I just watched Season 5, Episode 19 of Private Practice. It broke my heart.
There is a character called Amelia who finds out that the baby boy she is carrying has anencephaly (missing a large portion of the brain). Obviously he won’t be able to live once he’s born. It’s heartbreaking to know that situations like this do happen. I guess I should know…it happened to me.
There was a scene that really resounded with me, and I think it would with anybody who has ever lost a baby. Her friend has recently adopted a newborn baby. Here is the quote:
“Stop, just don’t look at me with your pity and guilt. I can’t take it anymore. Every time I look at you I see that perfect, healthy baby attached to your hip and he smiles, and you smile, and all of that joy makes me want to scream and claw your eyes out and rip that child from your hands. I am so angry at you. I’m jealous of you. Of this life, this dream of a life you have. I wish I could be happy for you but I can’t. I can’t because I hate you. I hate you and I don’t have room for that on top of all the bitterness and pain that is burying me every day. I have no more room. I don’t know if I’m going to make it through this. But I know I can’t do it with you around.”
Firstly, it is true that people look at you with pity and guilt when you’ve lost a baby. They can’t help it, especially if they’ve never gone through it. They don’t know what to say. They feel bad for you, but secretly they’re glad it wasn’t them. I know this, because I was once that person. I never in a million years dreamed this could happen to me. But it did. And I don’t want the pity.
I can honestly relate to the feeling of despising people with babies so well it frightens me. I hate that I can feel such bitterness towards people that I love. I hate that sometimes I’d like nothing more than to run pregnant women or people pushing prams over with my car (not that I actually would). I hate that it causes me so much pain to see something that normally makes people feel happy. I want to be happy for my friends and family with children or who are expecting. But it hurts.
I have told my husband that I don’t want to turn into a crazy, bitter person. And that is true. I have been making real efforts to see people who are important to me who are pregnant or have babies. And I cry. It is hard thinking of what should have or could have been if Finley was still here. He would have so many little friends to play with. It seems there are babies everywhere. I think of all of the plans that were made with friends and their little ones that will never come to be.
I saw a friend on Wednesday who has a daughter who is about 5 weeks older than Finley would be. It amazed me how much bigger she was than a newborn. Especially my tiny boy who was only 5lb 6oz. I couldn’t help but look at her and wonder how big he would be, or what we would be doing now. We went for lunch, and Steve came too. That sweet baby loved to look at Steve, and seeing him interact with her broke my heart. It should be my son that he’s making faces at. It should be my son that is smiling at him.
But I don’t begrudge my friend her happiness. She deserves her happy little girl. And I am happy for her, even though it makes me sad.
I wonder sometimes if everything in life will always be like that…happy with a touch of sadness. A longing for the one who is missing from my life, my family, my home.
I guess only time will tell.