This one was getting long so I had to break it up. Getting back to the point, ceremonial items are very good, they give us records and mementos, something to look back at forever after the moment has passed. We have funeral ceremonies, but people get to make arrangements. I guess what shocked me the most is that I could get blindsided by having the ceremony the hospital chooses forced on me, instead of honoring and remembering the moment, and the little one in my own way. Why not a birth certificate? Why not certify the start, the birth, the moment the little one came into the world? Is the birth not as real as the death? In the case of a miscarriage, you know exactly when the birth happened, most IFers even pretty much know when conception happened, but when do you assign the time of death? Is it odd that I can accept that death can occur before birth, or that birth is equally if not more worthy of certification than death?
Anyway, back to “Am I a parent?” After discussing this topic with Jennifer, upsetting her with my initial views, and lying in bed for a few moments, a whole new realization swept over me, it sank in. I sprung up, grabbed a pen and paper and started making notes. I was pissed off. Where are my death certificates? Who is anyone to decide that a 22 week old pregnancy is any more of a person or life, any more worthy of records and certification, than my 10-12 week olds? As I made notes, tears came to my eyes. In these moments, I was not sad for myself, I was not sad for Jennifer, I was genuinely sad that BB and Autumn had been treated as less of a person than others. It wasn’t right, and the sadness, jealousy, and hurt I felt for them, acting as if I was protective of their feelings, and feeling their equal existence to others, that was a clear instance of caring for others (see definition of parent above), and there was no confusion as to who I was caring for. It was not Jennifer, and it was not me. It was BB and Autumn. It was not the certificate itself that has enlightened me, it was the way that such a situation could make me feel, that I felt injustice. That I could feel so strongly for them, that I could care for them as if they had feelings, that I had a passionate sense of protection toward them, that tells me something. It tells me that Jennifer is right. Although I cannot wrap my mind around the notion of being a parent, my heart has always been able to.