“Do you have any recommendations on bottles?” she asked, her body swollen with it’s second pregnancy well into the third trimester.
I stared at her blankly, not understanding.
“I plan to go back to work, so you know, for pumping. Do you have any recommendations?”
I was not only lost by this nonsequitor- we had just been discussing her thoughts on this baby’s weight compared to her first- but I was also surprised she was asking me. I’m a midwife- birth is my thing, not bottles.
“That’s a better question for your pediatrician. I don’t do babies once they come out of you.”
I wanted to add, “and my baby died. I never got a chance to breastfeed, let alone worry about bottles.” I was mad at this woman in a way. This was her second baby. Shouldn’t she have figured it out with her first baby? And really? You’re asking the woman whose baby died?
Not fair, I know. She probably didn’t read the sign about Mabel. She has no reason to know anything about my personal life. And since part of my job technically is to deliver babies, it’s not too much of a stretch to assume I know something about feeding them. I do know a bit about breastfeeding after all.
I couldn’t help but feel angry at the woman even though it wasn’t her fault. I know deep down I’m not really angry at her, I’m angry at the circumstance. I felt like the universe was teasing me- playing a cruel little joke, presenting me with a question I should have been able to answer had my baby lived. That universe which I once thought if I was good to, it would be good to me. Silly me.
Have you ever felt like the universe was playing a joke on you?