Hmmmm, this one is a hard one. My last post may have given the wrong message. I am not leaving db land. Can anyone really ever leave? I mean, no matter what happens in our lives we will all still have our past right? Our children, gone from us physically, will never be far from our hearts or our minds and because of that will always be a part of who we are. At least that is how I see it.
So when I spoke of boarding a ship and looking forward I did not mean to imply or insinuate that I would be leaving everything here behind. Instead, what I find happening within me, is that the more I focus on what I lost and what we all lost, the harder it is for me to believe that any other outcome for me is possible. My own child has become a daily reminder of how quickly everything can go so drastically wrong. When I look at his tiny footprint or his small but perfect hand print, where I used to feel sadness and an aching deep within me that choked my throat, now I feel terror and I have to look away. I have come to a place where reminders of my own son actually terrify me. I fight this everyday. I don't want to fear my child. I don't want thoughts of him to cause me panic and dread. I thought it was enough to have to mourn and grieve and long for him. As hard as those feelings are to live with, they were natural, normal. They are a part of the love that I have for him, the part that misses him and who he might have been. They were sad but beautiful. They were pure and I accepted them as part of who I was as a mother to a dead baby.
These new feelings are raw and ugly to me. I don't like them at all. They feel unnatural and they feel like a betrayal, to him, to me, to every db mom out there. They are the feelings of someone who has never known this world we live in, and that is not me. It is the reaction of someone who has never seen a picture of a dead baby and looks away in horror and can not see the beauty that has been stolen from our world, who sees only the dead baby and not the life that was ripped away. I came to know a different view, being in the club. I could stare for hours at a picture of a dead baby and imagine all of the things that child might have known. I didn't see a dead baby, I saw a child, a life, a mothers love and heartache. I saw potential and promise and dreams and I never had to look away out of shock or denial. I never had to shield my eyes from the reality of what I was looking at. I knew their stories, I knew their names and I wanted to know their faces too. For someone who hasn't been here with us, the pictures are often too much for them. They don't want to see the reality of stillbirth. They don't want to know that indeed, those babies are very much, real. They have eyes and ears and mouths and hair. They have tiny perfect hands and feet, they have everything a living baby has, except life. Friends tell me even now, they can't imagine looking at a picture of a dead baby. "It's just too awful to imagine" they say, much less actually look at.
And now I find myself back there. I am afraid to look, afraid to acknowledge these beautiful babies. I don't want to know anymore, I want to pretend that they aren't here, that they don't exist, that they aren't real. Even though I know I am just pretending. Even when it comes to my own child. I want to look forward and say (and actually believe) "Those things almost never happen".
I want to be able to tell this baby, as I wrap my arms around my belly, "You are going to be ok." and instead I say, "Please, hang in there a few more weeks and then we'll get you out." Well meaning friends say to me, "You're good now, the baby is big enough to be ok if it comes out. Stop worrying." But they don't know what I know. They don't know who I know. And so I tell them. It's not all about dates and timing. I tell them about my reality. I tell them about C., and Callum, who at 34 weeks found out that things go wrong, I tell them about Charmer and Paige who found out at 40 weeks, or Christine and Olive Lucy who found out during labor, or Coggy and Jacob who found out at 42 weeks, or Tash and sweet Maddy who found out after delivery, I tell them about all of you, too many to list...I tell them, you can never know, until you know. The rest is all guessing and a hell of a lot of blind faith.
But some days, it is too much for me. I just want to look out beyond the horizon and not look back. I want to find a place where babies don't die and everyone gets a happy ending. But I know, boy do I know, that place only exists in fantasies.
When I speak of leaving, of disappearing from view, I speak of this strange place where I am. A place somewhere in the middle, somewhere along the horizon where I can see both db land and occasionally catch a glimpse of live baby land. And as I float here, I wonder who can really see me anymore. I think for those who have not yet been able to join me (and the others who have manged to get pg), we might seem gone to you, never to return. To those who have already had a baby after, you may see us coming but know full well that you can't say to us, "Don't worry, you'll get here too". Because we all know, we might not. And so we straddle this line, walking, floating, between the two worlds. Waiting to see, will our future take place in both or will we return solely to the one we want to leave, even though we know, we never really do leave.
So please, be patient with me as I try to navigate these unfamiliar waters. I still need the security of those who know where I have been and I desperately need the assurances of those who are where I long to be.
And at some point in the next 5 to 6 weeks, I want to find my way to the place where thoughts of my son don't terrify me to my core.
At some point in the next 5 to 6 weeks, I want to know that I am not failing any of my children, the two that I have here, the one that has gone from me and the one whose future is still unknown.