Saw a commercial for an upcoming documentary on PBS today called Beyond Babyland, Babyland being the local term for the baby section of one of the most popular Memphis cemeteries. Lovely. Of course I will have to watch and of course it airs my first day back to work so I’m sure I’ll be in a great mood. I watched the preview for it just now and it clarifies for me why I was interviewed the other day. Also why it seemed the lady was asking all the wrong questions for my particular case. Questions like, were there ever any instances of domestic abuse while pregnant? What about food stamps? Did you ever not have enough money for food? What about abuse during your childhood?
I knew they were looking for trends and trying to categorize me but she never seemed to ask anything about having fantastic pre-natal care and wonderful doctors and access to all the information in the world via Google.
Turns out I live in the city with the highest infant mortality rate in the country. Not because of cord accidents, though, obviously, but because of poverty. The cities around the country with the highest rates also all have the highest rates of impoverished black communities.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. I was actually heartened by the fact that major organizations were looking into something that could possibly explain what happened to Olivia. Turns out they’re exploring why there are still so many people in this country who also happen to be African American without access to proper pre-natal care, or education, or money to provide the most basic necessities.
I have those things. I had all of those things and I still lost my baby. What about me? Who’s looking into people like me, like us; educated enough, financially stable (enough, anyway), emotionally secure enough and more than eager enough to have babies, lots of them?
I was hoping for a second that somehow this documentary might shed some light on other scenarios more similar to my own, as if that will make it any easier to accept. I know the women who’ve lost their babies because of their environment or living situation feel just as helpless and out of control as I do.
I just thought maybe. But cord accidents will probably not make an appearance. I’m still going to watch, of course. But I’m sure I’ll be disappointed in the lack of discussion of when you do everything right and you still don’t get to take home your baby.