You have to learn to get up from the table when love is no longer being served. -Nina Simone
There is a difference between the physical act of listening and the active experience of hearing. I write, so that people may listen. Listen to my pain, listen to my fear, listen to my grief. Many listen. Not all will hear.
I can usually tell. There are those who do not listen. And that’s to be expected: lives continue to revolve and that turning sensation cannot be in tune with every being. I am a sideline event and interactions are blissfully unaware.
There is a cursory comprehension, and there is understanding.
There is listening to me say how little I want to talk about my pregnancy, and how restrained I am, and there is understanding. Knowing to reciprocate restraint. Even up until the end, I show little excitement.
There is listening to me say how hard it is to plan for bringing this baby home, and there is understanding. Quietly making plans for me or offering help in the subtlest of ways. We have not even started to work on the nursery. We have no car seat or diapers. Cannot plan ahead beyond delivery.
There is listening to me say how much I resent the normalcy of the pregnancy of others, and there is understanding. Keeping me at arm’s length from the joy that others may be experiencing, knowing how much it could hurt. I knew several women due to have babies within a month of me. I had to hide that information on social media. They have now all had their babies after seemingly uneventful pregnancies.
There is knowing what I want to hear and what I don’t want to hear. Throwing everything at me with no regard for what I can absorb versus shielding my ears from unwanted information.
It is not going to magically get better once this baby is born. Grief, loss, compounded by all of the emotions of a newborn. I worry that it will be perceived as “back to normal” and people will forget. Triggers may come more frequently; I don’t yet know. I can only guess that the excitement over baby may overshadow any of the emotions with which I may struggle. I want to wear a sign that says “Be gentle. It still hurts.”