I would like to formally welcome Eve Monica into the world (because that’s how we formally welcome our friends’ babies these days – on our blogs…).
Little Miss Eve, I cannot wait to meet you and hold you, and tell you crazy stories about your mom and dad, dear friends of mine whom I love so much. We’ve waited a long time to meet you.
J & P, I am so happy for you! Welcome to parenthood. All the clichés are true. Don’t forget to relish in and marvel at all the wonder that is a baby. And breathe!
The same day Eve was born, I stumbled onto this post from reading over here (A Little Pregnant). Although I myself have not struggled with infertility, I have had a different tragedy, just like the mom at I Will Not Fear Love, Julia. I found this post especially moving because this has been how I have been feeling since J announced her pregnancy.
When DearDR called to tell me Eve was born, I cried. In happiness, to be sure, and also in overwhelming relief. Because I could let go of my fear for my friends.
I haven’t shared this with J because, as Julia notes here, to be aware of what can go wrong – what does go wrong – can make you feel like a freak. Pregnancy and birth are beautiful, joyous, miraculous things, and living with the dread that a baby will die before he or she is born… is … in a way … well, it’s a real bummer, to put it mildly.
But I don’t think it makes us freaks. We just have different frame of reference to what is usual in the case of having a baby – especially a first baby, as Gabriel was for me and Eve is for J. Our frame of reference is painful, devastating and sad, but it’s not wrong.
I have perceptive friends, and although I never told J about my fear for her and her baby (the fear I have for all of my friends and family who have had babies since I lost Gabriel), I am sure she knew that my happiness and joy for her were colored by my loss. She’s no stupid lady. She was there the night Gabriel was finally delivered. Within her own frame of reference, she lost a baby, too.
So Julia, I don’t think we are freaks. I think we have to be careful about what we say about our losses and how we say it. And to whom. But I also think we have to own our tragedies, and count our babies – every one – when talking about our experiences.
For many of us, the mothers of lost children, the sadness and dread and terrible knowledge linger forever. That’s okay – it is, to use another word, appropriate. And for many of us, who are lucky to have successful pregnancies, another truth is: Joy abides.
Eve, J, P: I wish you joy.