I’m So Happy For You!
Guest Post by Darcie Champagne
I’m so happy for you!
But, I’m not.
I am the kind of person (or I used to be) who could be genuinely happy for you, for your pregnancy, for your new baby and your cute child. Now, I am the kind of person who bubbles with anger and loathes you for your blissful happiness, which may not even be your situation. We know the statistics. So many parents go through some sort of baby loss, but I just don’t have it in me to assume that you could know or relate or even care enough to imagine what my husband and I have been through since losing our daughter, our only child, shortly before we gave birth to her at 40 weeks and four days.
I know it isn’t pretty – to see the glowing pregnant woman or new parents cooing over their baby and feel my blood boiling with jealousy and anger. I know it isn’t good for me. I can’t help it. It makes me so sad to have these visceral reactions that feel so out of character. I am trying; I really am trying to process our loss and have the strength to separate her from other babies and little girls in the world.
But I see you and I can’t help but wonder, why me and not you?
I wouldn’t wish a baby’s death on anyone; it is a traumatic loss that irrevocably changes who you are. We all signed up to be forever changed as parents; just those of us in the baby loss community were changed in ways we could have never imagined. The amazing thing is that every single one of us would do it all again to have just a few more moments with our babies. I certainly would.
But even with that said, I do wonder why? Not just “Why me?” but most of the time ‘Why not you?’ How did these other people manage to keep their baby? Even when I saw baby loons with their parents this summer, I couldn’t help but think, ‘Even loons can do it.’ This thing that appears to be so easy for everyone else, all the people and animals I look at and think, ‘What makes you more deserving?’ I know it doesn’t work that way, but it does in my irrational, reactive mind.
So, why admit all of this – this inner ugliness? I guess because I am asking for patience. I am asking for your patience. I am hoping to get to a place where I can be happy for you. Until then, I just need to kind of hate you. Hate is such a strong word, but what I feel is bigger than hate. It is such a deep jealousy and sadness unlike anything I have ever experienced that I fear there is not a word for what I feel toward you – my neighbors who have a sweet little girl, maybe six months older than my daughter should be; the car I drive by on my block with the ‘baby on board’ sticker; my best friend who is pregnant after fertility struggles of her own – I want to be happy for you. I am trying. But ‘happy’ feels so far away from where I exist now. I guess the best I can hope for right now is to not ‘hate’ you.
I just don’t know how to do that yet.
All I can say to the pregnant women I know is, “Good luck.” To those of you who have healthy babies, I am sorry I have to unfollow you on facebook and avoid the places you go. To my friends with amazing little babies, I will meet your children someday, I hope. For now, I just have to mourn that, too; my relationship with your children, my friendship with you, the amazing time in our lives that we should be sharing. I don’t get to be in that place with you. So, I mourn it all. I mourn my Mathilda. I mourn our babies growing up together. I mourn myself, that happy-go-lucky person I used to be. I mourn happiness. I am finding other states of being.
So, if you can’t wait for me and offer me your patience, there’s not much I can do about that, and I understand. It’s been a little over 7 months since we lost our everything, our baby girl. I could never have imagined what this journey would be, and it is so different for all of us in the baby loss world. The journey continues to shift and change, just as I do. All I can hope for is to find my way back to some version of happy. If not for you, then at least for me.
Photo Credit: Greg Saulmon
Darcie lives in New Hampshire with her incredible husband, Jonathan and their cat, Lady. Their daughter, and only child, Mathilda died shortly before she was born at 40 weeks, 4 days, on March 4th, 2016. ‘Tillie’ was perfect in every way, except that she was born still. They had a pregnancy filled with lullabies and bed time stories, never knowing that it could all end in silence. Darcie started writing to try and gain some of what she lost, and to find ways to speak about the unspeakable. To honor her daughter, honor her feelings, and honor this new person staring back at her in the mirror. Darcie is a union theatre actor and is trying to find her way back to the stage, slowly. In the meantime she and Jonathan are sharing their experiences at their website Lost Lullabies.