All the things you shouldn’t say….

So it happened.  Pretty much all in one day, I had people say all things that I had heard from other blogs/still birth groups that people might say but still hadn’t experienced.  First, I ran into my  neighbor, who I actually like very much, and can tell really feels sad over what happened.  She repeated a number of times that there were no words, and to reach out if I needed her, and it seems genuine. I told her that the doctors don’t know what happened, that there was no cord around Sidney’s neck, and that  we would get autopsy results on Wed.  And then she said, well this may be nature’s way.  Nature’s way?  And asked if it had looked like anything was wrong with him.  I actually didn’t get too upset, just said no, that he had looked perfect.  But nature’s way?  I guess it is better than hearing that it was god’s way.  But even if it turns out that the autopsy reveals some chromosomal abnormality, I will not feel better about my son’s death, it will not feel okay or easier.  I don’t like the implications of ‘nature’s way’, almost seems Darwinian to me, like he wasn’t one of the fittest, so he didn’t survive. and then the unspoken implication of this, the ‘therefore, i should just accept that he is gone.’

Then I got up the courage/energy to take Eli to a birthday party for friends of his from school.  I figured that everyone who was there that I knew knew what happened, since the school sent an email out to his class.  But then a woman came up to me, someone I don’t know well, but have made small talk with, and she looked at me and my belly, and then said, “Congratulations.”  I knew that a moment like this was bound to happen, but I hadn’t experienced one yet nor mentally prepared.  I murmured, actually, we lost him.  my eyes filled with tears, and I turned away.  (not sure how I feel about the use of the word ‘lost’ yet, since I know where he is, but he is ‘lost’ to me. I will elaborate on this later once I have decided how I feel about this word choice).  She came up to me later, and apologized, and I said that she hadn’t done anything wrong.  She then proceeded to tell me about some early miscarriages she had, and some friends of hers who also had experienced losses.  She said that the main thing that had helped them was trying again as soon as possible (check–this is along the lines of ‘you can always have another’ although i guess phrased a little better).  and then she said, “at least you have Eli.  It is harder for people who have to come home to an empty house.” Again, this may be true.  I am extremely grateful that I have Eli, and love him so much.  But is this supposed to make me feel better, the well, you have some good things in your life so you shouldn’t feel so bad type of thinking? Again, I actually don’t dislike this woman, and she didn’t quite push her comments to the extremes that other moms have experienced, but it was still a lot.

After the party, we decided to eat at a restaurant for dinner.  Nearly all the places near us are triggers for me, places that are very linked to my life, and then by implication, my pregnancy, so I didn’t really want to go anywhere that we went when pregnant, in part because I didn’t want people to ask me about the baby. So we picked a sushi restaurant.  And it was fine in the sense that no one mentioned pregnancy…but it took so long.  and I realized that I have become extremely impatient in the past six weeks.  They eventually apologized, since we basically got our food an hour after we ordered, but it was really hard for me to just sit and wait, and of course, I had trouble not snapping at Eli, who was also hungry and having trouble waiting, understandable for a preschooler.  This is not the first time since Sidney’s death when my impatience and anxiety have acted up over having to wait, even given how little I am going out into the real world.  I already wrote about waiting for the grief counselor and my great desire to hurl magazines across the waiting room.  On Friday, I was at the Whole Foods with a friend (first time in a supermarket since Sidney’s death) and tried to order from the deli counter.  It was taking a long time, and I just couldn’t wait any longer, so she waited for me.  I have been trying to figure out why it makes me so anxious, the waiting.  I think because I was afraid I would somehow scream, that some little thing, like someone going in front of me, would be the final straw, and I would blow up, or someone would try to make small talk and I wouldn’t be able to escape.  I can’t quite figure out what it is.  And I think also because I am tired of waiting.  I waited 9 months to meet my son, and even longer than that to start trying for him, only to have him taken away.  And I am tired of waiting.  And angry about waiting.  And know that no matter how long I wait, even if the waiting gets me a living baby, and a sibling for Eli, it won’t bring me back Sidney.  I went to the support group meeting on Thursday.  It meets once a month at a local hospital, although not the one that I delivered Sidney at.  It was only me and two couples, one who had lost their son at 31 weeks in January, and one who had lost their son at 39 weeks two years ago and now has a one year old.  It was a weird dynamic, they basically asked me questions and gave me advice.  The whole meeting was focused on me, since my grief was the newest, and it made me a little uncomfortable.  But the facilitator asked me what I was anxious about, and I said that I was anxious about how I could live my whole life without Sidney.  And that’s true.  there are no points to get through really where things will change.  I am coming up with little points, like the autopsy this Wed, but it will never get better really.  There is no, just get through the next three months, and you will be fine, or even get through the next year and you will be fine.  I have been counting my life in weeks for sometime now, measuring the past year in the weeks of Sidney’s pregnancy, and now measuring time in the weeks since his death.  I imagine that will change at some point, but I am not sure when.

I am scared for the autopsy results.  On Wed, I go to my six-week followup check up.  They will also go over the results.  I am afraid for what they will say–they will confirm one of the many horrifying scenarios that I have been replaying in my head for the past six weeks.  I know that Sidney will be dead either way, but I guess with any one scenario, so far, I have been able to say, well that didn’t really happen, you don’t know that that is what happened, but after the autopsy, I will know what happened.  Or maybe I won’t.  There is a chance the results will be inconclusive.  The results may also affect when we can try again, and how we can try again, and that is also scary for me.  So I know that the autopsy won’t make things better, but it could make things worse.  that’s where I am at, at this point. Can’t think of much to make this situation better but can think of a whole lot to make everything worse.

My husband wants us to work on a joint project in the evenings once our older son is asleep.  I think this is a good idea but we can’t think of anything.  We want it to be relaxing, involved but not stressful.  Any suggestions?

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2 thoughts on “All the things you shouldn’t say….

  1. Oh, all the cliches and platitudes. They are not even remotely comforting. I’m so sorry about the interaction you had at Eli’s friend’s party. Unfortunately, those moments still take my breath away almost 5 months later. Thinking of you for tomorrow! The follow-up appointment is so hard.

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