as I also support the March of Dimes.

2 Jenni April 13, 2009 at 12:02 pm

i read mike’s blog and was lucky enough ti have him stop by mine a good bit when he was still blogging. maddie’s death has rocked me. i am beside myself.

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv Enabled

Previous post:

Next post: