I spent the last week or so traveling; first to Philadelphia and then to St. Louis. I flew to Philly, but drove to St. Louis and back. About an hour into my trip home from St. Louis, I saw a pro-life billboard that said something like "You have one job...protect her and keep her safe." with a picture of a late-term fetus. And of course, there's nothing like seeing a billboard like that while driving by yourself with nothing to take your mind off it. Bring on the waves of guilt! I had one effing job to do...to keep my baby safe for nine months...and I failed spectacularly. He did his job; he was perfect. I didn't do mine. I was the only one who COULD keep him safe, and I'm the only one who failed. Once he was born, the task of keeping him safe and alive would be shared by dozens of people - Chris, relatives, babysitters, teachers, doctors. But for those 40 weeks, it all was on me. And I didn't pull through for him. Needless to say, I spent about an hour of the drive home crying uncontrollably.
After I'd finally pulled myself together, I stopped to eat and checked Facebook on my phone. The "friend" I've mentioned a few times (Sally) just keeps shocking me. There are so many things going back years that she's done that are thoughtless, but she's seemed to ramp it up since she became pregnant (or, more likely, I'm now more sensitive to it). She posted on about a big surprise...her first stretchmark. She emphasized that it was tiny and barely noticible, but said, and I quote, "It really is devastating." It took all my strength not to reply to her, "Sally, I don't think you actually know the definition of the word devastating." Or maybe, "Wow, if a stretch mark is devastating, what do you consider what happened to me?" Or maybe, "No, Sally, a stretch mark is not devastating. MAYBE disappointing. Certainly not devastating. Losing a baby? That's devastating." Or maybe just a simple, silent wish that she gets super fat and covered in stretch marks.