Truth (noun): that which is in accordance with fact or reality
When people are being mean (usually my family, when I’m being opinionated or judgemental) they’ll say “you think you’re so perfect!” or something to that effect. You know what? I don’t actually. Here’s an example where I know I’m absolutely not, I couldn’t be further. I WISH I could feel and behave in a perfect way.
Some people say that after miscarriage, they found pregnancy announcements and bumps, wait for it: “hopeful”?! Now THAT’S the absolutely perfect response. No such luck, this end.
I know what I’m supposed to say. I’m supposed to ask how you are, how the baby’s been treating you, have you had any cravings or symptoms, when are you due etc etc but I don’t want to know. Then I picture people (my brothers actually) saying “oh come on, is it REALLY that difficult to say it? They’re only words”, but it is difficult for me actually. It hurts.
Words are important to me, they’re not only words. My word is my bond, so I try not to say things I don’t mean (except in anger, always ignore everything said in anger).
So what’s it like to hear or see a pregnancy announcement when you’ve lost children? It’s obviously different for everyone, but for me, it varies. It’s usually some happiness mixed with any number of these other emotionally hijacking feelings:
Numb. If I’m lucky, I feel nothing. It’s a “that’s nice dear” feeling and I can look at my husband and know that he’s reading me perfectly, feeling and thinking exactly the same.
Relief. Not even relief for them, relief for me. Relief that I actually feel a bit happy. But mainly relief that I’m not feeling some of the worse, more imperfect or selfish emotions.
Envy. I can get so jealous. What must it feel like, that confident association between a positive test and a living baby?
Bitter: It’s alright for you. Everyone else gets to keep their babies.
Sad. I really dislike receiving baby scans. It’s a real aversion. I understand why people share them (I love mine and have them framed on a dresser in my bedroom), but I wouldn’t put mine on social media or here on Mumoirs. That’s just because of how sad it’s made me to see others in the past. It’s all just one big learning curve.
Irrational. But you already have one!
Angry. Why did you have to tell me? Why couldn’t you just go and be pregnant and enjoy your life without me?
Snobby. But you can’t even spell!
Guilty. Not feeling joy for you reminds me that I’m a bad person, wanting to be better than I am.
I know that this is all probably “normal” or “understandable” given what I’ve “been through”, but it doesn’t half make me feel like a terrible person. Reading the above, it makes me realise that my response to YOU is incredibly selfish, because all I’m thinking about is ME.
I guess the whole point of me writing a blog was to be honest, so that means saying things that will make me unpopular, with you and even with me. I don’t like myself very much right now. But the truth is, most of the time when I hear that someone’s pregnant I think:
“good for you, now leave me alone”
The closer I am to you, the more I feel this. I don’t want to ask how you are. I don’t want to hear how great it is (which will make me jealous) or how rough it’s been (which will make me angry at your ingratitude). So you see, you can’t get it right. I can’t get it right. So I just don’t plan to ask pregnant people how they’re doing. And that’s the imperfect, brutal truth right now.
I wrote this to myself in July 2019, after seeing a baby announcement:
Today is not a day for silver linings. Today is a “what’s happened, is crap” day. Every time I receive a scan it knocks me. I just wish people wouldn’t send me them, though I hate not being able to participate in their joy.
Yes there’s lots to be grateful for. And yes, there’s lots of good stuff happening that I wouldn’t have been able to do if pregnant, like donating blood today and travelling last week.
But I feel entirely without hope. And although most days, I’ve made peace with feeling that way, today is not a day where silver linings can help.