It was my aide's first day back at work from maternity leave. I didn't talk to her much. I could hear all the patients asking about her daughter and how fun it must be to have one after having her two boys. She was all smiles and happiness. Because I never knew she was pregnant (she hid it from me) and I only found out that not only was she pregnant but had given birth to a daughter when I returned to work, it feels as though she never was pregnant. Although this is irrational, I feel like she stole my life. I shared my pregnancy with the clinic and all my coworkers. They watched Camille and my belly grow. This aide didn't tell anyone she was pregnant until 4 weeks before she was due. She told people she "didn't know she was pregnant"...???... I am sorry but I just don't believe that. How is it that someone who "wasn't even pregnant" could have a daughter, and mine is dead? FUCK!
This is really what hurts though:
My best friend came to visit me this weekend. It was the first time she has visited since Camille died. She got to hold her, she was there through all the crazy of that day, the next day and that weekend. She really has been very supportive. We stayed up talking all night on Saturday, I told her how I have lost so many friends. I told her that people never call, everyone has moved on.
I received a phone call tonight from a friend I will call her "B", a mutual friend of my BFF. We have all been friends FOREVER. "B" has a daughter who is 2 months older than Kai. I haven't heard from her in months. We talked about our children and the changes coming up in her life. She then tells me she received a email from my BFF addressed to all of our mutual close friends telling them they should contact me because I am feeling neglected, or forgotten or something....I don't know what her exact words were. So I was very honest with "B" and said that I know everyone else has moved on but it really feels like yesterday to me that Camille died. That I cry all the time and feel very lonely. I told her that although I know it is difficult to be my friend right now, when it is difficult is usually when people need friends the most. She apologized for not being in better contact. I told her that except for her husband, none of our friends husbands has ever said anything to either of us about Camille...NOTHING. They just pretended like nothing ever happened. "B" proceeds to say "I think everyone knows you didn't have a miscarriage, but they have a hard time about whether she was a theoretical child or an actual child. Speaking to you, I can tell that you feel she was an actual child"
Just typing those words makes me want to throw up. What the fuck is a theoretical child? Camille was real! she was perfect and looked just like my son. I kissed her lips and face and I grew her. I never, ever thought I would have to defend her existence. How does one give birth, hold, kiss, say goodbye to a theoretical child. My heart feels like it broke into a million more pieces I never thought was possible.
I think I realized in that conversation just how much people DON'T UNDERSTAND. But...the hard part for me is that women, WOMEN who have given birth to healthy alive babies would not understand. She said that this is just something outside the realm of experience for people which is beyond the truth. It certainly was outside my experience. I just feel sick right now.
Our conversation was actually a good one, I know she meant to be kind and she called because she felt bad. I wish she had called without the prompt but I am grateful non the less...I guess I feel like if I can talk about Camille and make people understand just how broken I am, maybe there will be a shift, some more compassion. I also realize that this is unlikely. Baby death is taboo, it is unthinkable, it is uncomfortable and so because of this the ACTUAL CHILD becomes Theoretical. How much easier it is for people to dismiss a concept, not a concrete fact. I think what I want to do is send them a picture of her. She does exist. I love her and she is real!