Are our children nothing?

by Claudia Ravaldi

In the first issue of 2010 of Vanity Fair magazine, a report on perinatal death was published. The service is accompanied by the images of Giovanni Presutti, taken from the photographic project “Piccoli Principi” of which we have already spoken. The magazine’s chief editor of stories, Silvia Nucini, interviewed six of the couples who had participated in the photographic project and collected their stories, dedicating a page of her article to each one. Six pages in one of the most important weekly magazines in our country.

It doesn’t matter that we tell you how rare and special this occurrence is. Since CiaoLapo has existed, we have been trying to break through the wall of indifference, false modesty and true fear that characterizes the media of our country. And now a photography artist and a high-level journalist (used to interviewing the so-called “bigs” of entertainment and culture around the world) lend their professionalism to the promotion of culture on perinatal mourning in our country.

We are really very satisfied and we sincerely thank Giovanni and Silvia.

Anyone wishing to leave a comment or thank Silvia Nucini can do so on her official blog:

Those who have not had the opportunity to buy the magazine can download the article in pdf here:

From Silvia Nucini’s Blog

It happens to many, it happens often, but it is not said, because – come on – it is better not to think about it. And down a pat on the back, a half hug, and the magic formula: “You’ll do another one!”

I know a few women who have lost a baby in pregnancy, some at the beginning, some at the end. It doesn’t make that much of a difference, too, because pain intensity isn’t measured in weeks of gestation. Thinking back to them now, after writing the piece you will find in Vanity Fair n.1-2010 (Are our children nothing?) I think of all the bullshit I said, downcast eyes, embarrassment.

Francesca, Flavia, Silvia, Gina, Claudia and Roberta, the “special mothers” I met for the report on perinatal bereavement – different stories, some with more, some with less pieces in hand to put back together – they wanted to talk to me about their children who are no longer there, they did it with bright eyes, a smile on their lips. The tears fell thinking about people’s insensitivity, the bubble of silence in which people closed them afterwards. Since when does silence make you forget? And then, why do we always have to forget?

A separate discussion deserves the medical staff who deal with abortions and stillbirths. One pregnancy every 300 is not successful, so we can no longer say that they are such exceptional cases as to catch unprepared those who, prepared, should be so, if not for the humanity that the job that has been chosen requires, at least by contract.

I chose not to mention the names of the doctors and hospitals these women stumbled upon and I also chose to omit many details frankly unworthy of their hospital admissions, but that Claudia’s baby, being born, did not have two hands ready to take it with a gesture of love and dignity that is due to the living as well as to the dead is an image that will never get out of my head again.

Enjoy the reading.

Maybe not easy, I know.

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