I've been dreading all the firsts that have yet to come since Felicity's birth/death: first trip to the grocery store, first trip to the library, first haircut, etc. Going all those places where I'm going to encounter acquaintances who are going to ask about my baby but don't know what happened.
Thankfully I've gotten two of these firsts done. We all went and got our hair cut (except Elijah) together on Tuesday. Okay, so we didn't go to the regular place and therefore I still have yet to talk with the gal who usually does my hair. It was still hard to sit in the chair while the new gal was putting the big bib thingee on and have her ask, "How are you?" How do I answer that question? It used to be so simple to say, "okay" or "fine" or "pretty good." But I'm not any of those things. Do I burden this stranger with my life and probably a bucket of tears? Maybe someday, I'll be able to answer truthfully and use it as an opportunity to share Christ, but right now I'm too caught up in grief.
Today we went to the grocery store. I shop at a little grocery store and have come to know the people who work there, not all by name, but certainly by face and I know they noticed my huge belly the last few months. My mom knew I was dreading this first trip, so she even called the grocery store and asked if they have a protocol for situations like this. Of course, they didn't, but the owner said that it made sense to him to have such a protocol and said that he would talk with his employees about how to address formerly pregnant women who come in without their babies. (They shouldn't ask about the baby!) Well, while checking out today, with a cashier I have talked with before, (in fact I know she's a single mom and I've told her I've been there too), she asked, "So how many kids do you have now?" (The boys were both with as was Paul.) I got choked up and said, "Two on earth and one in heaven. We just lost our baby girl." She obviously felt bad and punched my frequent buyer card twice as many as I deserved. She said she was sorry and God bless.
It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Sure I cried in front of people and while walking out to our van, but so what? It would be weird if I said that to her and didn't cry, wouldn't it?
We continue to hear of people we don't know that are praying for us and that's so helpful. Pray for Paul as his grief is different from mine, being the father. He feels the need to protect me and the boys and yet he is so sad too. Felicity was his little girl and that is such a special relationship. Pray for Ethan, to talk about how he is feeling and to be able to sleep more. We are all starting to feel a bit sleep deprived.
We did go to church last night which was a HUGE blessing! I was able to talk with my moms group and one of them has lost 5 children/babies! She was able to talk openly with both Paul and I and she just knew how to ask the right questions. She said Felicity's name, not just "your baby" or "your loss." We've gotten a few cards now where people have written "I'm sorry for your loss." It sounds like we lost something inconsequential. We lost our daughter!!! We also felt the love of our church in that people are bringing meals for us and leaving them in the church frig/freezer.
All in all, we're doing as well as expected. We still laugh and smile, though not as often. I notice that being in the car is weird, especially when the main topic of discussion is headstones and which way is the fastest to get where we're going. We let my mom go home yesterday so that I can try and do more. She is going to come back the minute I ask her to, but for now she needed to do stuff at home and I need to reclaim my role a little more. I'm feeling pretty good health wise so thanks for praying for that need.