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To think that someone who's finally had a 'much wanted' baby shouldn't go on about how hard it all is!!(153 Posts)
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Ok, before I get completely and utterly flamed (am expecting it!), a close friend of mine had a a series of miscarriages,but in end wasn't trying too long for a dc (we have friends who've been trying to conceive for say, 10 years) but all the family were very sad for them, and very involved n their grief, etc.
5 months ago they had a ds, a lovely little thing. He's a vey good baby, very easy going, a very good sleeper, etc. But all I hear is 'oh god it's so hard, what a challenge, we've finally gone over the hard part, etc etc' And there seems to be major tension in their marriage, etc. my dh went out for a drink with the husband and he said its been really rough on them, really effected their relationship, etc.
TO make matters worse, and another reason why I think I'm not being fully objective, and probably feel vey annoyed about this, is that a much loved and darling mutual friend, had a beautiful baby girl at the time of this girls miscarriage and said baby girl was practically ignored ie. didn't come to visit for about 8 months, because they were going through their pain of misscarriage. (They live in same town!) Turns out said beautiful girl 's mother had a really horrific time in hospital, before and and labour, but apparently it was nothing to this pain of what they were going through. Maybe fertility issues give you total tunnel vision please enlighten me, I mean that in a sympathetically way. All other friends, family members, called to hospital etc, but said misscarriage couple didn't even acknowledge it. I know there's a lot of resentment between said mother of misscarriage and mother of beautiful baby. Esp as a few issues with this baby still, development wise, etc.
Sorry for annoying post but have had a glass of wine and should have given names to characters in story!
I know posters will saying something like 'are people with fertility problems not entitled to talk about the difficulties of parenthood!' Of course they are, but we've all been there! My first dd had a potentially serious illness when born, turned it ok in end thank god, we also have Dtwins, not easy either, so if I'm honest, bit cheesed off with the moaning and 'woe is me' crap from those who finally have the much wanted healthy child in the end!! Who's right? Am I being a total bitch?
(Puttin on helmet, ready for a right pelting, pardon me in advance for and irrational ranting!)
middleclass don't read it. I found myself crying actually.
Having had fertility issues, friends who conceived before us then miscarried 3 times after we conceived and coping with all these complicated emotions, i found it too much that someone might think i wouldn't be entitled to struggle and feel frustrated as a parent (as these are exactly the kinds of guilty feelings i have had myself - i shouldn't complain or be frustrated etc)
I have always respected my friends decision to need space and never ever had any expectations of them in terms of involvement with our DC. I am always quite touched and humbled by their gestures. It must be incredibly hard for them.
I can not understand OP's perspective only that i guess she hasn't been there herself. She recognises how U she has been so that is good.
I hope mumnet decide to take this down because it is upsetting actually.
I find it very worrying that anyone should feel they don't have 'the right' to find babyhood hard, that is one of the very reasons women try and hide PND thinking that they have everything so can't feel down
May I lighten the thread by admiring Frogspoon as a use name? How splendid! "Frog" and "Spoon" are two of my favourite words in the world! It rolls off the tongue beautifully...Frogspoon.....Frogspoon....nice.
But MCDystopia isn't it better that the OP actually comes on here with these opinions and gets chastised for them, then apologises.
The thread has not been deleted for a very good reason
I think it must be harder when you've been trying for a long time. You must build parenthood up into a rosy looking state, imagining that once you finally hold that much longed for baby your life will suddenly be perfect.
However, when the baby comes it doesnt know the horrible journey you've had to get there and gets colic/wont sleep/doesnt gain weight/cries all the time just like every other baby.
Tbh I think there are two different elements here.
Firstly, I read somewhere once that PND following infertility is actually higher presumably because of the expectation of a cuddly baby who is going to make all the pain and hurt of infertility go away, and then when the reality of parenthood hits home it comes as a hell of a shock to the system... So yes, perfectly understandable that someone who has struggled to conceive could still struggle as a parent...
We had friends who tried for seven years to have a baby and had several miscarriages. When they eventually were able to conceive and had the baby she decided she didnt actually like parenthood to the extent she went back to work when the baby was three months old and she vowed never to have any more. I found it really sad that her expectations of parenting just werent as she thought iyswim.
However, while I do sympathise with anyone who goes through infertility (been there) I dont actually agree that infertility gives someone the right to treat others exactly how they want, and that that treatment of others then extends to after they are actually able to conceive but is just transferred into now having a hard time being a parent.
