How do you deal with pregnant close friends/colleagues?

(32 Posts)

I had a mc at 7 weeks that started two and half weeks ago. I'm over the worst emotionally (based on the fact that I managed not to cry either day over the weekend for the first time since it happened) but I am really, really struggling with other people's pregnancies. It took us 22 months to conceive (still trying for our first child) and I hate pregnant women, particularly those that were only ttc for a few months before it happened for them. DP's best mate got married in April. We knew they were going to start ttc soon after the wedding. His wife has not been out drinking recently and keeps making excuses to avoid pre-arranged events that would not be compatible with being pregnant. It's really killing me. If I'm right she's still less than 12 weeks and her EDD will be within a week of when mine would have been. We see them a lot. She's not a particularly close friend of mine (she can be quite catty) so I'm not really even able to be happy for her as a friend iykwim? I have a pregnant colleague who is a month ahead of where I would have been and this is difficult but nowhere near as upsetting.

Does anyone have any advice? I'm feeling like this is going to be the slap in the face that keeps coming and stops me moving on sad. It's bad enough that there are three newborn babies in the same social group, but I just can't find a way to accept the potential same-size-as-mine-would-have-been bump that I will see on a regular basis and witness everyone coo over.

Parsley2506 Sun 24-Nov-13 18:52:05

Some great advice here. I found out my SIL was also pregnant (3 weeks behind me) a week before I found out about my MC. I haven't seen her or BIL since then (currently hiding upstairs while he drops some of DH's things off) and tbh am completely dreading it. Of course I am happy for them both, they already have one daughter and have been ttc #2 for longer than we were ttc our #1 (which was 18 months), but she's about a week off being able to announce hers and I know I can't deal with all the overjoyed family/friend reactions when we have been robbed of our own DC.
I feel guilty, like I'm being mean or spiteful, but it's just that i genuinely can't handle the emotions involved at the moment and I don't know how to explain this to them when I can't even face being in the same room!

My best friend, who has been very supportive so far, is 7 months along now with her first and I weirdly don't have the same feelings there. I actually WANT to see her and find out how she's doing. Ditto for a good friend I don't see very often who has same EDD as I had, but she has been through hell and back to get her BFP so I guess that's different.

I think we just have to let ourselves feel what we feel and not beat ourselves up for being angry, bitter or resentful from time to time. MC is hard enough to cope with without berating yourself for how you feel about it. When it all gets too much, coming somewhere like this forum is the best therapy IMO!

squizita Thu 21-Nov-13 13:27:24

TSW yes people who poo-poo doctors and hospital births when they shouldn't make me angry and scared. angry But I have some sympathy for women who, being sensible, have traumatic births. So much can go wrong, don't we just know it, and in the midst of horrific pain and confusion with the medics looking scared and worried... horrible. Today's traumatic births were the past's dead women and still births (my aunt lost a child in birth who would have been a 'tricky birth' today in the UK). Also several of my friends have ongoing painful conditions after having big babies: yes, they are blessed to have a child, but it doesn't mean I don't sympathise with them walking with a stick or lifelong toilet issues.

squizita Thu 21-Nov-13 13:12:30

All I can do is second what Tayto said. Very wise words.

Something to add is to remember that this is part of the process of mourning a miscarriage - I find remembering this as a mantra helps me separate my envy/sadness with 'displacement' and actually 'justifying to myself' as if the pregnant woman has done something wrong. It's a fine line but one I never want to cross (I had to leave a facebook group once, when a woman ranted that baby food aisles in supermarkets should be covered like tabbacco stands and babies kept out of parks and shopping centres... she was so hurt, she couldn't quite see that we all want a healthy baby and that it was her pain, not reasonable thought, talking there).

I also think: what if that's me next year? A more positive way I suppose! So I might even tell the woman I've "had problems" and "baby stuff makes me sad sometimes" or just steer clear.

Chottie Sun 17-Nov-13 05:56:12

barking I feel your pain. I lost a baby and my neighbour had a baby on the date my baby would have been born. I went over to congratulate her and take a present. I was dreading it, but actually when I held her baby, it healed something within me.

