Upon getting home from the hospital, I was under strict orders.
Order 1) bed rest
Order 2) very limited company
I was not to get worked up at all as it could cause a major setback. I was seeing the doctor every other day to make sure I was continuing to improve. My doctor was very careful to keep me as calm as possible in her office. As soon as I arrived, I was immediately put in a room and was often escorted out a back door as to not come face to face with a pregnant women or new baby.
At home, her orders gave me the perfect excuse to not talk about what had happened. It was like a license to crawl into my very own dark hole (aka my bed) and not come out until I was ready. I was still in the shock and denial phase of my grief, but I was beginning to get a glimpse here and there of pain and/or anger.
When I finally felt ready to talk or more accurately couldn’t hide any longer; I gradually began letting people back into my life. Many people offered condolences and tons of kind words, but to say I shocked at some of the things said would be a complete and utter understatement. I appreciate how hard it is to know what to say. I loved hearing people use her name; it provided comfort that she would be remembered. Some of my favorite and most helpful comments were:
– “That just sucks” – this one was said by someone I wouldn’t expect to use the word sucks. So it was very meaningful.
– The classic “I’m sorry” and “Your in my thoughts and prayers”
– “I know what you are going through… No, I take that back, I don’t know what you are going through, I have not walked in your shoes, but I am sure it is harder than I could even imagine.”
– And finally, Chris’ grandfather, who is battling cancer and I were both told in one sitting that we looked well, he leaned over and whispered “Don’t we wish.”
I also want to share some of the things that were less helpful to me and explain why, because some of these statements are not very obvious while others are. In full disclosure, if you think you might have said one of these comments to Chris or me please don’t feel bad; I have come to realize that none of the comments were meant to be hurtful and people only commented because they care and/or wanted to learn about what had happened.
– “Your still young” – What does that have to do with anything? It is okay that I lost my daughter because I am young?
– “So…Is it like you are allergic to babies?” or “Can your body just not hold a pregnancy?” – Really!!! How about a simple What Happened?
– “You can always have more children” – Well maybe or maybe not. That is yet to be determined. And even if I can, a new baby won’t replace Ansley.
– “You have your very own angel now” – I didn’t want and angel, I wanted a baby. This one I had a particularly hard time with and it is hard to explain why. It no longer bothers me the way it once did although still not my favorite comment. In my mind, every time someone called Ansley an angel it made her less of a real person and more of an inanimate object.
– “God has a plan” –Gotta tell you, I really didn’t like this part of his plan.
– “Maybe it was for the best” – FOR WHOM?
– In reference to my delivery, “At least she was small” – A) tell that to my contractions and B) had she been bigger/ stronger, she would have had a much higher survival rate.
– “Imagine how hard this would be if you had known her” – The most shocking part of this comment was that it was made by a pregnant women. I was speechless. The relationship between a mother and her unborn child is intimate and real.
– “Why are you waiting so long to try again, you aren’t getting any younger”- This one was said recently, as if I needed the reminder that I am getting older. I will be 32 in a week and a half. I know how old I am.