Hi Adventuregirl/Sheryl - cute name BTW.
I think it was the whole unexpected ordeal, right? No one in my family, at least none that I know of, has had a stillbirth, only miscarriages. I was certainly very surprised. So they, I guess like many others, thought that if you miscarry before you give birth that you would just go home and wait for 'things' to heal. But that's not what happens at all. I had to go through the entire process of birth. 12+ hours of labor. A birth certificate. An autopsy. And I guess after having to go through that in a hospital birth center with babies crying all around (because I had a risk of hemorrhage - and good thing we did because I did hemorrhage badly and needed surgery), then the ordeal still was not over and we had to do the funeral too.
My close family and husband's family at the time, were supportive mostly. Some, especially those that were cousins, were a bit grudgingly supportive, but some others were just mystified that they were asked to attend at all. And I actually thought at first I didn't want anyone else but my close family there. My closest family was willing to do whatever I wanted. But we ended up opening the invitation to the church service to everyone (family/friends) and I was quite shocked at how many people appeared at the funeral. But now I am actually glad the whole family and many friends know and we can talk about Luke and the loss and no one is unaware of who Luke was. It also helps cut down on E feeling uncomfortable because she does talk about Luke. She is so brazen about it too - she had an appointment with a therapist and the first thing they ask is about brothers and sisters. At first the therapist was a little shocked, but then later she told me she thought it was really great that DD knew about her older brother.
It does help with healing and it gives you a connection to both older and younger generations as well as people you might now ever talk to. Luke was my 3rd loss, and there is a point I reached when I realized I could not hide this, it was painful and I needed the support. I also knew other people who were having similar experiences with losses and I wanted to be someone who they could talk to. I felt, after the still birth, that many people did not want to talk about the loss because they could not relate. But once they actually asked me about it, I would tell them and they wanted to know and then everything was OK, no weirdness or anything. But there are still many more who can't talk about our experience. At all. As in someone mentions it, and the room goes silent. Still taboo and forbidden.
I am really curious as to how the Japanese are going to react to me, a pregnant American. The society is very closed and some of the strangest things bring people to talk to me, like one day an old man saw I was buying garden seeds and had to come over and talk to me, even though neither of us speaks the other person's language! He was really nice but it was such a surprise. I frequently don't talk to any one here other then DH, DD, 2 friends and the people at DD's school. I suspect I will begin to get questions once I start to show, then I'll be on display Not so sure I will handle that well. I generally don't like to be the center of attention in a foreign culture (or any culture!).