I also dont think that going through a hard time necessarily means they are lovely people who happen to be going through a hard time, there are some perfectly nasty people who happen to have a hard time, but who would treat others badly even if they werent, and the ops friend does sound a bit like one of those types of people.
So she refused to have anything to do with her friends baby (who had a difficult birth and baby now has developmental issues) because of her own situation. And maybe I will be flamed for this, but IMO it depends on at what stage the op had a mc someone who had a stillbirth is, for instance in a much different place, and I would feel were far more justified in not wanting to spend time with a newborn to someone who had a early mc for instance. And now she has a baby and is still expecting all the attention? I dont blame the parent of the other baby at all for not feeling that charitable towards her tbh, and yes, I tried to conceive a second baby for six years, had a suspected mc during that time (although was not confirmed) and I dont feel that gave me the right to treat everyone around me like crap and expect understanding for doing so.
OP I am wincing for you.
I know you've read back and regret your tone in your OP so maybe, if you haven't already hidden this thread and name changed, you could ask MNHQ to delete the whole thread.
If you want my take on things, I think you might be closer to the second friend, the one who had a difficult birth but a beautiful baby girl at the end of it.
That's the only reason I can think of for you being so harsh towards the couple who suffered multiple losses. I'm not sure that one glass of wine is a good enough reason to refer to a close friend as "miscarriage couple" or "mother of miscarriage".
Those were her children OP. I'm not sure what stage of the pregnancy she lost the babies at but I imagine that to her it doesn't matter. They weren't miscarriages to her, they were her babies. She is not the "mother of miscarriage". I hope that's your biggest regret about your first post.
I lost my first son at 22 weeks. To the medical world that is still a miscarriage but I had to be induced and had a seven hour labour to deliver him. He has a name and a grave and two parents who love him and grieve for him even now, seven and a half years later. He will always be our child.
And you might say it's different to your friend, if her losses were earlier. And maybe in some ways it is. But she lost her baby just the same as I lost mine.
And grief destroys you. I'd lost people before, all my grandparents. I was in the room with one of my grandmothers when she died. And it was heartbreaking but it was also normal. Losing your child isn't normal. I could feel the grief on my face for months afterwards, it was like wearing a mask and I could physically feel it.
We went on to lose another baby eleven months later, this time to prematurity rather than stillbirth (which is how I say I lost my son even if it's not the official description). And again, it's not normal, not natural.
And while this was happening, three other people in my family gave birth. And it was hard for us. We were pleased for them, always glad their babies were okay. But it hurt every time in ways I can't even begin to describe and I don't think I could have coped with seeing those babies immediately. Sometimes months is what it takes for a grieving parent to feel strong enough. And it can put a great strain on a marriage.
And when we did have our own much longed for baby, we were thrilled and delighted and happy and everything you would expect of new parents who had been through loss and finally had a baby.
And we also found it hard, and complained we were tired or found some bits harder than others.
Because we are human. We're not robots or saints. It doesn't mean we've forgotten what we went through or are ungrateful.
We had just had two and a half years of pregnancy, loss, grief, hope, pregnancy, another loss, serious illness, more grief, big events in our marriage, more hope, another pregnancy, a difficult birth, a dream come true and a crash landing into the reality of a newborn and first time parenthood.
And even when you have a baby, it doesn't make everything about your losses better. The new baby is not a replacement, not a band aid, not second best. And it never should be seen as such. And I'm not saying you are suggesting that, I'm just trying to explain that your friends are living with loss and they always will be. Nothing will make it go away or make it better. They'll learn to live with it but it will always be there.
And that's hard when you have a new baby and it's hard when you don't. They've been changed forever, they are not the people they used to be. They might be hiding it well but it's true. They will always have children missing from their family, that they loved and still love even though they never saw them or held them.
If the friend with the baby girl has issues with the couple who lost their babies then perhaps you should leave her to work those issues out with them, without judging or taking sides.
And if you can't do that then it might be better to end the friendship with the friend who has suffered the losses. Kinder to her in the long run. I'd be devastated to have one of my friends call me the "mother of stillbirth" or the "neonatal death couple" and wonder how I dared to complain about feeling tired or a bit out of my depth. If that was how they felt about me all the time I would rather they walked away.
