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Monday, November 2, 2009

#13 - BECOMING A LEPER

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.

5 comments:

Jessica said...

It just goes to show you how ignorant people are and how people don't understand what it is like to loose a child. *hugs*

Jill said...

Just stopping by to say hello. I just came across your blog. So sorry you had that experience. There seem to be many people who just do not understand and judge us, others who have not gone through this, but they try to understand and then there are those of us who have experienced this heartache and understand.

I love the ideas for the decorations! xx

heathermohr said...

Wow, this person infuriates me. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that.

I hope you get good info tomorrow!

angie said...

I have to say, I read your post the other day, and I just haven't been able to shake it. It is so disturbing that someone would say that and be so very un-compassionate. I feel like apologizing on behalf of humanity. So cruel and unkind. She is very lucky. Very lucky indeed. Your baby is beautiful. With much love.

angie said...

I mean, she is lucky not to know what it is like to lose a child. I realize upon rereading that it sounded like a threat.