Monday 7th August 2000
Yesterday was Sam's birthday, I wanted to give him something special. Ended up typing a list of why I love him, so often in life we see the negative sides, even of those we love, and forget about all the positive. There are plenty of positives about Sam, I wouldn't change him. Lost the first edition, had to try to do it again, I'm so glad that I did, as he really seemed to like it. I should let my feelings show more often.
I saw Pam last Tuesday, we spoke about a lot of ideas, I put on my coping face and she understands the unspoken. I told her about my book, about how I'd written that I've come a long way yet also stayed still, she wanted to know about both. Moving forward has been happening slowly, I have done a lot since last I saw her. Went back to the hospital for my records, told her about what a nightmare that turned into. Talked about the autopsy, how hard it was to read, how much that meeting with the doctor put my mind at rest, yet left me with nowhere to go with all this anger, seems I can't blame the midwife, or the doctor, or the hospital, why did this happen then? I still think that if I had been checked as closely as I will be the next time then this wouldn't have happened to Aaron.
So many things happened to cause distress that could have been avoided. I finally found out how long Aaron was, 52cm, one more thing to cross of my list. What happens when nothing is left on the list? Each thing that I do makes me feel a little bit better, yet a little more lost. People say stupid things, you know the sort of things they say, "you can have another one" and the great little line "it was probably for the best" that’s a ripper that one. Why are we so badly educated about death and grief, why is this such a taboo subject? How can I change the way people react? Going back to work, some people at work just act as if nothing has changed, my whole life has come crashing down and they talk about the weather and the football. There is total avoidance, even from people that I've known for years.
I judge everyone now, a close friend at work told me "that I have to snap out of it" guess which way she went. I'll never think of her in the same way, friendships change, some are lost others have developed. I can't help it and I don't have to, only I know the final judgement. How does it make me feel? Angry, it makes me so angry. I was pregnant last time they saw me and now I'm not, there's no baby, doesn't that strike them as weird? Taboo subject’s only change when they are talked about, Pam said that a friend of hers told her that you can sit at the dinner table and talk about your heart attack, but you can't talk about your cancer.
I told her about my night out with the girls, how at that table there was so much suffering, ten women and we all had our masks on. Just look under the surface and there was so much pain, myself, Connie whose baby died thirteen years ago, a little boy, he was twelve weeks old, cot death. She didn't wash the sheets after because she thought she'd catch a disease from them if they got dirty enough and die. People say they know how you feel, they don't, she does. I wanted to grab her and talk and talk, but the masks came back, others were around, can't show the pain, nobody wants to see that.
Another girl at the table had a mastectomy, breast cancer, I didn't know, I was just waiting for someone to ask me about Aaron, and she was waiting for the same chance to talk about her cancer. She told me later that when she was talking about becoming a mother that she saw my face drop, it was like getting hit with a baseball bat, it comes out of the blue. I never know what's going to hit home. Then there was Nancy, her three miscarriages, lots of pain there, her Dad dying, more pain.
Ambulance sirens send my blood cold, it is such a physical reaction. That sound, Sam looks at me, I'm back in that ambulance, that ride through the night, the tapping, the praying, the shock. Now I can instantly know what that siren means, I hope for the person inside, I know that ride. I often wondered what it would be like to ride in an ambulance, be careful what you wish for.