posted in Pregnancy
“Did you have the baby yet?”
“Aww, can I give you a hug?”
Even, “How are you doing?” with a very sympathetic look in my direction, like I’m a kitten with a hurt paw.
Any of these questions are enough to crush me these days, after the loss of my fourth baby around the sixth month of pregnancy. The situation was traumatic, shocking, and it just happened. So I’m working on putting one foot in front of the other right now. And getting my kids to school, and back. And being their mom, and nurturing them, and me.
I am not so focused on being able to, or ready to, answer questions about what happened. So when I see you at school pickup, or preschool orientation, or the store, or at the bus stop, I don’t want to talk about our loss. I don’t know when I’ll feel like discussing it with anyone other than close friends or family. But it’s not now. So, I made this shirt.
It says, “Nope. I don’t want to talk about it.” And I mean it.
All I’ve got is the will to work on getting through each day, because trust me, although I may look put together and I’m smiling and waving to my kids as their bus pulls away, inside, I’m about as fragile as an eggshell. So if anyone makes a comment about my lack of belly, I’m done. I’ll crumble. You’ll level me.
Even if you come over and insist on hugging me, I’ll lose it. Done.
Look, I am so acutely aware of the fact that people are trying to be nice. And if I weren’t me, I would absolutely want to acknowledge someone else’s loss with a hug or a few words. I also understand that not everyone knows about my loss. And the questions about when I had the baby are legit. But I’m telling you, please believe me, the pain is too fresh, and I need to be left alone for now.
In case that isn’t clear enough, let me try again: I WANT YOU TO LEAVE ME ALONE AND LET ME BE MY KIDS’ MOM. That’s all I can handle. Let me take them to their after-school activities. Let me attend back-to-school night without the questions and comments about the most personal and painful thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life.
So yes, the shirt. I wear it a lot, and it helps me feel empowered and even lends a little humor to difficult situations. I know, I know. It’s a bit passive-aggressive. Oh, well.
Oh, and one more thing: If you’re wondering if just because I feel okay to write about my loss, I also want to chat about it in casual settings, like in front of my house while I’m walking my dog, um, still no. Read the shirt.
Would you wear a shirt like this?