Every day, I get online and brace myself for what I know will be an onslaught of happy families with healthy babies and glowing pregnancies. I shuffle my way through pictures, announcements, kids wearing ‘Big Sister!’ shirts, balloons being released from boxes, and grandparents posting ultrasounds.
I sit and stare at each one briefly, part of me wondering what to do. The obvious answer would be – you like it. You push ‘like’ because you are their friend, or at least you know them through something, and that’s just what you do. These people have been kind to you. They feel sad for you.
It’s not your baby.
It’s not your pregnancy.
Their announcement changes nothing for you.
They didn’t get pregnant to spite you.
It’s a life.
It’s not your baby. Remember?
And yet. Every single time I scroll away. Hit ‘unfollow.’ Cringe and turn to something else.
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I can’t ‘like’ your baby – as petty as I realize that is. And I do realize it. I’ve been in your situation three times. Wondering why friends with a loss couldn’t be happy for me. After all – it wasn’t their baby. It didn’t have anything to do with them. Be happy for me.
And now I can’t.
Somehow, liking your pictures and announcements is almost as if I cancel out my own sons. It’s as if pushing that button means they didn’t matter as much as they did and do.
Somehow, if I ‘like’ your healthy, alive baby – mine just fades that much further away.
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I’m sorry I can’t like your pregnancy, your photos, your smiles, and laughter. I’m sorry it still hurts so much to see your child come home and mine didn’t even make out of the hospital. I wish it weren’t like this – but it is.
I’m so very sorry I can’t like your baby, but I can’t. Right now, I have to hold on to anything that allows me to still love mine.
Diana is owner and editor-in-chief of Still Standing Magazine and blogs her own life story at Diana Wrote. She and her military retired husband have two girls and three sons who passed away after birth; Preston and Julian, identical twin boys who were born at 20 weeks, and Kaden, who unexpectedly had cardiomyopathy due to a rare virus called ciHHV-6. He died in her arms at 3 weeks old.
In 2014 she traveled with World Vision to learn about maternal health and infant mortality in Zimbabwe, and later with them to Ecuador. She is working on a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. You can also find her work on Babble, Liberating Working Moms, She Reads Truth, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post.