Friday, February 27, 2009

Stumbling Block! Other People's Pregnancies

I received this email from Amber and related so much to what she says:

Something that has been difficult for me is that I had 2 other sisters who were pregnant while I was. One who was due in October and one who was due in January (almost exactly a month before me). When I lost Gunnar, it was so hard for me to even be around my sisters. Even though I was so happy for them, it was so hard. One sister had had several miscarriages and the other had been trying to get pregnant for over 3 years. They had both had their own struggles so they each deserved their happiness. When my first sister had her babies (twins!) in October, I couldn't even go around those babies for a long time. Of course I called her and made some meals for her, but it was so hard to be around them. I finally went to see them and in doing so, it helped heal my hurt a little. When I held each one of those beautiful miracles, I cried but it felt good to in a way "fill my void".

When I was pregnant with Gabriel my sister and sister-in-law were pregnant at the same time. Actually, with my 3 siblings and my husband's 4 sisters there has been one or the other of us pregnant at any given time for the past 12 years. There may have been others pregnant at that same time. I've mostly blocked it out.

That is kind of how my brain deals with people being pregnant, even now. Isn't that terrible? It is like I am pretending they aren't pregnant until they 'SHOW ME THE BABY' (do you hear me doing a Cuba Gooding accent from Jerry Maguire?) Sorry. I shouldn't make light of it. I don't mean to. But I no longer equate 'pregnant' with the end result of 'going to have a baby'. It's terrible. I know. So cynical. It makes my husband crazy.

Anyway.

I remember specifically my sister being pregnant because we had a conversation at that time about it. She felt so bad- terrible. Guilty, almost. That she was pregnant and I wasn't. It was easy for me to be magnanimous about it because she lives in Hawaii and I didn't have to see her big pregnant belly every day. I didn't begrudge her HER baby. I just wanted mine. If you know what I mean.

My other sister in law lives here, close by. And it WAS hard to be around her. And especially when her little baby came home. But she and my brother asked permission to give their baby 'Gabriel' for a middle name. How kind to honor him in that way. I know some people do not like others using their baby's names because a name is the only unique thing we are left with. But this was kindly done and I appreciate it.

I thought it interesting that Amber expressed it was healing to hold babies. I have heard others say that, too. For me, I can not hold other people's babies. Still, today, it is hard for me. I rarely do. I will ooh and aah over them but do not hold them.

Thanks so much to Amber for sharing this email with us.

peace-
emily

13 comments:

Bates Family said...

Thank you for letting me share. It is kind of nice to hear someone validate what you felt. Thank you again.

Amber

E and K Rausch said...

I have the same issue. At work there is this woman who is due a month after I was. I see her and I just want to scream, I feel as though I hate her. Its not her, it the fact that why does she get to keep her baby and I dont. It is something I have to get over. It HURTS and maybe I will never get over it. I am glad that right now all my sister in laws are done having children so I wont have to deal with seeing them pregnant. Thank you for sharing

Lea said...

Wow, do I get that. My brother and sister-in-law had a baby a month after we lost Nicholas. I still haven't met my own niece... I can't imagine holding another infant in my arms if it isn't Nicholas. I feel a lot of guilt for that. For not seeing her yet. I also feel like I may be betraying my sweet baby boy by holding another baby in my arms... they are meant for him. Silly, I know. Thank you for sharing.

Aaron'sMommy said...

Before Aaron I was a baby holder. I loved them and loved holding them etc. Since he died I have not held anyone babies. I have held my niece, but it was after she was 6 months old. I have been around other babies and have always been up front with them. I just tell friends outright that I will do things in my own time and I don't know that I will hold another baby unless it is my own.

Living With Loss said...

I found that really interesting to read - thanks for posting it. Shortly after my second miscarriage we met up with my cousin who had a 5 month old baby. I was worried about seeing them and didn't know how I would react but it turned out to be really healing to hold him. We've seen them again since and I really look forward to it and spending time with her baby. I think for me it was filling that void too - after my first miscarriage I just really wanted to hold and cuddle a baby in my arms.

Marci said...

Good post. I had 2 friends that had babies the same week as I. I have always been a baby lover and to have those babies close by and be able to have them and hold them really helped me heal. It really helped me fill the void. It was difficult somedays though!! There were a couple of times when I just couldn't do it. If things go good we will be holding our new baby in October.

Icantletitgo said...

My cousin is pregnant. She is due a little over a month after my Logan should have been here. I am lucky that I don't get to see her, but we have a family website, and she is on there all the time. And she talks about her pregnancy. And I can't help but feel like life is so unfair. She's one of those woman you look at and wonder why SHE gets a baby! She doesn't take care of herself, I was perfect when I was pregnant. Why does she get a baby? But I get on the website and I play along. I don't want people to think I'm cruel. But I keep finding myself thinking...well it's not here yet! It's a terrible feeling. I feel the same way about pregnancy now. Just because you're pregnant, even past the scary 3 month miscarraige mark...even past the age of viability...it doesn't mean a thing. I fear I won't ever be able to be pregnant again and not be convinced that that baby probably won't live either.

Ruthykins said...

my sister in law was pregnant at the same time i was. she was due about 3 months after me. she wasn't sure if she should come around me or not. she didn't want to upset me. she came to see me at the hospital and i told her that i was very happy she was there. it was nice for me to see that there are still going to be babies in the world. i've never minded being around babies. since my sil had her baby i've held her a few times, but my husband is almost addicted to the baby. can't get her away from him. my sister is now pregnant and it was nice to be able to give her a lot of the baby clothes that i had saved from my first daughter for my second daughter. this is my sister's first daughter, so she had nothing. sometimes i wonder if i'm taking things so well because i still have two children, a boy and a girl.

Zil said...

It's awful that I want to tell glowing pregnant women "don't count your chickens before they hatch, because a lot can go wrong between now and when your baby is born". I have to bite my tongue. I'm glad I'm not alone in this struggle.

Yaya said...

I can relate to these feelings.


My issue is pregnancy. I am so jealous of pregnant women. Once you have the baby, fine, great, you have a kid like so many other people, but the pregnancy is what gets to me.

Lechelle said...

Pregnant people are very painful for me, but it often depends on the person. Those who show compassion and recognize my feelings are easier to be around.

After my son died in pregnancy one of my friends said some ignorant insensitive things to me about God being responsible for taking him. Then we both got pregnant at the same time, due within weeks of each other. My daughter then died in pregnancy, and I did everything to avoid this pregnant friend, and all other pregnant women who seemed to take it so lightly, it was too painful to be around. Two months later her son died in pregnancy. I wish she had been able to keep her naivety. When other friends share their pregnancy news, I pretend to be excited. While true that I am happy for them, I am also jealous and bitter that I don't have that innocent happiness anymore.

Another friend is due within weeks of when this second pregnancy was. She has often shown she recognizes the worth of my lost children and it has made all the difference. I love being around her, despite her very pregnant belly, and I am even co-throwing her baby shower after the baby arrives. Her understanding has made the difference.

As for little babies, I rarely hold them but when I do I cry every time. It freaks people out.

Claire said...

I am able to appreciate and hold my friend's newborn babies, in a away it does give me a sense of healing but of course i feel the sadness that i wish i had my daughter in my arms...i am ok seeing other people pregnant..a mother deserves a chance in a miracle to happen..to me it gives me a sense of hope...that im praying and hoping i will be blessed again with another child...

corilee said...

I miscarried two weeks ago. I'm glad that I found your blog from "women doing more", although it still makes me cry, its nice to know that I am not alone in this even if nobody understands what I'm going through. Thank you.