There isn't a solution, I think you just have to acknowledge your feeling, just deal with what you can and be kind to yourself. It's raw, empty feeling as if you have one layer of skin less.

tsw Thu 14-Nov-13 15:01:39

It is a horrible thing to go through & having lost at term, listening to children, seeing babies, seeing expectant mums was traumatising!

One of my good friends was 12 weeks pregnant (which I knew about for a while) when I lost my baby & I decided that I needed to carry on, go back to work, try again & embrace my love/grief for my little baby.

I have, though very hard, reminded myself that all these strangers whether they are children or babies or expectant mums don't deserve my hate or my anger or my jealousy. They are doing what they should & it is not their fault I am not. I am a strong character anyway so persevered with it & am okay now (7 months on) but there is a little bit of me that chokes up when I read or hear about mums taking home babies with "traumatic experiences" or refusing medical advice by having homebirths when they aren't low risk. I can't get past that particular irritation.

Anyway, my point is that you will survive & all these other people don't matter. What matters is you & your family. x

S1mmy Tue 29-Oct-13 15:44:37

A big hug and condolences to you all that have experienced this. I had a MC this year, it devastated me. I was "OK", for the first week or so, then I came crashing down and down. Thinking I was emotionally ok, I met one of my best friends who then announced she was pg. I was overjoyed for her but my heart was breaking inside. When she got home, her DH told her about my MC and she called me. For the next following weeks, I would get text messages about her pg, morning sickness etc etc. Later, I told her I wasn't emotionally ok to deal with her and her pg texts or meeting her to see her bump. Told her I was going into hibernation.
I was so glad I went into hibernation for a few months. My DH supported me throughout this period, staying at home, not wanting to see friends and avoiding any baby related.
Our friend spent her whole pg proclaiming to the whole world she was pg, announced it at 7 weeks (to my disdain) and everytime we were out, she would find some way to tell everyone she was pregnant! Can I have my steak well done, I am pregnant. Can you move my your chair, I can't get past because of my bump, can you hold my bag, I am tired because I am pregnant. She didn't need a megaphone! We have visited her, but have kept distance and gave it a few months.
Advice my friend gave was that women are sometimes living in a pregnancy bubble and unaware of how they being pregnant can affect other people such as other women that have tragically MC. Its not their fault, they are not doing this intentionally and you shouldnt break friendships because of this.
Some time apart from the world is totally ok, you need time yourself to reflect, think about what happened, reminisce about your baby and support you and your partner through a tough time. And, if friends are in your face with bumps and baby talk, you can tell them to step away, or you leave! if they are your friend, they will understand.
Finally, for those people that say "don't worry, you will have another, you are young etc etc". what a total load of unsympathetic rubbish. Although, the reality of having another baby is very great, you/ we are not sad about the thought of not being able to have another, but we are mourning the loss of the one we had and we actually want that one back.

rabbit I 'hid' all friends with babies/children on fb, then someone else posted a scan photo and I left altogether! I go into my fb groups but never on the newsfeed! I hope lunch with your friend goes ok and you get another bfp very soon.

crisp thanks for the advice. This woman isn't the type to think before she speaks even though she knows my situation. I've decided avoidance is the best strategy until I feel a lot stronger and/or am pg again! As soon as AF appears I will start taking the clomid again. Hopefully it will work a second time. If not I need to find out whether we still qualify for IVF in January or whether managing to conceive will have put us back to the beginning of the 'trying for two years' criteria. sad Currently leaving head in the sand over that one blush .

TaytoCrisp Mon 30-Sep-13 16:52:32

Barking - this is just so rotten for you. And a terrible mixture of envy, jealously, guilt and sadness :-(. Sending you a hug. I recognise a lot of what you describe. It can be lonely following mc, i really found it hard standing outside the nursery with two ladies who were heavily pregnant, the same point as i would have been - they had lots to share and were intensely interested in each others experience, whereas i stood outside of their cosy circle feeling so envious and sad. Had i not had the mc im sure i would be chatting alongside them looking forward to the months ahead.Instead i felt like an outsider, and hated them in that moment.

