So, here it is. I am going back to that topic I have touched upon a little bit here and there. Seeing pregnant women. And even small babies. Those that have lost, have all almost said, this is hard to see especially during that first year or so. And then it occurred to me the other day, after passing a pregnant woman and then a baby in the grocery store, "The world is going to continue on having babies. They are not going to stop. I am going to have to face this every day during these very intense days of grieving." Oh, and just as I was leaving the grocery, I ran into a friend that said she was picking up food to make dinner for a mother that just had a baby. Constant triggers.
But you know what makes it not easier, but more bearable? When those I know, especially if pregnant or have a baby, reach out to me. And are perhaps, a little bit sensitive. It would be like a person that is in AA and is really trying to fight their addiction, and someone walking over and saying that they are headed to the bar for good times and to drink their face off. It's very different, but still I think makes my point. I have said in the past, it is easier for me to share in your happiness, if you are able to share in my sadness. And my sadness did not stop the day I delivered Emily and Michael. It continues to this day.
I remember that I was invited to a baby shower, a month before our Emily's due date last summer. Gulp. I am still shocked that I was able to shower, dress myself up, and attend this party, full gift in hand for a baby girl. I even bought some cute little girl clothes. Looking back, I wish that I just opted for the gift card. Was just too hard after losing my baby girl. But, I attended this shower because I knew the mother. And she was extremely kind and understanding to me from day one. She would check in with me from time to time to see how I was doing. She even said on many occasions, "I know this must be hard." This baby shower was well attended, and you know what, she was the only one that came over and said something to me. And everyone else knew about our loss. Anyhow, this very (kind, again) pregnant mother came over to me and said, "It must be hard to be here." Gave me a hug, and thanked me for coming. I am not saying that it wasn't hard. After I left, I had a good cry. But, I remember her. And on our due date last year, July 27th, she had some pretty flowers delivered on our doorstep. She was thinking of me on that day, and that made such a difference with how our friendship continued. The way she was with me. It is sometimes hard looking at her baby girl, and thinking, "That is how big our Emily would be now." But, she has been so caring and understanding, that it isn't such a huge issue for me.
I can share in someone else's happiness, if they can share and walk with me in my sadness. Isn't that what life is all about? Helping each other, in good times and in bad? I have another friend, that has never lost, that has been a gem. So, when you think, "Well, I have never lost. I couldn't possibly be there and understand." I am here to beg to differ.
Once that "wall" is broken down for me, the elephant in the room, I want to call it at times, I am able to breathe a little. Again, it goes back to this "secret society", the taboo subject of the loss of a baby, that few want to talk about. This is not the same. Again, this is not the same. But, think about if your parent died, or a very dear friend, and nobody really talked about it. Or asked how you were doing from time to time. Can you imagine? This happens all of the time with babies dying. And I have come to a conclusion. That people just really do not know what to say. Because we are a "fix-it" society, and sometimes things cannot be explained. How could a baby die? Which leaves many feeling very anxious when put in the company of people that have lost babies. That is when people say, "Well, at least you know you can get pregnant." Which I was told. I also was told to "be glad that for what I have here, our two boys." Or to "concentrate on them". Which I do. But, it doesn't take away the sadness that I feel from losing two. You can experience more than one feeling.
And again, I will leave you with, "it is easier for me to share in your happiness (especially with being pregnant or a baby), if you share and walk with me in my sadness." Again, that grieving begins when you find out your baby died. It wasn't a one-time event. And will continue for many months, and years.
Posted on June 7, 2014
by Anne Morrison