If only she knew….

“Oh, you have two boys with Irish names. How cute,” the lady said to me.

“You really need to have a little girl. Caitlin would be a beautiful Irish name for a girl,” she continued.

I cringed and laughed it off.

“No, I am fine with my boys,” I nicely replied.

“Well you must try,” she said with a smile and a glimmer in her eye.

Outside, I was laughing. Inside, I was thinking “if only you knew.”

If only she knew I really had three boys with Irish names.

If only she knew I buried my firstborn son who only lived about four hours. We learned about his rare trisomy while I was pregnant.

If only she knew the dread I felt while pregnant with my two boys. All our baby planning was put on hold as we waited for each level-two ultrasound to tell us that I was carrying a healthy baby.

If only she knew that social workers visited me in the hospital after each son was born. “We read your records. Do you need to talk about your first son?”

If only she knew that my third son’s port wine stain on his face was the cause of alarm after he was born. Thankfully he is fine, but there was quite some concern about his brain tissue development when he was first born.

If only she knew the number of appointments with specialists my third son has endured.  Eye doctor. Dermatologist. Plastic surgeon. Eleven laser treatments.

If only she knew how thankful I was for two healthy boys.

If only she knew the agonizing decision process it took for my husband and I to decide we were done having children.

If only she knew that I dread any questions about how many children I plan to have, when I am having the next one or when I am having a girl.

If only she knew that I am asked these questions all too often.

If only she knew that if she presses me hard enough, I will tell her why there are only two boys.

If only she knew I would give almost anything to have my Aidan back with me.

If only she knew that I have to go to my son’s grave site for my three boys to be together.

If only she knew that my family will never quite feel complete.

If only she knew. But she doesn’t.

I simply laugh her comments off instead of telling her my life story. I don’t want “the look.” I don’t want to make her feel bad for asking. I don’t want to cry.

If only she knew.

My son Aidan would have been nine this past December. You can click to my blog post on his birthday here.

Also, occasionally I will go into my story with random people. I quickly consider a lot of factors as to whether to go into such detail with someone.

I’m attempting to take part in the “The Fifth Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge” through the month of March. The challenge is run by Two Writing Teachers.

12 thoughts on “If only she knew….

  1. Karen Larson (mom) says:

    I read what you wrote and thought of all the wisdom that you have on this subject of losing a child after birth. I think of all the mom’s that I send books to who have lost a baby after birth, books given by Aidan’s Aid. And I think you know my own daughter, Aidan’s mom, has so much wisdom to share. More wisdom then you can find in any of the books I send. Some parts of the book applies and some don’t. But you my dear daughter have a story to tell and wisdom to share, to pass on to the younger generation. It is a book that needs to be written,for you , for me and for all the other mom’s out there who wonder how can I get through this and now what.

  2. says:

    Being a part of the SOLC community makes me feel priviledged that you shared these percious, inner feelings. Your repetition made the depth of your thoughts even more meaningful.

  3. says:

    Thank you for this exquisite slice. The repeating line gets to the heart of the matter and each piece makes me so thankful for clicking on your slice today. I, too, could write “If only she knew…” in response to asking questions about my plans for a family. Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. says:

    I am so sorry that you have had to endure this. I’m not sure why people feel the need to ask such personal questions but it’s more common than not. Maybe they’re just looking for conversation but that doesn’t excuse it. Having struggled with infertility, I know exactly how those comments feel. The thoughts in my head wanted to say, “I really don’t feel like talking about my ovaries with you,” but what came out was just a nod and a smile. Thank you for your honest writing. You may just keep someone else from saying something stupid.

  5. Maria says:

    This was a very eloquent way to tell the story. Even though I know the background, I still was touched by the story.

  6. says:

    Thank you for having the courage to post this. It is written beautifully with the two “voices” (for lack of a better word in my tired state) and the repeating line. I know people mean well, but I too hate the questions about marriage and children. Sometimes I tell a joke, sometimes I laugh, sometimes I’m a bit rude, and sometimes I share more than I wished I had. If they only knew… (a great repeating line).

  7. says:

    I am so sorry for your loss and so sorry that the thoughtlessness of others reopens the wounds. This is a beautiful slice.

  8. Kat says:

    Wow, what a powerful post. I’m so sorry about your loss. Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart with us.

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