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coping with office pregnancy after stillbirth

(20 Posts)
wowwee123 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:15:04

hi, my pfb was stillborn in July 2015 at 27+2. it has been a struggle as you can imagine.

i work in a small office with 6 other colleagues and one of them is pregnant.

we've known since 6 weeks and she is now in the 2nd trimester.

the constant baby talk is killing me and i dont know how to cope. im finding it even harder as noone has even considered or shown anyway that it might affect me because of what i have been through.

i dont know what to do.

obviously i am over the moon for my colleague and wish her a happy and healthy pregnancy but the constant chatter about baby names, childcare, outfits, maternity leave etc is just pushing me close to the edge.

i'm having a particularly bad day today and on the brink of tears. i hate being this person.

reallyanotherone Wed 16-Nov-16 12:20:19

They're being really insensitive.

Talk to your manager. See if they can point it out that while you are happy for the colleague, they need to be sensitive. Maybe even figure out if you can work from home or something until you are more emotionally stable.

Blueroses99 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:30:37

I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my PFB at 21+3 in July this year and I really struggle with any baby talk. When I returned to work in September I included in my return to work email that I'd appreciate if they didn't talk about babies and children as I'm still feeling very sensitive (all my team have young children). Thankfully they have honoured this. Depending on your relationship with the team, you could either say that while you're happy for your colleague, could they tone down the baby talk as it's triggering memories of your loss (more powerful than phrasing it as it's making you upset), or do this via your manager as PP suggested.

Please don't beat yourself up, it's entirely natural to feel as you do

Blueroses99 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:31:41

I also shared this at work:

wowwee123 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:32:17

this is the thing, i am close to my colleague and dont want to have a negative impact on her pregnancy or for her to think she is upsetting me.

i just cant see what management can do (unless they do allow me to work from home occasionally and are discreet about it).

it's so hard. some days i dread coming in.

it's just awful because it's daily. my bf is pg at the moment too and although i have found that hard at least i can distance myself from it when needs be.

Loosechange1 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:35:57

Maybe you are doing too good a job of being positive for her and she doesn't realize how you are feeling?

I agree talk with your manager. She could have a quiet word and get them to tone down the chat.

I have no idea how you feel, but think your feelings and reactions are totally reasonable.

Heatherbell1978 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:38:45

Assuming they know what you've been through I can't believe they're having these discussions in front of you. Very insensitive. I'm pregnant with #2 and a close friend has had 2 miscarriages this year at 20 wks. I only ever mention my pregnancy if she asks, I haven't even been able to ask for any of my maternity clothes back (I've just bought/borrowed more) as I feel like she needs to make the first move.

I know you don't want to upset them but they're not showing the same consideration towards youflowers

MrsNuckyThompson Wed 16-Nov-16 12:39:39

It is very very hard. One of my best friends had a still birth at full term about 7 years ago. She is one of my very best friends, there are a group of us who are all still very close from school days 20 years ago.

We still forget. All of us. Recently we were at a night out and as I am pregnant there was obvious baby talk. She's fine with that generally and she has a DD now. However, eventually talk moved to the birth and birth stories and people telling ridiculous stories about pooing themselves etc. And then suddenly I remembered and looked up to see my friend struggling to hold back tears and of course it dawned on me how incredibly insensitive we had all been. She went to the loo, we all had a strong word with ourselves and immediately changed the subject. I apologised afterwards.

I guess what I am saying is that people WOULD understand how you are feeling if only it was pointed out to them. You don't have to do that in a pushy way or tell them to stop altogether. Is there someone who is more of a leader or 'mother figure' even if not the manager? Just one person you can confide in who might be able to very gently share the message with the others?

I am so very sorry for your loss. Don't feel bad about how you feel. It is entirely normal and the others I'm sure would immediately see how insensitive they are if only they clocked.

Blueroses99 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:41:48

You almost need the penny to drop with one of them so they realise that they're being insensitive. Could you escape from the room everytime it gets too much (they might get the hint?) or whisper quietly to one colleague who can mention it to the others. You are being very considerate to your colleague which is lovely, but there is a balance between scaring her with negativity and asking for more sensitivity.

