Thursday, December 5, 2013

I Don't Know Your Story

I wrote the paragraphs below last summer, and never published them as a post because it seemed incomplete. I am slowly creeping out of a fog of heavy grief. I am trying to focus on the positive within myself, and trying not to  compare myself to others I think "have it better." Or who are lucky enough not to have a dead baby in their past. Sometimes, though, I admit it feels better to compare myself to someone I think has it worse. Did I write that I already or only think it? I think it so often, I cannot tell the difference. Not exactly evil, but not exactly nice. I don't know, maybe it's just a variation on the theme of thinking of those less fortunate, and being grateful for what you have.

I was never good at being grateful, or being present, and I am no better in the long, broad wake of baby loss.

Compare and compare and compare I will, but I don't know your story...

And yet I imagine I do. And I hate you because your story is not complicated like mine. It is not grief-ridden like mine. You are young and if not beautiful then you are cute and sweet-looking. Your husband is young and tall and he carries your son, not yet two or even one, on his shoulders. He holds your daughter's small hand and you all walk slowly together. Your daughter is not yet three. You are pregnant and your belly button is slightly sticking out under your blue cotton dress. And I fucking hate you for having these three kids, because you will have your third child without complication, I can tell by the sweet look on your face.

I am 35 and anxiously awaiting the arrival of my second son, hoping with my entire being that this second son will live. The thing that caused his brother's death cannot cause his, but in the world where I now live, lots of different bad things can happen to babies before they are born. And so I freak out now and again and have days of grief and anxiety and moodiness. I think that this isn't fair, why can't I go back to being oblivious? Like you.

But I don't know your story...

I suppose there is a woman watching me, thinking that I look so happy, so glowing, so ignorant, the blissful kind. Maybe she's tried for years to get pregnant and yet no pregnancies. Maybe she's had multiple--or even just one--early miscarriage. She's never felt a baby move from the inside. She's never talked about her baby or strollers or night-feedings with strangers. Maybe she hates my pregnant guts.

...and you don't know mine.