Monday, March 2, 2009

Awkward Encounters

After we found out about Emma's diagnosis, Tim and I agreed that it wasn't best to "hide" it from anyone. While we didn't want to shout it from the rooftops, we also wanted people that we knew and would see more than once to know the truth. It made for some awkward encounters all around.

For example, there was the time that we got our flu shots. They asked if there was a chance that I might be pregnant and I said that yes, I was pregnant. Next they asked when I was due and I said January (because that's when we were planning on inducing) and they then proceeded to list all of the great benefits that the baby would have for the first six months of it's life because of me getting a flu shot. Tim and I just smiled and nodded our heads. A little awkward, but not too bad since they had no idea what was going on.

However, there were many other times that friends of ours would ask if we had found out yet what we were having. When we replied that we were having a girl, usually they would be really excited and ask us if we excited to be having a girl. For strangers, we just told them that yes we were. However, for friends we would then explain to them about Emma's diagnosis. It usually made for an awkward situation because then they felt really bad about it and we felt bad that they felt bad and so on.

I definitely had more of these "awkward encounters" when I was visibly pregnant, however, even though you can't see that I'm pregnant, I still have a few of these moments.

Today I had my post-partum checkup. (Has it really already been 6 weeks since Emma left us?) Before I went in to see the OB, his nurse was checking my weight and blood pressure. She asked me what my baby's name was and she asked what her weight had been (she was recording it in my chart). When I told her that she was 3 lbs. 3 oz. she looked surprised and asked how she was doing now and if she had gained more weight. I didn't want to lie, especially since I knew somewhere else on my chart it had Emma's diagnosis, so I told her that our baby had died. I couldn't help but cry. I really don't like these awkward encounters. The nurse felt bad and I felt dumb for crying. Luckily, it didn't last long. And luckily, my doctor remembered me and was very sensitive about everything. And he was kind of glad to hear that Emma's anencephaly was because of a chromosomal abnormality. While he did say that could lead to problems (if either Tim or I have a balanced translocation - hoping to hear back from Duke this week), he said he was really glad and I should be too that it wasn't a nutritional thing that caused Emma's anencephaly and that I could know that I had been doing everything I should have. While I've never felt guilty about Emma's defect being my fault, it's good to know that my OB doesn't feel that way either.

So I've sidetracked. Anyways, twice in the past week I've had people ask me about how my baby's doing and I've had to explain that she died and I've cried. As far as I see it, there's no good way to avoid these awkward encounters. So while I'm glad that they are less frequent now, I find them harder to deal with now that Emma actually has left us.


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your pain. I cannot imagine what you have been through. I am in awe of your strength and bravery.

God Bless you
Mrs. Melody

Holly said...

I think "awkward moments" are much easier to deal with when dealing with strangers. You know you'll never meet them again and you don't have to explain your situation to them. Much harder for family and friends. Just today I had a moment. At work we have 2 older men who voluteer in my department and then are so nice. They're always asking how I'm doing and they're very friendly. One of them noticed today I was pregnant and at the end of the conversation he said "as long as the baby is healthy". Well, then I had to break the news to them that she wasn't going to live. I could tell it really hurt them but it also helped me to know they cared about me so much. Ok, I'm writing a book here.....anyway, you're right, those moments will get less frequent. BTW I really can't believe it's been 6 weeks already!! That doesn't seem possible.

Mac said...

This isn't remotely on the same level, but The Angel Boy gets embarrassed when we talk about Autism with strangers, so we generally don't mention it to people that we meet. I always feel bad when strangers try to talk to him and get no response. Usually I just pray that they'll leave it alone, but often people will press and ask if he is deaf or if he is shy. I dislike it when I have to come out and say, "No, he has autism" because it is instantly awkward and I feel like I've betrayed Angel Boy's privacy. I know people are trying to be friendly, but sometimes I wish I didn't have to talk about it with everyone we meet.

I hope it gets better for you soon.

Jacque said...

Hey Sweetie! I had a BLAST getting to know you at the Spa. I will check up regularly! I want to stay in touch with you! If you ever need a facial or anything, you know who to call!
Hang in there. Cliche, but sometimes seems like your only option. Just be sure you're hanging on to hope not pain!
I am adding you to my blog list right now!
You're in my prayers!

Kim said...

That would be hard to go through. I love that you're still sharing your thought on this with all of us, you're my hero. Just take it one day at a time and cry when you need to and take comfort in those around you. No one expects you to "be over" this just like that. Writing to me is very therapeutic too, so keep it up.

Jill said...

I agree you are amazing! Both you & Mac impress me so much in how you are able to tell others (be strangers or friends) without making them feel like they need to mind their own business. Sometimes they probably should, but nonetheless you are responding so lovingly.

Crying is so annoying sometimes (albeit very healthy and therapeutic I know) because it makes everyone else stop & try to FIX YOU, if you know what I mean. I love that you have been so positive about how people have reacted to your situation.

LIke I said before, you are amazing!

Tyler said...

hey. i want to look at your blog! invite me!

Stephanie said...

I know that awkward encounters are hard. It is a hard thing you are going through right now. To make them a little better try to turn them in to something positive. think of it as a moment to share how blessed you are how beautiful Emma was share your testimony that she was only here for a short time but touched so many hearts and brought many together.You will probably still cry because you lost yur child and that is ok but then turn it positive don't let the sadness linger. Leave the encounter happy well try to :)

KMDuff said...

6 weeks already. Time flies. Hugs.

Kira said...

I am sorry - people mean well, but don't get it. Then you feeling bad because they feel bad or embarrassed because you cry - you are right, it is all simply awkward! We will keep praying for you all.