People try so hard to comfort your fears through a pregnancy after loss. They try to tell you "everything is ok", to "have faith", and that "it won't happen again". I have to be honest here, these are the WORST things you can say to me right now. I have been trying to find the words to explain myself, when yesterday it was made clear to me how to approach this issue.
I was watching TLC yesterday, and they had a special "Pregnant and Paralyzed". The story was about a woman who had was paralyzed an pregnant with twins. Rainbow twins. She lost her son a year or so prior to the conception of her twins. They were interviewing the grandmother and she said, "I will not tell her that everything will be okay, because honestly I can't promise her that. No one can promise her that, because we have experience the worst. The only thing I WILL promise her is that no matter what happens, no matter if the worst happens again, we will get through it. We will get through it together."
I couldn't top this quote. I couldn't have said it better myself. When talking to a baby loss parent, don't promise things you have no control of. Don't try and tell them "everything will be okay". I have witnessed not one, not two, but THREE women in my online support group find out that their babies either died @ 18 weeks, or will die because of an incurable disorder in the past 2 weeks. One of them has already experienced a full term loss and has now chosen to carry her daughter who was diagnosed with a fatal disorder called Potter's Syndrome. I am sure many people told her to relax, trust, and that everything would be okay. I am sure they are feeling like idiots right about now. The other two had experienced multiple miscarriages, and thought they were in the clear once they passed that miraculous first trimester mark. Then their worlds came crashing down when they found out their babies' hearts had just stopped beating. I am devastated, and scared.
This can happen to anyone. I don't mean to scare my currently pregnant friends who have never experienced a loss, but it could happen to you, and it can happen to me....again. The statistics are ASTOUNDING! 1 in 160 babies are stillborn (dying after 20 weeks of gestation) That is 1 in 160 pregnancies!!! You know how many pregnant women are out there? I know of at least 13 people in real life right now who are pregnant, and NUMEROUS more online that are pregnant. Approximately 20% of known pregnancies end before 20 weeks, and 80% of those are before 12 weeks. This means out of 100 births, 20 will end. 16 of these will be before 12 weeks, and 4 of these will be later than that. If you think about it, with all of the women who experience pregnancy, this means pregnancy loss is more prominent than suicide (14 out of every 100,000 population in 2010 in the US) or murder (An average of 28.7 murders per 1million people world wide). Crazy huh? Do you feel comfortable telling a woman who already experienced a loss that "everything will be okay"?
After this, I hope none of you make the mistake of offering false hope. Instead, listen to the mom's fears without judgement. My AMAZING friend called me the other day and asked how I was doing, and although I rarely go into detail with everyone who asks this question, I did with her. I expressed my fears of being left behind again with all of these pregnant women around me. I explained my relief that I was pregnant right now and didn't have to witness all of these pregnancies without experiencing it myself, leading to feelings of jealousy and pain. She just listened. She didn't offer words of advice, for she had never been in this situation. She didn't judge me or think I was "overreacting", or that I was a "bad person" for my feelings; in fact, her response was VERY similar to that of the grandmother on "Pregnant and Paralyzed". She told me she would be here for me no matter what, and that means more to me than anything.
The only One who can make this promise to me, is God himself. He is the only one who can bring this baby here safely. I have faith that He will, but I also have faith that if He doesn't that He will provide Foster and I with the strength to get through it again.
I am slowly creeping up on 14 weeks, and although I should be relieved that the first trimester is over, I am not. I am probably more nervous than before. I feel that there is more at stake now. i have seen the baby, and it LOOKS like a baby. I swear I feel little flutters in my belly and it COULD be gas, but it could be Pumpkin. I have a noticeably pregnant belly already, and if I lose this one, everyone will know. So if I don't act like that normal, naive, happy pregnant lady, please understand and please don't judge. And above all, please, please, please think before you speak when it comes to false hope. But I do ask that you all still continue to pray:-)
....Welcome to the life of pregnancy after loss.
"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Well Here's a Huge Update
2 months ago