Since we lost our babies, I have surrounded myself with people that really get it. People that don't say hurtful things, while they are trying to be helpful. These people understand that my babies lived. They also understand that sometimes I want to talk about Ethan and Jacob, and other times I want to talk about The Bachelor or The Biggest Loser. I never feel pressure from any of them, and I am so thankful for that. I never feel awkward talking about Ethan and Jacob around them, and our conversations flow very easily.
The problem I now face is all of the new people that I am meeting from Joseph's TBS class. These women have no idea what hell 2009 brought us. Most of them have no idea that the world can be as cruel as it has been to Joseph and I. They are all so innocent, while I am jaded from the pain we have endured. I feel really anxious around them, because I know the question is going to come. "Do you have any children", seems to be a very common question. I still struggle with answering this question. I do have two angels that lived for 11 minutes and 36 hours, that I don't want to deny. Some women respond really nicely, and I try really hard to be sure that they don't feel bad for asking. Others respond oddly, and I really don't care if they feel awkward. I never thought of this social issue until I started meeting so many new people.
I hope that the next duty station that we go to, we will not meet so many new people all at once. It is a bit overwhelming to tell our story to 15 different wives, 15 different times... when they ask the dreaded question. I have learned from my experience with losing the boys and infertility, that I will never, ever ask that question. If someone has a child, they are going to have to tell me about it... because this girl is NEVER going to ask. When we were dealing with infertility, it was a stab in the heart to say no. Now that we are dealing with the loss of Ethan and Jacob, it is both a stab in the the heart and a reminder of what we should have.
I leave you with a poem. A woman from my pregnancy/infant loss group lost another baby last week. She was 33 weeks pregnant, and found out her baby girl had passed away. Please keep her in your prayers as she heals both physically and emotionally.
A Butterfly lies beside us
like a sunbeam
and for a brief moment,
its beauty and glory
belong to our world.
But then it flies on again.
And though we wish it could have stayed
we feel so lucky to have seen it.