I had a cleaning appt on Valentine's Day. A dental cleaning is never particularly enticing to me, but this one, after enduring the girls' appointment a few weeks ago, was anxiety producing for me. My husband shares a hygienist with our middle child, one who was unknowingly scathing with her comments about how small my belly was, so I asked him to mention that the baby was not expected to live. I just felt so guilty for not saying anything. He did one better than that with the intention of sparing me hours of crying. He called ahead to the office and mentioned that I was coming in and that things were not looking good with our pregnancy. Not one person said anything pregnancy, baby or anything remotely related to me. They were extraordinarily cheery and nice.
And of course, for me at least, awkward. I guess it'll never be satisfying enough, I may never get what I want or need out of this experience (from a social perspective). I don't relish having to tell people my baby is going to die, but I also don't like suffering in silence. My hairdresser knows about this baby. My mother-in-law also goes to her and told her about the baby 2-3 months ago. The hairdresser was so excited about our pregnancy when I first broke the news and since she found out she's only mentioned the baby once briefly. My hygienist said nothing, didn't even acknowledge my pregnancy (which was not visible last time I saw her). My husband's co-workers say nothing to me about it. The silence is so painful for me. I am clearly pregnant and I don't get to talk about it at all. I don't get asked how I'm feeling, how the pregnancy is going, I don't even get an "I'm thinking of you", "I'm sorry", or "I don't know what to say". I know people don't know what to say and don't want to hurt me, but at the same time I wish there was a way to let them know that not doing or saying anything is so awful. I need support, I need encouragement, I need to know that people care. I'm just not getting it. As I've mentioned before, this extends into my own family.
I've been devouring anything I can find online from anyone who has lost a child and information on what to do when you are losing or have lost a child. There are so many stories and articles that let people know what is helpful and what is not helpful when dealing with bereaved parents. However, I wonder if the only ones reading that information are the bereaved themselves. I want to find a way to disseminate this advice to a wider populace. I read something that said no matter how hard it is for you, as the non-bereaved, to find something to say to a bereaved individual, that you should keep in mind how hard it is to live through the death of a child and make the effort. Words cannot remind me of a loss so great, but silence will add to my pain.