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
|26 Weeks? Day-amm, girl!|
Me: (My turn for the sympathetic face): I am so sorry
Her: (Shakes her head). Just terrible. What was her name? Isabella?
Her: That's beautiful!
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
Her: Best of luck and have a wonderful day
Me: Thankyou so much...you 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?