There is good advice above. I suppose at low points i find it good to:

- Be gentle with yourself; your feelings are very understandable.

- Don't push yourself too much ; if you don't want to see a pregnant friend/acquaintance, don't.

- Later it might be helpful to you to talk with DPs friends wife and explain that you find it hard after your own loss. It is important that your loss is acknowledged, and might help you manage difficult emotions

- When you feel ready it might be helpful to start thinking about what options are there for you and your DH, and what positive steps you can take for a successful outcome in the future... Hopefully there are some tests / interventions that can be of use to you.

- My DH is pretty quiet in general, but as ruby suggested above, i also find it helpful to let him know if i am upset.

Hope you are ok Barking. I must say it does get easier but there are still some people/ situations that get to you. For me, i can only see that lifting fully if i was to get pregnant, though then id have to find a way to deal with anxiety (!)..Not easy.

Sending you courage and hope. XXX

MissRabbitRules Mon 30-Sep-13 14:43:49

Hi all just seeing this now. I had my first MC at 10 weeks back in 2010. The week I was off having my ERPC one of my team announced her pregnancy which was just awful though I wasn't particularly close to her. I left the team not long after. I was lucky to get a BFP just 2 months after and my DD was born almost a year to the day of my ERPC. I have just had my second MC and ERPC. On the day the MC was confirmed one of my colleagues told me she was pregnant. We are quite close though I haven't been able to tell her. She has been through a tough time over the last year and I am really pleased for her. However I am finding it really difficult. She keeps posting on fb about how sick she is being, fab she is getting etc I think I may have to hide her updates for a while. Going for lunch with her tomorrow which is going to be tough. It seems really nasty thinking like this. We are going to keep TTC. I am hoping to get another BFP quickly as I don't think I can cope with my friend going through her pregnancy just a month ahead to where I would have been.

Worst fears confirmed. The couple I referred to in my first post have just told DP they're pg. And she's within 2 weeks of where I would have been. I know there are bigger issues in the world and other people are worse off, but right now I'm just dreading the next 6 months and desperately hoping my cycles return soon so I can take the clomid again and hopefully get my own bump before I'm totally eaten up by seeing hers all the time.

Hessy it is unbelievably shit and it seems to happen everywhere. I also sat waiting for my scan in a room full of pg women. At least afterwards they let us wait in a side room rather than go back to the waiting room before we spoke to the nurse. A friend of mine who has been ttc since we have said all the tests she had to do at her gp for the fertility clinic referral were scheduled at the same time as the baby clinic and midwife services so all the women who had been ttc over a year had to sit there waiting with bumps and babies. Surely that's just unnecessary insensitivity?

fackinell Fri 27-Sep-13 17:13:07

Oh Hessy, that's really shit sad
Why can't they have a separate room for bereaved parents.

When I had my MC and left EPAC I went straight out and bought a bottle of wine. For some reason it made me feel slightly better that I could and they couldn't in a 'fuck you lot' kind of way.

Not that I advocate turning to alcohol!!

Hessy Fri 27-Sep-13 09:14:42

Sitting in the women's health waiting room, surrounded by glowing pregnant women, waiting for a scan to find out if my miscarriage has finished is doing NOTHING for my levels of empathy and kindness towards them. I sat here three years ago with my green book, excitedly waiting for a scan for my ds, completely oblivious to the fact this is also the waiting room for miscarrying women sad

Hessy Fri 27-Sep-13 09:11:40

Sitting in the women's health waiting room, surrounded by glowing pregnant women, waiting for a scan to find out if my miscarriage has finished is doing NOTHING for my levels of empathy and kindness towards them. I sat here three years ago with my green book, excitedly waiy

Pawprint Wed 25-Sep-13 07:58:43

Tulip that's so sad. I am sorry about your little boy.

