Last night Nick and I went to a friend's wedding. It was the first big event we have been to since we lost Ryan. I was looking forward to a night out with friends that we don't get to see very often. I also knew that I'd be "safe" with this group because everyone knew what happened and I wouldn't get the question.
One of the hardest things for me these last 3 months has been the question "How many kids do you have?" The first time I was asked that question after Ryan I didn't know how to answer. I was caught so off guard. I felt terrible that I hesitated giving my answer. I decided it was easier to say that AJ was my only child. I was in Wegmans -- did the cashier really need to know my story? Not really.
I got home and felt so guilty. I remember asking Nick how I'm supposed to answer that question. How do I answer without feeling like I'm denying Ryan? This point was one that I've been working on and is a question I ask other BLM's (baby loss moms) when I can. I think I've finally come up with a solution that I'm comfortable with.
Rewind to last night. I'm with "our group" but there was one friend of a friend. He was being nice and making small talk (not my strong point at all). He asked what I do for work. I told him I'm a stay at home mom. He asked how many kids I have. I got flustered because I wasn't prepared to answer. I wasn't in that frame of mind because I was with friends who all knew what had happened. I responded with "I have a 19 month old" and spoke a few words about AJ. The friend of a friend then asked if we're going to have more children. *sigh*
I wanted to say that we do have another child. I wanted to tell him a few words about Ryan. I wanted to tell him what was going on and that we might not be able to have more. I wanted to tell him that as innocent as that question seems and was intended, it's something you should never ask anyone. I didn't. I said a simple "yup" and walked away.
I took a few minutes, told Nick what happened and tried to push it from my mind. I didn't want to let that get in my way of enjoying my time at the wedding. We ended up having a really good time.
Earlier in the day I got a call from the Social Worker that I was dealing with at the hospital after Ryan was born. She helped me find my therapist and was there in the days and weeks after when I needed the help the most and couldn't seem to find it.
It took weeks to find a therapist and months to find the right support group. I knew I needed and wanted the help and was so frustrated that it was taking so long to get that help. Now that I've found both I decided that no one else should have to wait that long. No one should want help and not be able to find it.
I contacted the Social Worker hoping that I could pass along some suggestions for them going forward. Things that I knew didn't really work or could be done differently. After our conversation we agreed (much to her delight and support) that I would compile a new list of resources that would be given to new parents dealing with a similar situation. I'm so excited about the project. I hope it can make a difference for someone. And maybe this is the start of the path that I'm supposed to be on. I've got to believe that Ryan is leading me somewhere...maybe this is the first step.