I Swore I Wouldn’t be This Person
I swore that I wouldn’t be this person. The woman who lost a child and then feels like she gets kicked in the gut every single time someone she knows announces their pregnancy. Fuck. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to suck all of the joy out of the room. I want to be happy and excited. I really do. I tell myself that I am and then it hits me like a sledgehammer, right in the heart. A painful reminder of what I can’t have, of what I’m too afraid to ever let myself want again, of what I will never get to experience again because I won’t. I can’t. I am too afraid to go through that pain again. Once almost killed me. It changed me. I don’t know if I can handle another shift like that. I might become unrecognizable, even to myself.
I remember that morning at the hospital, seeing a small child, not even a year old, sitting with her parents in the waiting room; waiting to be called back for her surgery. I remember sitting there, with my silent womb, not a stirring, thinking to myself, I am glad I am not those parents because there is nothing worse than having a sick baby and feeling helpless. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Maybe it does to someone who has been through it or maybe the pain was just too much and I had to detach myself from what was really happening to me.
I saw that same little girl in the back when they were prepping us for surgery and I was again overwhelmed with gratitude that I was not sitting there as the parent of a child who was sick. I looked at my husband and I said (out loud), “It could be worse, we could be here with one of our girls who was sick.” He looked at me sort of bewildered. I guess he thought I was crazy because our baby was as sick as a baby could get, our baby no longer had a heartbeat. I was grateful that I could not hold my baby, see its eyes looking to me to save it, it’s cry begging me for relief; it was not tangible. My hurt was underlying. My baby was a promise that had been broken before I ever had the chance to fully appreciate it. In the first days, I wanted nothing more than to have had the chance to hold my baby but now, I know that if I had, the pain of the loss might have killed me on the spot.
Now that broken promise haunts me. I can’t stop it from infiltrating my thoughts. I can’t stop being this fucking person who feels empty and a little bitter. I’m pissed. Pissed at the situation. Pissed at myself for still feeling so vulnerable. Pissed at myself for still getting so pissed. I fucking want to punch somebody. I’m envious of other people’s happiness and I don’t want to be that person. I want to be able to genuinely feel happy without the happiness carrying with it a tinge of pain; the reminder of my loss. I’m afraid to be around my friends who are pregnant because I’m afraid I will spontaneously burst into tears and ruin their happiness. Every first of the month, I mark the day that my baby died. It coincides with my period just to remind me that my womb is in fact empty.
I know this sounds morbid and maybe a little crazy. I am so sick of pretending that everything is normal. I’m sick of pretending that I am all right. I’m not. All. Right. I am all wrong and I am afraid that I will not find my way back to my normal and that’s all that I want. Is normal so much to ask for? I am slowly beginning to live again but there is this damn underlying anger that I can’t shake. How does one shake the anger caused by a promise that can never be fulfilled? How do you fix a problem with no solution?
Linking up this morning with Just Write because sometimes you just need to write it out to move through it.