It had only been 3 weeks. I made a last minute appointment to get my c-section incision checked out. It was most definitely infected. For other appointments, my doctor made sure I got in and out quickly: minimizing the amount of time spent surrounded by pregnant women in the waiting room. My social interactions had been limited to people who knew me; who knew Lincoln; who knew he was gone. I sat in that room full of strangers and stared at my feet. A young boy was barefoot, sliding his body across the top of the coffee table. Women filled up seats on every side of me. They chatted and smiled. I just stared at my feet. Twenty minutes passed and I was feeling better. Maybe I’d make it through this after all….. but then she spoke. The woman to my right asked me, “So, are you pregnant?”
Ouch…. a knife to the chest. I answered, making no eye contact, giving a simple, “no.” I hoped that my demeanor would stop any further conversation. But then it got worse. She carried on, “Oh man, you’re soooo lucky! I just had a c-section 7 months ago and I’m pregnant again.” I was stunned. Tears stung my eyes. Lucky? This woman with a healthy 7-month old and another on the way was calling me lucky. The lump in my throat was quickly rising. I wanted to tell her that she couldn’t be more wrong. I wanted to tell her that I just had an extensive c-section and was still recovering. Most of all, I wanted to tell her about Lincoln. I just nodded and looked away.
I was quickly saved when the nurse called my name. As I got up, I knew she would be the first of many. In the last eight months, I’ve heard plenty of variations. This comes from people who don’t know about Lincoln, and also from those who do.
- “You’re lucky you don’t have kids
- Just wait until you have them.
- Do you want to take one of mine?
- At least you get to sleep through the night
- Yeah, this is what having kids is like”
I could go on. These comments don’t always bring tears to my eyes, but they do really irritate me. A healthy pregnancy is not a promise of a healthy, living child. I would love for Lincoln to help parents remember to hold their children close and to be grateful for them. I want them to realize how incredibly blessed they are. Along with that, please remember, bereaved parents ARE out there. We do exist, and we’d give anything to have our child here with us.