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.