Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I was walking out of the grocery store with Ansley and Eli when my eyes about popped out of my head! I could feel the rage bubbling up, just threatening to erupt in a nasty display that was sure to make me look like a complete lunatic.
One of the grocery stores employees AND some other guy were standing around smoking. Did I mention they were doing this while standing around chit chatting with a woman who was very noticeably pregnant? What were they thinking? Wait, Let me answer that, they weren't thinking!
I thought it best to just walk away. I didn't want to make a scene, especially while my children were with me, so I B-lined it to the car with my hand over my mouth...
As I loaded my munchkins in the car, I kept thinking ,"If I were pregnant, wouldn't I tell someone they needed to put out the cigarette around my baby?" Well of course I would. So why wasn't that woman speaking up for her baby? After all, a mother is the voice of her child when they have no voice. That baby needed a voice, and if it couldn't rely on it's mother, I would be it's voice.
I was thinking about the most tactful way to say something, as I pulled my car around to where they were standing. As I approached them, I apologized for interrupting and for the way I might come across. I proceeded to pull out my wallet, and showed them a picture of my sweet Wyatt... I didn't say a word to them, and waited for them to ask what this was all about. The employee of the grocery store finally piped up and said, "What am I supposed to be looking at?"
There was my window... "I'm so glad you asked", I replied. " This is a picture of my son Wyatt. He was born two months ago, but he died. I did EVERYTHING right, but he still died. Please, I don't care if you smoke around this woman, but don't do it around her baby." I really wanted to convey that a baby can die even when everything is done perfectly, so smoking around a woman while her baby is developing is less than ideal.
I kind of felt bad for the two guys, because they really didn't know what to say. They immediately jumped (yes, they jumped) away from the pregnant woman and said it wouldn't happen again :) My job here was done,... or was it?
The woman that was so very pregnant, actually had the nerve to tell me "it wasn't a big deal"!
Excuse me? The fact that you so obviously don't care about the well being of your child isn't a big deal? The fact that hopefully your baby ( You know, the one you don't seem to care about) will be born perfectly healthy, and that my baby (my son who I protected for 5 months after receiving a fatal diagnosis) died, isn't a big deal? I really didn't know what to say to that...
After a moment to digest the words she just said, I calmly told her it was a big deal. I informed her that her unborn baby did not have a voice, and as it's mother she needed to speak up on it's behalf. As a mother, it was her job to protect her baby. I told her that I didn't even allow people to smoke around me while I was pregnant with my son, even after I found out he was going to die.
I don't think I got through to her. She just stared at me like my hair was on fire, and with as mad as I was, I wouldn't be surprised if it actually was! But I did make an impression on the guys, and I'm thankful for that. Maybe they really won't smoke around a pregnant woman again... Maybe, just maybe, they might even ask someone else to quit smoking around a pregnant woman or baby.
Wyatt really opened up my eyes (and apparently my mouth) during his short little life here. I would have NEVER done something like that before. Sure I would have been upset to witness such carelessness and irresponsibility, but not enough to move me to action. Maybe I went overboard, but I did what I felt like I needed to do. That baby wasn't mine,... but on this day, I was able to give it a voice. It feels good that I was able to do that, but it's heartbreaking to think a stranger had to do it instead of it's own mother. I mean, come on, a stranger cared more about the well being of that woman's baby, than she did. I don't think I'll ever get over the idea of parents getting healthy babies when they could really care less. It just stinks.