On Friday, I got Allie's birth certificate. Well, not really her birth certificate, but a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth. I really wanted one and back in April, but after a few months, I realized one was not coming. I think the laws have changed now and in the state of Pennsylvania, at least, you automatically get one. But that was not the case last year. Once I started to do research, it was not that difficult to get...a $9 application fee and some general information about Gary and me and the hospital where we delivered. It took several weeks but it was totally worth the wait.
I love having this certificate. I am not sure what to do with it - it's not something you frame, that I know. I have looked at it a few times since it arrived, rubbing my fingers on the paper and over her name. I feel like between the lines it says, "Hey world! I was here!" It might be silly, but I like having a formal something to say that she was indeed here.
So much of my world is defined by the daughter that I had but that is not here. My family, friends, coworkers...they all know the pain and agony of our past 9 months. Most of them were at a baby shower that was thrown for us, either at work or at home. Most of them have cried with us at least once.
Most everyone that is, except my new boss. She started at my company last Spring, probably when I was out on leave. She has been a great mentor these past few weeks and I really enjoy working with her. But I do not think she knows. I have wanted to tell her, but there is no real way to bring it up in an everyday conversation.
New boss: "Today we are going to learn how to train a time management class."
Me: "Speaking of time management, did I tell you how I lost all track of time when my daughter died?"
See...it doesn't work!
The thing is, I want to tell her. I want her to know. But then, a teeny tiny part of me, likes that she does not know. That she does not see me with pity or sympathy. That she just sees me as a hard worker who is determined and smart and (maybe) funny.
One of these days, there will be a conversation where it will come up. I know it. I want it to. Allie's story is my story. Allie's existence is my existence. But for now, I will savor the time at work when I am just learning the job and making a name for myself. When I am so focused on learning what I need to do and what I want to do and how it all comes together that I do not have time for anything else.
And at the end of each day, I will become "me" again. I can come home and look at the pictures of my baby girl, and write about her, and remember her. I can look at her Certificate of Birth and know that she was not just a figment, but she was real. Even if she just lived inside of me, she was real.