My husband and I were shopping for baby furniture the other day. We have been so focused on the other parts of our new house that we had put off setting up the nursery. We finally nailed down a day to go out to start looking. We met at a store nearby and spent over an hour perusing the cribs, matching dressers, gliders, and rockers.
We spoke with a sales associate to purchase our chosen crib and dresser. We began talking with him about what we do and where we are from. He walked us over to the counter to tally up our price. As he was adding everything up, he told us a bit more about himself. He said how before working at the store he had sold car seats, now he sells furniture. He knows about all the guidelines and regulations of baby things and top brands. He told us of all the nieces and nephews he had. One would assume he had children of his own.
“My wife and I wanted kids,” he said as he wrote up our receipt. “We had about 4 or 5 losses. We tried adoption, but that didn’t work out either. So here we are. We’re happy with how things are meant to be.”
We both responded with, “Wow, we’re so sorry.” I stood there for another moment in silence, unsure of how to respond to this man’s brave honesty. I decided to respond with my own honesty.
“I had two miscarriages before this pregnancy,” I said. I felt my face get red as I placed my hand over my wiggling baby bump.
He nodded his head, “So you know how it feels. It’s hard.”
“It is. It’s really tough,” I said. “I guess we just have to keep believing someone up there knows why this stuff happens because we sure don’t. Just gotta believe there’s a reason behind it all.”
“Yeah,” he said. “That’s all we can do.” He said to my husband his name made him think of it. One of the losses was supposed to be named Zachary.
Since having my miscarriages, we haven’t had an off the cuff conversation like that with a stranger. We didn’t say that much to each other. We didn’t go into detail. The understood feeling of the heartbreak of loss connected the three of us in that moment. What started as a simple trip to get some furniture for our little one, turned into a moment of deeper human connection. You really never know what others have gone through. We all have a story to tell and it makes a difference when there are people there to listen.