It’s okay to cry.
I sat in my hospital room the day after my surgery, in the same hospital gown I had been wearing the day before. The socks they provided reminded me of ugly Christmas sweaters, and the thought of them on my feet made me smile from time to time, a little glimmer of happiness in an otherwise sad situation. The doctor had released me, and the nurse came in to read over the discharge papers with me. As expected she ran down the lists of do’s and don’t’s, being sure to remind me to follow up with the surgeon and fill my prescription if I needed it. When she was done she set the paper down on her lap and stared at me. I wondered what she was thinking as we studied each other’s faces. Her face softened and she leaned in a little, “Don’t let anyone tell you you shouldn’t cry. Don’t let them say, ‘Look, you have three beautiful children at home, you should be happy.’ Don’t let them say that. You just lost your baby. It’s ok to cry.”
Up until that moment, Tim and I had been using the term baby, but I noticed the medical staff were reticent to do the same. They had called it my pregnancy. They had called it an egg. In all the paperwork, the baby was referred to as products of conception. In fact, when I had asked the surgeon if she had been able to see the baby, she looked a little taken back at the terminology.
And while everyone had been very kind and understanding, this was the first medical person that had given humanity to our baby. And when she saw me start to cry at this kindness, she came over and hugged me and held me as I cried. The enormity of what had happened had been hitting me in waves and to have this kind stranger confirm what I already knew deep in my soul, that I had just lost my baby, made at least some of my pain feel a little bit vindicated.
I don’t remember her name, I wish that I did, but her words blessed me more than she will ever know, and I will carry them for the rest of my days.