Thursday, January 29, 2009


A friend recently asked me how I do it - how I manage to cope in a world where, as she put it, everyone is pregnant and babies are popping out all over the place.

My first response was, "I'm dead inside" (after which I laughed heartily at my self-deprecating witticism).

The serious answer was, "I don't know."

Because I don't, really. There's no magic in my ability to hold babies. To smile and coo at them. To listen with rapt attention to endless stories of breast feeding, colic, teething and foiled naps.

I just do it. Then I crawl home, regroup and carry on. It's just what I have to do. And, sometimes, what I actually want to do.

My Beloved and I were just saying today that the very best thing that could have happened to us, in terms of our healing, was the arrival of a new baby next door a little over a year after Thomas died.

It was immersion therapy for both of us. The baby was there. We were here. And soon our lives become intertwined and we fell in love.

And suddenly babies weren't so scary anymore.

She was the first baby I'd held since my own. And, I won't lie, it was agony. The weight of her. The life in her. But I did it. And I've done it a million times since. And now I've held her brand new sister too.

Because it's that or cloister myself away - separate myself from a world that I sometimes do have a hard time feeling a part of. And I don't want that. I've never wanted that. I've fought hard to make people not fear me and my sorrow. I've worked like a dog to prove I'm greater than the sum of those parts.

I figure if I'm going to talk the talk, I have to walk the walk.

So there's not an ounce of magic in it. It's just stubbornness - my inability to let my particular brand of motherhood keep me from being friends with women who haven't buried a child.

Magic would be easier though. There's no doubt about it.


areyoukiddingme said...

You have great strength. It's great that you do not let your sorrow completely overshadow the pleasures you can get out of life. I know it must be difficult, but clearly you're doing a great job.

loribeth said...

I'm impressed that your friend actually realizes these things could be difficult for you. In my experience, the vast majority of people seem totally clueless and even get offended if/when we don't show sufficient interest in their pregnancies & babies.

From my own perspective, I don't know either. Some days, it's no problem, other days, I just want to run & hide. I never know until I'm in the moment which reaction it's going to be.

Sherry said...

I'm glad you weren't offended by your "friend's" question. ;)

And, quite clearly, you're not dead inside. *Very* far from it.


B said...

You're an inspiration. I need me some of your courage.

I've lost all of it lately.

Mrs. Spit said...



Icantletitgo said...

I would have never thought in my own isolation that there were so many parents out there who have lost children. I lost my first son three weeks ago yesterday. I've read your entire blog and was shocked at how similar I felt, how many words you wrote that sounded as though I'd spoken them. I cried for you too, you and your beloved. It's not fair and I'm sorry that you've had so much sorrow in your life. I thought I died the day they made me give birth to my little Logan who had left me before we ever met. I can not phatom life in your shoes. But your blog kept me from drowning. If someone out there survived the loss of 5 little lives, I too could survive my little Logan. I too started a blog, and referenced you a few times. Blogging has helped me to find my pulse. Thank you for sharing your sorrow with us. I'll pray for you, when I start speaking to God again. [she says with a weary smile]