Twitter was there when I returned to my OB’s office for the first time after my newborn daughter died. I grew anxious as the minutes passed and she didn’t pop into the exam room. But, somehow, knowing people were out there listening as I was stuck in a tiny cell filled with pregnancy memories, I managed.
This wasn’t the first time Twitter was there for me. I reached out through Twitter and blogs just a few days after Cora died. Social media gave me purpose those early days. I wanted to share Cora, share her beauty, and the best way I knew how was by talking about her. I did constantly. And, people listened, reached out, let me talk about her. On days when I couldn’t find the words to speak, I could always find something to write.
Some of you might be aware of Cora’s story, but in case you aren’t, here goes. I had a healthy pregnancy and delivered Cora November 30, 2009. She lived five healthy days, no signs of a problem. One morning, I was breastfeeding her. I looked up for a second and looked back down and she was dead. Suddenly. Out of nowhere. It’s so traumatic. I sometimes worry I give people PTSD just sharing her story. We rushed her immediately to the hospital, but it was too late.
Turns out she had an undetected congenital heart defect. The coroner told us a few days later. We looked up congenital in the dictionary, and I took to the web. A Google search was sort of helpful. But even more helpful? Connecting to real live people that picked up on my tweets naming Cora’s killer.
What’s helped me more than anything is giving back. Cora changed me so much. I’ve never felt such love. She was stunning, in so many ways. I instantly felt a need to make sure that beauty multiplies. On most days, the only thing that keeps me from losing my mind and crawling into bed and never coming out is sharing her. Knowing she’s reaching people and saving lives.
I never thought I’d get out of bed each morning because of blogging and Twitter. I remember feeling silly at first emotionally spewing everything on my blog, but the silliness was outweighed by the support. By all the people that felt like they knew Cora and wanted to help spread her story.
Blogging gives Cora a voice. Cora lives.
People are what got me through ultimately. The power of the good of people. And, the blogging community? Full of some of the best.
i don’t cry anymore.
no, that’s not quite right. i don’t let the things that used to make me cry, cry anymore. i don’t lose tears over hallmark commercials, touching moments in sitcoms, the trials and tribulations of people and their misfortunes du jour. sure, i feel for them. this life is not an easy one.
this LIFE, if you are lucky enough to be living it, is not easy at all. but i can’t feel for everyone anymore. i hurt for the helpless, for the children and the animals, for the voiceless, the homeless, the man i saw last week with sweatpants torn and fashioned into shoes. i ache for them and sometimes, i will cry for them.
but on the whole, i am selfish with my tears. my tears are for my girls. my beautiful perfect sweet little girls. my tears are for me and T and our families who waited forever for those gifts, and were rewarded by their too-soon arrival. maybe it’s because i never knew pain like this even filled our world, my old world of choking up at a sweet greeting card advertisement, of welling eyes at a sentimental tv moment. now as i sit and watch or listen to a sad story, i am sympathetic, i wish things were different, but i don’t cry.
it’s true that i didn’t have any idea what horror a life could hold. not a sliver of an idea of the opaque screen which separates the mundane from utter torment; ignorant that the passage would be so easily and unwillingly breached- that i would be forcefully thrown into the revelation of the world’s true sorrows, previously and so gratefully unbeheld. that my family would come rocketing in after me, each of us reeling and wounded.
i was naive, i was innocent and happy. bits and pieces of these affects remain. but i will never be that girl again, the one who cries for everyone, even as i understand that most do not know what i wish they will never know. what the ones of us who live and have become would do anything to forget.
i cry for families who have lost their children, i cry for the sick, for the old and unloved. but mainly i cry for them, and for their mother. selfish, hot tears for the lost innocence of not only the three of us, but too many more that i love and care for. we lost so much more than our babies that day. we lost our wide eyed view of the world, our trust in what should be. the belief that life is fair.