But to give this story a little context I have to go back to a couple of months ago when I met this friend for a sushi lunch. We were chatting about her toddler son. She had just finished telling me about how her son was being an asshole about one thing or another and I kinda made a comment about how funny it is that kids do these things and yet we still want more. All of a sudden, her face went very straight and she told me she was definitely having more. And soon. She was, in fact, 5 months pregnant.
At that moment, I kinda already felt like I had be blindsided. Here she was, sitting face to face, with no thought of how fragile I might be, telling me she was 1/2 through her second pregnancy. It took me a back a little bit, and I was able to gather my shit enough to congratulate her and her husband and son. And I was genuinely happy, if not slightly jealous (because lets be real: I'm not yet pregnant, my son has just died, and I am trying my very best to feign interest in a "normal" life). Then she announced the kicker- she had conceived the night she got the phone call from me letting her know Jack had died.
And I may as well have been smashed in the face with a shovel. Why tell me that? I am smart enough to (instantly) do the math in my head, and had already figured that out. But the exact night... And you had the desire to tell me this?
So now, I'm not only blindsided, but I'm reeling in what should have/could have been and thinking about how at the very moment Jack's life was ending, a new one was forming within her womb.
We were only partially though our SUSHI lunch and I didn't really have much of a choice but to keep sitting there, pasting on a fake smile, and asking the shit load of questions you're supposed to ask about someone when they're expecting (I suppose I could have abruptly ended our lunch, but I'm not really that kind of person. Wish I was, but I'm not)... When lunch was over, I called my husband, sobbing from the car. He told me to cut her out of my life, because who needs a friend who would do that to you.
I spent the next few days checking with mutual friends to see if they knew. And they all did. Every last one of them had known for months and no one had told me, thinking it was her place to do so. She waited until she was half way through her pregnancy to tell me about her new baby, and waited to tell me in person.
I think a heads up should have been in order, right? A hint from one of them, but mostly a quick text or email or whatever so I wasn't so shocked to find this shit out in person, right?
Anyway, that's my little gear-up to where we were facing up to last night. We've emailed a couple of times since, but haven't seen one another.
Last night she announced she had finally discovered that her new baby was a boy. And I am genuinely happy, I clearly love little boys (:: sincerely hope this sentence doesn't bring unwanted visitors to my pretty little blog...::) I send her a note on Facebook congratulating her.
Then about 15 minutes later she calls me. We chat about the news, we chat about work (we work for the same government agency), we chat about NYC, etc. Then, I ask her if she has thought of baby names...
I hate that I'm even writing this right now. But I have to get it off my chest because I'm hurting, and I feel like I owe it to our friendship to be honest.
I'm really hurt. I've been crying on and off since our conversation tonight thinking about whether I'm being irrational. I don't own the name Jack, I didn't invent it, my Jack wasn't the first and won't be the last. But that you would want to use such a similar name, at this point only seven short months after my Jack was born, is something I can't comprehend.
I guess what I'm left with is that if Jack were alive, you likely wouldn't name your child Jax, and yet because Jack died his name is up for dibs again. Out of the thousands of baby boy names, that you came up with a name nearly the same as Jack breaks my heart.
I don't know where to go from here. If you name your child Jax, I don't know that I can ever meet him, which is horrible. I just think saying his name is too similar to what I should have.
But this will be your son, so obviously you have the final say. Obviously. I just wanted to lay it out on the line so you know where I'm coming from. It all kinda took me by surprise, and I wasn't anticipated it and in all honestly was a little shocked and possibly still am.
So that's kinda where I am."
She replied a hour or so later with this:
"Laura, I am SO sorry. The name is off the table. Thank you for being honest. There was a part of me that knew it was a horrible idea. I guess -the more we watched the stupid tv show... the more we liked it (and the character). Hope I didn't break your heart."
? The name Jax is from a cartoon? You put me through all this agony for a cartoon character's name?
So, I guess this is resolved then.
Or is it?
Where can I possibly go from here?
The damage has been done, I still feel like a piece of me has been carved off and I have an open wound. And she rubbed the salt in, and then tried to rinse it off- with vinegar.
Baby, it burns.