The other day, I was reading a pregnancy community online. I used to get a lot of joy doing that when I was pregnant with Luke--Talking and reading about what other moms were feeling/going through made things easier for me to absorb and deal with (not that I even KNEW what was difficult, back then). But this time around...I feel like an outsider. I feel like I don't belong there anymore.
The discussion this particular time was talking about what everyone had REALISTICALLY packed in their hospital bag for when they headed to the hospital for delivery. Everyone who had given birth before was putting in their two cents about what they really used and needed in that bag.
And I bet I was the only person reading that discussion whose heart broke thinking about packing a hospital bag.
I packed my bag for the hospital, obviously--I was 39 weeks when Luke was born. That day when we went to L&D, I figured I'd take it, since who knew?! Maybe we'd end up having him that day!
But everything fell apart so quickly. And in all honesty, I did not use a single thing from my hospital bag. Except for my soft fluffy slippers that I used because my blood pressure crashed and my feet were freezing.
My stay at the hospital was the complete opposite of almost every other soon-to-be-mom's.
I didn't get to use a going home outfit for Luke. Or a nursing bra. Or baby socks. Or chapstick. Or even a birthing ball. Or even my birthing plan. I left that hospital with my hospital bag pretty much intact. Except with some added paperwork about mortuaries and contact information for a social worker.
I legitimately had something to contribute to that question. And yet I found myself holding back. As if my experience didn't count because I didn't get to bring my son home.
Or maybe I held back because I felt like unless my answer included my story...I'd be a liar. And I didn't want to bring down such a happy discussion. No one wants to hear a Debbie Downer. So I said nothing.
It hurts my heart that I feel like I can't even have input on these discussions. I'm still a Mom. I still had a baby. I went through 13 hours of labor, was given Cytotec, Pitocin, an Epidural, and experienced giving birth to a baby with shoulder dystocia. Everything about what happened to me was complicated. And yet I feel like a complete outsider on these discussions because Luke didn't leave the hospital alive with me.
I hate feeling like an outsider. I know I'm different now, and I would never give up having had Luke to be who I was before. But I feel weird. Not normal. There's a peace to being called normal that I never really understood before...but now I understand completely.
I shy away from these discussions and message boards now. I see what other girls are worried about, and a lot of times I just sigh. That used to be me.
And I wish it still was. I hope none of them have to understand true worry. Or what it feels like to be an inside outsider.