Trigger to my Grief - Woman with pram - our children would have been the same age(4 Posts)
I lost a ds last Feb at 20 weeks. I am very fortunate to have two dd's. I have a history of infertility and was amazed to discover I was pregnant again after really not expecting this given my diagnosis only to go on and lose ds. This may sound like a terrible thing to say but I am sorry I became pregnant again (of course ds would have been very loved if he had come along). The chances are slim of me ever having another child given my diagnosis and age - very nearly 42.
My youngest dd was a toddler at the time of my loss and I was attending toddler groups blissfully unaware that I might miscarry given that I had crossed the so called magical 12 week mark. I befriended other women locally who had toddlers and one lady who was expecting her third baby around the same time as me (within a week of each other). This lady went on to have her child (a little girl) whereas I have been left with the overwhelming grief and feeling that life is so unfair etc.
Lately, though the grief never leaves me and I get this sense of prevailing sadness, I have been trying to get on with things a bit more in terms of decorating the house and planning trips (I am a sahm). Trying to focus on the good things in my life, I'm not sure moving forward is the correct term. However, each time I see this lady walk past my home with her pram (as she does to the only shop in the village), I feel like I receive a body blow and really get knocked back again. It is like a very real reminder of what I have lost and seems to cause all sorts of feelings within such as envy and bitterness and feeling a bit humiliated as well as a terrible sadness. I suppose her child was part of the 'story' I had mapped out for my little one - they would have been in the same class at school etc. Of course there are always pregnant women and small babies everywhere you look and I get a twinge but this affects me more than that and I know it is not this womans' fault it is just the way I feel.
There seems to be no way around this, I was hoping the feelings would lessen in time but they don't seem to have. I think all is O.K after not having seen her for 3-4 weeks then wham it all comes flooding back again. My only option of getting away from this situation seems to be to move but really we are ideally situated in terms of schools for the dd's, small commute to work for dh and my elder daughter is settled here with a few friends in the village within walking distance (she is due to go up to secondary school next year). I do have a few friends here too though they have not really supported me through my mc as they have not had this experience and I don't hold that against them. I don't see how I can send my youngest dd to the village school - I would see this woman probably almost every day during the school run and I feel guilty at the thought of not sending dd to the village school as she may not have friends on the doorstep like my eldest dd. I feel very stuck. I have very little extended family so don't have any other major excuse to move from here. I think I am hoping for quite a lot when I ask this but has anyone else found themselves in a similar situation?
Both my miscarriages were first trimester, but I had exactly these feelings. Colleagues and friends were pregnant and due the same time and it was awful. The feelings abated once I had my healthy baby, but I still get twinges. Some friendships have been forever changed.
Does this woman know what happened, and would she be understanding, do you think? It wouldn't be a magic fix but could have the sting out of it a little. I spoke to one of my pregnant colleagues about my loss in the end, and it did help a bit when I had to see her.
Most of all, how you feel is very normal IMO!
Yes, this woman knows what happened. She came up my driveway (whilst heavily pregnant) as I was opening my front door in Spring last year as she hadn't seen me for a while and then I had no choice but to tell her what had happened. She was sympathetic etc (and hugged me with her pregnant bump) but at the time it felt very patronising, I did not have a particularly close relationship with her. She asked me whether I was going to try again but I didn't really want to answer her question at this point particularly as I knew that 'trying' was unlikely to result in a pregnancy. What made things even worse was that she was ambivalent about having this child. She did have a very early mc herself but then became pregnant again straight away (and actually seemed a bit put out that I was pregnant following her mc). Yes, I would liked to have become pregnant again (and have been ttc for nearly a year - and unsurprisingly have not been successful) and I think that would have taken the sting out of it for me but I am very unlikely to now and actually not sure I could face this type of loss again. It feels that in some ways I am sabotaging any last chance by drinking wine and caffeine which I know do not aid fertility. Still I am likely to try until I enter menopause (which is predicted to come early for me). My eldest dd has expressed that she does not want any other siblings (although she loves little dd very much) this is enough for her in respect of sharing attention. I have many reasons to stop trying including mine and dh combined age (he is a fair bit older than me) and the concerns about having a poorly baby, little extended family to support etc. Had I not become pregnant again I would have been very content with my lot (although maybe always wistfully thinking what it would be like to have a larger family) but the presence of this woman is really not helping and stirs feelings up again. The last thing I feel like doing is peering into her pram and saying congratulations and acting all nonchalant like my loss doesn't really matter or going through the motions of acting 'normal' I don't want to expose my true feelings to someone who I am not really close to, I feel extremely vulnerable in this situation. This mc has caused major ructions throughout my life. I am currently estranged from my mother and brother and SIL (who had a child just before mine was due). All of these relationships were on shaky ground and have been for many years but the mc was the straw that broke the camels back. My father lives abroad most of the time and again I am estranged from him too. I have one brother remaining who I see every few weeks. I have experienced so much loss and this loss was the catalyst for even more loss. I have felt extremely withdrawn at times and isolated and my home should be a sanctuary - often I come out of it in fear of bumping into her and her pram (and soon to be mobile child no doubt).
Oh Monkey, I'm so sorry; you are having such an incredibly hard time. I totally get that you do not want to minimise the memory of your DS by feeling as though you have to 'act normal' around her, and that she was ambivalent about her pregnancy is just a kick in the teeth. Add in the wider loss of your family, her seeming limited empathy, and the challenges of TTC again and I'm not surprised you're having such a hard time.
If there was an easy solution, you would have found it already. Is there anyone you could turn to to help you work through it all, to figure out if moving away etc. might actually be the best decision or, if it isn't, to give you some tactics to make your home a sanctuary again? I guess I'm suggesting counselling, as it sounds to me like you need someone who fully acknowledges your loss, which maybe your friends and this woman just haven't be able to do.
The one other thing I would say is that the colleagues and friends I have been so desperately jealous of (and terrified of seeing) have, over time, had to bear other losses (relationship and career breakdown). From the outside, compared go them, I now look like I have a charmed life. This sounds like gloating but it's more that it's made me see that very few people get a charmed life and, as much as losing my babies was awful, I wouldn't trade my lot. Maybe this is just my own twisted perspective! And I guess it only works in hindsight. But your life is still uniquely and wonderfully yours, in all its shit-ness!
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