Miscarriage: Bump Jealousy?

First off I would like to say, August is the busiest month for both my husband’s job and mine. So I haven’t had any time to write.

Secondly, this post is not meant to put anyone down or offend anyone. Everyone deals with grief differently. I just wanted to reflect on something that I feel unsafe to really share anyplace else.

For those of you who have not lost a child to miscarriage or stillbirth this may be harder for you to understand. When a women loses her unborn child she (very understandably) often develops negative feelings towards other pregnant women. Now she isn’t wishing they would also lose their children or anything like that. But she may get depressed, start crying, feel anger, or just plain upset when she seems a baby bump, gets a baby shower invite, or hears someone is expecting/has had their baby. This is normal for what appears to be the huge majority of women who have lost a child in utero. It is understandable. Especially if the other women who are pregnant around them are not taking as much care as they did (e.g. a friend who smokes while pregnant). It is the feeling of ‘why did this happen to me of all people? How do I deserve this when there are others who are much worse then me?’ etc…

Now here is what I want to reflect on, and what I don’t feel safe sharing with the pregnancy loss community directly. I’ve never really felt this jealousy. While reading through posts by other women who have suffered a loss I never see anyone admit this.
Yes, for the first few months after we lost Kai, I did feel a little sad when I saw another pregnant mother. Mostly because it reminded me that I wouldn’t ever get to that point with Kai. But aside from that I have never felt anger, jealousy or dislike towards anyone else who is pregnant. The sadness wasn’t enough to stop me and I never dwelled on it.
I had a close friend who found out she was pregnant a little while after our loss. When she shared about it on Facebook I was practically bouncing off the walls with joy. I honestly love to see her baby bump photos and hear updates. I have other friends who were or are partway through their pregnancies and my reaction is the same. I am honestly happy for them and love to hear about their pregnancies. I’ve never broken down because I felt upset by anything they posted about their pregnancies.
I’ve broken down for other reasons. I’ve done my fair share of crying and sleepless nights. I haven’t closed myself off from my grief. But I have never felt any anger towards those who are carrying to term. Even some of the things I see other women post on Facebook that makes it obvious they don’t care for their unborn children as much as I do. I may feel sad or angry at what they are doing, but it is not based on the fact that we lost Kai.

I don’t think feel anger or spite towards other pregnant women is a helpful way to deal with grief. I can understand it as being part of grief. That is why I have already said I am not putting anyone down if they feel this way. I can understand how difficult it would be to lose your child and then the next week be expected to be cheerful and happy at a friends baby shower. No one should be expected to do that. But when this anger becomes destructive (e.g. you stop talking to a pregnant friend altogether or even go as far as saying hurtful things) it becomes a bigger issue.

And while talking about grief and relationships. Communication with your spouse is very important. Men grieve very differently then women and appear to recover faster. In reality they are internalizing it in most cases because they feel like they must be strong for you. Yes to us this may seem silly, but we need to understand the differences between how men and women grieve. Relationships usually take a beating during this time, sometimes even ending in divorce.
Instead of seeing this has something you each have to deal with on your own, realize that it is a chance for your to grow closer and have a stronger relationship. If getting through this means going to counseling together do it. Don’t make big decisions in the midst of grief, such as the decision for a divorce.

I guess my point is. Yes your loss was hugely significant. Yes you have every right to feel sadness, anger, despair, depression and whole lot of other emotions. Yes you have the right and often the need to avoid pregnant friends and family for a while. But don’t let it control your life to the point that it begins to destroy your relationships. Work through it little by little. Let yourself grieve. Don’t try to be strong and push all inside. You need the emotional release before you can really begin to recover.

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Posted in Family, Pregnancy Loss, Relationships

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