Good night, sweet prince: And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest...
-William Shakespeare

It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.
-Rose Kennedy

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Rant about living in a Missing Angels State

My state offices seem not to understand the importance of this bill that was passed in 2004. It states that I can get a Certificate of Birth resulting in Stillbirth (COB)for my son. It states that I delivered my son, yes, that even though he did not take a breath on this earth I birthed him. He was born. Why is it so difficult for others to understand that I need this piece of paper as an acknowledgement for myself, for my son.

I sent off for Williams death certificate and got that back without a problem. I then sent in the application for the COB. I received in the mail once again, a certificate of fetal death for my son. Mind you the applications are completely different for both pieces of paper.

I let it sit for a few days and then started to fume. I want my sons birth certificate dammit, what do I have to do? I went to my local vital stats office. The lady inside incredibly nice but unknowing, called the state office in Jeff City. She then handed me the phone, "what is it you are wanting?" said the voice on the other end of the phone. "I am wanting a Certificate of Birth resulting in Stillbirth for my son and your office keeps sending me a Fetal Death Certificate." "Well, Ma'am, that's all you'll get, it cannot be ammended to a birth certificate." Me steaming and crying now..."you mean to tell me that your office will break the laws that are in effect for people like me? Never mind you, I will contact the Govenor myself and report that the laws are being broken in state offices." I hung up the phone.

Now, I have yet to contact my Governor as I was trying any route to get what I wanted without stirring the pot before I got it. I have since sent a letter, politely stating my request, 2 applications for the COB, the duplicate copy of the fetal death report, and a copy of the LAW to the supervisor at the Vital Statistics office in Jefferson City, MO! I then emailed the MISS Foundation to give them a heads up. She reported that even in Arizona (the 1st state to enact the bill) she is still having problems with this law being implemented. My best bet to prevent others from going through this added my legislators and or go to the vital statistics office in my state capital, with the law in hand. I'm not opposed to doing any or all of the above. I would actually like it if they would hand me a computer with a program on it so I could personally handle request like mine. I would like someone in their office to know what it means to a parent in our shoes to get a piece of paper. I would like just once for one of their idiots to say, " I am sorry for your loss, I will get this handled promptly!"

So, I am still waiting for my sons BIRTH CERTIFICATE to arrive. I know they received the letter and request as I sent it all certified mail. When I get that certificate I will be contacting all of my public office officials to show them what it is that we, women in our shoes rightfully deserve. To show them the law that was passed and signed by my Governor in 2004. I will make sure they know I am not going away...not until this issue is fixed! I will do whatever it takes to make it easy or easier for someone to receive a Birth Certificate resulting in Stillbirth for their child. For their records!

If there is one thing that has come from the loss of my son that I find to be "good" it is the fact that I now want to advocate for parents of stillborns I now want to be on the inside for the rest of my life. I want to help, and yes, I guess in a way it will be helping me work through my sons death.

Edited to add: Please see Update


c. said...

I have that feeling, too. I really want to do something in terms of advocating for or supporting parents of still birth.

I wish we had the option of a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth here. I think I would really love to have something like this.

kalakly said...

Check my blog for links to help with this...I am crazy busy this week but will have time this weekend to catch up with meme and also to help with this, which should not be a struggle...enough already, right?

HLHArts said...

I am so sorry this has become such a hassle, but good for you for fighting them about it! Unfortunately we don't have the option of a COB here, so instead we settled for the hospital providing us an unofficial certificate that was essentially an acknowledgment of existence that sort of did the trick for us.

Angelisa said...


I'm sorry that you have to go through this, but you are so *right on* to want to fight for this. There should be organizations that are fighting legislation for this too, no?! If not, then let's start one!

I just saw your blog through your comment on mine...I was stuck by how you mentioned in your profile, stars. We also have a real connection to stars and Salvatore...I think I will write about it in my next post.

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your precious son, William. And, yes, the 33 thing is weird no...

Hang in there...

Coggy said...

I'm glad you are not taking this lying down. I am glad for other women in your state that you can find the strength to do this.
I am still shocked that you guys in certain states (and canada) have to fight for this. It is appalling. I just took it for granted that you guys would have the same as us in the UK. It's shocking.

I'm still trying to figure out how I can be on the inside of all this too, and in a way that works for me. I'm thinking about going into the hospital for a start and talking to the midwives about what the important things are for women like us to be able to do after birth and what are the photos that are important for us to have.
I'm just trying to figure out a way to get access to do this right now.
I hope you get your certificate soon, I completely understand how important it is.

nancy said...

Good for you for doing all of this. I'm sorry you have to, but it's because of women like you that stuff like this ends up being taken care of.

If you need anyone to help, write letters, etc, you let me know. I'd be happy to help.

FiestyKel said...

Like your grief is not enough to cope with. How cruel that you have to fight for this too. Im so sorry :(

UmAlexander said...

I live in texas, allegedly a "missing angels" state. I was told that my son's certificate would take 6 weeks. After 8 weeks I called the office that handles this. I had to leave a message with the person "handling my file". When she returned my call, she said that they were currently issuing certificates for stillbirths from mid 2007. I asked if all birth certificates are taking this long and she said no, just stillbirths. You see, "they do those last". It occurred to me that under their current timeline that if i got pregnant that day and actually had a living baby at term, that baby would have a birth certificate before my firstborn. I got very, very angry and then very, very sad.

Weirdly enough, though, the funeral home called 5 days later and said that the birth certificate had arrived. So go figure.