I've found that my grief takes on a different character depending on who I'm with. With some friends, I'm completely weepy, while with others, I become "the bitch," "the gossip," "the complainer," or "the educator." I was with a good friend yesterday, who doesn't mind hearing me complain (we tend to encourage each other in this regard), but I found at one point that my usual mile-a-minute banter about stupid things people have said or done switched to a mini-breakdown in two seconds flat.
I was recalling how the previous day, I left my apartment building, ready to face the day. Some days can be more challenging than others, but I was feeling okay. Not great, but okay. As I was leaving, one of the doormen was on the phone and I heard him talking about his baby girl and the things she was starting to do, like turn her head and look up at him. She was born within days of Julian, and I have always been slightly resentful of the fact that he never asked me about our baby or acknowledged our loss, although I know he is more than aware of the situation.
It's a small thing, but just hearing about his daughter's little milestones caused me such a wave of conflicting emotions. On one hand, I want to be happy for him. In the beginning of all this, I never thought that seeing or hearing about someone else's baby would upset me--after all, it's not my baby. Someone else's happiness doesn't have to mean my sorrow, but I can't help feeling jealous that I don't get to experience those little milestones with my baby. That's just it--I want MY baby.
My friend tried to comfort me by saying that I'd get to have those experiences soon enough, but as I started to tell her about the women I've met who've had subsequent pregnancies resulting in healthy babies, and how even they described their experiences as bittersweet at times, I lost it. I know there will be moments with our next baby that will be simultaneously exciting and beautiful and sad and painful, because we'll be reminded of the things Julian never got to do. I also know that we will love our next baby just as much, and hope to never cause him or her to feel otherwise. I think it will always be a little tough, knowing that there is someone missing from our family. I hope we are able to find ways over time to keep Julian in our lives. He will always be in our hearts.