Yet this brings me back to Eli's pregnancy. Not one person offered to cook me a meal while I was pregnant or brought anything by for our family. No one came to visit and just sit with us. No one babysit our three children so we could have a little time to ourselves. In fact, during family gatherings (which were few during this time), pretty much nothing was even said about the tragedy playing out in my life. There were a few extra phone calls from long distance family to check in every once and a while both before and after Eli was born. But hey, no one in my family even asked what we would name our little one until the day before he was born! There is one thing in particular that just stabs me every single time. A family member had offered to take us on vacation before they knew about the pregnancy. After finding out, talk of the vacation continued but we were not willing to commit to a destination at that time. Then when we got the news about Potter's I think my husband may have politely declined. We were a mess so I really can't remember. So, this family member goes ahead and books a couple only vacation for the week after Eli's birth (I'm sure they didn't know it would play out so close to his birth but they did know my due date well ahead of time). Then, this particular family member later broke the news that their family could only come for Eli's birth or the funeral - one or the other, due to time off concerns. You know, that big week plus long vacation they were going to take after Eli was born.
I don't expect people to go out of their way for me. Honestly, that's usually just not the way our family plays things. But seriously, you only come to visit a few days for our son's birth, skip the funeral and then go on a nice long no-kid vacation a week or so later? I would have loved to get away from my life and the reality of my second dead child for just one day. How wonderful would it have been for them to have planned a vacation for us in the wake of our grief (since they had offered it anyway)? How wonderful would it have been for them to have just forgone the vacation and used that time to help care for our children while we grieved and I recovered from a c-section? This is why the "what ifs" just don't belong in reality. It is what it is. But I just can't help wondering why I read about other families who have gone through situations similar to ours and they have had friends and family go out of their way to support them before and after their babies' births and ours just didn't really do that. I have never felt so alone as I did during those quiet quiet months and the even quieter ones that followed.