Monday, May 2, 2011

Ouch, that stung!

I have come to an interesting realization.  Ever since making my miscarriage known to people, I have noticed that those around me think that I am suppose to be overjoyed at others' pregnancy or baby related announcements and news.  I think people assume that just because you are now trying to conceive and have babies on the brain, that any baby news is going to bring you joy.  What they don't realize is that after you have suffered a miscarriage, others' baby news is the last thing you want to hear about.  Yes, any child is a blessing from God and should be welcomed into the world with open arms.  And yes, I am happy for those who are so blessed.  However, it still stings.  It stings a lot.  Call me selfish if you will, but as happy as I am for others, I want my own. 

I don't necessarily think it's the news itself that bothers me.  I understand life goes on and people continue to procreate.  I think what bothers me is the expectant look in people's eyes when they deliver the news.  It's a look that says:  "Isn't that the most wonderful news you have ever heard and aren't you just so over-the-moon happy for them/me?" 

I also know, however, that when I am lucky enough to have my own I want others to be happy for me.  I don't want people to cringe and turn their head the other way.  I don't want people to make me feel guilty for being blessed with a child.  But those are the kinds of responses I give to others.  I feel guilty about my reaction afterwards, but in the moment it is the only way I know how to cope. 

So my question is, how does one go about temporarily pushing their own grief aside in order to be happy for others?


  1. I really wish I had good advice for this but I don't. Sure I've experience the "sting" but in a different way since I haven't dealt with a miscarriage and it's been a while since I've had a face-to-face pregnancy announcement.

    On the board, when I get stung I step away, regroup for a bit, then come back to offer congrats. That's a bit harder to do in person though. So yeah I don't have any good suggestions. :(

  2. Here from Mel's Friday blog round-up.

    I've had three miscarriages, and honestly... it's natural to feel sad for yourself and happy for them. But at the same time, you have to take care of yourself emotionally. Sometimes it's easy if you just fake it and smile, deliver a pre-thought out response, and leave it alone. Personally, I can't do that very well. I congratulate them, yes, but I don't engage in talking about it more if I can help it. Most of the people who tell me, if I know that they'll be sending me a baby shower invite, I send them an email explaining why I'm not going to be able to make it.

    After my first miscarriage, I was able to smile through and be there for them... but in limited amounts. I rationed out my feelings, because if I pushed myself too far I knew I would break. Now that I've had three losses, I'm afraid I have nothing more to ration out to anyone else emotionally... and people in my life have come to understand that. I do offer congrats, I do tell them how lucky they are and stay involved in the pregnancy... but from a safe distance.

    Some days I had more to give than others, and I made sure to be mindful of that. On a good day I might engage more, and a bad day retreat to tend to my own grief.

    Wish I had a better answer. I mean what I do depends on my mood, where I'm at with my grief for the day, and who the person is I'm talking to. Ultimately just try to do what you think is best (*hugs*)

  3. You just do. You smile, say congrats, even if it is stiffly, and go home and bawl your eyes out. It is just one of those social conventional things we all must go through. Smile when your friends announce their engagement, even if you know she is banging someone else, smile when someone gets a promotion, even if you have been laid off. People have that hopeful look in their eyes because when people are full of joy, love, and hope they can't contain it. So you go to that wedding right after your miserable break up, and you go to that baby shower for your best friend after your miscarriage. (yes, I have done both of those things, while smiling). Someday you will be brimming with happiness, share that happiness without guilt. Without it, the world is a sad, and hopeless place.

  4. Here from the round up. Like others have said, you just smile and nod and move on, unfortunately. I tend to say "yeah, that's great" with a big fake smile and then try to change the subject. I wish I could be happier for them legitimately, but I can't at that time. Good luck with it and I'm very sorry for your loss.

  5. I'm here from the Roundup. I have been lucky not to have expereienced any pregnancy losses, but that is only because I have never been able to get pregnant. This doesn't make the sting hurt any less or more, in my opinion. But, I usually "grin and bear it" for the few minutes that I need to engage in friendly conversation and then move on. For a select few people who actually "get it" and understand what I am going through, I have been able to maintain a relationship with them throughout their pregnancy and after the birth of the child. However, the vast majority of the people have moved on while I can not and this has created a void in our relationships. While we act friendly when we see each other, I don't consider them friends any more. Sad, but true.

  6. That is a very important question indeed, and equally difficult to answer. I don't think we can really feign the enthusiasm that people expect from us when we hear the news that they are expecting, but we can say what we're expected to say. All we can do is our best. Sometimes we'll be in a place where we can do better and some days we won't. All we can do at the moment of the announcement is give what we have.

    And hopefully, if/when we are in a place in our lives when we are announcing our joyful news, we can remember that not everyone will respond to it in the way we expected, for whatever reasons they might have.

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Mine was almost two years ago now but I still remember it like it was yesterday.

  7. Wow, I was shocked to see so many comments today! Thank you everyone for your comments and words of wisdom. It definitely helps to know I'm not alone.

  8. Wow, that's a tough one. I have to figure this one out everytime I hear about someone's pregnancy or delivery. It doesn't get a ton easier, but I have found that I can separate myself a little. Just try not to put yourself in too many tough situations.
    When it's someone you love, be there for them when you can and make sure they know you are happy for them, but don't overexpose yourself.
    Like you said, you want them to be happy for you when the time comes.
    You'll figure this out. It will get a little more 'normal' and you'll find that you grieve a little less.
    A miscarriage is such an awful thing, but don't give up.
    Visiting from ICLW.

  9. i used to cringe.... i used to not want to be near babies or preggo's.... but, recently my acupuncturist and i discussed my extreme distaste for preggos.....
    she said how will i feel when it's my turn?

    she also said, "why would a life choose to be with me if i can't stand to be near babies.". she said i am trying to call forth a life.... to bring a life into this world... she said i should be accepting of preggos and babies, as then, i will be sending the right message into the universe.

    for some reason her words stuck a chord with me..... somehow she made it better.... i want the universe to know i am willing and able.