This first week after I had Mabel, I had a surprising amount of busy-work to do. Mostly just phone calls. Some could have waited, some couldn’t. In some ways, I guess they were distractions and reminders that unfortunately the world does not stop when you lose a child.
The first morning after we met Mabel, I was woken up in the hospital by a phone call from American Express, alerting me to some suspicious charges. Apparently someone had used my credit card to buy several plane tickets in Europe. AmEx is pretty good at these things, though it did require another phone call a few days later to completely clear it. The whole idea of someone using my credit card on a day I’m so very vulnerable just seems like a kick in the pants, right?
I also had to call the disability insurance company. My representative had called and left a message to verify some information. When I called back I didn’t initially get the representative that’s familiar with my case and the amount of recovery time was wrong. I was afraid I would have to go into detail, explaining that my baby had died. Luckily I was soon connected with my representative and I mentioned only that I had complications and he then must have reviewed the paperwork and was quickly able to clear things up, saying he was sorry for my loss. I didn’t have to explain further. I breathed a sigh of relief. I knew I’d have to explain to someone, somewhere at sometime, but it’s still just so raw.
My primary care doctor was next. My midwives and therapist all agreed that it might be best to increase my antidepressant in preparation of postpartum depression. I feel like I’m grieving, appropriately, but I had asked them about their thoughts on increasing my dose because I know that things can be very different a few weeks down the road. I decided that this might be the time to test out saying the words- my baby died. I knew I’d have to leave a message with the secretary. I called and after explaining I wanted to increase my dose, I explained “I had a baby and my baby died. So I just want to be proactive.” I said it. I actually had to say it twice because she couldn’t understand me the first time. The first utterance I actually did ok, my voice cracked a little. But when I had to repeat it, I couldn’t keep it together. I had to pause and apologize tearfully and then got the words out.
Lastly, I received an Enfamil email this week. I had them in pregnancy and just deleted them as junk. I think I became signed up after a shopping trip at Motherhood for maternity clothes. In pregnancy, despite my professional annoyance at them- knowing they are encouraging formula feeding- I never got around to unsubscribing. Apparently they put you on a mailing list too because I arrived home from the hospital to a package with formula which had been mailed. Neither the email nor formula I got brought me to tears but I could imagine in the future they might. So I unsubscribed from that email, which also allowed me to unsubscribe from the mailing list. The website confirmed my un-subscription and noted that it might take up to 3 months for the mailing cancellation to be processed, which I thought was ridiculous but pushed it from my mind. Then a few days later I received another email from Enfamil and this time when I went to unsubscribe again, the site was “temporarily out of service.” I tried again a few times that day and then again the next day. I was now furious. I felt like they were doing it on purpose. So I called them. And after going through my name, address, email and phone with them, I told them that I tried unsubscribing but the site was down. I said I had my baby and my baby died. I needed to be taken off the email and mailing list immediately. I choked up only a little and shed some tears. But I was proud that I could get the words out. The poor man on the other end of the phone- it wasn’t his fault that Enfamil was being such jerks, but someone had to hear it from me.
Now it’s a few days later and the prescription wasn’t done and the disability still has some details to work out. So more phone calls to do this week. Life apparently goes on even when your child does not.