There have been three reports of new babies abandoned in Edmonton in the last two months. All three have died. Or, more accurately, been found dead.

And I am ever aware of the news stories. I tell myself not to look. I tell myself to turn the radio off. I tell myself that these poor women must have been frightened, that maybe something went wrong, that maybe they didn't know what to do, they were scared and alone and made a bad decision.

But I come back to memories of holding Gabe. Wanting to hold him ever so tightly to me, to hold him here on earth by my shear force of will. Of wanting to demand of God to spare my son, to take someone elses.

So, here I am, thinking of these babies and I'm struggling. Struggling to understand how someone could ever do this. Struggling to understand how they couldn't at least drop their baby off on some one's door step, in a fire station. Something. And I'm failing. I don't want an increased social safety net for these women, I don't want more social assistance for unwed mothers, I want them to go to jail. I want them to be charged with and tried for murder. I want to stop feeling sorry for them and just let myself be angry with them, for so callously throwing away a baby. I am failing at trying to walk in the shoes of these mothers, I just can't quite seem to leave my shoes behind to step in theirs. It's a symptom of a larger problem.

Saturday was just a horrible day. It's still snowing (has been since Friday night). I felt like I accomplished nothing. It was a blah day, and Mr. Spit and I didn't get our act together about doing something fun that night, and the whole night just came off the rails. We didn't go to church again on Sunday, and again no one called.

Our friends call, when they need something. Never just to say "how are you?". Only when they need to know if we borrowed a book, or if I started their seeds or if I will bring the tablecloths back to the Carrot. They expect me to be smiling, to be organized, to be cheerful. To be like I always was.

Half the reason I dumped my mother (who lost several children before me) is that whenever I would say "I'm not doing well today". She would say, "tell me about it". But her 'tell me about it' never means that. It's always that sarcastic, snide, "let me use this as an opportunity to tell you everything that is wrong in my life" kind of voice. Or she would say things like "You have to get on with your life. You are carrying on too much. You can't tell me I don't know how you feel, I do, and you are being selfish. Get over it."

And I'm frustrated. If our friends ask how we are doing at all, they do it in a way that is clenched teeth, hesitant, head ducked, eye's closed "I hope she says "ok" kind of way. It's the sudden realization, I'm talking to the mother of a dead baby, and I should ask how she is. No one just asks, wanting to know. No one asks deeper questions. No one says tell me how you feel. What are you thinking? How are you doing, really?

And so, we say things like "trudging along", or "day by day" or "good days and bad days". And we aren't truthful. Because we aren't good, or ok, or even handling things day by day.

So here Mr. Spit and I are trying to hold each other up. We have a support group we go to, have been to some counselling, but honestly, I'm wondering: how do I tell people, what do I say?

We don't say things like:
  • "We aren't sure if we fit in at church. We still aren't sure that we are welcome, and we sure don't feel like anyone cares how we are doing".
  • We don't say "our baby should have been a month old now, and we miss him, and we hurt."
  • We don't say "Mrs. Spit's blood pressure is still to high, and she's having panic like attacks and she wakes up screaming, and we don't know what to do or how to fix it".
  • We don't say "Mr. Spit still can't concentrate on work, and he's thinking about taking another job, so that if we have another baby and another high risk pregnancy he can be home. Because if he's out of town and the baby dies, he'd never see it."
  • We don't say "we are so completely broken that we don't know how we could ever be whole again, and the thought of being this sad and this lost and this broken for the rest of our lives is overwhelming".

And so, if I had to sum up today, in which I am going back to the doctor with a blood pressure of 150/117, and I can't breathe and I feel like something is sitting my chest and I have head aches, I would say

I am failing.