You didn’t see me but I saw you. I was the woman who was carrying home my bundle of endless happiness as you were mourning yours. I wanted to comfort you and say that it will happen someday for you too but how do you offer condolences for a life that never breathed? How do you reminisce about a child who never laughed?
You looked like my age and I was momentarily struck by how your grief made you look wiser than me, older than me and even braver than me.
I could see people trying to put an unnecessary spin on your loss.
“It’s unfortunate but happens”, the doctor said.
“I’m sure there’s something better intended for you”, another woman said.
“Are you sure you were careful? Babies are so delicate”, another voice chimed in.
I could see you living this alternative reality. I could see you dissociating yourself from it. I could see you finally asking for a sedative so you could stop the noise. For now. Tomorrow, when the pain is a little less, your eyes are a little less tired and your womb warmer than tonight, you’ll face life and the endless chatter that it brings.
But tonight you look defeated and even though you want someone to cry for your baby with you, you know that’s too much to ask. In a world of perfect reproductive lives, the emptiness of your arms is an aberration that’s largely looked down upon. In a world of happy news, your fertility is a reminder of how our bodies deceive us sometimes. In a world where people still fight over whether pink or blue, preemie or large, and then compromise happily over silly things about mundane worries, you fight a battle with yourself about when, how, if ever.
I can’t help you but I will say a prayer for you. I’ll pray for people to be kind to you. Kinder than they’ve been. I’ll pray for people to realize that natural selection got you today and can get them tomorrow. I’ll pray for you to have a baby but more than that, I’ll pray for people to let you have time to recover before making you feel like you have to have a baby.