Better late

From Glow in the Woods, 6 x 6 (a series of 6 questions they’ve posted for us to answer, and have answered themselves).

1 | In a word, how would you characterize yourself before your loss, and then after?

Before – young. After – worn.

2 | How do you feel around pregnant women?

Even when I have Baby Man with me, I feel somewhat like a poseur. As if, if they knew the truth about me, they’d run in fear or disgust.

3 | How do you answer the ‘how many children’ question?

Apparently right now, if it’s someone who’s anything more than a stranger on the street, I will say, “Well, we have Baby Man and we had a son who died at birth before.” Strangers, I don’t know. It entirely varies. I have just said, “No,” when someone I’ll never see again has asked, “is he your first?”

4 | How did you explain what happened to your lost baby to your living children? Or, if this was your first pregnancy, will you tell future children about your first?

I already mention “your brother” to Baby Man in passing, and two weeks ago we sat together next to Natan’s grave and I talked about him. Of course, Baby Man cannot yet understand but I hope I’ll be strong enough to continue when he can. And I hope it won’t be a burden to him.

5 | What would another pregnancy mean to you, and how would you get through it—or are you done with babymaking?

I am not sure if we will try again. My hope is that if it happens, while I’ll never be carefree and pregnant, that I could be more relaxed during a prospective next time because I know that in theory, I can bring a healthy baby to term. It’ll be hard though, and I would worry a lot about my ability to care for Baby Man during it. That would be my primary reason not to try again, because I don’t want to hurt him.

6 | Imagine being able to step back in time and whisper into the ear of your past self the day after your baby died. What would you say?

When I first read this question, I thought it said, “your past self the day before your baby died.” My immediate reaction was, “My Gd, no, I don’t want to talk to her. Let her have one last day of hope.” Or the possibility that I could have changed something, that’s too much to bear.

As it is really written, I still don’t want to whisper to her. It’s not as if it’s “alright,” now–I don’t want to tell her that. I don’t want to give her advice. I don’t want to tell her about Baby Man, well, because those early days of mourning are Natan’s. I wouldn’t want to encourage her to think of the future at all.

7 responses to “Better late

  1. Thanks for answering this. They’re all beautiful answers, and I really appreciate the last one. I didn’t think I would’ve listened to myself, anyway.

  2. Your last answer really got me. I feel the same way- I wouldn’t want to talk to me either.

  3. Worn. That’s the perfect word.

  4. The last one. Yeah.

  5. that bit about never again being able to be carefree and pregnant? sigh.

  6. the last one got me too. i don’t know if i even COULD talk to myself before, had the question been framed that way.

    which i suppose explains why so many people do respond to us like we’re contagion, beyond the pale. it’s insult to injury, but only now that i think about that reaction in terms of me now showing up on the doorstep of me with my last day of hope, i get it. a bit. maybe.

  7. That last question is hard. It’s hard to even think about. Your answers are close to what mine would be.

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