Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Clamp

Imagine going through life with a clamp on your heart--squeezing, slowly, tightly, thoroughly. Imagine waking up and being able to feel your heavy heart trying to beat but struggling because of the clamp--but yet, still there, trying desperately to get you through the day. Imagine your arms hooked up to an IV of fluid that creates a constant ache in your muscles. A constant, physical hurt that is just there day after day after day. Imagine your same body size with 100--no, 1,000--extra pounds to carry through the day. Breathing is labored from the weight, your arms ache from that fluid, your heart is working overtime, just to get you through the day. Are you picturing this?

Now imagine someone walked by and saw you hooked up to all of this, struggling to maintain composure with your children, crying while you do your laundry, completely unable to explain it all to your loving husband...and they said, "Oh, you'll be okay. Everything happens for a reason. It was meant to be."

Wouldn't you want to smack them? Just a little???

Please--don't ever say that to a Babylost Mama--especially as due dates, birthdays, or other anniversaries are coming up. They are struggling. Hard. Instead, maybe say, "I know [this date] is coming and I can't imagine what you are feeling. How can I help?" Or maybe invite her living children over so she can have a few hours of peace. Maybe find a way for her and her husband to have a date. These are all helpful--really, really, really helpful. But don't, for goodness sake, say it was meant to be. The death of her baby wasn't meant to be--it sucks. Quite simply, it SUCKS. Thank you for listening to my little PSA.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Dear Sophie...

I've become accustomed to the fact that there are three Sophies in our homeschool world. One of them has become very good friends with Megan, a friendship that I'm sure will only grow stronger in the coming months as we begin our homeschooling journey with Megan. I will never forget my time early last year getting to know this family. Their older child's name is [W] and their youngest child's name is [K]--names that I used all the time when I wanted to talk to them. But Sophie? yeah...that one I just couldn't bring myself to say. I would call her "sweetie" or "kiddo" when I needed to refer to her or talk to her directly. After a few meetings like this, her mother (fairly) assumed that I simply didn't remember Sophie's name, so she told me, "This one's name is Sophie." (Yeah, I knew that.) I explained my situation and why I had a hard time and she was so unbelievably understanding and wonderful about it. She let me take my time, get to know her kids and waited until I truly felt okay calling this beautiful little girl by her name--which I do easily now, with no problems at all.

Today we went to a birthday party for Sophie. (Though I should note that even as close as we have become in the past year, I could not bring myself to write down, "Sophie's Birthday" on my calendar. I wrote, "party @ [M family]'s residence.") I hadn't really thought much about what would happen at the party...until it did. We all gathered in the living room and began to sing, "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Sophie, happy birthday to you!" Right when I got to the part about "happy birthday dear Sophie..." I began to tear up. I became so suddenly aware of the fact that I will never, truly, get to sing that song to my little girl and how unbelievably unfair that fact is. Wiping my eyes on Megan's dress as she sat cuddled in my lap, I couldn't finish the song. Here it is, more than 4 years after our loss and I still tear up over this seemingly easy, unrelated incident. Of course there are other little girls in the world named Sophie and of course they have birthdays. Duh. But know what? It might be a while until I can sing Happy Birthday to any of them. My apologies to all the Sophies in the world.