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Friendships & miscarriage

(10 Posts)
PIVOT Mon 11-Jul-16 11:44:10

Just looking for a safe space with people that understand really.

I had a miscarriage 18 months ago and I struggle with it alot still. I'm not TTC as no longer with DP, so I'm very stuck I guess.

I haven't been able to cope with babies, bumps etc since. I'm 35, so you can imagine, it's something of an occupational hazard.

I am still at the stage of moving when I'm in starbucks and a baby is crying near me. I know it sounds awful, but it's too much. I am getting better - helping women lift buggies and I stroked a distant friend's baby last week which was HUGE. It was made possible by the fact that she came and sought me out to say she'd heard I'd had a miscarriage and wanted to say how sorry she was and wanted to tell me about her journey to becoming a mum, she was just lovely and I could see the genuine empathy in her eyes. So it really is baby steps.

My former friendships aren't faring so well. I had a group of friends and one of them is having a baby any day now, possibly has had it. We didn't get off to a great start with it. We were at a very public occasion when she revealed her lovely news, and I was under pressure to be okay with it. I was really upset inside, and I to this day, feel really humiliated when I think back to that day. I respect her choice to share her news how she wishes to share it, but by the same token, feel like no one in the group really respects my wishes to retreat from the group.

I persevered with the friendship - she had been supportive post miscarriage, a good friend generally and she didn't do it to spite me obviously. It just got harder the more pregnant she was, so I've pulled back. I haven't heard from most of the group which I get. Everyone is well versed in the social norms of when a baby arrives; not so much when it doesn't.

Is it so unreasonable for me to withdraw now? I can't face it. I have other friends so I'm not isolated, I just cannot stick participating in this one group. I've unfollowed them all on social media because it's just too much. One of them thinks I'm being a bit tight, and that it's sad that I can't come to terms with it all. But right now, it's the least of the things that I've lost.

Lilly948204 Mon 11-Jul-16 16:40:38

I have found there are people who genuinely understand (they have usually been through it too), people who try really hard to understand and people who expect you to be over it in five minutes and consider it a bit of an inconvenience.

The first two groups are worth keeping as friends, the rest aren't worth your worry. They are too wrapped up in their own lives to really think about how something may affect someone else and I think you've done the right thing. You've got other friends so I wouldn't worry.

So sorry to hear about your MC, I'm currently going through the same and it is heartbreaking and sometimes very lonely. Xxx

sarahnova69 Mon 11-Jul-16 16:56:12

I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. Can I ask - have you had or are you having any support, through groups or an individual? If the end of your relationship followed not long after, then no wonder you are finding it all a lot to deal with.

That said - if you have not had any support as of yet, I would suggest seeking some out now, because it may indeed leave you quite isolated if you struggle to be anywhere around babies or bumps - and as you know, other women aren't having babies at you.

If you feel like you need to leave, or at least pull back from the friendship circle, right now, then of course you can do that - but it may cost you those friendships permanently. Your friends may rightly feel that they haven't done anything wrong, and that pregnancy and becoming a mother can also be a difficult time deserving of support from friends. And women really do vary in how they want to be treated post a miscarriage - some would want friends to be careful in how they shared baby news, others would find this humiliation on top of pain. Some friends are rubbish and unsupportive and/or don't know how to deal - feel free to drop these. But if you are struggling to the extent that it's negatively affecting a lot of your friendships, I think it may have reached the point where you need some support in processing your grief.

(And I have had a loss myself - I know it is lonely and awful. I wish you the best in coming to whatever terms you can, and I'm sorry if my words hurt.)

Trooperslane Mon 11-Jul-16 17:14:59

Not unreasonable at all.

You need to protect yourself - it's beyond devastating.

I've had two earlyish losses and a late one last year (not classed as a still birth officially but it was to me) which was utterly, utterly heartbreaking. I've been really open this last time. And I've just been able to hold a friend's newborn recently too.

It's trite but you will have good days and bad days IME and you need to find strength to roll with it.

