Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Red Thread...

Last week, I braved the shops...and Christmas Madness has begun already...
You know...people pushing in front of you at Medicare...people sideswiping your shoulder and you stumble back with the reverberation of their impact...people who, with hungry, mad eyes, grab the last Buzz Lightyear figurine and elbow you in your pregnant bump to do so. People who shove in front of you on the escalator.
Ha, actually, that usually happens, but I must tell you of the escalator situation that I found myself in last week. Myself and another woman reached the escalator at the same time. I ushered her to go first (because otherwise she'd be stuck behind a waddling thingimijig forever) and she ushered me to go first and we stood there for a bit, doing the Dance of Escalator Etiquette. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: You go first
Her: No, you go, you're the one with the baby
Me: Thankyou! (I get on the escalator)
Her: Is it your first?
Me: No, third
Her: Ohhhhh, those last few weeks are the worst, arent they? Especially in the heat
Me: Um...I'm only 26 weeks
26 Weeks? Day-amm, girl!
Her: (Stumbling to cover up): So, what do you have now?
Me: I have a little boy. And I have a little girl who was stillborn, just in April
Her: (Full of sympathy): Ohhhhhh. I am so sorry. I had a stillbirth too. At 27 weeks
Me: (My turn for the sympathetic face): I am so sorry
Her: Oh, I cant imagine what a term stillbirth was like. 27 weeks was bad enough
Me: Sybella wasnt quite term, she was 34 weeks
Her: (Shakes her head). Just terrible. What was her name? Isabella?
Me: Sybella
Her: That's beautiful!
Me: Thankyou
Her: Is this baby a boy or a girl?
Me: I dont know. I planned on finding out, and decided against it at the last minute
Her: And you know what? This baby will bring you so much peace and happiness, no matter what the sex is
Me: Exactly!
Her: Best of luck and have a wonderful day
Me: Thankyou so too.

Okay, so a fairly unremarkable conversation. That happens, perfect strangers start talking at the shops. Common thread, and all that.
What struck me, though, was out of all the people there for The Christmas Madness Extravaganza (Proudly Brought To You By December! Early November Session On Now!) I happened to strike up a conversation with someone else who had experienced a stillbirth. Although she down-played hers, due to her gestational stage, I understood how much grief differs between people. But I didnt think she needed to down- play it, for my benefit, anyway, because I am 27 weeks, and if I lost my baby now I would howl for the rest of my days.
Perhaps though, she was at peace with it. She was very pragmatic. But of course, I only met her for 5 minutes, and maybe to her I seemed pragmatic too. I dont tend to get overly emotional in public, even with people I am close to, and she was probably the same. I was just so saddened to meet someone else in The Club.
There is a Chinese proverb that reads:

An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance.The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.

That is how I feel about most babylost mamas I meet. Maybe she is someone who I may not have associated with normally. Maybe she is someone I wouldnt normally like. Maybe we are part of different religions, cultures, or have different values or beliefs. Maybe she is 20 years older than me, or 10 years younger.

But when you lose a baby, none of that seems to matter, does it?


  1. I was expecting the story of the evil carpark lady here but this was a lovely story-obviously not that you're both baby lost mamas but that of all the people you ran into it was someone who understood. Not that I understand of course, not having experienced still birth, but when I was buying some gifts for a friend's baby's birthday anniversary I was trying to explain what I was after (a cherub charm thingy) and it turned out that the lady serving me had also lost a baby. It really struck me how of all the people who I could have spoken to that day, she really understood what I trying to do and almost appreciated my gesture on behalf of my friend if that makes sense. It's such a small world.

  2. It's amazing how chance encounters like that can occur, I have had similar experiences with infertility.

    I have given you a blog award hon! Stop by my blog to get it. xox

  3. Steph this one gave me tingles xx