I received a question I decided to blog about. The question was "did you find it difficult to be around your pregnant friends, seeing people pregnant in public and pregnant women all over social media? If so, how did you handle it?
I'll start by saying, there is no judgement here. Until you have walked in our shoes you may not understand why most bereaved parents of infants feel this way. For me personally and every other bereaved mother I have talked to (who have lost perinatal or as an infant) we all share this feeling, though it may be different for some. I'm not saying this is how everyone feels but everyone I have talked too (a few hundred bereaved moms) this is how we feel.
For some of us, we don't handle it well. It's like adding salt to the wound. Digging the knife a bit deeper. It hurts. I avoided pregnant women at all possible costs and even to this day, I have a difficult time with it. It stings to see another pregnant woman. Even after having Bee it still hurts. It's still hard and I can't tell you why because I don't know. It's just how I feel.
It's not that I wish any harm to those pregnant women or their children, I don't even wish what we've gone through on our worst enemy but it is hard. For me it's that they have something I lost that I wish I had. Innocence. I lost my innocence, joy, naïveness, a huge part of who I was and so much more. Given, when I see pregnant women, I don't know if they are carrying their miracle rainbow or not so I shouldn't feel that way but I do.
I wish I could enjoy being pregnant. I wish I could be excited about a new baby arriving. I wish I could be so careless to the little things of pregnancy. But I can't and it hurts to see others who can. Don't feel ashamed if you feel this way and don't let others try to downplay your feeling. It's there for a reason, we may not understand the reason but it's there. Know that many other bereaved moms (but not all) have a very difficult time dealing with other pregnant women. I ended up "unfollowing" a lot of people on Facebook who had kids and were pregnant because it was too much for me. It's the reality of my life. I also avoided pregnant women like the plague. If I was out in public, I'd walk the other way. If I was forced to be in a situation where I had to stare it in the face, I donned the infamous fake "I'm okay" smile. I did what I had to do to make me feel comfortable. You have to do what makes you comfortable. It's a harsh world out there for the bereaved and you have to think about you first and foremost. If you avoid pregnant women, then so be it. If that's what gets you through then by all means, you avoid them!
It's the reality of life for so many of us. A lot of us just lie and say we are okay because we don't want to hurt others. We don't want others to judge us or give us the third degree. Trust me, it would be nice if we didn't have these feelings but for so many of us we do and they are valid. So please, if someone in your life who has experienced infant loss says they cant stand to be around pregnant people, don't lecture them about it and tell them that it makes no sense or that it is selfish. We already hurt enough and it's already hard enough to deal with. And if you feel this way, you are not alone!
I can't say it ever gets easier , maybe with time but I think there will always be that loss of innocence that stings when we see others who have it.
Again, you may have no problem with pregnant people at all and that's awesome but I wanted to address this topic for those of us who do and to let them know there is no shame in feeling that way and you are not alone. No matter how many people tell you to "get over it", or "you shouldn't feel that way", know you are not alone in those feelings and they are valid.
Keep sending the questions! I really like being able to address topics other than just my life, which as of late has been filled with vomit and lots of it, yeah stomach flu!!!!