Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Club No One Wants to Belong To

Usually I reserve this blog for the craziness that is my life. Today I just really wanted to share a little more of me with you...

A few nights ago I watched “Obsessed” on A&E. One o f the women they were profiling had a miscarriage several years ago. She kept the fetus in her freezer, wrapped up. I heard people at work talking about how weird this is, what a “nut” this woman must be. And I just think, they have no clue as to the pain she has.

At age 34 I was told I could not have children after 10 years of trying every possible way to have children. It killed me. I gave up and wallowed in my own self pity for 3 years. (I will talk about addiction and depression in a future blog). I had lost a child when I was 21 years old. April 21, 1991. I can’t ever forget that moment, and it is with me every day. I can’t remember one single day that has passed that I haven’t thought of what my son would have been like, how old he would be now, would he have just graduated high school? Would he be on his way to college? What kind of mom would I have been?

I was 8 months pregnant when I went into a hard labor. No one told me my child had died days before. No one told me there wasn’t going to be a happy ending at the end of 26 hours of pain. I just lay there, trying, anxious and waiting. Then they told me.

I remember the first few months after my loss. I remember people saying stupid things like, “Maybe it’s for the best”, “How did you think you were going to take care of a baby?”, “There was probably something wrong with the child, and this is God’s way”. I couldn’t stand it. I couldn’t believe people really believed this. Did they have any idea how much I hurt? How much I wanted this child? How empty I was? But, that is what people say. That is what people still say.

Unfortunately when you lose a child you become a private member in a secret club. Membership isn’t optional, and it isn’t open to anyone who hasn’t suffered your pain. And your pain doesn’t go away- Ever. We build up dreams and expectations around a child. And now that child is gone. No one can understand how that feels. It is an empty pit not only in your stomach, but in your feelings, in your interactions with others, in your faith in the world.

I am sharing this blog because I think that people, who don’t have a membership in the group of women who have lost a child, cannot possibly conceive the pain. We don’t want pity, we don’t want you to show us the silver lining, and we just want you to understand. Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of our place in life, society, the economic status, that child grows and becomes us. It is like phantom limb pain. When a person loses an arm, for years they still feel pain in the arm, they still think the arm is there, they forget the arm is long gone. That is how a lost child feels.

The woman on “Obsessed” finally looked at her package in the freezer. She cried, she mourned, and she buried the child. Now, she thinks she can move on. And she will, but she will always hold that place in her for the child that never was.
God has blessed me with a four year old son who has come into my life through very unconventional methods. He is my heart, but I still cry every April for my first child, Caleb Joel. And I wonder about where he would be today at least once each and every day.


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