Monday, October 1, 2012

How's the baby?

How's the baby?  
Where's your baby?
How old is your baby now?
I last saw you when you were pregnant!

I get them about once a week now.  It used to happen upwards to 10 times a day right after Ethan died.  Especially when I first returned to work.  I had practiced my responses at that time, and sadly grown a bit numb to the shock and horror that people wore on their faces when they heard what I was saying.

Now I am four months out though, and kind of think that everyone who knew I was pregnant with Ethan has heard about our story.  So when these questions come to me now, I am thrown a bit.  It's not that I don't love to talk about Ethan - quite the opposite actually.  I love to talk about him because it helps me heal, but also because he is my child and I am proud of him.  Everyone talks about their kids, why shouldn't I?

OK, back to my original point.  I am no longer permanently braced for those conversations to come at me, those that end with me looking into someone's eyes who suddenly realize that I am living their worst nightmare.  Just the other day I took Ryan and Jackson to The Big Bean for breakfast while Caroline was in Kindergarten.  Guess I hadn't seen one of the owners/chefs for a while.  She kindly asked "weren't you pregnant?" - insinuating where is your newborn?  And you know how the rest of that conversation went.

Two weeks ago I was at a playground and saw two women I knew through the recreation programs.  I immediately wondered, "have I seen them yet?  Do they know?"  I just couldn't remember.  The conversation didn't progress to the question that time.  But last Thursday I ran into one of the women again.  It came up there, and no, they had not known.  Turns out it has been a really shitty summer for her too, as her sister in her early-30's passed away from cancer.  Different losses, absolutely.  But we were speaking that same language, foreign to most.  The language that startles others and puts us in this "club" where we are grieving those lost far too early together.

It's with mixed feelings that I field those questions less.  It is emotionally draining, or hardening almost, to share my story, our story, repeatedly.  But it is also a connection to Ethan, something that I am constantly grasping for.  Whether it is a butterfly, a rainbow, a card in the mail or a question asking about Ethan...the baby.  I do love them all.  Sometimes with tears.

1 comment:

  1. Annie, Your words are so touching and so real. Thank you for sharing them... it helped me so much to read them. I used to dread people asking me how my pregnancy was going or if I've had the baby yet, but now I use it as an opportunity to talk about Gabriel and share his story. I treasure the moments I get to spend talking about him even if they bring tears to my eyes. Much Love!