Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

19 Sep 2012

Babies cry, I cry.

I went to see my midwife yesterday. It was a "brave" visit - I went by myself. I checked on Wiggles before leaving, of course, he kicked up a storm and his heartbeat was great. Knowing my baby was alive, I felt so strong walking into the waiting room of the clinic that became so familiar by now.

There was a lady in the waiting room, sitting next to an empty car seat and baby things: a new grandma. I smiled politely and sat next to her (there aren't many seating options there...). It was getting uncomfortable: she seemed happy and eager to start a conversation while I just didn't want to go there, so I picked up a book on loosing a baby from the lovely library they have and sat back down next to her. I think the she got the message and I spent the next few minutes in relative peace (I was reading a book on loosing a baby after all).

A few paragraphs later I looked up from my book to see a glowing new mom and her baby come out of one of the rooms, big smile on her face. Everything slows down for me: baby is quiet, I see his head, full of blond hair, still has the cone shape. I look away, down, anywhere... They coo and woo and make a joke about him making a man-burp. I gather up all the smiles that I have in me, turn to them and agree with the man-burp description, saying how cute that is.

That's a first for me. I pat myself on the back and stare at the wall to catch a breath.

Front door opens, another car seat, another new mom. She sits right in front of me, the only available chair in the room. The baby is so brand new, his hair still looks sticky. I take another deep breath. I can do it.

A sudden cry from the back of the clinic alerts me to a third newborn. Three. Is that what I get for being strong? A year and a half after Amelia's death and birth, for the first time I look at a newborn with love in my heart, and then there are THREE? I feel my eyes swelling...

This should have been me last March, in that office with my own baby. I never went back after she was born, there was no need...

The baby in front of me picks up on the cry and starts wailing. I can't hold it anymore. Tears are rolling down my cheeks. I try to keep distracted by texting my husband, my friends, but no luck. The babies cry louder and louder and I'm starting to shake.

Finally my midwife opens the door and I find refuge on her shoulder, with all my snotty tears. I'm so grateful to have an understanding and compassionate friend in her, someone who is not scared of me, of Amelia. After the tears fade I realise that those walls are thin, they must have heard me cry...

Oh well, we all cry sometimes.

I really wish there was more understanding of how hard it is for us to see newborn babies. Not because we don't love babies, but because we love our own so much it hurts.

11 Sep 2012

Well-meaning comment that I hate.

Everything will be OK this time, trust me.

Said a complete stranger, an acquaintance, a relative, a friend, and everyone in between.

You are healthy, so your baby will be ok. I know it!

At this point, if I can, I walk away. I have nothing to say to someone who has a direct line to G-O-D, who can see into the future. Because if they do, why didn't they tell me Amelia was going to die?

Funny thing is, I was absolutely normal and healthy when pregnant with Amelia. There was no reason for concern. We all trusted that everything would be ok, why wouldn't it... But it wasn't.

My doctors don't know why Amelia died, but there is a reason. It can be something rather simple, or something very complicated. It can be anything. Babies are resilient, but fragile. Life is fragile. My OB does not tell me that things will be ok this time around, she just watches me closely and plans on doing more so as Wiggles grows. She also isn't planning on taking any risks, so most likely Wiggles will be born before our Christmas Eve due date.

So that's the truth: We don't know what killed Amelia and we are doing everything we can to prevent the unknown from striking again. Hoping for the best, while remaining realistic. Not optimistic, not pessimistic. Realistic. Babies die, but most live. We don't know the future, and neither do complete strangers, acquaintances, relatives and friends. That's life.

When I hear the things will be fine comment, I feel that people try to diminish what we went through with Amelia, like something was supposed to be wrong with her all along, like her death gives all our future children a safety blanket, like I didn't give birth to a healthy-looking dead baby, like the fact that my reality is different from most other realities out there.

It minimises the real fear I have every minute of every day of this pregnancy, that I will have to survive the death of another baby, my baby. It is not the same fear as people have when bad things happen to others, it's the fear of bad things happening to me while others watch with relief that it isn't them.

So, the best thing to say is: Good Luck.

That's all. Two words.