It is very hard to deal with other people's pregnancies.

tulip I am so sorry, I can't imagine feeling any more raw than I still am right now but I didn't ever see a scan with a heartbeat so it must be a lot easier to cope with than what you are going through. As everyone keeps reminding me, up to 50% of early pgs end in miscarriages, but you feel safer after 12 weeks and then 20 weeks.

I'm biased as I'm also still ttc #1, but it seems particularly cruel when it's your first child and it has been such a long journey and so much heartache just getting to the point of being pregnant.
I hope you have a good support network around you to get you through this thanks . I just want to come and give you a hug.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fackinell Tue 24-Sep-13 23:50:25

LittlleTulip, I'm so very sorry for your loss. That must have been very painful for you in a way that I wouldn't even comprehend at my eight week MC. sad thanks

LittleTulip Tue 24-Sep-13 23:32:05

Funny I should be reading this today!

4 weeks ago my baby boy was stillborn at 25 weeks and boy has it been a rollercoaster. I continuously find myself getting angry, jealous, upset at all those pregnant around me. A close friend of mine is currently 16 weeks pregnant, at the earlier stages all we talked about was having play dates and going shopping and now she'll be doing all that and not me. I have to be a bystander and it kills me!

Then there's the other friend who's just had a baby boy, not seen her yet. Then the other friend who is 4 weeks ahead of me who is just about to go on maternity leave. And now today I have found out of another couple who are pregnant, she is also 16 weeks but they didn't tell us sooner because of our circumstances! At their news I just burst out crying. All I could think about is that my boy would have been in the same school year as their children and now they are all going to live their lives and move on and have play dates whilst I'll be lonely and wallowing..

We had also been trying for 18 months and this was our first pregnancy. It's shit!

I'm sorry my post probably isn't very helpful but I definitely know what you are going through. The bereavement nurse made a point to me that this is going to happen regardless, after all we are all of child-bearing age as are our close acquaintances. I suppose we just have to get used to it and hope we can eventually have our own little ones

NanaNina Tue 24-Sep-13 20:17:03

I think it's a cruel twist of fate that when going through a mc, you see pregnant women everywhere. Give yourself permission to hate pg women - ok it's a negative emotion but over time it will shrink into something more manageable. I'm sure you know that one third of pregnancies end in mc - usually in the first 12 weeks. My DIL has had several mcs but now has one beautiful lovely girl. I so hope it's not too long before you are holding your own baby.

Thanks paw and bumble. Just feel so hopeless, I know it 'takes time' but I feel so sad and weighed down all the time. Pg colleague started wearing maternity clothes today. So envy .

Pawprint Tue 24-Sep-13 04:30:48

It's horrible, isn't it? I had the same problem when I was coping with miscarriages. There was my cousin and a colleague, both due on what would have been my due date.

I hated pregnant women too; it's normal to feel angry. I hope it helps you to know you are not alone.

Even now that I have ds, now eleven, I still remember the sorrow. There is a maternity/baby supply shop in my town and I always have to look away from the dummies with bumps that are in the window! They just remind me of how the world seemed full of bumps sad

Bumblebzz Mon 23-Sep-13 22:53:31

Just posting to say I know how you feel. We tried for over 3 years, got pregnant and lost our baby due to an mc at 11weeks. That was in Jan and even now I still struggle not to feel sad and jealous and I was particularly tough when friends announced their third pregnancy whic was an accident.
Don't be tough on yourself. We are not made of stone.
Xxx

Thanks again for the replies, it's comforting to know others understand.

Ruby it helps to know that your feelings of jealousy did abate after some more time had passed. It just feels so cruel to be constantly reminded not just of another pg, but specifically a pg you could have been sharing. I feel like I am starting to deal with the mc and can look forwards and try to be positive about our chances of getting pg again and having a successful pg, but this is like a separate issue I can't get my head round.

pleasestophidingskinnygirl Mon 23-Sep-13 22:04:56

As prev said be kind to yourself. I can totally relate to everything u said. Its a horrible time and I do remember a lot of fake smiling and excusing myself to cry in the loo.
This will pass, I know how annoying that sounds but it really will.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now