I just want to be normal again. I want people to look at me and see a young woman, or a young couple, or just some girl. I don’t want people to only see me as the “girl whose baby died.” I know that’s all people see now. But I’m so much more than that. I’m a wife and a daughter and a student and a sister and a friend and an aunt. But people don’t see that stuff anymore. I’m forever labeled. Anytime I’m anywhere, I get the constant pity looks. The sad smiles. The stares. The “where’s your baby”s. Those are the worst. And people don’t see me as a mother anymore. Whenever I went anywhere with Maya, I was always so proud to show her off or to be in public. Because I knew that when people saw me, they saw Maya’s mommy. Which is one of the things I am most proud of being in my entire life.
And now Maya is some statistic. She’s just “some baby that died of SIDS.” 1 out of the 3000 or so a year that die of it. She’s not special to anyone. Just another number. And that’s not what I wanted for her. She IS special. And she deserves to be known. Her story deserves to be heard.
I want everyone to know about Maya. Not just her death, but her life. All of the cute things she did. Her huge personality. Her quirks. She didn’t have a very long life, but we fit a lot of stuff in the time we did have with her.
Anyway, I digress.
I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be normal. In reality though, there is no normal for me anymore. Even if we were to move where no one knew us, I’d still be the girl whose baby died. Even if no one knew that, I would know it.