No Second Chances

I intended to have a relaxing swim at the gym this morning. Then I bumped into someone I know.

She stopped me with the dreaded question

“Did you have the baby”?

Almost 4 months later, many posts on Facebook, almost 7,000 views of my blog and she doesn’t know? We have mutual friends. We know each other well enough that I was invited to her daughters birthday party. “Did you have the baby”? Why yes, crap friend, I did have the baby and he died and now I’m going to run away and lock myself in the changing room, cry my eyes out and try not to do it too loudly so the whole of the ladies room can hear me.

Needless to say, it’s been a bad day and it all started with a bloody tea towel.

Let me explain.

Gabeys playgroup are selling tea towels. All the children have made a picture and they are printed on the tea towels. “Lovely pressies for Grandparents”, I thought.

So I looked. Then I looked again. No picture for Gabriel.

You are probably thinking “so what Nicky, it’s just a tea towel, move on”. You’d be right, except it made me feel different from all the other Mothers. Again. I’m the different one. Different in a town where everyone wants to fit in and be the perfect mother. I’m the one who doesn’t get to take a tea towel home, just like I’m the one who didn’t get to take her baby home.

I think it hurts so much because I felt different the first time too.

After I had Gabriel, almost 3 years ago, I suffered with Post Natal Depression. My Grandfather died a few days after Gabriel was born and my breastmilk dried up because of the stress. I had no option but to Formula Feed. The bereavement, the new mummy guilt and failing to breastfeed in a town, where I felt like a social pariah everytime I took the bottle out of my bag, plunged me into depression.

I did eventually fight my way back to full health, but it wasn’t the wonderful new mum experience that I’d been expecting.

This time was going to be different.

This was supposed to be my second chance to “get it right”.

I was going to be that mum with washed hair and ironed clothes. 3 years older and much, much wiser, I was ready. The Gina book was in the bin, the nipple shields were purchased and the cartons of ready made formula were in the cupboard, just in case.

Now it’s just “bad days” and no second chances.

No second chances for the “crap friend” either. I just de-friended her from Facebook.

Fair’s Fair.

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9 thoughts on “No Second Chances

  1. There is no right or wrong way. The snotty ‘best way’ mums are the ones who will have the biggest shock when their babies become teenagers and rebel against their parents not having lives of their own. Or a sense of humour. It’s all a big juggling act and I don’t think *anyone* can hold all the balls at the same time, so to speak. Much love xxxxx

  2. I realised a long time (ie. years) ago that I was never going to stop being gobsmacked by the ways of the thoughtless. The clueless, the downright woeful, thoughtless. I’ve not been ‘disappointed’ yet…

    How I do relate to this, Nicky, just in reverse (which I KNOW is not the same… but I can identify strongly with the guilt-fail-guilt-get-it-right-this-time-guilt-fail thing). When I had my firstborn, it was after years of trying to grow a “keeper” after several m/c’s. When she died, I failed. Nobody could talk me out of that feeling. Until I naturally grew out of it. After several more m/c’s (fail, fail, fail, and more guilt), I then almost killed myself trying to be perfect with our next (and only) child.

    I’ve had pregnant women try and hide their bellies from me. It’s embarrassing. For them. And put me in a most awkward social position at the time. They should know better – I wish they did – but so many people as so blind to others’ lives that they really do come up very short in times like these. I’m so sorry you couldn’t even get a bit of respite somewhere that ought to have been a solace and safe haven (at the pool) xxxx Do try to go back again soon, shake it off, and let yourself relax for a little while in the water won’t you?

  3. I sort of get this – my four day old son died suddenly in March 2010.
    You are pregnant with bub and hope and then you have nothing…empty, aching arms. And there have many, much needed, mini meltdowns over various seemingly innocuous situations.
    Much love and (some) understanding to you and your family x

  4. PND is unfair (fellow sufferer). Losing your son is a sadness I cannot imagine. Friends who don’t pay attention during those times are not friends. Be angry, but don’t let it take anything more from you, you have suffered enough loss. Love your daughter and know that you are enough as you are and in her eyes, you are more than that … You are HER Mum and she loves you with all her heart, tea towel or not xo

  5. well i for one love being spontaneous and bumming along…being the best at slumming mumming with You letting the kids be kids …not bending to the “norm” not sending them to this that the other class playgroup and teaching them french already, letting them fight it out over alien stickers in creative fun that went a bit pear shaped, laughing at them drinking our milk out of mini jugs at the cafe , eating cake, drinking coffee and putting 10mins of the favourite pig on!!

  6. Thanks for all your replies lovely ladies. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in feeling this way.
    Foxy lady, I’m teaching them French everytime you leave the room…hee, hee…they’ll soon be saying “Oui Maman” 🙂

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