Okay, so I said something a few blog posts ago, that I thought, “I had better write a follow-up to that entry, or else I may lose some readers that haven’t lost a baby, or even some that have.” Some that have lost, may not have a hard time seeing a pregnant woman, especially after having their rainbow baby. I will say, at first, after losing Emily, I did not have a hard time with it immediately. But, within a few months, I did. It just happened. And I remembered how most mothers at groups that I attended, admitted they did as well. Seeing a pregnant women after you lost your baby.
So, what is it? Why is it so hard? I am going to try and explain it as best as I can. And maybe then you can understand better why you have had these feelings, if you have. If you haven’t, more power to you.
When you lose a baby while pregnant, it is the worst pain you can imagine. When you lose a baby, period, it is the worst pain you can imagine. But I am trying to explain when you lose while pregnant, and seeing pregnant mothers. Anyhow, you have done everything up to this point to have this baby. The greatest gift in the world you could ever receive and love. You already started the prenatal vitamins. Have read the first chapters of “What to Expect”. Have started eating healthy, drinking more water. Started exercising. Being careful of not lifting too much. You have a life inside of you that you must and want to, protect. Then you find out that your baby died. But nothing that you did. You didn’t drink that beer, or light up that cigarette. I know, the extreme. But some mothers do, and they still have a healthy baby. Most mothers that lose have a hard time wrapping their head around that one. But then there are the mothers that get to keep their babies. Did everything that you did. And continue on being pregnant, but you don’t.
Whether your baby had some medical reason as to why they passed, or didn’t, you think, “Why did my baby not get to live? And yours did?” And then the hard part is seeing these pregnant women, during the time that you were supposed to still be pregnant. I was busy the other day making changes to our Michael’s headstone while I was thinking, “I should be planning a baby registry right now. Not doing this.” So, when you see other women doing exactly what you were doing in taking care of yourself and baby, but your baby didn’t live, it leads to thoughts of, “This just isn’t fair. What did I do wrong? Why couldn’t I have my baby?” How could it not? So that is just a small piece as to why it is hard to see others pregnant. Especially when you are supposed to still be pregnant. We are getting hospital bills in the mail for babies we did not get to bring home. We are picking out headstones. We are signing death certificates, as you are signing birth certificates. This is why it is hard. Physically, we are still bleeding for that four-six weeks after delivery. Our milk is coming in. Only, our babies aren’t there for it. As your baby is growing, and you are decorating nurseries, we are decorating our baby’s cemetery graves with flowers. We are planning funerals, as you are planning baby showers. Sometimes, we have done both. As you are picking out names for your babies, we are too. The only difference is, your baby is alive. Ours is not. We still have this great love for our babies. Only we go home from the hospitals with empty arms, as your arms are wrapped around the greatest joy ever. I will never forget that, this last time with losing Michael. As I was being wheeled out of the hospital without Michael wrapped around my arms, there was a mother right in front of me, about 30 feet ahead being wheeled out, holding her new baby in a baby car seat, with congratulations balloons tied around her wheelchair. Can you imagine the pain I was feeling? It was like that saying, “pouring salt into a wound,” times a million.
I am just letting all out there know what this feels like. It is not a mean jealousy. It is just a looking up at God, and saying, “Why couldn’t I have had that? I did everything that person did for the love, the most beautiful gift growing inside of me? Why couldn’t it have happened for me?” And then we are forced to endure and see the rest of our “what would have been” pregnancies, with mothers that do get that. But we didn’t, and we don’t know why. And it’s hard. There is no other word for it.