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My therapist told me to take 5 minutes a day to journal my feelings and let myself feel. So the other day I wrote this and I wanted to share it, this is something that has really been on mind lately as a mom of an angel baby.
I Have a Secret
I have a secret his name is Scott. I never expected him to be a secret. I had visions of playing with him, holding his hand and walking in the park, taking him places and having people comment how cute he was. But that vision didn’t happen. Instead I have forever a vision of a baby with wavy brown curly hair, and blue eyes. A beautiful baby but he wasn’t here long. He was here exactly 14 days. He died on his two week birthday. I loved my baby. I loved him just as much as my oldest son. I was sad very sad when he died. Sad does not even describe how I felt there is no words that can describe what I felt the day my baby was taken from me. There was no comfort no comforting words that could be said to me. But I don’t feel that extreme sadness anymore. I miss him. I am wistful many times during the week. I sometimes wonder how my day would be different but I don’t feel like crying every time I hear his name.
But you know what I feel like doing now when I hear his name? Smiling, imagining that sweet baby in my mind. Remembering the few good memories I have like him holding my finger, or opening eye and looking at me. Knowing that although he was brain dead he somehow knew when I was the one holding him.
But as I said I have a secret. I have two boys. I have a 5 year old and one that would have been two. That’s my answer. The answer I have been struggling with too the question no Angel Mom wants to hear. The question, “How many kids do you have?” Or “Do you have any other children?” Or any other variation of that question. But I can’t answer that question honestly. I can’t say my answer. I can’t proudly be Scott’s mom like I am Colin’s mom in this world. I want to but I can’t.
So I keep Scott a secret. Not everyone, my family, my close friends they know my secret. Sometimes I meet someone new and I tell them I have another son. But their reaction. Their looks of sympathy. Their comment afterward. The awkward silence afterwards is why I have a secret. I’ve learned a lot in my journey since Scott died and the one thing I have learned society as a whole is not ready to have a conversation about a baby dying. It’s not accepted, it’s too sad, and the big one, IT’S TOO SCARY. It’s too scary to think about a baby dying. Babies don’t die. They are cute and snuggly and a person’s hopes and dreams. Women don’t have complicated pregnancies it’s 2014 these things don’t happen. We have modern medicine the best in the world. Babies aren’t born that can’t be fixed or kept alive till they grow bigger. Or at least that’s what we as a society want to think. I know I was one of those people till the summer of 2012.
But here is the thing about my secret. I don’t want to have this secret. I’m tired and angry that my son has to be my secret. It makes me feel like I am expected to not talk about him. But he is my son. He grew inside me just like his brother did. He was born just like every person on this earth was. He was here. He even has a birth certificate and a social security number. Yet in my life I am a mom of an only child. That’s what people think. That’s what I lead people to think. I don’t want people to think this but I can’t talk about Scott like I do Colin. Because people think I should still be really sad. That if they say his name I am going to crumble to a heap on the floor or worse they are going to realize that it can happen to anyone. It could happen to them or their pregnant friend or relative. I am everyone’s worse nightmare when all I want to do is be the mom I am to two boys. I envision when I go to PTA meetings when it’s my turn to say who I am and how many kids I have. Of saying my answer, “I have a kindergartener and a son who would have been 2” But I also than envision the aftershocks as well. It would be like a bomb detonates in the center of the room. I would create such an awkward situation. And that’s not what I want to do I just want to share both my boys just like they proudly share their twins, or 6 children they have. So I just say I have a Kindergartener.
So see? I do have a secret. Maybe one day it won’t be a secret anymore. But we have a lot a work to do as a society to educate people before my secret is no longer one.
It's great that you are journaling to process some of your thoughts and feelings. It can be so therapeutic to just get it out on paper.
It's a tough one, being asked the "how many kids do you have question". It's another zing along the road of loss that we travel. And a constant one at that when you're in your childbearing years.
Hugs to you,
Thank you for sharing this journal entry and putting it in your blog. It's what so many of us feel. It is so painful and unfortunately, it will be that forever unintentional hurtful question. Medical history forms too, urgh. Wishing you strength to hold back when needing to protect your heart and hoping for more social understanding as we travel this journey.
Team Popcorn, YOU are amazing!
Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I get this! Many many hugs to you dear friend.
This is beautiful.
Nicki, thank you for sharing. I'm glad that you have this outlet.
I hate answering the "how many kids" do you have. And I feel the stab in my heart when I answer "just two." Because really, that answer should be "four."
Hugs and love to you.
This is such a touching post. I hate how true it is but I also love how candid and honest it is. People who have not been forced into this journey simply do not understand our need for these kinds of "secrets". As always I send many many hugs.
Thank you for letting us see the part of you that does mourn. It is good to let out those things we lock up because we are afraid other's can't handle it or whatever the feeling we think people have if we bring up that "angel baby".
Scott is a blessing. And that stupid "how many kids?" question is the worst! It is like rubbing salt in the wound and as crappy as it is....I think it will always be like that. I cried....literally cried reading this. Because so many of us have "a secret" and its hard to find out how to navigate through it.
This was so beautiful and so....there just isn't a word for how lovely this was. You are in my heart and prayers. I think of you often.
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