It started off by dropping the coupons to our pediatric office. Going to this office is hard enough; Avery never made it to see her pediatrician outside of the hospital. Luckily, I avoided any babies. However, as I was leaving, a little girl, who was maybe 6, stopped me as I was leaving and asked, “Where’s your daughter? Why are you leaving without her?Insert knife into heart.
I responded that I wasn’t a patient, that I worked here and I was just leaving the office. I wish I was there with Avery, I wish I had left her with some of our employees for a quick moment so I could just run to the car. Instead, I am just reminded again that I am a mother with an angel for a daughter.
The knife twists.I suck it up and get in the car to drive to the next office. As I am waiting at a red light, I hear sirens. An ambulance comes speeding by and it’s not only any ambulance, but THE ambulance. Ambulance number 24, the one that took Avery from our house that day, the one that we followed to the hospital while it was blaring it’s sirens and racing to the hospital.
Twist the knife again and dig in deeper.I am forced to follow the ambulance the whole way to my next stop, the OB office. The same OB office I spent 9 months in and out of while pregnant. The same office I have been avoiding the past 6 months. Luckily, they had no patients this afternoon so I knew I wouldn’t face a waiting room full of kids and big pregnant bellies. What I wasn’t expecting was the smell. As soon as I walked in, the smell overcame me. It reminded me of waiting in that waiting room so many times, waiting in the exam rooms, getting ultrasounds, all moments when Avery was happy and safe inside of me.
Let’s add a punch to the gut to the knife in the heart.After almost running out of that office, I think I am done with the pain of my afternoon work errands. I head to another office that has no memories tied to it of Avery. I enter the office with high hopes. As I chat with the employees, our new girl, who just started a week ago, attempts to make small talk by saying, “I heard you just had a baby, that’s awesome.”
Where’s the closest bridge that I can jump off?The room gets silent as I nicely explain to her that yes, I did just have a baby but unfortunately she passed away unexpectedly. It really was the icing on the cake but I couldn’t fault the poor girl, she didn’t know. She is a really sweet girl and was just trying to be nice. I could tell she felt awful. On my way out, I pulled one of the employees of the office aside and asked that they make sure she didn’t feel bad for what she said. Which ultimately led me to have a long conversation with this employee about how I am actually doing, it was a nice talk but not one I was prepared to have.
A year ago, stopping in to these offices, driving from site to site and making small talk with employees would have been a breeze. It would have been a welcome change from my normal office routine.I have quickly come to realize nothing will ever be easy again. There will always be places that are deeply connected to my memories of Avery, there will always be ambulances crossing my path and there will always be the innocent people who try to make normal small talk without knowing how much it pains me.
Not only do I have to deal with empty arms for the rest of my life but I have to deal with the fact that my life will never be normal again.