Thursday, August 20, 2009

What baby?

On Glow in the Woods this week, Tash wrote this resonating post about finding out her sister-in-law gave birth, having never been told about the pregnancy. I know the feeling.

The world keeps spinning by. Of course Ezra is still dead. And I've lost count of how many live healthy babies have been born to people in our social circle within the past year...pregnancies of which I was never told...babies which I learned of after the fact. Like the 3 month old I only learned of this week...I never knew she was pregnant. I've talked to these people...spoken on the phone, emailed...this information was carefully left out.

I'll fully admit that other people's pregnancies and babies haven't been the easiest thing for me to deal with this year (ok understatement of the century). It has also gotten easier over time. But as I've explained to each of the friends, acquaintances and colleagues who have shared their pregnancies with me this year, 'I'm happy for them, just sad for me'. Even though I'm now pregnant again myself, other women's pregnancies still make me sad and anxious...but that doesn't mean that I haven't been able to share in the joy with them.

I can't find words to describe how awful it feels to be treating like a pariah, a freak of nature who is considered too fragile to share in what should be one of life's greatest joys. Do people really think they can make me sadder than I already am? That if I don't know about their pregnancy I won't remember that my baby died? It's true I might go home and cry. I might be jealous. But these darker emotions are normal, and are intermingled with the lighter ones.

Who is being protected by not sharing this information? Certainly not hurts way more to find out after the fact than to be told directly, no matter what my reaction. Is it the pregnant women themselves? As if deadbabymama is a contagious plague. Often it feels this way, when even friends who have shared their pregnancies fall away, particularly in the later months.

The reality is that a few friends and colleagues have shared their pregnancies and new babies with me this year...and its been just fine. Its true I can only hear so much...I have wonderful friends who have respected the boundaries I need and not shared information for which I didn't ask. In fact, the more respectful my friends have been, the more able I am to hear more, to meet their babies, to share in the joy.


Michele said...

I feel that way too. Who does is protect to not tell? Not us. Not them. Do they feel better because they feel like they did something good by not telling us? Can they possibly imagine what it is like to find out about a child AFTER they are born? Like that eases the pain?

Funsize said...

I feel the exact same way. Just because they tell me they're pregnant doesn't suddenly remind me that my baby died, as if I forgot.

Thinking of you, Ezra, and your Sunflower. Hoping to know if Sunflower is a boy or a girl.


Akul's mama said...

I have realized that I do not know how to handle myself so how would anyone else know how to do that. It has been 6 months since Akul passed away and I have not been seen my favorite colleagues daughter (we both were pregnant at the same time). I email her and tell her I want to see her baby and email her again in a few minutes crying and telling her I cannot handle it. She has been absolutely wonderful through it all. She told me that she knows I love her Annalise but also that I miss my Akul a lot.

Mirne said...

But that's why people don't talk to me about anything these days. Why they don't mention my pregnancies. Why they pretend nothing bad every happened. Why people act like this is my first pregnancy instead of my third. Why people think that if this baby is born alive, then everything must be ok. Because everyone thinks if they pussy-foot around the topic, then maybe I won't remember those two precious children of mine who died. AS IF.

Anonymous said...

My opinion of people in general has taken a real beating in the last year. Now, I hate to admit it but I truly believe that most people are morons. ((Hugs))

Hope's Mama said...

With you all the way Sarah. I hear you on every word and have experienced so many of the same things. Thankfully most friends have been pretty sensitive. But being off facebook, I'm sure there were entire gestations and births I have missed. Guess I might find out if I bump in to these people, and their offspring in the street.

Kristy ~ said...

I can relate so much. 3 of my close friends were all due within a month of me with my son I lost in September 2008. 3 of us were due in January (one on the exact day as me) and one in February. As each of them had their baby, I was crushed. I wasn't upset for them, or their happiness - the exact opposite. But like you, I am sad for me. Sad for what I am missing out on, sad for what wasn't. Now, I am dealing with it again...3 friends, 1 due a month before I was and 2 a month after me. 1 just had her baby, my due date is quickly approaching and the 2 others. Again, i'm happy for them, but so so sad for what I yet again don't have.

I do find that people aren't very sensitive, even those close to me. I hear constantly about new babies being born, new people who are pregnant...yet, no one seems to understand (or care) how much it really hurts to hear.