It’s the little things. Pregnant women make me cry. Seeing a woman yell at her toddler in the mall makes me angry. Why are you yelling? Don’t you know how lucky you are to even have a kid? In my Methods of Social Research class we fill out fake surveys so we can analyze data, and the questions will be seemingly simple things like “What is your gender?” “How old are you?” “What state were you born in?” “How many children do you have?”
But I can’t seem to get through that question. How many children do you have. I don’t know. How many children DO I have? How many children did I give birth to? How many children do I have walking around? How many children call me mommy? How many tiny hands have grabbed my finger? How hard was it to sit there waiting for the doctor knowing I wasn’t pregnant? Right before the 2nd anniversary of my miscarriage you’re going to ask me how many children I have?
How many children do I have? One. But I’m forced to say NONE. That I have no children. I’m forced to sit in that class and answer in a way that doesn’t upset everyone in the class and make them uncomfortable and send me to the bathroom to cry.
I’m certainly not the only person with this problem. I know I’m not the only one who has had a miscarriage (or infertility, or stillbirth, or suffered the death of a child). But two years ago on November 16th, I had the worst day of my life. After finding out I was pregnant just two weeks earlier, I then had to unlearn everything that I had learned.
Last year for my anniversary, I took the day off, thought of my daughter, and donated blood. It seemed like the right thing to do. I’m not sure why, I’m not sure I’ll ever know why. I don’t have any plans for this year. I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to think about it as much. Which is a good thing. I think obsessing over it for months beforehand like I did last year would be a mistake. Because I’m not going to forget about it. I can’t forget about it. It’s the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think about before I go to sleep.
So my dearest Leslie Ann, what can I do for you? How should I remember you? What’s the best way to preserve my only memory of you? I guess my question for other parents who are suffering is, what do you do on your anniversaries?