I just couldn't put myself in the situation that you describe. Everyone handles loss differently and there are no blanket right or wrongs but I can only see things from my own perspective at this moment in time. Have you called the Sands helpline, they have a lot of experience to draw from and might be able to suggest some useful tips.

wowwee123 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:50:35

i do attend a sands group but have missed the last two sessions for various reasons so not had chance to bring it up with them yet.

i do feel im probably hiding it well. i often go quiet but im the same vein i often join in too.

sometimes i think its more about me being uncomfortable than anything else.

in the beginning i referenced my pregnancy a lot not in a bad way comparing sickness and what helped me etc but quite often i felt like my pregnancy was being overlooked because of how it ended and i became aware i was talking about i a lot. as if i was the only person to have ever have been pregnant blush so i've toned that down a lot.

it's just so hard. 10 weeks down, another 24 to go!

3littlebadgers Wed 16-Nov-16 12:58:03

I lost my dd2 full term 20 months (and 4 days) ago now. I have since had a rainbow baby and still I find pregnancy, labour, Newborns, and lite girls around dd2's age so difficult. I can't avoid them, although on low days that is all I want to do. It is so very hard.

Honestly, the best strategy for me has been to let people see my vulnerability. If you are upset please let them see.

We lost our babies. While no one can understand the ongoing pain of that loss, I am sure they would be sensitive enough to react to your sadness.


I am here with an ear if you need one

wowwee123 Wed 16-Nov-16 13:03:54

i've scheduled a meeting with the boss at 2 to discuss copeing strategies.

thank you so much.

i just am not used to appearing vulnerable and really dont want to take the shine off my colleague.

it is pushing me a bit now though. im having to be very controlled. a discussion happened last week about some choices she made about testing and finding out the gender and i really had to hold back. its awful.

wowwee123 Wed 16-Nov-16 13:04:42

also, to everyone else that has experienced this loss, i am so very sorry you have had to walk a similar path but ever so grateful you are happy to helpm

wowwee123 Wed 16-Nov-16 15:47:27

just an update - meeting went well. i have done such a good job at putting on a brave face they were surprised to see me in a state i think.

I am being referred to occupational health to see if they can offer any advice. they have offered a job rotation if it would help but i dont want that.

they are going to drop into conversation how all yhe baby talk must be hard for me - basically flagging up an awareness and then see how we get on i think.

hopefully pregnant friend will be completely unaffected by it all.

TwitterQueen1 Wed 16-Nov-16 15:59:14

Well done OP. You were absolutely right to bring this up with your manager. Of course you don't want to upset anyone - but you are very upset and you matter too.

flowers for you and your PFB and for everyone else who has suffered in the same way.

wowwee123 Wed 16-Nov-16 16:36:22

thanks queen

Blueroses99 Wed 16-Nov-16 17:36:27

Well done wowwee, that must have been a really tough conversation but I'm glad to hear that the boss was supportive and is helping put steps in place to make it less difficult for you.

wowwee123 Wed 16-Nov-16 18:24:38

thank you blue i feel lots better after having spoken to them.

just knowing people were aware has helped as it really doesnt feel that way when everyone is talking baby all the time.

its just an awful situation. its life. people are going to have babys arent they and thats good id never wish what ive been through on anyone but it still happened and it would be nice for people to spare a little thought. thanks again.

Loosechange1 Wed 16-Nov-16 20:32:25

I'm glad it went well. Pregnant friend may well be upset she upset you without realizing it. That's not your fault, and in that position most people would rather know and feel bad for a little while than not know and keep upsetting you.

Good luck.

wowwee123 Wed 16-Nov-16 20:48:38

i actually hope pregnant friend doesnt find out i was upset.

she's young it's her first baby she should be enjoying every second not worrying about me it's just you spend a lot of time at work and it is a daily conversation. it's hard to take but i don't want her / colleagues to change i just need some copeing mechanisms and even just someone to ask 'how are you' to acknowledge it's an awful position for me to be in.

we are finally ttc again. hopefully i will have my own happy news to share before long but i think i will be so anxious throughout i still wont enjoy talking baby.

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