This was posted today on facebook by someone over whom I feel equal parts love and incredulity:
Today we remember the babies who were born asleep, or whom were carried but never met, or those who were held but could not be taken home, or the ones who made it home, but didn’t stay. Make this your profile status if you or someone you know has suffered the loss of a baby. The majority of you won’t do it, because unlike cancer, baby loss is still a taboo subject. Break the silence. In memory of all lost angels.
Grammatical errors notwithstanding, this post fondled a part of me that has been dormant for enough time that what I’m experiencing now is unpleasant.
My girl, who’s six now, started out as a massive inconvenience. A repercussion of recklessness that rippled hard choices off steel words off emotional upheaval. Before she was born, I hoped for her to end herself because I was too brave or not brave enough to end her.
That hope ended the moment I met her, and while it’s been a wresting struggle against a rock-meeting hard place for most of her life, she has brought me piles of joy. She is especially cool now that she’s six. She’s hilarious. She’s sweet and loving and adaptable and well-behaved and she knows how to entertain herself and she’s loyal and lovely and remarkable. I still get a little tripped out when I remember that she started out as cells splitting in my uterus.
But these Facebook Posts that are full of self-righteousness and that predict my inaction infuriate me in the best of circumstances.
First: How do you know I don’t re-post because I don’t care? Maybe I prefer to make my ideology known in more subtle ways. Maybe I don’t want your poorly-written, ungrammatical, sentimental spew all over my status. Maybe I don’t want to predict that 95% of the people I know are too callus to care about dead babies, or breast cancer, or bullying, or hunger in Africa, just because my feed didn’t happen to be on their wall that day.
This particular facebook post, because of the circumstances that surround the person who posted it (my daughter’s biological father’s mother who has opted to, and then not to, meet the lovely child), and because I remember being in a place where I especially wanted my baby not to come home, sent me into a place of pain and anger and fear. A place that’s only distant enough to hint at non-recognition.
These moments where I don’t know whether to kick walls or weep or throw up are like bricks of mucous in my stomach. They are dizzying distractions that remind me that happiness is fragile, that I am wrong to think something’s figured out, or that it’s safe to expect some modicum of future contentment. Because invariably, shit happens, and then people pick it up and chuck it at you.
An enraged bit of me has my fingers quaking to tap out a nasty, angry missive to facebook friend in question. One full of the sort of haughtiness and insensitivity her post evinces. One that points out the hypocrisy. I’m coaching myself not to, because while I don’t understand her choices, I respect her freedom to choose as she pleases.
A paranoid bit fears that the post is some kind of message to me about impending legal doom. I have a long-held, and mostly quelled, paranoia that the other family will use the legal system and their considerably greater financial resources to try to force me to share my girl, or move, or enter some kind of massively inconvenient and hurtful custody arrangement.
A sensitive bit is disgusted, and wonders at the level of obtuse, flagrant cluelessness. I ask myself, “How could she be so brazen in suggesting that she cares about lost-to-death babies when she’s got a lost-alive one out there?” I mean, some of–probably more than I’m willing to put forth–the reason I kept my unwanted pregnancy was that when I declared I’d be giving her up for adoption, my mom said, “How could you do that? How could you give away my grandbaby?”