That about sums it up.
For me, moving and meeting new people can open up the door for a lot of self-consciousness, awkwardness, insecurity, and loneliness. When you move into a place where relationships have been formed and on-going for years, it's easy to feel like there's nowhere to fit.
Add to that a feeling of already being an outsider, and it's not a pretty picture.
I moved from a place where all my friends knew me and Owen well. They were either there for me when I was pregnant with him and then when he died or we formed strong bonds because of our common losses.
The usual questions of 'where are you from', 'what brings you to the area', etc. are followed by the dreaded 'is she your only child?'
There is usually some awkwardness that follows the question 'how many children do you have?' when one (or more) of your children live(s) in Heaven.
And to be honest, I'm tired of answering this particular question.
I don't ever tire of talking about Owen. He's never far from my mind, so the 'issue' of bringing him up in conversation isn't the problem. It's the feeling of outsider-ness and the loneliness that it brings. It's the awkwardness that comes with just the mere mention of my son. It's the fact that I can't talk about him without feeling that I'm making someone uncomfortable. I feel like I can't talk about my own son. And that just plain sucks.
I never (well, rarely) let what I think someone may feel after hearing about Owen dictate when or how I talk about him, but I hate the silence that usually comes after his name is spoken. I hate my own assumptions about what someone might be thinking. 'How long ago was this- you're still grieving??' or 'Hmmm... I don't believe I would have mentioned that if someone had asked me.' I often wonder what people are thinking when I talk about him during those first few conversations with someone new. Am I being too vulnerable with someone I've just met? Does the person I'm talking to even care?
Even though my insecurity runs deep, I still decide that it's worth it. Now matter what people think or say, it is worth the risks and consequences to talk about my son. He's my baby boy and I enjoy talking about him. I also feel like there's so much good that comes from being open about Owen. I get to talk about our God and how good he is, despite being separated from my son. I can proclaim God's great faithfulness and love (his never ending, always pursuing, forever love) through the pain and sorrow I feel each day. There's also a huge need for education about stillbirth and loss during pregnancy. The subject of stillbirth is so taboo; it's almost dirty. It makes me angry just typing the words, because by extension- talking about my son is taboo or dirty. That just shouldn't be the case.
For me, stillbirth isn't an 'issue' or a cause. Loss during pregnancy isn't easily defined in terms of miscarriage or stillbirth. It isn't something that's happened to me. They're my children. When I talk about stillbirth and miscarriage, I'm talking about my children's lives. Their existence. And I long to talk about my babies in Heaven.
It can be exhausting though. And that's where I am.
But, if you meet me tomorrow and ask me about my kids- I will joyfully tell you all about my babies in Heaven, my Owen, and the God who keeps hold of us all.