After a pregnancy loss, it’s almost impossible to ignore the pregnancy announcements. We usually have many pregnant friends or friends having babies and we see their birth announcements, first smile, videos of when they first roll over, etc.
Many of us who love hearing about their pregnancies despite how hard it might be. I remember this being hard after I lost Ruby too and I remember a huge sense of jealousy. I also remember wishing pregnant women would lose their babies. After we lost Gus in May, I have been surprised how quickly I have “recovered” and how little I experience these thoughts.
Maybe it’s my line of work and how much pain I have witnessed? Maybe it’s the fact that I know so many women who are carrying their rainbow baby? It doesn’t really matter, I am just glad I am not having those harsh thoughts this time.
But here it is, a common complaint among the newly bereaved and no, not everyone will feel this way but you (our friends, family, etc) will never know unless you ask. Don’t make us feel like the uninvited.
It wasn’t long after Gus passed that I too, became one of the “uninvited.” Uninvited to gender reveal parties and baby showers. Uninvited to anything that revolves around a baby and one that particularly hurt, blocked from seeing certain posts related to their baby.
So here goes. For all of you who think you are protecting us by not inviting us and blocking us from seeing updates about your babies, it actually hurts more. We aren’t sure if you are doing this to save us from some hurt or if we represent everything you are scared of but you are taking away our choice.
We can choose what we want to see and if we want to go but we need to be given the choice. We might actually feel like attending your baby shower. We might actually feel like attending your birth or visiting you in the hospital after bub is born. So please don’t take that choice away from us because you think it will be too painful.
It absolutely hurts that my baby died. We are sad for that death experience and miss feeling and seeing all that you are experiencing but we are also sad because we are being left out. We care deeply about you and want to share your pregnancy and baby with you. We might not be ready but you need to ask. Seriously.
I had a few friends contact me privately to tell me they were pregnant before they announced it to the world. I was very appreciative that they were thinking of me. They didn’t really have to do that but it was most appreciated. It helps because it’s as if she is thinking of me and how I might feel and because of that, my loss feels validated. So help validate and don’t segregate us because you are scared.
While we can’t jump for joy and excitement over your news, we are happy for you and will extend our congratulations to you. If we aren’t ready, we will let you know.
The Newly Bereaved