It was a hard weekend. It seemed I cried more than usual, and was up late thinking when I should have been sleeping.
On Saturday I went to a nearby small town with my mom's female family members. My mom is one of 10 children. She currently has 5 living sisters, and I have many female cousins. A group of us got together for our annual 'Girl's fall outing' in a small town fairly close to where most of us live. This tradition started a couple of years ago. Generally the plan is that we meet at some coffee shop, go out for lunch and shop in those kitchy stores that sell pretty, but useless stuff no one needs. Etc.
Last year the outing occurred in November and it was during the cycle that I got pregnant with Aidan. It was hard for me to forget that here we were again, 10 months later, in a new small town, with the same people, doing the same things. But this time my son has been dead almost 5 months and we are still in the process of 'trying to have a baby'. It feels like we've come so far, yet gone nowhere. It also sucked that my cousin's wife was there and she just had a new baby in June. I was dreading having to ooh and ahh over the new bundle of joy, so I felt extremely grateful when I arrived to find that she had decided to have a 'day off' and didn't bring her daughter. *Whew*. I really felt for her, of course. Who would want to spend a lovely Saturday enjoying their new baby?? (heavy sarcasm, ha ha)
Since this was the first time I'd seen some of my cousins, I knew they would be curious as to what happened with Aidan. A big part of me wants to tell them. I want them to know how rough the pregnancy with him was. How stressful things got. How miraculous it was that he even made it as far as he did. But most of all, I want everyone to know that there was nothing wrong with him. I do not want them for a second to think that, "well, it was for the best" or any other such nonsense. I want them to know how perfectly he was formed, how the cause of his death had nothing to due with any sort of structural or genetic abnormality (that we know of), it was a placental issue and lack of amniotic fluid. Period. Dot.
So, it was because of this, I found myself standing on the side of the road in small-town Ontario lecturing 3 of my cousins about prolactin, progesterone, amniotic fluid and my uterine lining.
I know. Seriously.
To their extreme credit they were riveted. They asked appropriate questions and uttered 'aww' in the right places.
But, as I stood there telling my story, I realized I wasn't telling it right. I was telling them all the facts, but sparing them the emotional part of the experience. As I listened to myself, I couldn't believe how really little of Aidan's story I am able to convey. I cannot form words to describe looking down in the shower at 9 weeks and seeing a river of blood run down my leg. I cannot tell them how Brian and I came home from our disastrous appointment at 17 weeks and both threw up from how upset we were. I cannot fathom how to impart how much I love my son. My baby, who I would have recognized as mine out of pictures of thousands because of how much he looked like his dad. I cannot explain how I have lived through the past year, because really I don't know how I've done it either.
Sometimes it is this that makes me cry. That talking about my son is a draining and sad experience. That right now all I can handle is sharing the facts, and by only doing that, I sound cold and clinical. I cannot share the emotions I have for him, for us as his parents, for his birth, because it is all so intimately connected with his death. To do so would require a quiet room, hours of time, warm cups of tea and boxes of tissue.
It is too hard to explain that I cannot yet tease the joy from the sorrow. The facts are all I can convey.
Maybe some day they will get the whole truth, but right now I don't have the words.
Who has been the best listener about your birth and death experience? Why? Did it have to do with who the listener was, the setting of the telling, or your readiness to share? When asked about your dead child do you feel you are able to convey the fullness of your experience, both factual and emotional?