Friday, September 2, 2011
When I think of who I am and how I got to this point in my life- what has shaped me- the number one "thing' would be Andrew. The kind of Christian I am, mother I am- The kind of wife, friend, teacher, person... it all comes back to him.
I remember when I was numb- months out- driving- and a woman gave me the finger mouthing some words at me- clearly quite angry at something I did... I still don't know what happened, but I remember (literally) smiling and waving. I did this while thinking, poor thing... she probably had a really bad day~ perhaps she just lost someone like I did... Maybe she lost a baby too... I thought this because everyone must be like me- You see, I had just gotten out of the 'angry at the world' stage. I was oblivious- but at the same time, keenly aware.
I chose my words very carefully (though you probably wouldn't notice). I never asked someone how many children they had because it was a question I hated to answer. I didn't ask people who had been married for some time if they were 'trying' because my assumption was that they were and it wasn't going well and that -in itself- is a loss... a loss of that dream us little girls have- we grow up, fall in love, get married, have babies, the end.
I don't talk about my living children here (unless it is their thoughts of their brother or sister) and I am careful (as much as I can) to not talk about them with friends who are trying so hard to have a baby.
But recently I dropped the ball and for that I feel sick and apologize from the bottom of my broken heart.
I was on facebook when I read many friends (most of them older and from my church) who were writing how many "weeks they were" and what they were "craving". The inference here was that they were pregnant. I thought it was funny (because clearly they weren't) and I wanted in on the joke. I played along (most of my friends knowing that I had had a tubal so wouldn't be pregnant) but my computer lit up, and my phone rang off the hook with people asking me (for real) if I was pregnant... (clearly their friends hadn't gotten the same forward I had about the 'game' whose purpose was apparently to raise awareness for breast cancer). Some people laughed and thought it was funny- and to be honest- at the time, I thought it was 'funny' that people would honestly think that I was pregnant.
It wasn't until a friend sent me a message- (A friend who lost two beautiful twin boys, a friend with no living children but an overwhelming desire to be a mother of children that people SEE)- wrote me congratulating me, that all laughter and smiles stopped. I lost my breath and my eyes started to water. I realized what I had done. I realized that I had turned into one of 'those' people... those people whose mouths drip insensitive questions and thoughts not out of malice but because they are clueless. Those people who are the topic of most meetings I have attended and countless posts on support group pages. I wondered how many people read my 'status update' and wanted to give me the finger while I smiled and waved... oblivious. I felt sick to my stomach, let her in on the 'joke' and quickly posted the message I got to every 'baby-loss group' I am a member of in hopes to save others from the 'sting' of hearing a friend was pregnant... when in fact they were not. Some thanked for the clarification but after that came outrage, and rightfully so.
To this community being pregnant is no laughing matter.
To many in this community when they become pregnant they know the week and day of their pregnancy and 'first trimester' safety... Ya, that means nothing to us. Hell, my twins were good and cooked at 39 weeks... well passed that 'first trimester' safety mark.
When you want to have a baby... if you've been trying for two months or two years- while you may be happy for someone else, you can't help but be more sad for you- it is human. I learned that when my brother and his wife were expecting their first child a month after I had lost baby E. As excited as I was to be an auntie, and as happy as I was for them... I felt sick and sad. Sad for me. I remember being glad that I heard their exciting news over the phone so that they didn't have to read my face in that moment. It wasn't about them... it was all about me...
I wonder how many read that post about my 'cravings' and had that same feeling~ sadness~ and my "playing along" had caused that for some and for that, I deeply apologize.
I have since 'removed' the post.
The purpose was to 'raise awareness for breast cancer'... how the game did that, I don't know. Trying to find a reason for everything, my guess is that the hope was to get people talking and get some air time on the Today Show or Good Morning America- but perhaps what this game can do is bring more awareness to my number one 'cause'.
Yes. I know people who have suffered from cancer. It claimed the life of my father-in-law. My mother-in-law is a survivor... my sister-in-law...
But I am a survivor too. I survived losing a son. Holding a son who was dead in my arms. Holding a son who I carried for 39 long weeks. Holding a son who just mere hours before I delivered him had been alive within me... kicking! A son who would have been here had I delivered just that morning. Look at your child. That could have been Andrew.
But no one really knows my struggles. They may have remembered my now 'once upon a time' story but they don't know how I still think about him everyday- that just turning the calendar to September brought a lump in my throat knowing that that precious boy would have been 8 in just a few short weeks and I never got to see his smile.
Somehow I survived.
I'm surviving still- but for some reason my 'cause' doesn't get air-time.
Oprah never talked about me (though of course I wrote her as I'm sure many other of us 'Secret Society' moms did)... Perhaps your baby had to live a while to get on her show... Perhaps I was going crazy... Perhaps it was just me...
But now I know that it's not just me and I'm not crazy... or maybe I am. But there's a whole lot of us crazies out there that are suffering from a disease that eats us up... a broken heart from someone that we loved dearly but that no one else saw and therefore was forgotten by the next week or two.
I can tell you non-members of this society that those who suffered a loss were hurt by this. And I assure you that those who want nothing more than to become pregnant were hurt by this and THIS is what I hope spreads like wildfire. I am sure no one meant for anyone to get hurt, but I am 0 weeks and craving forgiveness- for not being sensitive to MY group. Perhaps this 'game' will bring attention to "us"- Attention to a group that doesn't have some celebrity spokesperson or representatives on the morning talk shows.
But there is talk- of that I assure you. The world will say that there is no pain like losing a child- But I don't fall into that category because my children never took a breath- not one that I didn't breathe for them. They didn't count.
The world never talks about me. I have no color. No ribbons worn by celebrities as they make their speeches at their awards shows. They never talk about 'me'. But perhaps they will now. Maybe this game will bring attention- just to a different cause. Mine. Ours.
So talk about that. Talk about us.
The Secret Society.
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