I have been stewing over this post for some time and have never really given myself the time to put the thoughts that run through my head every day a voice, until now. Most of you probably read Julia's post the other day regarding the lack of connection she felt to the 'freak' pregnant women, the ones who plan and it works out, the ones with ordinary pregnancy complaints, the ones who have never even come close to shopping for our shoes, the shoes we walk in every single day, much less had to try a pair on. It certainly generated a mighty discussion given the number of comments left, many by anonymous posters who, of course, criticized us, the dead baby mafia, for raining on their happy parade.
I took on one of 'them', one of the 'anonymous' commenter's, over at Julia's place, but didn't want to keep doing it there so I figured I'd finally get that stuff out over here, where I can rain shit all over the place cuz it's my place and no one is the boss of me. At least not in my mind:0)
The thing is, I am so God Damn sick and tired of holding my tongue, biting my lip, grinning and nodding during others conversations about pregnancy, babies, family planning etc., I want to scream. I don't know, maybe I am at the 'anger' phase of grief? Or maybe it's just too friggin exhausting to sit in the middle of a conversation and feel like I can't say anything because what I have to add is, most likely, going to be a huge conversation buzz kill. For example, "How many kids do you have?" Out loud answer, "2", in my head "Do you mean alive or all of my kids?" or "Did you have easy pregnancies?" Out loud answer, "Yes." in my head, "Yes they were all easy pregnancies, it was delivering my dead son that was hard." or the real kicker, "Oh, so you just have the two?" out loud answer, "Yep, just the two" in my head, "No those are just the two YOU can see, my other son, my third child, his ashes are at home on my dresser.". And I could go on, you all know what I mean.
I know these are just 'innocent' questions. I know the people asking them are literally just making idle conversation, mindless banter. I know this. But for me, this is no longer a topic of mindless banter. Why can't I just give my "in my head" answer out loud? No one is stopping me. Except me. Why would it be inconsiderate of me to tell a pregnant woman, I flew through two pregnancies and then out of no where my third, my son just died, right inside me, just like that. No drama, no pain, no signs, he just died. Why is it not okay for me to say that? One of the "anon's" who commented and subsequently pissed me off, first because hey, I welcome any one's comments, but at least have the guts to leave your name/id and secondly, this commenter went on to compare us, the dead baby mom's, talking about what can and in fact has gone wrong with a pregnancy to another pregnant woman, to someone standing at an airport telling everyone who was boarding a plane that it might crash and other ridiculous analogies like that. The more accurate analogy, of course, would be for someone who is climbing out of the wreckage of a burning, mangled plane that has indeed just crashed, right next to the plane the other individual is planning on boarding, and the victim is saying, "Hey, FYI, my fucking plane just crashed, be careful, yours might too, cuz I sure as hell never saw mine coming." Is that being a buzz kill? Is that being inconsiderate? Is that "raining on their parade"?
I mean, I think it's inconsiderate of people to have, as Julia or one of the commenter's called them, their "shiny, happy pregnancy" conversations right in front of me. In fact, it pisses the hell out of me. I don't really want bad things to happen to pregnant women, but when one is standing right in front of me, newly pregnant, and I know she knows what I have just been through, and she is gushing about her pregnancy and her bad back and oh, how it's going to make this pregnancy so much harder than her others, I do, literally want to haul off and slap her, hard. My hands itch with anger. My mind screams with rage, "A bad back?!, Jesus H. Christ, a bad back is going to make your pregnancy hard??? Can you not see me sitting here, can you not remember that 6 months ago I was way more pregnant than you and you asked me what we were having? Do you not remember that my baby is dead!!!??? That is what makes pregnancy hard, you insensitive b*tch, not your back.!!!!" This happened to me at my daughters ballet class, one of the other moms, who is also a teacher there, is now, surprise, pregnant. She stopped to talk to one of my girlfriends and the above conversation happened as I sat right next to my girlfriend. Really is it that much to ask, to expect, that they save that chat for when I am not sitting there? And the thing is, my girlfriend, was keeping her voice quiet and had actually turned, so her back was a little to me so I knew she was uncomfortable, but the teacher/mom stood about 3 feet in front of me and was just belting it out. I really felt like she was doing it to me on purpose. You know, "Look at me, I am pregnant and my baby won't die like yours did". I know that's irrational, but I really think that. Just like I sometimes wonder, because of my, quirky 'habit' of secretly wishing bad things on others (see my meme) if maybe others wish or have wished bad things on me, (I'm nothing, if not consistently narcissistic) and if they had wished those bad things on me, if they feel good or bad now that, indeed, something awful has happened to me??
