In the beginning, people—often medical professionals—would assure me that some part of the grieving process was normal. You’re collapsing into tears every few hours? That’s normal. You don’t feel like getting out of bed? Normal. You can’t concentrate? Normal. You’re terrified that some other horrible thing is going to happen to you and/or your family? Normal, normal, normal. And in my head, I would reply, Normal? F– you. Nothing about this is normal. Babies of middle-class, healthy, college-educated moms in wealthy countries aren’t supposed to die in the third trimester. That ain’t normal, sister.
Fast forward nine weeks or so, and hearing the words that’s normal now brings comfort. Bursting into tears at a witnessed casual moment or stray remark, feeling extreme jealousy or anger, experiencing tiny bits of happiness or normalcy followed by a day or morning of crushing sadness—my fellow baby loss moms have been there and done that. That’s normal, sister, they tell me.
So. Nothing about this fucked-up, twisted, dismal world, this planet where I Delivered a Dead Baby, is normal. And everything is.