She was in, with a beautiful new infant, for his first checkup. Vigorous, rooting, crying, reaching, full of life and zest.
She had lost an infant, not long ago.
As I wrapped up his visit, I asked how she was managing the difficult emotions she must be having. Doctor to patient.
What I really wanted to do was to ask, mother to mother: How did it feel to give birth to a child knowing that last one that made that violent trip from your womb to the world is no longer with you? Did you sob with joy, or grief? When you hold him, does it pain you to see the blood filling his fingers? When he suckles your breast, do you see her face? Or does this amazing gift of life, again, ease your loss?
She was managing, she said. And smiled. She looked like she meant it. She looked happy.