When to Drop the "Dead Baby" Bomb
I've been blogging since a few months after my son died and was born. Along the way I have connected with other bloggers who share my story. There is a special bond between us, we are sisters in grief. Many of us have gone on to have our rainbow babies. Some have stopped blogging, but a few of us have continued. It's been nice to be able to see how other BLM's are dealing with life after our rainbows are born.
I was particularly touched by something Laura Jane wrote recently. She wrote an amazing post about living in the everyday after losing a baby. So much of what she said hit home with me. How do you live each day for the rest of your life where your first baby died? I won't try to recreate her thoughts here because she did it so well, so make sure you click the link and read it for yourself.
The part that really got me thinking was about how everything in her current life is the way it is because her firstborn son died. It's so true. Everything about my current life is the way it is because my son died. Nothing in my life now would be exactly the same if he had lived.
Yes, I have my rainbow baby now and to the outside world I'm sure I look just like every other new mother. Only I'm not. For the longest time I surrounded myself with familiar friends. Friends who know my story. Friends who don't ever need an explanation for why things are the way they are. Safe friends.
Now that Frostina is in the world I'm doing lots of new things. I've entered the world of "Mommies and Daddies." I'm in a playgroup and have even joined a Gymboree class. All the things I dreamed of doing with my son but never had the chance to do. I'm finally living the life of a parent who has a living baby,,, and I'm loving it.
The issue though is this. None of these people know my story. So within the course of the normal "getting to know you" conversation I have lots of landmines to step over. Sometimes I catch myself telling a pregnancy story and about halfway through I realize I'm talking about my first pregnancy, not my second. When people find out Frostina was born via C-section and was early and they ask why I still struggle with the answer. Sometimes I say it's because she was transverse (which she was). Sometimes I say it's because my pregnancy was high risk but I don't elaborate. And in very rare instances I tell the truth.
I just never know how much to tell. How much to disclose about my personal tragedy. After all, new friendships are fragile. If you come on too strong, or too fragile, or "too much drama," you can be written off before you have a chance to get to know someone. But if you wait too long then you can seem fake or insincere. So what to say, and when to say it is a struggle for me.
I mean, when is the right time to drop the "dead baby" bomb?
When is it the right time to start seeing those looks of pity and relief that it's your story and not theirs written on the faces of people you hardly know?
When is it the right time to freak out and scare off people that you may want to build a friendship with?
When is it the right time to be reminded that once again, you are "that women" and not just another normal new mother?
When will there be a time when I don't feel the stigma, and taboo, and silence that surrounds stillbirth?
When will I ever get used to this new normal that I'm living?
*This post was originally posted at my blog Finding My New Normal. If you like what you read, please visit my blog to see what I'm up to now.