I hear bizarre and off the wall things people say about the babies all the time - many act as if I'm not even standing there. So, in honor, I've decided to post a few doozies when the mood is right along with my inner voice responses. I guess my post the other day got my wheels turnin'...
Comments that make you go hmmm:
1. Pregnant woman's friend - both women are involved in the care of our babies: looking at Mary Louise: "see, you'll have one of those soon." pregnant woman's response: "yeah, but I would NEVER want one this small. I don't EVER want a preemie."
My inner voice: "yeah lady, because this is just what I've always dreamed of - I just thought it'd be fun to watch my babies struggle in intensive care for over 3 months just praying to bring some part - any part of them home only to have a weekly parade of health care workers calling and stopping in at all hours to see if I'm handling them well."
2. Cashier (which incidentally I have found that cashiers can be quite nosey rosies and chatty cathies when it comes to people purchasing babies items - UGH! I wish I could lie sometimes when they ask how old the babies are!): "How old is your baby?"
Me: (inner voice: lie, Heather LIE!!) What I really said:"They are almost 5 months old. I have two at home (my way of not calling them twins)." (inner voice: damnit Heather! What would it hurt to lie to a stranger!?")
Cashier: "oh. they're still in preemie clothes / newborn diapers?"
Me: (inner voice: ok - don't explain, just keep it short and sweet) what I actually said:"They were born very very early and are just small."
Cashier (and I kid you not on this one): "Oh you just felt like having them early because they were twins?"
Me: (inner voice - dripping with sarcasm - "yeah - I thought I was getting too fat and decided to have them youngins' removed so-as I could get back in shape quicker. I mean they were the shape of babies on the ultrasound so I figured what the heck do they need the last trimester for?") What I actually said: "No, I had complications."
Cashier: "Oh. I never did have none of them with my kids. I would just go in and ask for one of them epidurals and pop those kids right out!"
Me: (inner voice - again with sarcasm: "really, you don't say. How enlightening. If you'll excuse me I'd like run myself over with my husband's truck now. Stupid uterus.") What I actually said: "wow." I smiled politely and started collecting my purchases.
Just as I was about to leave, a precious little woman who had heard the whole exchange piped up and said in almost a whisper, "My daughter was early and was only 2 pounds. Now she's a beautiful young woman far surpassing my hopes and expectations of her."
Me: (inner voice: ok Heather, keep it together. I wonder if it's appropriate to hug her?" )What I actually said: "Thank you." I smiled and walked away.
My very dear friend Amanda lost her dad way too early and all too suddenly. She and her mom were all too easy for me to lean on when I found myself in the same incredibly devastating situation years later. Her mom told me about Amanda's sister's description of people who have been through similarly stressful, tumultuous, devastating, heart breaking - however you describe them, they are nothing short of a crisis - circumstances. She called it a club. When I saw the look on the other preemie mom's face, I knew that we were both unfortunately blessed members of the same club - mothers of micro-preemies. Regardless of time spent and although no one can ever know what another person really goes through even in a similar situation, it remains a common bond. Support and empathy are exchanged without words. Walls and boundaries fall between perfect strangers prior to even a handshake. No one would ever for an instant wish for the membership to grow, but grow it does. In spite of vast medical advancements, and prayers for the longevity of an almost impossible pregnancy, impeccable medical and holistic care, sometimes, things just happen. When they do, and when you're ready, there will be someone like the little lady in the line at the cash register to say- without any words really, "Welcome. You can do this, and you can do it with grace. Take a breath and keep going." ( My inner voice adds: Remember with warmth and love of the dire circumstances in which you started your family and with every breath those babies take, rejoice.)
I love you my sweet sweet babies. I am so excited to encourage you to grow into your immense potential.