A woman I work with, who is a work-friend and a lovely person, is pregnant with her first child – due late June. I was so happy for her – she is the kind of person who sponsors refugee families and spends her well earned funds on supporting a plethora of local and international charities. She is a really good person…so when I found out there would be a little CG, I was super excited for her.
This past week she called to let me know that her baby had been born still, at 37 weeks. There is no reason, no diagnosis yet, and nothing immediately evident that could have caused the still birth. Not that it would make it easier, I just hoped a diagnosis or a reason would enable her to know how to move forward.
My heart is broken for her. I wish there were words, but there just aren’t.
I so badly want to reach out to her and say I know. I know how it feels to ache for a child you will never meet. I know the pain, the heaviness in your heart while your body feels so empty. I know it all, and you don’t have to be alone while you wade through this horrible wasteland of grief.
But I don’t really know. I’ve never had a still birth, or even a miscarriage. I’ve never had a pregnancy…despite trying everything. But I do know grief. For me, it comes from the silence echoing with the memory of my so wanted babies, my 50+ failed cycles and my disappointment that swallows me whole. For her, it’s the little baby she knew, she cradled, she loved and she grew … and one she had no reason to think she wouldn’t bring home.
I know it’s not the same. Losing a child you carried, loved, wanted and prepared for – completely unexpectedly – that’s a pain I cannot imagine. All of the babies I’ve lost existed only in my mind, and my hopeful heart – but I do know what it feels like to miss something with every ounce of your soul, every pore in your body, every breath you take and to be so, utterly, disappointed.
I just wish I knew how to say that to her in a way that wouldn’t be offensive or hurtful. Instead, I just offered her a warm hug and a promise to come running if she needed anything at all.
Is that enough? I don’t even know.