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6 Pregnant Friends and a Pregnant Sister

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6 Pregnant Friends and a Pregnant Sister

Postby riehlism » Fri Jul 23, 2010 02:18 pm

by riehlism (655 Posts), Fri Jul 23, 2010 02:18 pm

My baby was due September 17, 2010. I delivered him on June 3, 2010 and he died shortly after his birth. And somehow, in this very small window, it seems as if all my girlfriends decided to jump on the baby train. The topper was my sister sending me a text message that she's pregnant. It seems like no one around me understands.

I have sent friends individual messages explaining my situation and wishing them luck in their pregnancies. I have also explained that, given the circumstances, it is difficult for me to be around them. In addition to that, I sent mutual friends messages asking them to do me the favor of filtering information about babies and pregnancies (mass emails, Facebook postings, pictures, etc) while I mourn for my son. So far I have received no messages back. Everyone seems to be steering clear of me. I'm no longer the "fun friend." I'm just the "lady who lost a baby and is a bit of a bummer these days."

I understand that people may not know how to deal with being around a friend who has experienced a recent hardship. I understand that people may have a hard time trying to console others. I get that. But to not even say, "I understand, take your time." Or "I'm not sure what to do or say, but I'm here." Instead, all I get is people ignoring me or staying away from me.

To add insult to injury, my mom sent me a picture text message last night of my nephew. my only nephew who is 18 months old, and whose baby pictures mimic my son's face. I know she sent it to show me how cute he is. But how clueless can she be? My own mother. She may as well have said: hey, here's what your son could have looked like. Too bad he's in a box.

I like to thing I have been adjusting to the loss of my son well. But throw me a bone here. I appreciate this forum because I know it is full of moms like me who truly understand. I wish I could find that comfort in my own everyday life.
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Re : 6 Pregnant Friends and a Pregnant Sister

Postby m » Fri Jul 23, 2010 03:23 pm

by m (140 Posts), Fri Jul 23, 2010 03:23 pm

I totally understand how you're feeling - it's so hard to be around pregnant women after a loss, and to hear their updates and see pictures of babies. My SIL had a baby almost a year after my loss and it was still so hard for me. I had to ask my MIL to please stop sending me pictures of him. Even if you are adjusting well, it still takes time. People really just don't understand. Some days it made me so mad and other days just sad that this was one more thing to add to my heartache.
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Re : 6 Pregnant Friends and a Pregnant Sister

Postby riehlism » Fri Jul 23, 2010 04:37 pm

by riehlism (655 Posts), Fri Jul 23, 2010 04:37 pm

Sometimes I feel like people say they understand, just to be nice, or because it's the right thing to say. But sympathy and empathy are two different things. If they really understood they wouldn't do things like send your pictures of their babies (or like in our cases, mom or mother in law sharing pictures), or share ultrasound pictures. I even had a friend send me an email about how devastated she was when she found out she didn't pass her gestational diabetes test by a whopping 3 points.

I understand that babies and pregnancy is part of every day life (although 7 in my case really unfortunate timing...thanks life), people shouldn't rub it in, whether accidental or purposeful. I guess I wish people were more sensitive to it.
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Re : 6 Pregnant Friends and a Pregnant Sister

Postby kerisue » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:29 pm

by kerisue (623 Posts), Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:29 pm

Everyone around me is pregnant too. One coworker is due just a couple weeks after I (was supposed to be) due. I dread going back to work and seeing her all happy and pregnant and looking like I SHOULD be looking.
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Re : 6 Pregnant Friends and a Pregnant Sister

Postby m » Sat Jul 24, 2010 00:28 am

by m (140 Posts), Sat Jul 24, 2010 00:28 am

I feel very strongly that anyone who has never had a loss should take the time to visit some grief web sites - most of them have a page of things to do and say and things to NOT do and say. One of the big things to not say is "I understand" if you clearly do not. There is no way someone who has not had a loss can understand. I am so lucky to have a very good friend who repeatedly would tell me that she had no idea what I was going through but that she wanted to help in any way she could.

I had to distance myself from some people who were very insensitive and also from some who really wanted to help but really had no clue and kept making things worse.
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Re : 6 Pregnant Friends and a Pregnant Sister

Postby jules2 » Sun Jul 25, 2010 05:26 pm

by jules2 (514 Posts), Sun Jul 25, 2010 05:26 pm

This is so so hard. My SIL was due 3 weeks after me .... I still have not seen her daughter (nearly one year on) and just don't want to. I'm honestly not sure I ever will.

