Papa told her the chicken was going to die. I quickly looked at my husband as if to say, "Don't tell her that!"
Later in the kitchen, he asked me if I thought he shouldn't have been so blunt with her.
"No. We could just say after-the-fact that the chicken went away. She's only three, she wouldn't know or need to know. " Then I said, "It's just too sad to know something is going to die before it happens." And as soon as I said it I just wanted to break down right there. Sometimes I can't believe that that actually happened to us. But it wasn't a chicken. It was our daughter.
Aren't you glad you didn't know something bad was going to happen the day before it happened? How about 6 weeks before it happened? Because how could you cope or what would you do had you known?
It was terrible knowing that our baby would die.
I remember walking through the mall when I was almost 9 months pregnant, looking in the baby stores. To sales clerks and shoppers I looked like a pregnant mother searching for baby clothes.
And I was.
I was searching for a gown small enough to bury my baby in. The baby whose heart was beating inside me at that very moment. I was looking for grave clothes.
I wanted to scream out to the other happy pregnant mommies there shopping. They smiled knowingly at me as if we were on the same journey. We're all in the same club. We're almost through with our pregnancy. I wanted to tell them "NOOOOOOOOOO!! We're not on the same journey. You have your due date to look forward to but my baby is going to die!!!!"
Going through grocery store lines was very hard too. First of all, I'm pregnant. And nothing is more inviting to complete strangers to get into your business than a pregnant lady. Your stomach is free game...to anyone. They always say, "Oh, when are you due?"
I just didn't want to go out and be in front of strangers, because those normal, innocent questions would always come up. What do I do? How do I handle it? Do I lie? Do I break down? Because if I answered truthfully, there was no question...I was going to fall apart.
One day as I was going through the line, there was a young cashier, very upbeat and cheerful.
"Hi! (huge smile). How are you?"
That's what they always say. The dreaded..."How are you?". I tried to be nondescript, but I was more like Eeyore. I just couldn't make myself respond with the usual "Fine" answer that is expected and required. I just could NOT say it. I don't know what I said, I probably just mumbled. A pretend answer.
She didn't let me off the hook. "Come on, what could be so bad? If there was one thing you could change to make your day good, what would it be?"
She seemed so proud of her happiness, almost daring me that things couldn't be all that bad, I was just grumpy to her. At least that is how it seemed to me.
I told the truth that day. I told her that nothing could make me feel better that day. My baby had no kidneys and was going to die after she was born.
I don't remember what she said after that. Probably nothing. It was like I slapped her in the face. And I wanted to slap her in the face for her innocent happiness. For treating me as if I had no reason to feel sad.
I wandered out of the store and drove home in tears.