I get these e-mails. The FW: FW: Fw: fw: fw: kind. I’ve wanted to share my reaction to them for a long time. I’ve almost published my thoughts a million different times.
Here is a bit of the noise inside my brain –
Wait for the right words. Wait for the fear to dissipate. Wait for the right time.
Wait for the right words – how foolish. The right words are the words coming from my heart. They may not be the words you would use, but this is my story, so my words are the right ones.
Wait for the fear of your reaction to dissipate. How foolish. I know where you stand, I read those e-mails, and I still love you. Knowing how I feel, will you still love me? What do I have to lose? Just a pretense. I’m not crazy about pretense.
Wait for the right time – how foolish. The right time to do the right thing . . . is right now.
I have about 10,000 words. These words have been poured out over the years. Smart blogy-type people advise bloggers to write posts of 500 words or less. Although I’m guilty of not following that advice, 10,000 words does seem to be too many. I am going to have to edit and I’m going to have to weave the words together. I’m working on that. For right now I will begin.
On Thursday, June 10th, 1999, while Ken worked, my four children and I drove to a funeral home with a tupperware container lovingly placed in a small bag. Although the kids were young, they knew we were doing something important. We were all very quiet. We took the bag inside. The kind lady took my bag and assured me I wasn’t crazy. She understood.
In that small tupperware container was my 5th baby. Twelve weeks into my pregnancy I started bleeding and then I went into labor. I had regular (painful) contractions, just like I’d had with the other four full-term pregnancies. The obstetrician said I could come in or stay home, it was my choice. I chose home. It was hard and sad and horrible.
Several hours later I finally delivered the baby. I didn’t know what to do. A friend called to see how I was feeling and told me she knew that a certain local funeral home handled the cremation of infants for no fee. That seemed so much better than taking my container to the hospital to be deemed medical waste or burying him in the yard of the rental house we were living in. This wasn’t a pet cat. This was my baby.
So, about twelve years ago I had a miscarriage. I know, you’re thinking, what does this have to do with e-mails? Stick with me.
I had never had any trouble getting pregnant. To date I’d had four complication-free pregnancies. It was so simple. I used to joke with people that all Ken and I had to do was share a glass of water and voila! we were pregnant. I joked about how EASY it was to have babies. I was very flippant and very irreverent about the whole thing.
A funny thing happens when you have a miscarriage. All of a sudden people come out of the woodwork with their story. I found out I had a friend who had had a half dozen miscarriages. I found out the childless couple that worked with my mom had had ten miscarriages. So many people desiring complication-free pregnancies. And there I was, heartlessly blithering on about being able to get pregnant . . . . The fact that I might have hurt even one woman with my insensitive words kept me up at night.
I didn’t know. I mean, I knew people had miscarriages and people lost babies, but I didn’t know. I was ignorant. I was insensitive. I didn’t see those miscarriages as lost children, dreams, hopes: as INDIVIDUAL LIVES. Miscarriages were statistics. I would never have laughed and said that “it must be in the water!” if I’d known that ten times over you’d experienced that pain and loss. I’m sorry.
I think when people hurt us a couple things may be happening: they don’t know they’re hurting us – or they don’t think we should hurt, so it doesn’t matter, they know better so they plow forward – or they know they’re hurting us and don’t care.
I’ll get back to the e-mails.
I promise. (I think.)