And then I realized. The feelings the author was writing about -- the sense of loss and betrayal, of having to cope with a completely different and unwelcome outcome than what she had expected -- were the same things I felt about my lost pregnancy, 18+ years ago.
Read the article yourself. Then consider:
- "Like many others in the New York bubble, I was in no way prepared for the outcome on November 8."
- (Like many others in the bubble of a blissful pregnancy, I was in no way prepared for the outcome when I went for my ultrasound on August 5, 1998.)
- "Like so many women around the world, I felt like I knew Presidential Candidate Clinton... Hers would have been a feminist presidency..."
- (Like so many pregnant women, I felt like I knew my baby. I knew the kind of little girl, teenager, young woman, that she would grow up to be.)
- "We can only dream of the capability she would have brought to the White House. We can only imagine the perfectionism she would have brought to the presidency."
- (I can only dream of the things my little girl would have done. I can only imagine the light she would have brought to our lives and to the world.)
- (THIS line in particular -- added emphasis mine.) "There will be a Madam President someday. But I wanted this one: this ball-busting, sharp-witted, stereotype-defying legend of a woman, this “anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better” beacon of determination, who was so adept at smashing glass ceilings."
- (People told me there would be another baby someday. (There wasn't.) But even so, at the time, I didn't want to hear that. I didn't like people offering the carrot of another baby as an easy solution, a panacea to my pain. I didn't like the feeling that they wanted me to have another baby ASAP, if only so I'd shut up and not remind them about the one I just lost & the grief I was feeling. As I have heard other bereaved mothers say -- I didn't want just another baby -- I WANTED THAT ONE. I knew there might be another baby someday (there wasn't), and yes, I wanted another baby. I wanted to be a parent -- the parent of a living child. But I also knew that even if I had a dozen other children, they would never fill that particular void in my life. There would never, ever be another Katie.)
- "Though there’s a good chance I’ll cry every time I see her for the rest of my days, it’s time to lay my Clinton Presidency dreams to rest. But we should never lay to rest the ideas she embodied: that ambition is healthy and women can do anything they want to do."
- (Though there's a good chance I'll cry every time I think about her and what might have been for the rest of my days, I know that, at age 56, I have laid my dreams of parenthood to rest. But I will never lay to rest the certain knowledge that I had a little girl named Katie, once; that my grief over losing her was and still is justified, normal and healthy; and that I am a mother, whether or not the world knows or chooses to acknowledge it.)