I knew they were out there – I have seen some of their scathing threads online – but I never thought that I would meet one in person. Today, I met one in person. Who have I met, you might ask??? I met a dead baby hater. That’s right – a dead baby hater. I can’t quite figure out what makes these people tick. I would like to believe that they are just scared, or at a loss for the ‘right thing’ to say, but a large part of me really believes that their souls are just defunct for some reason.
Today’s experience went as follows…While I was at a preschool to provide P.T. service to a little guy, an acquaintance asked if I had Gracie’s pictures with me since she had not yet seen them. I obliged. She asked a substitute aide in the room if she would also like to see the pictures. This lady's response was ‘I gather from the conversation that those are pictures of a dead baby?’ When that was confirmed, she looked at me and said ‘Don’t you think it’s creepy that you’re carrying around pictures of a dead baby?’ I was stunned. I told her that I did not find it creepy – Gracie was my first born child, and I did not choose for her to be stillborn. I asked her if she carried pictures of her children, and she said ‘Yes, but my kids aren’t dead.’ I suggested that she would not stop carrying the pictures of her children should something happen to them, and she said that she would not stop carrying their pictures - because they had been taken when they were alive, not dead. I told her that the situation is what it is, and suggested that if she were placed in the same situation, she would likely have the same inclination to carry a photo or two. She emphatically disagreed, and the left the room, leaving everyone else to apologize for her.
Did it really hurt me? Not really, but it did sting a little…and it does make one feel a bit like a leper. On some level it causes me to mentally re-validate Gracie’s existence. I reprocess the thoughts….she was real. I did carry her for 8 months. I did give birth to her. I did hold her in my arms, feel her incredibly soft skin and kiss her goodbye on the forehead. I did cry on my husband’s shoulder during her funeral. I did not bring a baby home from the hospital. I have nothing left of my baby except her footprints, her pictures and incredibly vivid memories.
A couple lighter notes….
Jeff and I visited the cemetery yesterday. We cleaned up around my grandparents markers and planted flower bulbs around all three stones. I am ‘excited’ to see how the flowers look in the spring. I have given some thought to Thanksgiving and Christmas décor for the cemetery. I don’t want to do anything tacky, but I do want Gracie to have a few of her own holiday decorations. For Thanksgiving I am think I will stick with a couple little pumpkins with ‘Thanksgivingy’ bows on the stems. For Christmas…..I have two little Christmas trees with spikes on the bottom to put them in the ground – the trees are about 18” high. I was thinking about using these with a string of solar Christmas lights – one tree between my grandparents’ markers with a few bows and two simple ornaments – one for grandmother and one for grandfather; the other tree between my grandmother and Gracie with a few bows and a ‘baby’s first Christmas’ ornament.
I have scheduled my follow-up appointment with the ‘higher risk’ OB in my practice for Wednesday evening. I have learned that there is a MFM group from about 90 minutes away that started doing an ‘outreach clinic’ at my OB’s office a few months ago, and that the setup has been working pretty well. I am excited by that news, and I am hopeful that Wednesday’s appointment will have positive results.