I had IVF to have my DS after a long and arduous journey including losing twins, failed cycles etc. I was deeply ashamed when I had "tough" days with DS as a tiny baby and felt the reason it had been hard for me to conceive was because nature somehow thought i wouldn't be a good mum. DS is a toddler now and these thoughts are still there in the background. Reading your post reminded me why I kept all this to myself, fear of being judged. YABU and unkind.
Sarahandfuck thank you for posting that, you have a way of explaining things better than most of us.
I'm gobsmacked that the OP and the mother of the girl actually had no understanding that she was upset by the miscarriage and couldn't deal with making the fuss of a baby.
I'm even more gobsmacked that now they have the benefit of hindsight and know she would go on to have a healthy child they're treating the OP as if she should have had foresight this would happen.
Really, these two are friends anybody could do without.
No comment on OP...too horrible to say anything but...
SarahAndFuck, your story brought tears to my eyes, I almost lost my DD due to prematurity. I can only imagine the struggle you have had and get a feeling that you are one strong woman.
Sarahandfuck, very eloquent. Happiness to you. x
Think Pnd is actually more likely after fertility problems or pregnancy loss.
For me, it was like had high anxiety and low reserves, not enough left to cope with sleep deprivation, newborns and the normal challenging stuff (my DC were "good" like the one in the OP).
As others have said, sometimes felt like we had no right to find parenthood or the impact on our relationship, health and life hard, because we were so lucky to have healthy DC.
Have had similar comments from friends and family, "oh, but after all that happened you're just so lucky", "don't wish it away", "aren't you glad it was all ok after just a year or two, so and so have been ttc for ten years" and so on.
I am not going to flame you as it's obviously an opinion you feel strongly about and it's not my place to tell you how wrong you are or right you are.
However I think some things you have to consider are:
1) When you have lost a baby you are not thinking straight. I am afraid grief does take over you and I am sure if they weren't deeply hurt they would've gone to see their friend but their pain was obviously so much they just couldn't cope. Especially if friends child was ill or friend was ill - they were probably frightened that the friend might lose their baby too, how could they just sit there and see that happen?
2) Nobody knows what it is like to have a baby until you actually have one. Just because you find it hard doesn't mean that you don't want the baby. Now if the couple said, 'I hate having this baby, give it up for adoption now' I would have some sympathy in where you are coming from but they are just stating how hard it is. Does someone not wanting their child make it OK to complain about their behaviour, but someone who has been trying for ages has not?
I personally don't ever remember complaining about how hard it has been having DD who is 5 months old now but I tell you she is one of the most easiest going babies I have ever met and as my Mum reminds me any future children couldn't possibly live up to that. She doesn't even cry at night when wakes up for a feed - she actually smiles and gargles and only cries if you don't feed her within 10-15 minutes. She's also not a crying baby anyway, so if she does cry you know there is something wrong (been teething last few weeks and it's driving her nuts and yes, had a few spells of crying) but I know I am truly blessed to have her.
She was well wanted but if she had been the screamy, crying type of baby I would have still loved her but am sure I would've said how exhausted she was making me. This wouldn't be minimising how much I love her, it just would be stating how hard it was when she was waking every hour/crying all night etc.
I have had to pump 4/5 times during the day and breastfeed and do top ups from a week old though which hasn't been easy, but wouldn't change it for the world because I know she is getting what I can give her (not that there is anything wrong if you can't or don't feel comfortable doing so, it's just something I really wanted to be able to do).
All in all I think being a new Mum/Dad isn't the easiest thing in the world. Every baby is different, but there are challenges along the way.
These people I doubt were being nasty with your other friend nor do I imagine they were being ungrateful about having their baby now they have them; they are just finding the sleepless nights/feedings/insert difficult infant stage thing here.
But I also believe you weren't being deliberately vindictive or nasty, you were just saying how you felt and that's absolutely fine. People on Mumsnet like to go on attack mode sometimes.
As others have said, sometimes felt like we had no right to find parenthood or the impact on our relationship, health and life hard, because we were so lucky to have healthy DC
I definitely feel this after six years of recurrent miscarriage/IVF then three babies in two years. I simply cannot permit myself to express or even feel anything that could be perceived as whining.
The flip side if that of course is that I am very sensitive to other parents being blasé about their kids. And my threshold for "Parents Who Are Ungrateful of Their Children" is about as high as a gnats arse.
It's been a few days since I wrote the OP and have been reading the responses. Please allow me the opportunity to respond to some of the comments and issues that other posters have brought up.
