Today I went back to my obstetrician's office for the first time since my postpartum appointment. Since my doctor cried with me over my baby's stillbirth, and her baby's stillbirth decades ago. Since she told me that my body was healed from birthing death when my heart was (and is) anything but healed.
I didn't think I was going to have to go back to that office today. I called this morning asking if I could get tested for a urinary track infection (keep your fingers crossed that I don't have one!). The receptionist told me that they'd fax an order down to the outpatient lab and I could just go there to get tested.
When I got to the lab a few hours later, they knew nothing about it.
"Why don't you just run upstairs to your doctor's office and ask them for the form?" the woman at the lab said.
Why don't I?
I could think of plenty of reasons why I'd rather not "run upstairs" to the office that holds too many memories, too much pain. That amplifies my loss and hurls it back at my face. But I couldn't tell the woman that, and didn't want to. So upstairs I went.
Every step I told myself that it would be okay. That it would just take a moment.
I stepped inside the door and found myself face to face with the entire staff of the small office that had helped me through my pregnancy. The pregnancy that ended in death. All eyes stared blankly at me while I mumbled something about a form. I couldn't bear to meet my doctor's eyes.
Thankfully, once the receptionist realized that she'd forgotten to fax the order to the lab for me, the nurse whisked me away to the bathroom and had me give a sample there.
It was, in a word, difficult. I'd given the same kind of sample months before, so happy to have to do it. Every visit to that office was a joy, no matter what happened.
I cannot say the same anymore.
As I stumbled out of the office a few minutes later, followed by the apologies of the receptionist and my doctor's sympathetic gaze, I felt heavy. So heavy.
I took my dogs, waiting in the car, on a brief walk as I had planned. Every step was agony, the short hike seeming an eternity.
I miss my daughter. I miss the life we almost had. I hate that I know this kind of grief.
But I am glad that I feel it, too. If I had to lose my daughter, I want to mourn. She deserves my grief, my tears, every ounce of heaviness. And I know that God is in the grieving, and so is His healing.
I will grieve. I am grieving. And I want to grieve.
But it is heavy.