DH's family don't really understand that, and think I should be "ok" by now. They particularly seem to think it doesn't matter that Alice died now that I am pregnant again and that too is really hard. My daughter is still dead; I don't really want to think about DH's niece doing all the things my daughter can never experience.

One of my closest friends was due a week before me, and I still have not seen her daughter (all friends and family pregnant at the same time as me had baby girls too). It took quite a while for us to talk again, but actually she has been very understanding and never even mentions her daughter when I am around. That is really the exception though. Most of my friends have not been great, many just ignored me (no, I haven't been great fun); its just too hard for them to accept that these things happen. I'm not really very forgiving of that either.

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Re : 6 Pregnant Friends and a Pregnant Sister

Postby kerisue » Mon Jul 26, 2010 02:40 am

by kerisue (623 Posts), Mon Jul 26, 2010 02:40 am

Jules I know what you mean about people thinking you should be "ok" by now. My loss is very recent and people are telling me the pain will lessen with time and I will be able to move on. When they say that I think, but my daughter will still be gone 6 mos. from now, a year from now, 5 years from now, how will that ever be okay? I don't know if I'll be able to have another child, but even if I can, I imagine I will still miss Millie just as much. I'll still miss seeing who she turned out to be.
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Re : 6 Pregnant Friends and a Pregnant Sister

Postby annes » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:51 am

by annes (2527 Posts), Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:51 am

It is very hard to be around pregnant people and people with little babies, when you have just experienced a loss. It took a long time for me to be comfortable. My dh became my savior in that he actually said to people who intimated that it was time to be done being sad and move on, "our son died. imagine if one of your kids died, how quickly do you think you would get over it."that usually did the trick. We found that because Griffin was only 25 weeks and only lived 4 days, that people thought we should get over it faster, like he was less of a person because he was a baby. Most people were really great with us, and continue to be, though. You are not alone, we are all here to support you. take care of yourself.
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Re : 6 Pregnant Friends and a Pregnant Sister

Postby jenmatt1 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 06:41 am

by jenmatt1 (566 Posts), Wed Jul 28, 2010 06:41 am

I have never lost a child that was born alive, but I have had multiple miscarriages, including one at 16 weeks, so while I can't imagine the loss of the child born alive, I do understand your grief. I was told it was only a miscarriage- I could try again or I had my beautiful daughter to be grateful for. No one understood that I had watched that baby for 16 weeks grow and saw her and its HB on the monitor. Add that to the feelings I had from going through HELLP with my daughter and I was simply overwhelmed.

Most people tried hard, but some were just insensitive. Even those that tried never really understood how I was feeling. Even now, I am 16 weeks pregnant again and my sister in law's due date is 2 days before mine. I thought about what if I have a miscarriage, what if I get HELLP again, what if something happens to me or the baby...how will I feel. Even though I am pregnant, I still had to ask her to respect my space because I cannot compare notes with her- while the chances are against me for getting this awful disease again.
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Re : 6 Pregnant Friends and a Pregnant Sister

Postby wrennie » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:45 pm

by wrennie (1019 Posts), Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:45 pm

I definitely think this is something we all have experienced after a loss. You really start to know your true friends, the ones that open their door and just listen whenever and where ever. I saw a therapist, i really recommend one, but you have to search for a good one and one that has helped other women with loss. She helped me prepare for so many circumstances before they ever happened. When I was freaking about going to a party where I would meet a baby the age that my daughter would have been, she helped me. We visualized it, went through the emotion of it, and when the moment came it was not a shock to me and I was able to surprise myself with my courage and compassion. It takes alot of work and for me, it almost felt like I was the only one working. I had to learn how to live in my new world, so I COULD relate again and become a person that people didnt avoid anymore (not that I think we really are people to avoid, but I think we definitely feel that way). Through the process, i really did gain compassion for others, for their inability to relate to me, for their inability to support me. FOr me I found it was ok, I knew my true friends.

family was always another story. I had the full spectrum, my brother wrote and recorded a song for Elodie. Its amazing. My mother saw me four days after my loss and told me to stop crying! Seriously!? I had to learn that I was her baby and she was focused on fixing me, even though that isnt what i needed.

All and all, i think grief stuns everyone. And, it depends on the person as to how they will deal or help others deal. You have to focus on yourself, and your husband. Thats most important. To navigate thru your grief on your own terms in your own time is what it takes. People will either get this or not. Slowly, i think most people will learn when you need them, you will come calling.

anyhow im just rambling...but i hope there is some help in here. You are smart to come here, this board is therapy too. it does help to know you are not alone. Please email me if you ever have questions or need support!
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