Friday, September 9, 2011

Awkward

I don't know why it seems like such an awkward thing... My daughter is dead. Oh but wait, she isn't my daughter. I didn't carry her in my womb. I didn't share the joy of knowing I created a new life with the man that I love. I didn't lay there on the table while the tech moved the wand through the gel on my bulging stomach. I didn't know the indescribable joy watching the baby within move on the screen. I didn't push her into the world. I didn't adopt her even. I was simply her babysitter. But in my heart, she is as much mine as any child I will ever give birth to. I can't imagine my life if she had never been in it. And I miss her with the ache of a mom.
But again, it is awkward to talk about. When she died everyone was on hand to console her parents. Oh, how sad, their daughter is gone how hard it must be for them. But what about me? I was there nearly every day of her life. I fed her and changed her and bathed her and dressed her and cuddled her and took her temperature and gave her medicine and kissed her boo-boos and told her no and kissed her face and slapped her hand and snuggled during long nights of crying. I did everything that a mother does for her child, but nobody came to me and gave me the hug meant to console. Very few people called to offer a shoulder to cry on after she died. I am deeply grateful for the people who did but it was so awkward, so I didn't talk about my feelings. Instead I wrote and I cried and I stuffed and I moved forward with living.
I wanted so desperately for her parents to have another baby and I was ANGRY that they never would. Did I ever say that she called me mama? Whenever I went out of her sight she would stand in her crib/playpen and call softly, "Mama? Mama?" I playfully told her, "I'm not your mama! I'm Pam!" but it touched me that she had such a precious name for me. I know that she knew her mother and her mother was special to her, as they are to every child, but I still thrilled to hear that word.
Last month a couple that I know from an internet forum lost their twins at 14 weeks gestation. I was heartbroken for them but I can't let them know that I know the pain of losing a child because it's awkward. I know that my, "I know how you feel because..." will not be welcome. I don't know how they feel. I don't know the struggle with infertility and the hope that shoots through them when the test comes back positive. I don't know the devastation of knowing that this long and painful journey is going to end in heartbreak. But I know what it feels like to have your heart ripped from your body. I know that feeling of being underwater while the world continues on. I know the rage at the fact that the whole world isn't in mourning with you. Don't they understand that YOUR BABY IS DEAD? I know the incessant "what ifs" that plague your days and fill your dreams. I know the regrets and the questions. I know what it's like to be on your face crying out to God, asking him to take you too just so you can see the face of the child that is gone. I know what it's like to cry so hard that you throw up and still it doesn't ease the pain. I know the ache of empty arms and a shattered heart. But I can't explain that, because it's awkward.
I thought this burden had grown lighter. I thought the wound was a scar but tonight I realized it was a scab, a deep one that when peeled, allows freshets of blood to course down. It feels like the day after she died all over again. There's that familiar lump in my throat and that catch in my chest as I fight to suppress the tears because it would be awkward to have to explain them.
I know it's awkward but I miss my baby girl.

1 comment:

Amy Lagerquist said...

You couldn't, but I saw anyway. Thank you, Pam...I don't know your story like you know mine, but it does help. Losing a child - even if she wasn't yours - I'm sure hurt you as much as our loss hurts us.

xoxo...

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