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.