Friday, April 16, 2010

The things people say

We've all heard comments about baby loss and infertility that sometimes sting us, right?

One of the many things that has been strange for me with this pregnancy is that EVERYONE (besides my wonderful obgyn) talks to me as though this is my first pregnancy. It's as though becoming pregnant with baby number two simply erased the existence of my first son, Baby S.

Throughout the second trimester, which I just completed, people who know of my loss would often give me a "heads-up" as to what to expect week by week. Apparently they erased from their minds that I carried Baby S 2/3rds of the way through the second trimester- so I knew the symptoms, the appointments to expect, etc.

The comments from people are sometimes strange to me. It is awkward navigating how to respond...

Them: You've made it past the first trimester, no worries now! My thought: Really? I lost my son at 21 weeks- and know people who have lost babies as far as full term.

Them: Are you enjoying pregnancy? Me: It took me getting past the 5 1/2 month mark, but now I am enjoying it as much as possible. Them: Oh, I know the morning sickness- it's the worst.

Them: This pregnancy thing is SO HARD (first-timer, instantly pregnant, no problems). My thought: Um, yeah. ??

Them: I am so glad my child will finally have a cousin! My thought: They ALREADY DO have a cousin: MY CHILD- YOUR NEPHEW- WHO DIED!!

Even though I'm sure some people haven't forgotten our loss, I'm pretty sure the outside world sees a rainbow baby as erasing the baby who was lost. In addition, although most people do not know the lengths that we went through to get pregnant both times, they do know that it was difficult for us both times. Yet still friends around me constantly talk about getting pregnant as though it's something that is accomplished on-demand, exactly when and how one wishes. "We are going to conceive this summer." "We plan to have 3 kids, each 2 years apart." etc. Most of my friends have been very lucky in the fertility/pregnancy department, but clearly do not think that infertility is something that could possibly affect them.

The strange- at times painful- comments have been plenty over the past fifteen months. But I do want to end this post on a positive note and hang on to the comments from a few friends who somehow knew exactly what to say. I will never forget their words which comforted me.

After our loss, my dear friend Stacey said: "I want you to know that I loved your baby too." She is the only person who expressed love/care for our child.

My friend Amy called me explaining that her heart was breaking for me and she began crying on the phone. She is the only person (besides dh) who cried along with me.

When I shared the news of my current pregnancy with my friend Jessica she expressed her happiness for us, and also said "I'm sure it must be bittersweet." She is the only person who has acknowledged that we must miss Baby S.

7 comments:

  1. CeCe, I can't imagine how painful those things must be for you to hear. I think some people are simply insensitive, and those who aren't just don't know what to say, so they avoid saying anything.

    Your post was very timely for me because I will be seeing a friend this weekend who lost her baby girl last summer at 22 weeks and is now pregnant again, with another girl. We have not had a chance to talk in person since her daughter's death. I hope I can be more sensitive to her feelings because of having read your post.

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  2. HUGS I think people try to act like it's not a big deal cause it's so scary. No one wants to think of loosing a child and it's to taboo to talk about. Good luck with your pregnancy!!!

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  3. P.S. We have friends, too, who talk like pregnancy can be "made to order" and happen whenever it's convenient for them. For most of them, it is exactly that. One told us proudly how she conceived the first month after stopping BCPs both times and timed her maternity leaves over the holidays. Another friend bemoaned her fertility with the sad old line “He just has to look at me and I get pregnant.”

    I don't wish the experience of infertility or loss on anyone, but it does sting to hear others who have no idea what a struggle this is for some of us.

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  4. Sorry for the dumb ignorant comments- but so glad for the comforting ones.

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  5. It must be so hard to hear those things about what pregnancy is like, when it makes it so clear that those people don't get it, or are trying to forget.

    Your friends who DO understand how important it is to remember your baby are truly treasures. *hugs*

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