Ahhh. So it seemed like a good idea didn’t it, to open my mouth when you asked what ‘Emmet’ meant.
You, Mr. Well-Meaning-Random-Stranger are a both a blessing and a curse.
You have seen me writing my Son’s name, but you don’t know it’s a name because you ask me what it means.
I bet you didn’t expect the tiny woman writing in chalk to tell you it was her sons name, and you certainly didn’t expect me to tell you I miscarried him when you asked how old he was.
You got your answer though, before it got awkward. Emmet means Ant in Old Irish, it also means Universal, Strength. But not Universal strength. The comma is stupidly important to me.
You, the stranger asking questions got more than you bargained for after that.
I said it was my son’s name.
I can’t tell you how old he is. He doesn‘t have a birthday.
I can tell you how old he should be. When you asked he should have been 17 days old, a new born strapped to my chest.
251 days before you asked I knew he was gone.
The day I miscarried him isn’t his birthday. I cannot associate that day with anything you associate with birthdays. Not the celebration and certainly not the birth.
He didn’t get a birth as such. A miscarriage is classified medicaly as just that. Not a birth.
I had severe cramps but not labour. I could not even see him properly he was so small. I looked anyway as I I sat in agony in the shower.
I can’t think of then as a birthday. Not the day it started. Not when it ended either as I forget even when it was over. I was consumed then by grief that it didn’t matter because I knew my baby was gone.
22nd October 2016- What is there to celebrate? What would have been his due date June 22nd is also not a birthday. Any life by then was so far away.
How old is he? 266 days old? No days old? 4-5 weeks old? As old as I was along in my pregnancy, or how many days since I lost him? Then plus how long I was pregnant?
Exactly. There isn’t an answer is there.
I don’t think to myself oh ‘Emmet youre … months old’ on the 22nd each month. I wonder how the hell I have survived nearly 9 months of his absence. I don’t know how to cope with the 22nd October 2017.
What do I do?
What is there to do?
You aren’t recognized by the law or society as a whole, even by most of my family as having ever had a life. To most people you never existed, and if you did you were a clump of cells.
But you were a baby to me. You are my baby.
The only people who really get your existance are myself and your Daddy. Our closest friends know we lost our baby, but you aren’t a ‘you’ to them.
I don’t know what to say, to myself, to my partner, to strangers when I talk about Emmet. How old is he? How old are any babies we have lost.
Why does none of this make any sense? There was no response to the question of how old he was, that wasn’t the truth. Because society cannot see him as having an age, and I don’t know how to either.
If any of you reading this have an answer to that question please tell me, and anybody else reading because I don’t know.
Angelversary sounds wrong for me. It’s right for others but just doesn’t reaonate.
Another Loss Mum I know calls the anniversaries of her two son’s significant dates Balloon days. I feel like that is the only phrase for them I have heard so far that resonates at all, but Baloon Days are their thing, and I don’t want to feel like I am intruding by claiming the phrase as one I use.
Anniversary also sounds better. The Angel thing can sometimes feel too much for me.
Happy 1st Birthday in heaven also just doesn’t seem to fit. I have this need to remember, to mark and to commemorate, I am just not sure how to go about it.
Love and Support always,
Surviving Miscarriage Together x