Bonding through loss.

Today was a prenatal checkup for me. My Grandma, Grandpa and cousin watched Judah (he did great, he loves their house!) and Nick and I went to my appointment hoping that we would miraculously score an ultrasound and find out what we were having. (No, didn't happen this time, hehe).

Our clinic is really tiny, one doctor and one nurse. It was full of people in the waiting room today while we were waiting (apparently Wednesdays are 'ultrasound day!')

I've seen our nurse a few times now- she is a petite little lady, probably close to my age, and hasn't really had much to say to us any of the times we've been in.

Today she walked us in and had to ask me some questions for paperwork. She filled out a worksheet with questions like "Any history of neural tube defects?" "Is this a donated Egg?" and then "Any history of Down Syndrome?"

I said yes and she hesitated a moment.

I always wonder what people are thinking when they hear this, if they have heard a lot of medical jargon (which mostly refers to the issues related to Down Syndrome and none of the positive aspects, of course)... or if they just are surprised since I am still young (which is actually common.)

She hesitated and then asked "One of your relatives, Aunt, Uncle, brother?"

"No." I said, "My son had Down Syndrome. He passed away a few months ago." I said, trying to be tactful and not shocking.

"You're making me tear up." She said, pausing her writing for a moment.

"Oh, I'm sorry." I paused. "We are just really glad we had him while we did." I said, trying to bring a light to the joy aspect.

She started taking my blood pressure and she paused for a moment, deciding something.

"I lost a son too." She said. "His name was Bear." She pulled up her sleeve on her left arm to reveal a tattoo for her son of a bear claw in green.

"Wow!" I said. I wanted to ask her how she'd lost him and other questions, but I wanted to also be careful not to pry. "I have one too!" I pulled up my left sleeve to show my tattoo in the same spot as hers, positioned very similarly.

We both looked kind of shocked at each other, and suddenly we knew each other a lot better.

We shared something, and we recognized each other in that way.

It's incredible, at times, how pain brings us together with people who we would never suspect. My face doesn't read 'I'm grieving!" and no one would recognize the look in my eyes when I feel pain over how much I miss my son... but when you know that someone has been where you have been...

You recognize that pain in each other and feel somehow connected, even if it's someone you might not have been able to connect with otherwise.

We were both Mommies, and we both lost our babies.

And somehow, that bond is deeper than a lot I have seen or felt before.

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