I met my boss's less-than-24 hours-old baby boy today. I apparently have a kind of love-hate relationship to all things baby right now. I wanted to go and see him. I wanted to know how he and the family were doing. It isn't a totally terrible thing for me to see newborn babies, but when I got up there, my heart started pounding out of my chest like I had just been asked to give a nationwide speech on the differences between Nascar and drag racing (or something else equally irrelevant to my life).

The baby was beautiful and perfect, but I couldn't speak, much less hold him and talk to him. One of my coworkers who went with me said "Oooh! I've never held anyone as small as you" and the first thought that came to my mind was "Oooh! I've never held anyone as small as you... that was alive." Then, my fight or flight reaction intensified as my boss began to talk rather flippantly about the fact that his baby (who was almost a day old and didn't have a name yet) had a true knot in his cord that was also wrapped around his neck when he was born. I really wanted to tell him to Google "true knot in cord" the next time he wanted to feel thankful for life. I really wanted to tell him about the countless babies whose mommies only have blogs with newborn pictures because there aren't any more opportunities for pictures. I really wanted to pull out my own newborn pictures of Raelyn and proudly boast that at 23 weeks, my Raelyn was a 1/2 inch longer than their unnamed son! I really wanted to bust their bubble of naivete and happiness with my own tragedy... but I didn't. I stood there silently nodding as they complained about taking this new life home to live with their other (four under the age of ten) children and how hard it was going to be.

It really shouldn't bother me this much. I should be happy for them that their son made it out alive and I truly am, but that happiness is tempered by thoughts of "Why them?" or "Why not me" or "Why not so many other countless mamas who don't have a child to hold at home?" This is the same boss that told me after Raelyn died that he believed things like that happened to people for one of two reasons. Either God is trying to make you strong enough to endure something else or you are already strong enough to handle it. Then, he actually said "Thank God I'm not strong enough!" as though any of us just woke up on whatever fateful day our losses became real and said "Well, at least I am strong enough to handle this!"

I'm really not bitter... I just think that people should be a little more sensitive. But then again, who am I to destroy someone else's innocence? Why shouldn't he be blindly happy? I would have been had things been different. There is that love-hate thing again. I want to be a part of this happiness, but my vision has forever been colored and the things that should excite my heart only pierce me to the core.


Shannon said...

That comment of his was a horrible horrible thing for him to say! Rude doesn't even BEGIN to cover it. I'm so sorry he was so heartless.

It's been right months out for me and I still have moments where while I want to hold and love on babies, it's so difficult to do. I've finally gotten to the point where I can spend time and play and love on my nephew, born a month and a half before Chaya, but other days where, while I can't NOT love and play with him, I just can't do it.

And then the wife of the coworker who's baby was born two days before Chaya's due date brings the baby in so Daddy can see.

And the Father of the 11 month old who brags and brags about his baby right to me, knowing full well the tragedy we suffered eight months ago.

People keep telling me things like that become less bothersome, but I'll believe it when I see it.


Googies Girl said...

I also have the love-hate relationship with all things "baby" and it's just very hard to talk to "normal" people. For a "normal" parent to boast their child had a "true not" after the baby obviously survived, it's kind of a slap in the face. I understand what you felt in that moment. I want to shake them into the reality of how lucky they are. Show them how many times that specific condition took the baby's life and left a family completly torn apart. I can relate to every single word here. You are very, very brave and strong to go see this baby. I wouldn't be able to do that. Sending you hugs today. Your words are honest and you are an incredibly talented writer.
Dana, please know you are in my prayers.

Whitney said...

I feel that same love-hate relationship. Some days I can handle it all so well and others are terrible. I just don't know if I would have been able to go see that newborn.