In 3 days, it will be 8 years since I found out I was pregnant with Marco. I vividly remember shaking when I saw that the pregnancy test was positive. I was shocked, surprised, excited, scared. We had only been trying for 4 months, though it was only 2 cycles, as they were long. I had just come off birth control, and didn't know what to expect.
Well - we know how that all went. Instead of bringing a bouncing baby boy home from the hospital 9 months later, we left the hospital 6 months later empty handed. Hearts shattered.
Over the last 8 years, my relationship to grief, as with everyone's, has evolved. In the first couple of years, I wanted to share with the entire world that I had this little baby who had died. After some time passed, I realized that I sometimes felt worse after sharing Marco's story with certain people, especially people I didn't know at all or know well. At times it felt like I had to minimize his story, and then it left me feeling a bit empty.
Nowadays, I share his story when I feel the moment and person is right. It's much less often, but when I do share his story, it feels more comfortable.
In our little townhouse neighborhood, we have had a lot of turnover lately. Lots of new neighbors. Lots of new kids. Lots of standing outside and talking to parents while the kids are playing. It's a great neighborhood, and I love that aspect of it.
There's a new family who moved in a couple of months ago. I had met the guy, but hadn't yet met the woman. They have an 8 year old, 3 year old, and one on the way. Finally, a few nights ago, we were both getting out of our cars at the same time, and so I had a chance to introduce myself.
Our conversation pretty much immediately turned toward the kids. Where her kids go to school, where mine go to school, etc. I mentioned something about Lucia being in kindergarten at the elementary school around the corner. I don't know if she misheard me, but she said something like, "Oh, he goes to Sunrise Valley?" Insinuating that Lucia was a boy. I don't exactly remember how it went down, but she said "he" in reference to Lucia so many times in the span of a minute, that I felt like I had to correct her - especially since it's someone who lives in my neighborhood now. If it was a stranger who'd I'd never be seeing again, I wouldn't have cared or bothered. But this is someone who I will most likely be seeing a lot. So I said, "oh, it's a girl, Lucia. She's my kindergartener. I have 2 girls"
"Oh!", she replied. "great! You have 3?"
"No" NO! Thinking to myself - do I have to spell it out for you, lady! "No, I don't have a son. Just 2 daughters."
Ugh. Usually when I don't share about Marco, I'm not saying "I don't have a son, I don't have 3 kids." Usually it's just an omission. "I have 2 daughters."
This felt different and a little more painful. But standing in the middle of the cul de sac at 8pm in a quick introduction, she holding her tired 3 year old, and me holding a tired Annabelle, was not the time to say, "well, I did have a son, but he died."
Marco - you're there, as always. My son. My first of 3 amazing children. I love you :)
Oh Libby...I get you. I am so sorry you had to have that conversation and that it was more painful than most. I think you handled it as gracefully as possible and sometimes, you have to hold Marco tightly to you, keeping him in your heart, not sharing him with strangers not because you're ashamed but because you need to protect yourself and your memory of your beautiful boy.
And I know he understands. Marco is there, cheering you on each time you share his story and each time you don't.
So much love to you,
hugs. Sorry you had to go through that. I had a horrible situation happen the other day to with a new person I met. Just when you think you have it figured out and ready for anything...a new social scenerio pops up. Those who matter know,and love all 3 of your kids. Nicki
I know that must have been a tough moment. Tommie said it best: Marco is always there- cheering you on each time you share and each time you don't. Lots of hugs to you.
Oh Libby... I'm sorry. I'm sorry you feel the way you're feeling after all of that. Please know that Marco knows and always has, just how loved he is. I think you found yourself in a unique situation and I think you handled it the best you could given the circumstances.
Sending you big hugs and lots of love,
So sorry you had to deal with that. Just shows how much more can be behind a conversation than we realize. I agree on the omission and sharing aspect of it. Its only when I get the snide comments about Abbey being a singleton that it really gets to me.
Love and Hugs
Hugs. I always find myself judging time people I'm having the conversation with weather or not I talk about Trinity. Sometimes I find it hard when I don't include her but its a way of protecting my heart. I get it! Hugs and love to you and all three of your kiddos!
Libby, it's happened more times than I care to count. Unfortunately, there will be more awkward moments ahead. You did great! Marco knows how you feel about him. He's never too far from your thoughts:)
Libby, I understand how you feel. Just the other day at a meeting with a new "higher up" we were talking about our families. And I said I have two kids. And every time I say that, I feel a twinge in my heart. But it wasn't the right moment to open up.
Like my sons, I am sure that Marco understands that you are selective in whom you share with. And that is OK. You are protecting his memory -- and your heart - until the time is right.
love and hugs.
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