The night before last I dreamed about Cora's birth. Over and over. Well, not her actual delivery, but about being in the hospital afterward. Everyone kept asking me where my baby was. First it was nurses and doctors, who in real life obviously knew what was going on. Then the dream transformed. There was a celebration going on outside the hospital (and it trickled inside, too). Everyone was so happy, and dancing around. Every time someone saw me they'd ask me why I wasn't resting, and where was my baby?
That was a lot like my real-life experience. I worked at a gas station convenience store that rented $1 movies and sold 40oz of soda for $.60 (that was including tax. It was listed on our board as $.57). We had people coming in regularly. I had been working there for my entire pregnancy with Cora. My last day was the night Cora died, which was 2 weeks before I was due, so nobody was surprised when I suddenly disappeared. My boss told all my coworkers that my baby had died, but none of the customers knew. Coming back to work was so hard.
Well, first of all, I wished that the world would just stop for a little while. Everyone around me just went on living their lives, going on like everything was normal and happy, and my world was crumbling around me. I wanted everyone to just stop. I wanted to stand on the rooftops and just scream "MY BABY IS DEAD!!" But life just went on.
So I went back to work, and several times a shift for that first week I got asked, "Oh, you're back, how's your baby??" Everyone was so excited. So many had sort of experienced my pregnancy with me, watching me go through it, watching me be violently ill (some customers, literally), watching as my belly grew. Some of the customers talked about her by name. They'd see me and I'd see their excitement in their eyes, wanting to hear all about this baby they had anticipated.
I think only a woman who has had to explain her loss to someone unsuspecting can really understand the guilt that the sadness in someone else's eyes upon hearing the news causes. It hurt me to see them hurt by my telling them that my baby had died. I got so many gracious hugs. I had so many people tell me of their own losses. But the hardest part by far was the horrified shock on their faces. It made me wish that everyone could have just known, so I didn't have to see that. So I didn't have to hear the excited anticipation that was supposed to be what I was sharing in.
My dreams last night were more peaceful, but my heart is still unsettled. Maybe all the tears I've shed while writing this will help me come to peace again.