Firstly, and most importantly, am sorry, sincerely, I am for any distress and anger I caused to anyone who has experienced the same grief that my friend went through. I have learned that I don't really have the same understanding as I havent gone through it myself, but of course I am very sympathetic, to anyone who has gone through this. (and I think actually miscarriage is definitely a very misunderstood thing in society and in media, but that conversation is for another day) I was honestly heartbroken for my friend when she experienced miscarriage twice. I felt awful for her. And I know it's nothing to do with what stage it happens at, that once you get that blue line on the pregnancy test, you plan and hope and that baby becomes a major part of your life and your future.
Secondly, a lot of posters seem to think I'm a complete evil bitch. On re-reading it does sound very harsh and splap-dash. Some seem to think my apology was too swift and therefore, insincere. However, on re-reading it, it is completely ranty and very raw. But isnt that the while point sometimes of using mumsnet as you can say things you wouldnt dream of almost thinking, let alone, saying out load to anyone in real life. So despite what you may thnk, I sam and continue to be very supportive of my friends in real life.
On that note my referral to miscarriage couple etc was just a way of denoting, although now, very offensive, who I was talking about in the story. I know I used mumsnet as a way of ranting here and not giving the full picture but just one aspect to the story.
Im going to fill you in on some honest details and background here.
Some people wondered if I am a mother myself. I am a mother of 3 children. My PFB was diagnosed with a potentially serious condition on the heal-prick test (I hear some people thinking Im playing the sympathy card here!! But am not). Thank god it all turned out ok, but it was a hard thing to be hit with at the time. Am not for one minute suggesting it is comparable to losing a child or miscarriage but it give me a tiny insight into the dioffulty of having to face other people with their new babies, as at the time, I felt I was surrounded by lots of other family and friends who had (as I perceived at the time) healthy babies and I remember distinctly feeling a bit hurt, full of anger and a bit deflated and a bit why me but I also remember consciously thinking that their beautiful baby was nothing to do with what was going on for me why should the two issues be related?? I tried to rise about it and was just as welcoming and full of joy for them. But it was difficult but this was my way of rising about it all (but I probably buried a lot of the feelings at the time, and it came back to haunt me, but again, thats another conversation!)
We then went on to have twins very premature, etc and problems with a language delays, etc but thankfully, theyre doing great now and I feel very blessed and lucky. And take nothing for granted.
But related to OP, the girl who had the difficult labour, lets call her A and the girl who had two miscarriages and a new baby lets called her B (in case I unwittingly use any more offensive terms) have a history of tension between them. I suppose you could call then frenemeis, a bit competitive. If one qualified in her career, the other one had to match it, etc. Many years about, the girl A had a miscarriage when she tried to conceive her first child. We all went away for a weekend I planned it to cheer her up 4 of us went away for the weekend, including me, girl A and B and another first friend. Understandably, girl A was feeling very vulnerable and very teary, but girl B spent one particular night saying oh I cant wait until me and X get married (her future husband, they were engaged at the time), and have kids, etc, it will be so exciting) I remember thinking - did I hear that?? seriously, it was a bit weirdo,. Like she was taunting girl A but of course girl A didnt say anything as shes very stoic and didnt want to cause a drama. But I remember comforting her in the bathroom, and both of us were thinking WTF? etc. She was totally unsympathetic to her at the time.
I just realised, Im totally re-hashing old stuff that I know needs to be left in the past, but just drawing a picture of these two girls relationship.
Anyway, cut to years later, when girl a also had twins (not long after the miscarriage) and I felt girl B was, if Im honest, not really warmly happy but if Im honest, a bit jealous?? Does that sound awful? And when girl B had suffered two consecutive miscarriages it was awful, it really was for her, I was so so upset for her (I know lost of posters cant believe that but I am supportive and sympathetic in real life!) and then when girl B had the problems with labour with her third child- in hospital for a month before had with pre-eclampsia, and the baby had an infection after birth, and may cause some hearing loss, etc. But there was no phone call, no support from girl b. All she said to me was not in a callous way but in a very self-absorbed way in my opinion gosh, it doesnt sound like Ill go that hospital to have our baby as girl A (name) didnt have a great experience. I remember thinking it was bit of a misplaced comment.
Girl A still very worried about childs development and IMO suffering a bit from post-traumatic stress disorder.
