What To Do When She is Pregnant, and You Are Not

I hesitate to write this post because, full disclosure, I have people in my life who are pregnant right now, and I didn’t want them to feel like I was singling them out or directing this post towards them in any way.  But, coincidentally, I’ve had a lot of conversations with friends who are in the trenches of pregnancy loss and infertility who are met with this dilemma (without even knowing my own situation), and the conversations that I’ve had with them have been so helpful, eye-opening, and uplifting that I feel like I want to share.

PreggoFriends

Because it’s not normal to hear that a new, precious life is coming into this world and respond to it with grief.  And we, as the women of pregnancy loss, get that.  We want to be happy.  We want to feel nothing but joy and excitement for what is coming.  But sometimes that is difficult because it means that time is moving on, and it’s a reminder that our precious babies are not here with us.  And we wonder if we will ever get to experience this same joy.

So, here are some things that I’ve learned from conversations with others as well as through my own journey.

  1. It’s okay to not be okay.  I feel like there is this desire to just get over it and “act normal” for those people we love and care about.  But being honest with yourself and with your friends and family is paramount to your health and the health of your relationships
  2. It’s okay to have boundaries.  You do not have to go to that baby shower.  You do not have to inundate yourself with social media pictures and updates of belly shots. You already know at least some of your limitations, and communicating that to people who love you will help in the long run
  3. It’s okay to challenge yourself.  But even if you don’t go to that baby shower, I challenge you to still get them a gift or send them a card.  I would invite you to pray for them, or even ask them for specific prayers about their pregnancy.  Don’t just lock yourself away from everything, because there is a baby coming, and that is something to be excited about.
  4. It’s okay to seek help.  I see a therapist.  I have since about 10 months after my first daughter died.  I found a therapist that specializes in pregnancy and infant loss, having experienced it herself, but that may not always be available in your area.  Try at least one session.  Or at the very, very least find a good, supportive forum.  There are private Facebook groups and groups on several sites where women go for support.  They have been helpful to me on advice as well.

Dear pregnant friends, please be patient with us.  We are not going to go about this perfectly.  We may mess up and say the wrong thing or have a response to something that you weren’t expecting.  Know that we love you and we love this sweet new little one coming into the world.  We are just terrified of our own grief at times, at the unexpectedness of it all.  I’ve had reactions to milestones in other people’s pregnancies that I had no idea would affect me so much.

I am pretty lucky to have very aware friends and family who have supported me over the last four years of our pregnancy loss journey.  But I know that this isn’t true for a lot of women in my life, and I wanted to reach out and let them know that they are not alone.

 

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4 thoughts on “What To Do When She is Pregnant, and You Are Not

  1. All four of your points are spot on. And this, “Dear pregnant friends, please be patient with us.  We are not going to go about this perfectly” is something I wish I had the courage to say so many times!
    And honestly, even though we now have Little MPB in our lives, I still don’t ask people about their pregnancies while they are pregnant. I know I appear cold for this, but honestly, I’m petrified of hearing they lost their baby (and somehow I didn’t know) and I’m equally petrified of hearing all the details of their pregnancy. At this point in my life I know I will never have a healthy/successful pregnancy, I’m okay with that. But, I also know I don’t need to hear the details about those who do have successful pregnancies. I’m happy for them, but I know my boundaries and I have to respect my boundaries. (also, I should add my reaction is completely different for those who have struggled I think in part because I know that they get it, and I also know how much support and love they need through a pregnancy).

    • I am very similar in the way I interact with other pregnancies as well. And I find that those women who have gone through past pregnancy struggle don’t tend to offer up many details with my asking first because they have been there and I think that makes the interaction easier.

  2. Pingback: Friday Rambles: Respecting the Journey |

  3. Pingback: Saturday Summary |

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