Guest post by Sarah Porter
I deactivated my Facebook page last week. This might not seem like a big deal but it really is. One of my friends exclaimed, “What?!?! But you’re the Facebook Queen!”
I have been very active on Facebook for probably a good 4 or 5 years. I found it a wonderful tool to keep in touch with so many friends and family. I am British, but live in the US and so Facebook is a great way to see the daily happenings of friends and fam all over the world in just a few easy sentences and some photo postings to boot. In return I posted a lot… shared a lot of my life and happenings… photos of my sweet family here in Orlando, Florida… I have shared a lot of what makes me “me”, including the positive things such as home life and work stuff, and also divulging in the not so great things, such as baby-loss, heartache, and infertility.
I have to say that in general, most people have both commented and been supportive. Some have remained silent… online and in person. Others have judged, whether it be behind my back or in catty comments of their own.
The people who judge or make snide comments have never lost a baby. I have to remember this and try to be empathetic to them. I want to be the better person. They have not carried a baby for almost 5 months only to discover that he has died inside of you for no apparent reason. They have not endured labour for three days… labour which should result in the delivery of joy, a perfect baby, but which in fact ends with the delivery of a dead son. They have not held their dead baby and they have not cried themselves to sleep for days, weeks, months… They have not then suffered with infertility, an inability to get pregnant again for almost three years… with no explanation.
How can they understand or even try to “get it”? They can’t. But still it hurts when you feel as though people judge you.
The past few months have shown a great surge in pregnancies in my corner of the world. There is definitely something in the water. I am really thrilled for those friends and acquaintances. Please don’t think that I am not! I just wish that someone would give me some of that magic water. Why is it so easy for everyone else to get pregnant over and over and not me?
And then I start to judge myself. I am not worthy. I am not a good enough mother. I am not meant to have another baby. If I did get pregnant I would probably lose the baby again. And so it goes on; the constant self-bashing and self-doubting. All the while I am reading new pregnancy and birth announcements, weird pregnancy cravings, and looking at sweet little sonogram pictures of dear little healthy babes in the womb.
But not my baby.
I am the crazy lady who lost a baby and cannot get over it. I am the head case who cannot get pregnant again for any apparent reason except the fact that she is mentally blocking it somehow, or God is looking down and casting lightening rods at every possible conception opportunity.
And so, after finally losing it one night last weekend to my husband, I decided it would be best if I shut down my Facebook page… just for a while. Maybe forever. What I don’t read or see can’t hurt me, right? No-one means to cause me any harm (I don’t think anyway!) but sometimes, when you have lost a baby it just feels like a perpetual kick in the teeth when you have to read about all the wonderful, happy, and healthy pregnancies out there and the resulting happy and healthy babies. That is how pregnancy and birth should be, isn’t it? It really should. Only sometimes it isn’t. And could someone please tell me how the hell to get over the fact that it doesn’t always end up in tears of joy, sleepless nights of breastfeeding, and poopy diapers galore? And could someone please tell me why I seemingly can’t have another chance of being a Mum again… aside from the fact that I am jeapordising myself constantly? Could somebody please tell me why I can’t give my husband another child and my daughter a sibling?
One “friend” told me I should ‘get over it’ with Henry… this was only a few months after he had passed away. We don’t ‘get over’ losing anyone we love. What an insensitive and thoughtless thing to say! We learn to live with loss and some days are easier than others.
Right now, my days feel pretty challenging. I feel selfish for feeling this way. I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful daughter, a loving family, and a great job. Life is good. But I am going to be 40 this year and I know my time is nigh. Is it so wrong of me to wish for an extra addition to our family? And again I feel so selfish, for all the amazing things I have in my life, and I think about the couples out there who haven’t been able to even have one baby.
And so it goes on and on; the envy, the disappointment, the guilt, the self-loathing. And again I say… if you haven’t experienced it then you just do not understand. And I pray for you that you never have to.