But where was I? Oh yea, me, again. So that whole ballet thing, should I have just said, "You know, I find it really painful to have you stand here, in front of me, and whine, I mean complain, in front of me, about your pregnancy, in front of me, do you think you could fucking move???? Why can't I say that or something like that, only nicer?? Would that make me insensitive?? Is that kalakly being too emotional about her issues???
I don't have it out for pregnant women, I don't. Really, almost all of us here are trying like mad or will be soon, to get pregnant. And I know how badly I want it to happen for all of us. I am reminded of a comment Ashliegh made a while back about not liking being around pregnant women and yet she now has to look at one in the mirror everyday. The sad, bitter irony of her words that day broke my heart. Because none of us will ever, truly enjoy a pregnancy again, like we should, because, obviously we know what does happen. Not just what can happen, what does happen. For all of us, should we get there again, it will be 9 months, hopefully, of quiet anticipation, and 9 months of waiting for the other shoe to fall, and then maybe, if we are really, really lucky, a healthy, alive baby. Maybe Ashleigh and Julia have different perspectives on this, they are already there, I don't know, it's just how I see it now.
So maybe the anger is tied up with a bit of envy. Envy that those 'freaks' don't know, or don't have to know. Envy that they still feel arrogant enough to bemoan the "inconveniences" of pregnancy. Envy that they don't say "I'm pregnant" they say "I'm having a baby!" and they do. And also, a whole lot of sadness because, well, we used to be them too.
This whole notion of having to spend the rest of my life censoring myself is making me crazy. And it's not that I want to spend my whole life talking about dead babies every day either. I just want to feel as though what I have to say is relevant, does matter and that I am not reveling in my grief or stealing someones happiness just because what I have to say is different and yes, sometimes painful to hear. But I have to live with it every single God Damn day of my life, why can't they talk about it for one single conversation??? A perfect example of this kind of BS is what happened to CLC when she tried to share her pictures of her beautiful Hannah with her brother. Jesus, if your own family reacts like he did, how the hell can we expect the general public to treat us? We might as well ask for our letter and refer to one another as Hester.
Finally, yes, if you are still even here, finally, what really pisses me off is that here, where we can be open and brutally honest with one another, our one place of true sanctuary, even here, they find us and feel as though they are entitled to criticize. The commenter's, anonymous of course, who say we are dwelling on it, who felt entitled to jump all over Wabi because she had joked, huh, what joked??, about sticking a fork in a pregnant women's belly (trust me if you read it you'll know exactly what she meant) and then 'anon' goes on to judge and lecture us on how to be more gracious and how we should stop all this "women bashing" and divisive behavior. Give me a fucking break already! When we, the dead baby moms are here, in our self created blogoverse, lamenting our isolation, venting our rage at the disconnect, to use Julia's phrase, we feel from the world we used to live in, do not come here and tell us how what we have to say is hurtful, that we are looking at the glass half empty, that we are denying others a happy, peaceful existence by our words and our actions. Comments like that represent EXACTLY what we are complaining about. We can not speak about the truth, our truth, because it shatters your bubble. It makes you uncomfortable. You want us in your world but only if we behave, sit quietly in the corner and shhh, don't talk about the bad things because they don't happen in your world. They only happened to us, because we must have done something wrong, something to deserve it. You say to us, "Join us, just put on a happy face and then shut up. Oh and yea, so sorry for your loss, would you like a cookie?".
Here's what I think. We are not living in your world, you're living in ours. If you don't like what we have to say, hey, there's the door, don't let it hit you on your way out. Now, pass me my cookie.
There, I feel better. Well, not really, but it's a start.