We don't know what we don't know.
And sometimes, that's blissful ignorance. But our bliss may be someone else's salt in a wound.
Take for instance, all the corporate mailing lists that have me in their "She's Pregnant!" databases. (For anyone who hasn't been pregnant and experienced the JOY of an inbox and mailbox overflowing with new mommy junk mail, take my word, it's incredible. There must be some loophole in HIPAA that allows an OB to release your motherhood status as soon as that second pink line appears.)
My second and third pregnancies ended early with my little boys each being born 5 1/2 weeks early. What that meant is that all those magazine subscriptions and freebies were a little off on their timing. No biggie. But my fourth pregnancy also ended early, on December 4, 2010, when my precious little boy was stillborn at just 20 weeks.
BabyTalk and Similac didn't get the memo.
For the most part, I'm at peace with the loss of our tiny boy. I don't spend my days crying, and I'm not depressed. I'm strangely ok with things. When people comment about how "strong" I've been, I feel guilty, like I should be grieving more, or at least more outwardly. But all of my "emotional stability" does not mean I haven't been wounded or even that the wound has healed. It just means I'm healing.
So when I got both, a BabyTalk magazine and a box of Similac samples in the mail today, it stung, like coarse kosher salt in that wound. A painful reminder that I'm more rested than I should be, more mobile, physically lighter, and without a baby sitting on my bladder. Yes, those are things I miss, in a strange way.
I called BabyTalk to cancel. I was expecting them to ask "why," but I guess when it's a free magazine, they don't care. I wanted them to ask why. I wanted to tell them about my baby. I want people to know about him. I want to share him like any new mom wants to show off her precious baby. But instead, Melissa at BabyTalk was oh-so-compliant with my request and made no inquiry nor objection. She still doesn't know what she doesn't know.
Nor does the nurse at the pediatrician's office who made a comment about my "3 boys" when I took the 18-month-old in for his check up. She was too rushed to care or listen when the 4-year-old told her he had "TWO baby brothers!"
I almost want to wear a button that says, "Ask me about my baby!" because, though I'm mostly ok with the loss, I'm NOT ok with ignoring it. I'm not looking for attention. I'm wanting people to acknowledge him, that he was and is as much my child as the other three beautiful boys I've been blessed with.
We simply don' t know what others are going through and aren't talking about, especially if we don't let them tell us. And maybe they don't need to tell us, but still, we're called to be "salt of the earth" not "salt in the wound," so let's all practice some sensitivity.
In the meantime, it'd be nice if all the pregnancy email spam would kindly filter itself to the spam folder. Just sayin.