Today one of my students asked me if I had a son. I started to shake my head “yes”, then rolled it into a “no”, back again, and then just looked away. You see, today is also the day my son was due.
Since his birth and passing, I have had countless hypothetical conversations in my head in this very context. Someone would ask me how many kids I have and I would struggle with how to answer. You see, answering “yes” to my student’s question is what I want to say, it is what I feel. It is what is true. However it is just that in some circumstances the answer would prompt other questions and further conversation; and while I’m not necessarily opposed to having those conversations, sometimes it feels inappropriate or simply inexplicable to outsiders.
The circumstances surrounding our experience are far deeper than the label “miscarriage”. His birth came at a time during pregnancy when medical professionals categorized us in a “gray” area, when none of the labels for these scenarios really applied.
You see, instead of going to wellness appointments, I was sitting in specialist offices, getting my blood levels read. Instead of nightly feedings, I was administering a series of antibiotics. Instead of planning a baptism, I was planning a funeral. Instead of allowing this moment to define me, I choose everyday to live in his sweet, innocent, memory – and cherish the things that really matter.
When I was in the hospital, a famous quote from Winnie the Pooh hung in the hall by my room. The words resonated with me as a source of strength and courage. The voice I heard wasn’t A.A. Milne’s, or mine for that matter. It was, and continues to be, my son’s.