Every year, 26,000 babies are stillborn in America. In 2003, one of them was my son.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

To Whom It May Concern

A Letter to Anyone Who Thinks I should Be "Over It":

Two babies were born today, one boy, one girl. One was a third and final child, another was the first. Both healthy, both wanted, both loved. I have known about their coming for months, known that today would be the day of their births for the last week. My heart should be filled with joy for their parents, you think? Oh, it would be, if it were capable. What my heart feels now is both sorrow and fury. Irrational? Perhaps. A byproduct of a rough day with my third child, the one I had because I don't have Ben? Maybe. And that exhaustion that I feel? Is it more emotional or physical? At the moment, I just don't know.

You think I should be "over it," you think I should be fine by now. Here's some news you need to pay attention to: I will never be over it. The birth of these two babies today only reinforces that tiny and unfortunate fact. I am so very grateful that these babies arrived safely, that they are healthy and well, but I want to know, why didn't I get that too? Yes, I have two wonderful children who were delivered safe and sound, but there was that other one, the one you never met, the one you didn't want photographs of, the one whose name you never mention. I want him still.

My heart has broken into more pieces than you could count, these last four years. You think I'm ok, but I still grieve. I want one more chance - I tell myself I want another chance to have another baby, and yes, sometimes that's true - but I really want one more chance to get it right with Ben. There are things in life you've lost, you tell me - and that may be true. But have you lost a child? Can you begin to fathom what that means? The lost dreams, the shattering of the life you knew and planned on, the fear and grief you live with permanently. Have you been there?

There won't be any more chances for me. There will be no more babies. And don't think I've accepted that, that it's all ok. Because it's not. I would jump at the opportunity for one more chance, but it isn't going to come. You tell me I should be grateful for the two children I have, and I want to spit your words back into your face - you have no idea how grateful I am, how lucky I know I am, for all three of my children. So don' t tell me you don't understand why I feel this way, that I should ignore my feelings, that I should just be happy. Until you have stood in my place, you have no right to tell me how to feel.

And just in case it wasn't clear the first time, let me repeat myself:

I will never be over it.


Debbie said...

I know. ((((Hugs))))

Monica H said...

Oh gosh, me neither and it's such a hard thing to accept and to fathom that years from now, we will all still be grieving. ugh!

"but there was that other one, the one you never met, the one you didn't want photographs of, the one whose name you never mention. I want him still." Those words just break my heart, because they could have been my own.

I am so sorry.

And BTW, I had a "friend" give birth to her son on Wednesday too, and it hurts.