Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day Before

My niece and nephew are here for a few weeks.

On the way to dinner, they tried on Dave's hats.

"Aunt Rae, remember when we buried Maggie after she died?"

"Yes, Mason. I remember that."

"That was sad, Aunt Rae."
We were going to go horseback riding after dinner. 
But the 110 degree weather put a damper on that.

Instead I made a list with each of them of what we want to do together while they are visiting Kansas.

Rachel's list:
1.  Yarn 2. Sewing 3. Surprise 4. Ride horse  5 and 6 were her ideas.  
Mason's list:
1.  Go fishing  2.  Ride horse  2. Surprise
No matter how busy I try to be, I have not been able to erase the fact that July 11 is approaching.
Even when I was making these lists I couldn't stop thinking about it.
The only thing I should have to do is sit on my butt and wait to meet my daughter.

People that were due at the same time as me have now had their babies.  
And the pictures are up on facebook.
People who got pregnant after me are now farther along than I was.

I still have no idea what I'm doing tomorrow.
The only thing that I have to do is call Dr. Grainger.
But even that is a crappy reminder that my daughter is dead.
I shouldn't have to call my freaking fertility doctor.
I should be calling my parents, telling them to meet us at the hospital.

Ugh and sigh and shrug.

My complaining won't change anything.
It won't bring her back.
It won't make me feel better.

But it isn't right to feel utter sadness when you think about the birth of your child.
It isn't right that there is little evidence that Maggie even existed.
And it isn't right that people don't even bring her up.
And totally omit the fact that she was a part of my life.
It isn't right that Maggie and my story is the one that people don't like to hear about; I'm the story that should be kept from other women.

But, as the old saying goes--shit happens.
And that's what happened.
And I'm doing what I can.


The following came from  An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken.
Sometimes I can't come up with words.
Thankfully, others have.

I don't know what to say, people wrote, or Words fail.  
What amazed me about all the notes I got was how people did know what to say, how words didn't fail.  Even the words 'words fail' comforted me.  Before Pudding died, I'd thought condolence notes were simply small bits of old-fashioned etiquette, important but universally acknowledged as inadequate gestures.  Now they felt like oxygen, and only now do I fully understand why: to know that other people were sad made Pudding more real.   

 All I can say is, it's sort of kinship, as though there is a family tree of grief.  On this branch the lost children, here the beloved mentally ill siblings.  When something terrible happens, you discover all of a sudden that you have a new set of relatives...I have a heard the stories of someone who knows someone who's had a stillborn child...and it's all I can do not to book a flight immediately, to show up somewhere, just so that I can say, "It happened to me, too" because it meant so much to me to heart it.  It happened to me, too, meant: It's not your fault.  And You are not a freak of nature.  And This does not have to be a secret.

I know it's not my fault.  
But I still blame myself.
Whose fault is it then if it isn't mine?

I know I'm not a freak.
This has happened to thousands, if not millions, of other women.
But, I still feel like it.
Especially when people look at me and don't say anything.
And it's just awkward.
Or they say something really, really, really stupid.

This does not have to be a secret.
And I'm determined that this isn't a secret.
That Maggie isn't ignored.
That miscarriages and stillbirths and infant deaths are not secrets.
Because it happens way more than anyone would like to admit.
1 in every 160 pregnancies end in stillbirth.
15-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriages.
39 out of 420 of my facebook friends have dealt with miscarriages or stillbirths or infant loss.
(And those are the ones I know about.)
And for some reason we still don't talk about this.

Will maybe write tomorrow.
If I feel like it.
Just pray, okay?

1 comment:

  1. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. I imagine the day will be hard for you. Maggie is not forgotten. You are telling your/her story beautifully. I would much rather that you have her alive, but she is helping you to help others with your story. For so many reasons, she should not be a secret. And I am grateful to you for being willing to share your story. If more people talk about it, it won't make these things stop happening, but hopefully it will allow others to feel less alone and less at fault and less of a freak.

    P.S. The to-do lists are great.


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