Day 10, Symbol
This is a ginkgo leaf. All along the road leading up to Indians' stadium, there are beautiful ginkgo trees, dropping their sweet little leaves on the ground. We stopped to take a few pictures of Carpenter's teddy with the stadium behind it, and Liv crawled around collecting leaves. Ginkgo leaves have been with us since the beginning of this journey.
At our hospital, there's no special hallway for mothers delivering dead babies. They do their best to separate us from the other deliveries, and I only remember hearing one other mother, sobbing. But the nurses also make a special effort to remind hospital staff you're in mourning. They put a ginkgo leaf on your door. It's just a little sign with a silhouetted leaf, shedding a tiny raindrop that looked like a tear. But that sign reminded hospital staff that I was not to be congratulated. I was to be treated with more care and respect. It was such a kindness to me.
If only I could wear a ginkgo leaf around every day, reminding people they may need to treat me with care. They may see me cry, and they should understand. They may hear me yell, and they should forgive.
But there's no such symbol.
On the way out of the hospital, they insist on pushing you in a wheelchair. A sweet old volunteer came around and picked me up to take me to my car. Of course, there was no ginkgo leaf on my wheelchair...none on my shirt. That man didn't know to treat me any differently. He took the shortcut straight through labor and delivery, and passed the happy mothers on our way. I sobbed, knowing I couldn't say anything without hurting this innocent man. He waited with me while Mike got our car, and tried to chat. He told me "that box is so pretty," and motioned to the handpainted box holding everything I would ever have of my son's. I lost it.
Sometimes I still lose it.
Wishing I could cover myself in ginkgo leaves; wishing the whole world knew my story...this is my grief.