Tuesday, March 26, 2013

For My Daughter's Friend's Mom

Today is a beautiful day. Living in San Diego, most days are like this. A few clouds, mid to high 70's, and just enough breeze to make you chilled in the shade or comfortable in the sun. We had a busy day planned. I begrudgingly got out of bed (after my late night coming back from school), I went straight to the kitchen where I squinted at the muffin box to see what ingredients I needed for the mini muffins I had promised for the Easter Meetup. After realizing that I didn't have all the ingredients, I moved on to making breakfast and getting ready for the day. We were out the door early, something so rare that it put a smile on my face as I drove to ballet.

Her mom was running late, something that happens to each of us at one point or another. It's rare for all of the moms to get to ballet on time. I always try to help out if I can, I'll help the girl get her tap shoes on while her mom brings in the other child. We all help each other, because we've all been there.

Today the girl was standing outside the glass door, trying to open it (something none of the girls can do). She had her ballet backpack rolling behind her and was saying something to her mom when I got to the door and opened it for her, ushering her inside so I could put her shoes on. It didn't register that her mom was walking slower, or that she looked uncomfortable. I had my blinders on and was trying to her her daughter into dance class.

Her mom sat on the bench in the hallway next to the two-way mirror where our girls were dancing, a wince on her face while her son played and babbled to her. My son said something to her and I said, "Honey, she isn't feeling good because she has a baby in her belly."

"It's not morning sickness, I'm cramping and bleeding." I'm sure my face fell. Who's wouldn't? Words of support came out of my mouth, but I'm sure they were poorly said. I never seem to know how much to say or not say. The rest of ballet went like that. She looked pained, and I tried to help. She was coming to the meetup after ballet at the park, so I would see her there.

At the meetup, she was the same. She went to the bathroom more, and we each offered to take her kids home with us, but she declined. Her husband was coming home, she had an OB appointment at 1:30. We all laughed with the kids, helped them find the Easter eggs we uncleverly hid, and tried to get them to eat a few veggies to combat their cookies, cupcakes and candy. We said things like, "What a beautiful day." and we ran to our children if they cried or needed help crossing the monkey bars. We talked with each other, joked that we were eating a weeks worth of calories in one sitting. Then she went to the bathroom again.

I was watching Glenn. He was standing in a patch of sunlight and the breeze was blowing his hair. He was looking at something and then took off running to it. I scanned the playground and saw Genny, head bent in determination, trying to collect sticks for her Easter basket. She too took off running to her friends, adding a skip in every few steps like she does. I was watching them, thinking of her in the bathroom and thanking God for my children.

She came back from the bathroom crying, her face showing her pain, both emotional and physical. She whispered to me, to no-one, "It just happened. I just felt it happen. I have to go home." I didn't know what to say. I didn't know what to do. I put my arm around her and rubbed her back. She was collecting her things but I hadn't begun to function again yet. She was talking, but I don't know what she was saying. All I heard was white noise. I had to move with her to keep rubbing her back while she was packing her things in a plastic grocery bag. And then I came back. I helped her get her things, and tried again to offer any help I could. I told her to go sit in the car and I would bring her kids and her things to her. She shook her head, maybe she needed to keep moving to keep from breaking down.

Another mom helped her to her car. When she came back she hugged her young son and said, "I love you." We were all silent, watching our children play.

I've never miscarried. I don't know what it's like. But I've had death around me, and even though this baby was only eight weeks in her belly, it was a baby and it was loved.