Be very, very gentle with yourself and don't underestimate how hard this is. My DM also had a loss before me and I know she grieved til her dying day.

Cuddle round those who know how to support you and don't feel bad for distancing yourself from others til you can cope, or want to see them.

It's 100% grief - I grieve for my babies and the future that we should have had in the same way as I do for my DM and DF who both died within the last few years.

Massive big hugs and x

Trooperslane Mon 11-Jul-16 17:16:07

*before she had me.

Meant to say, the way you react doesn't mean you're a bad person - you're a person that bad things have happened to.

jimijack Mon 11-Jul-16 17:22:00

Oh love, it's awful, devastating.
People who understand tend to be those who have been where you are I found.

I'm at the happy end of babies now. I have no reason to feel jealous, like I want to vomit when someone announces their pregnancy, like my insides are being repeatedly punched, yet I do, still.

Can't help it.
So I understand, and like you, I have lost friends, but then I don't really miss them. I have good people around me.

PIVOT Tue 12-Jul-16 13:54:27

I'm sorry for your losses. I've never known pain like it. It's been 18 months, and I have SOME good and 'normal' days but my normal is just been in excruciating pain. troopers I'm comforted by what you say about your DM, I'm sick of my pain being pathologised by the few people I have around me.

I've had and am having counselling sarah.

It's just a really lonely place to be. I know i'm making it lonelier in a way, it just feels necessary for now. It's a risk worth taking that the loss will be permanent - I've lost the worst thing I could have lost, I honestly don't feel like this is of consequence, apart from the crap I'm getting from other people.

Sorry for the short response, I'm having a really hard day on the miscarriage front. I thought time was supposed to heal.

StillCounting123 Tue 12-Jul-16 20:41:07

You're not alone. I had an early miscarriage last month, and struggle to be around pregnant friends & my pregnant sis-in-law.

I have a physical ache to cuddle babies and feel like a freak for it. Very strange for me as when my DC were small I really found the newborn stage difficult to handle.

In a way having other children has been a help to me - something to focus on, but in other ways I feel sad for the sibling they have lost, when they didn't even know I was pregnant.

I suppose, OP, you're grieving, and when grieving it's important to be kind to yourself and give yourself as much time as you need.

lilybunch Tue 12-Jul-16 21:09:56

My miscarriage was 8 months ago, and i'm now just about ok seeing random pregnant people in the street, but people I know is a whole different story. I too have also unfollowed almost everyone I know on Facebook as all their pages and "likes" are baby pictures, it just seems so unfair.
The worst thing is one of my good friends at work who is pregnant with twins. Her second perfect healthy pregnancy. She is lovely, I want to be happy for her, I would never wish anything bad for her but it kills me to see her every time I walk through the office. I'm avoiding her and I think she understands - you have to do what you have to do to protect yourself. Don't feel bad withdrawing from your friends just now if that is what you need.
Hope the counselling helps, take care.
x

sandy30 Tue 12-Jul-16 22:59:32

Hi PIVOT,

I don't think it's unreasonable to withdraw. It's no one's fault, but something has happened which means these friendships are currently not working for anyone. Withdrawing before things get too toxic may be the least worst option. The best option would be you all taking home your babies and being happy for one another, and shitty life has taken that option off the table.

I withdrew from several friendships when I miscarried and explained why to the friends in question. I tried to be okay with their bumps and babies - I really did - but the pain I felt when I saw them was physical. I met up with one friend, thinking I would cope, and just cried the entire time. I felt sick and out of control. It was no good for anyone involved! I figure that I deserved to not feel even worse than I did, my friends deserved to enjoy their pregnancies (and could not plan their reproduction around my grief!), and the two were unfortunately not compatible.

Some of the friends I lost for good; others just picked up where we left off when I was in a better place. But actually, friendships always come and go in life. Very few last 70-80 years!

I also had counselling and while it stopped me completely falling into the abyss, it didn't heal me. So I get how you're feeling.

I am so sorry your relationship has also ended - it's a second grief. Would you want to be in a relationship before having another pregnancy?

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