The funny thing about grief is that you can be perfectly fine one minute and completely falling apart the next. You learn your triggers and you stay away from them, but in a sinister twist, your brain just creates new ones. Right now, obvious triggers for me are babies. While eating lunch at a nearby cafe the other day, a mother walked in with her baby. Concerned, Mike asked if I wanted to go. I said, no, I need to be able to be in the world. I was perfectly fine with the fact this woman was next to us with her child - until that child started to make baby noises. Then, I lost it. My eyes suddenly flooded with tears that streamed down my cheeks. I tried to keep my crying confined to my eyes, but it crept down my face and into my trembling lips and then further into my shaking shoulders. I quickly moved my sunglasses from the top of my head to the bridge of my nose, but I wasn't fooling anyone. Now, I am not sure if this woman didn't find anything to her liking on the menu or if the strange woman sobbing at the table next to her gave her the heebie jeebies, but she got up and left. Awkward.
Then, yesterday, we needed to go to Target to pick up some miscellaneous items, one of them being printer ink. Without thinking, I followed my usual path from electronics to the front of the store for check out. This brought me directly to The Baby Aisle. Mike realized it before I did and took my hand, walking faster than usual. I tried to hold it together, I really did. I failed miserably. So, strangers got to witness a distressed couple power walking in Target while the woman cried into her sweater sleeve.
Facebook is another trigger for grief. You'd think I'd stay off of it for now, but there's a large support system for me on the other side of that keyboard, so I take my chances. Several of my Facebook friends got pregnant within a few weeks of me. Until a few weeks ago, this was wonderful. We'd swap stories of our progress and how we were holding up. We'd commiserate over our failed glucose tests and celebrate another week under our belts. So, as you can imagine, Facebook is now a landmine for me. I tread carefully and try to skim quickly past the baby posts. Not because I don't love my friends. Not because I am no longer happy for them - I truly am. But, I just can't dwell on them because it just reminds me of what I no longer have, of what slipped through my fingers. As I sat on the couch just a few minutes ago, scrolling on my Ipad, I noticed a post from one of my friends that included several pictures of her daughter's nursery. Jealousy, despair, and anger all bubbled up from a cold, dark place inside me, and I tossed the Ipad across the couch. I ran to my Memory Box and pulled out my photo album the hospital created for me. The photo album that contains the only pictures of my baby I will ever have. I flipped through them, sobbing, tracing my fingers over the still images of my little girl's beautiful face.
It is not fair! Stillborns resulting from a cord accident occurs in 1 in every 1,000 births. That is .1%. I have never even won a door prize, but I manage to beat the odds for this morbid statistic. That fact alone is enough to make me want to punch through a wall. Why was my baby the chosen one? Why doesn't she get a chance at life?
I can go on and on about how angry and sad I am. I could rant and rave and cry and moan. But, it won't change the truth. It won't change what happened. This is my life. I will have break downs in Target. I will get fed up with Facebook. I will have trouble dealing with seeing people having what I cannot. Eventually, these break downs will taper off. Not because I don't miss her anymore. Not because I don't love her just as much as I do today. But, because the heart and the mind have a way of protecting each other, of softening the edges of the sharp blades of sorrow through patience and time. I'll get there.