Thursday, October 15, 2009

Can't make them understand

On this day, of all days, I sit here and simmer with so many things I want to say - need to say - to make them understand. And nobody gets it. How could they? Just as I could never possibly really know what it's like to lose a limb, a parent, or my sight. It's one of those things you certainly have to experience for yourself to grasp the significance. Sure, you can sympathize, and imagine how hard it must be, but until you've been there yourself, you really are just an observer.
So it is with my friends at work.
This weekend will be a baby shower for a gal I'm quite fond of. This will be the fourth baby born in the past year or so within my small department. I can't attend this shower any more easily than I could acknowledge the other births. Sure, I look at the pictures, and ask how they're doing; heck, I even held one baby for an abnormally long time.
But, I can't do a shower.
As you may recall, my own baby shower for Nicholas was the icing on my bitter cake.
I had been in the hospital overnight, on our wedding anniversary no less, due to Nick failing an NST, and ultimately an oxytocin challenge. They found a nuchal cord but the color doppler indicated good circulation, and it was not believed to be tight around his neck. The doctor released me on the day of my shower. The shower itself was quaint and cozy with few attendees but family and a few friends. I got clothes and gift cards for the baby, but felt so distracted because he just wasn't real active. That night, we went out and bought all the furniture, car seats, carrier, swing... all the big stuff, because I just knew there were issues and he would be born early. The doctor was aiming for the next week... just one more week to get him a little stronger, a little older. I'd already had the one steroid shot for his lungs. I had daily monitoring and NSTs, things looked OK. On the 4th day he was dead. Upon delivery we found knots in his cord that had not been visualized on the sonograms. If I had stayed in the hospital for continuous monitoring, rather than going to my shower, would more distress had been discovered, and maybe he'd be alive today?
I have a complete nursery fully furnished, including clothes, diapers and nursing pads, just waiting to be used by a baby. But I can't give it away. I'm holding onto it for dear life, and that is somehow pathological.