Wow. So I encountered this woman today - and I will admit that at first sight (actually I have seen her several times), I wouldn't think of her as a real "lady". I know that sounds horrible - but it's just the way that she carries herself.
If I had to guess, she is probably in her mid to late sixties - and just from the looks of it, she has led a really rough life. But she's always sweet as can be...to everyone that she comes into contact with.
ANYway...back to my point.
So I was helping her with some things - and upon seeing my stomach (oh my gosh - I feel like I have gotten SO much bigger in the last week... I don't think I have any room left to pop) she asked when my baby was due. :) I love when people ask when my baby is due, because I always reply with... THEY are due September 14th, but will more than likely be joining us in August. So I said my line - and she looked at me, and I nodded. "Yes, there is more than one. Actually - I am having triplets.
I wish you could have seen this woman's face light up with excitement...for someone that she doesn't even know! She immediately started asking questions. Do I know what they are yet? If I had to choose, what would I want? How am I feeling? Do the doctors foresee any complications?
And then she asked me the question that 90% of people ask. "Are these your first?" My answer varies - just depending on the person, and the situation. But most of the time I answer with, "This is my second pregnancy". I think most people get the clue from that. I always feel bad for not telling people that this is my second pregnancy, and that our daughter passed away almost seventeen months ago. But I also hate making people feel uncomfortable. So...the "this is my second pregnancy" answer is normally how I answer their questions.
Moving on. So after this dear woman asks me the question, she asks if they were naturally conceived. Getting kind personal! But oddly, I really didn't mind answering. I told her that they were conceived through fertility treatments.
She smiled and then he eyes glazed over. She stated, "Well... I am so happy for you - and wish you the best! The Lord never blessed me with children. But if He had... I know that my life would have been completely different, and that I would have loved them with everything I am." She went on to say that she had prayed and prayed for children, that all she wanted was to make her father a grandpa. And that he had died before she had the chance.
And then she told me something that broke my heart. After telling me that the Lord had not blessed her with Children, and that she had desperately WANTED a child - and that her dad had died, never knowing the joy of being a grandparent...she told me that, thirty five years ago she delivered a still born baby boy. She didn't say much about him, just that he would always hold a place in her heart. And how she wished that he had lived, and how much she would have loved him.
Seriously? Okay with everything that Clif and I have been through in the last year...PLUS my raging pregnancy hormones... I'm really lucky that I did not absolutely LOSE it right then and there. And I thought that she would cry too.
But she went on to say that God must have had a purpose for taking her son. And that she would see him again one day.
The thing that broke my heart was... for the first half of that conversation she didn't even acknowledge that she had children. She didn't mention having a baby boy.
From what I hear, thirty five years ago... still birth was not spoken of. Many women who experienced that horrible situation are ASHAMED, almost. Like it's a big dark secret that they are never allowed to talk about. Many women never even were able to SEE their child, let alone hold, kiss, mourn. They have nothing left of those children except memories of their pregnancies that they store deep inside.
How sad! She said that she hadn't even thought about how long it had been until seeing me today.
I wanted so badly to tell her my experience, and tell her all about my precious little Lilly. But I didn't. I don't think that I could have held it together - and I don't really think that it was the time or place.
All I can keep thinking is how SAD that is. Any loss is heartbreaking - but to experience something like giving birth to a still baby...and things being like they were back then. *sigh* It hit me deep inside.
I am so very thankful that I was given the opportunity to hold my baby girl. So thankful that Clif was able to see her, and kiss her. Thankful for the nurses on the thirteenth floor of RMH that took pictures of our Lilly Bean for us to cherish forever. Thankful for the sweet lady at the funeral home that prepared Lilly's body for her funeral... taking extra care, just to make me feel better. So thankful for the support of loved ones...and complete strangers.
I can't imagine being alone at a time like that. And I can't imagine not thinking of my baby every single day of my life.
In the midst of our sorrow...we were so incredibly blessed. And we still are. And this lady helped me see that today. :)