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 Stone is the Editor-in-Chief and owner of Still Standing Magazine, as well as a loss mom to three boys, twins born in 2012 and another son in 2013. She also has two (living) daughters. Currently, Diana teachers first grade for a Reggio-Emilia inspired school and is pursuing a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Her journey with writing online started after the birth of her first daughter in 2009. You can read Diana’s work on World Vision, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Christianity Today, Babble, Liberating Working Moms, Simple Homeschool, Mom.me, She Reads Truth, Still Standing Magazine, Yahoo, Military Family, Attachment Parenting International, and her own site Diana Wrote.
She’s spoken at the Influence Conference, on several podcasts like Happy, Healthy You and The Morning (episode 51), and a live panel with HuffPo. She’s also traveled alongside World Vision USA to both Zimbabwe and Ecuador to learn about maternal and infant mortality rates in 2015 and to help launch their Chosen program in 2019.
Her passion is advocating for women’s physical and mental health rights during and after the loss of a child at any stage. Contact her at email@example.com