Thursday, January 19, 2006

Your Friend is Pregnant after a Miscarriage

I delivered my twins at 5 months in September 2005. I waited just a few weeks before getting pregnant again . I am now 11 weeks pregnant and mostly sad. There was no excitement when seeing that BFP. I wasn't elated, instead I was relieved. I was relieved I was finally doing something right and that I could prove to myself that I could do this 'baby-thing' right.

We haven't told anyone, unless it was necesary. My two good friends know because they watch my other kids during doctor appointments, my mother, and mother-in-law know. But they too have been sworn to secrecy. We haven't told our sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or ANYONE ELSE! I have quietly thrown up in the bathroom while family friends were in our house. And I have come up with every excuse under the sun as to why I can't take any cold medicines. I just can't tell people yet. I don't want to hear the 'gushing'. A simple - "that's great" - would be fine. But its the obsession about names, nursery colors, gender, what kind of big brother/sister my kids will make, etc. Its forgetting about the tragedy in our family so recently when we lost our twin sons. Its the worry that something will happen again, why would I even try since I couldn't carry the twins. I should just be happy with the two I have. People just don't understand what happened. People will assumed I have 'moved on'. Emotionally I am not ready to deal with their feelings.

I did all that for 5 months. I obsessed about how hard it would be having 3 to 4 kids in diapers. I worried about moving beds around and sharing rooms. I spent time shopping and planning a baby shower. I joined a multiples club. I found a babysitter to help out for the duration of my pregnancy. The children loved her. I spent weeks throwing up, worrying about names, searching for another crib, lining up help . . . . all for naught. I just can't go through that again - emotionally.

Until I can feel the baby moving regularly I don't think I will be excited. Be sure that I will be obsessing about movement. If I don't feel enough kicks I will be at my doctor's office on a stress machine, monitoring movement. I will not be deterred. Although no complications are expected . . . . that's exactly what accidents are, unexpected.

I am no longer innocent in thinking that a positive pregnancy tests ends in a healthy baby coming home 24 hours after contractions begin. I used to look forward to each appointment so I could see or hear that little heart again. I vaguely worried about 'what if'; kind of the same way I worried about the sun falling out of the sky. In the days and weeks following the death of my twins I sought out other women who had had similar losses. I have heard their stories and complications. I know the lady who rushed to the hospital at 37-weeks pregnant, carseat in hand, only to find that her son's heart had already stopped beating. I know that there is no safe zone during pregnancy - during life.

If you were my friend I would want you to be honest with me. I hate when people ignore the obvious. Yes, my children died, I am not over it, I will never be over it, having another child does not help/cause me to forget my dead children.

Tell your friend that you love her and you think of her and her child often. You want to be a good friend. Tell her you understand that she must be scared and worried to be pregnant again - if you don't understand that, then tell her that you have been told that women are scared to be pregnant again. Listen to her fears. Do not tell her that it won't happen again - Are you God, How do you know? Ask her how she wants to celebrate this baby. She may not be ready to celebrate yet. I'm not. I am still waiting for this baby to die. Perhaps she will want a welcome home party once she knows the baby has safely arrived. When you send her congratulatory cards remind her that she is a mother to 2, do not leave out her angel.

Don't avoid telling her about new babies or pregnancies. Just be polite. Mention it and move on. Let her guide the conversation. I love talking about my pregnancy with the twins. And I equally like explaining how they came into this world. It validates their life and death. I carried small and no one saw them after they were delivered. Some days I feel like they were a figment of my imagination. But talking about them helps.

2 comments:

  1. I read this and I cried! My heart goes out to you and others that have went through the same thing. I've had to grieve through a loss similar to yours so I Kinda know the pain. My pain was from infertility. I have 3 wonderful blessings through adoption. I am not their bm but thanks be to God I am their mother. My prayers for you will be lifted up.

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  2. Thanks you so much for this. My friend lost thier baby son at 30 weeks. I have been starting at the card I bought for four days not knowing what to say or how to support her. After reading your story and your wonderful advice, I quickly completed a letter to my friend and ran to the mailbox with it. I honor your strength and courage. Thank you so much.

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