Wednesday, September 15, 2010

When 1 + 3 doesn't = 4

One of the strange side effects of having dead babies is the awkward way they come up even when you are not talking of their death.

Like, when people are rehashing pregnancy memories. And you have this great story about craving watermelon like a crazy woman, and then directly after eating it, you ran to the bathroom to throw it up, and after that, you couldn't even look at watermelon in the grocery store for months.

And everyone laughs and some comment is made in reference to this story being about your living daughter, and you say nothing and let them think that even though the story was about your son. Except you don't mention that because this is a laughing moment and nothing kills that like mentioning your dead baby.

Even though you hate that, because it isn't fair. I mean, you were pregnant with him, and did give birth to him and you have some comments or stories to tell that sound like everybody else's, at least, until the end.

Sometimes when you are talking you let everyone think you only recall your living daughters' pregnancy stories, and you never even say, "well, I remember the first time I was pregnant...." or even, "oh, yeah, 2005, I was pregnant so I didn't drink that beer that made everyone else sick" or whatever the story or reference may be.

You find yourself starting stories like, "well, when I was pregnant...."as though you were pregnant only that one time, yes sir, one time only. You never make it sound plural, like more than 1 case of morning sickness, 1 case of constipation, 1 hospital stay, 1 pregnancy total.

Except for finally, today. When you were feeling strong. When you are feeling, (this week at least) that you are sick of almost hiding them. When you are feeling you might need to start mentioning them again.

And you say, in reference to story about being weak or strong of stomach, "I had a strong stomach till my first pregnancy, after that, I got much more disgusted by things like throw up"

And even though it was this minor detail, this minor thing adding that first to the story, you feel strong and proud of yourself and you feel a small weight of burden lift off your shoulders.


Big Love, Big Acceptance - or so I say said...

Hi! I just found your blog through Glow.

I really like this post. It's a topic I was talking about with my husband, as we recently found out we're pregnant with our second child. I asked him how he would respond to the strangers that ask, "Oh, is this your first child?" He said he would probably say yes. Ya know, keep things simple and unemotional. I told him I would probably say no. To say this pregnancy is our first child is a lie. It feels like a betrayal of myself and my daughter, and everything we've been through. Now I don't know what I'll actually say when I'm finally showing (assuming all goes well, and I get to show). But I always cringe inside if I find myself or my husband saying we don't have children. We do, but she's dead, and so many people don't want or expect to hear that.

Thanks for brining up such an important topic!

CLC said...

Good for you Ms. G! I find myself going back and forth. Sometimes I am brave and bring it up and other times I pretend that D was my first. I guess it depends on who I am talking to. I wish I was always brave!

loribeth said...

Just catching up (again...!) after my latest vacation. I often find myself biting my tongue when other women talk about their pregnancies. I have stories too, & sometimes I would like to share them, but I know what the reaction would be. I do feel free to be myself among my friends from my pg loss group. What a relief!