So, in the mail, I receive my American Baby magazine. (One of the many magazines ordered under a 3 year subscription, planner that I am.)
And my Infantino Recall notice. (Guess they didn't get my letter?)
And my Similac 4 Month Milestones packet: "Those conversations you are having with your baby aren't one-sided any more! Just listen to that cooing."
I think they mean crying. At least, that's what I hear at my house. Me. Crying.
And then, to top the day off, John met me at the Pass and ID place (because although I apparently am good enough to pay the taxes that fund that office, me looking just like the picture on my government issued ID is not enough to prove I am who I say I am and John in all his Major glory has to vouch for me) this afternoon. My ID is about to expire in 2 days. The base has been going through some big security check in the last week, and oddly enough, due to various situations, I have been on the base more in the last week than probably in the last three years. I have had my ID checked more times than probably in nearly 14 years with the Marine Corps. And yet, not one single person EVER stopped me and said, "Ma'am, your ID is about to expire." Not one. All those people 'checking my ID' for WHAT? That I had one and I look reasonably like the picture?
(Okay, I realize I am a bit disgruntled. I'll get to the point.)
So, when the lady takes my new picture and I compare it to my old picture, I realize I look OLD. Tired and OLD. Like I've aged a lifetime. And I have. My son's brief 8-hour lifetime. Over and over again.
I even said, "Wow, I look like I've aged a lifetime."
The lady said, "Oh, you just think you do. You look great."
"No, I really have had a lot happen since that picture."
"Oh, we always think it's worse than it is."
"No, my son died 4 months ago. I've aged a lifetime."
She didn't even skip a beat. She said, "Oh, now you're gonna make me sad. Have another. You just have another."
I didn't even say my baby son died. (Because, you know, somehow people feel like since it was just a baby, it couldn't hurt that much or mean as much as a 'real' 5 or 6 year-old kid, right?)
I just said my son died and she said, "Have another. You just have another."
THIS is what I am talking about when I say people say insensitive things. John said it was because I threw her and she didn't know how to respond.
How about DON'T? Or, simply say, "I'm sorry," and let that be that.
But don't act as if another child replaces my son. Or replaces the hurt in my heart. Or the ache in my arms. I ache for MATTHEW. My heart grieves MATTHEW. MATTHEW'S nursery is upstairs, full of MATTHEW'S things. Things with MATTHEW'S name and bought specifically for MATTHEW. Not another child. Not another brother or sister. MATTHEW.
I know that people are so hopeful for us to be blessed with another pregnancy. We are too.
Because we ALWAYS wanted children. Not a child, children. Whether Matthew had lived or not, we would have and still want more children.
But we want Matthew too. We wanted Matthew too. We had Matthew too. And there will never be another child who replaces him in our hearts or our memories or our love.
And that some people just don't get that hurts my heart.
No one would ever tell a mother who just lost her 5 year old child, "Have another."
So why is that ok to tell a woman who lost her newborn son? How is that comforting? "You'll have more. You'll be parents. It'll happen again."
I am a parent. I would love to have more. I pray it happens again.
But another child or more children won't make Matthew being gone 'better'.