And of course, it was difficult, and mumnet have educated it in this regard, that it most be awful to visit new babies after having suffered a loss yourself.
I suppose my point is that whatever people are going through, its not objective. Its all relative and its not incomparable. Some people go through some tough stuff that we may not be aware of form the outside looking in.
I do wish all you posters health, and happiness. And sorry for your grief and losses.
I thought of this quote the other day I really like it by a poet called Albert Lindsay Gordon:
Life is mostly froth and bubble, but two things stand like stone:
Kindness in anothers trouble, courage in our own.
Better sign off now PFB born starting big school in the morning. X
And a final note, have texted and contacted my friend a good bit over the last week, and I think she may be finding it harder after TTC and maybe is a bit depressed.
Goodnight OP, good luck to PFB for big school tomorrow
Thank you Iggi, Flora, Blue and Loopy
Thanks Sarah. And thanks for sharing your story above. Was beautifully written.
Best of luck to you
And am so sorry for your loss
If you go through life being cross and offended by people who are simply struggling, you'll end up embittered and a bit of a bitch. I understand why, at an emotional level, it's irritating that people who longed for a child are now 'spoilt' because they're open about finding it hard. You may not realise this, but they may find it harder than most because of what they've been through already. Or maybe they're just complaining the normal amount, because all new parents do vast amounts of complaining, cast your mind back. Re the mutual friend with a baby - I definitely not would have been able to visit the mutual friend if I'd been going through what she was. You're well out of line on that one as you can have no idea what it's like to be deeply hit with all those 'if onlys' and be trying to weigh up the enormous grief of holding another woman's child - it could flatten her for a week, quite honestly - against the fact that your mutual friend has no such problem and is probably fending visitors off.
If you've reached the point where you have compassion fatigue, then why don't you admit that it's not about the friendship, it's just about the way you feel about this girl now at this point in time. You find her irritating. It's really low to observe that this girl hasn't been trying that long for a baby - not as long as others you known - stop comparing like that! It's horrid! If you were wincing in pain and somebody said 'shut up, there are people in that kind of pain and much worse who are never going to get better,' you'd probably think they were mean spirited. That's what I mean. That's how you sound.
You don't come over well. I think you should pull the thread if you can, do some work on your attitude and either change it or decide it's time for the friendship to cool because this silent judging in the most unreasonable way is simply not fair.
You like girlA better than girl B. and you're being less sympathetic to her.
But just because girl As hurt is more open and real because, to your mind, it relates to a real life baby doesn't make girl Bs hurt any less intense. Just because YOU can't see the baby she's hurting over doesn't mean she's hurting less. And to be fair, girl A is worrying about a child - girl B doesn't even have her children to worry about, iykwim? I'm sure she would rather have those babies here with a risk of a hearing loss, than not have them here at all, which is what she has.
You might be best to reconsider your friendship with girl B. You come across as really not liking her very much.
OP - it sounds as if you have been through quite a lot yourself & got on with it, this can ( especially when raw) make you impatient of others who don't bounce back. At least it did me in the early years when ds1 (severely disabled) was young. I learned quite quickly to keep quiet.
It also sounds as if B is a bit self obsessed - esp with the thoughtless comments regarding A. Some people do find it difficult to see further than their own lives & when horrible things happen to them they still don't notice horrible things happening to others & continue to struggle.
I suppose B sounds as if they are somewhat lacking perspective & can be crass at times. I personally find people lacking perspective hard to be around because I know so many people who have been through some truly awful situations - I mean heart stoppingly dreadful.
However, some people struggle - for whatever reason & I think you can just recognise that and be supportive from a distance/never bitchy etc - otherwise it all gets a bit toxic, nasty & competitive about who's having the worst time which is all a bit silly.
I think if i were you i would distance myself from B, - she's clearly irritating the hell our of you & it's not your job to make her feel better iykwim. Or to get her to notice other people having difficult times. if she can't, she can't. But do try to see it as her struggling - although recognise you're the wrong person to support her. Maybe wish her well in your mind & distance yourself.
A sounds as if she may be in for a rough ride if she still has developmental concerns about her child. You sound as if you find it enjoyable & easy to be around her. When ds1 had developmental concerns I ended up quite isolated (in part driven by me as I found other babies of the same age hard to be around - like a constant slap in the face). Those friends who were supportive then were a godsend & you do sound as if you could help A in a similar way.
Thanks for your insights saintly and spotty
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