But there are days when I realise I am not desensitised to it. Every now and again I read another mums story which mirrors my own so much, my heart breaks all over again. On Friday I opened a link to one such story. Another mum who was expecting to introduce her baby to his sibling only to have to break the news that he had gone to heaven and wasn't coming home.
This mum is has chosen to write her experience down right from word go. She has scribed her journey for all to read. And I admire her for doing so. It's not always easy to jot down your inner most fears and feelings for others to see. There are times I write things I am not proud of feeling. There are times I know what I write might be misconstrued. I try to tell myself I don't care what others think. But truthfully, I do care. I don't write to offend or to cunningly indicate the things I don't like about the way others act. I write to share who I am now. Not just to let you know, but to help me know. I just want to be accepted for the new person I am. For I am forever changed, I think. I miss feeling included. It's not that anyone deliberately excludes me. I just feel apart from the rest of the world. Like an alien, but slightly less green.
If you told me 12 months ago that I would be used to seeing pictures of babies who had died, I would not have believed you. I am ashamed to say I was a little freaked out by it. But then I held my own silent, beautiful baby girl. And I realised that she wasn't scary or upsetting. She was stunning. How could I be afraid of her? What was I scared of? Now I understand that I was scared of death. I had never seen someone who had died. I was scared of seeing what I imagined death looked like. In reality, there was nothing to fear.
I am changed. I honour the births and deaths of babies who are taken too soon. I look at their pictures and notice that in this one she looks like she is smiling, and in that one he looks cheeky. Because I know the bitter pride the parents of these children feel. Proud that they brought someone so beautiful into this world. And so sad that the world will never know them.
Some days though, like Friday, when I read this woman's story, I realised how much I had changed. And the reality that I know this pain really hit me. I know how she feels. I am not the one who can write, "I can't even imagine your pain." I don't need to imagine. It's in my memory, it's what I live. That fact floored me. This is my life now. I am...this. I know the stories and names of at least 50 ladies who are also this. I know their babies names. I see their precious children’s' photos. I grieve for them and with them. My new normal includes this.
Am I better for it, or worse off? I sure wish I didn't know the pain. I wish I had a baby girl crawling around at my feet and was too busy to write heartfelt blog posts. But I guess I realised I am better for knowing. I won't be the one who avoids the bereaved mother in pain. I won't be the one who scoffs when someone posts a pic on facebook of their beloved, precious baby who was born sleeping. I am stronger now. I can be better at not being afraid of death. And maybe with time I will stop being so afraid of life. I will live in this world again. I will be less alien. Green is not my colour anyway.