I hope that you can forgive me for this, because it is not done out of jealousy, pettiness, spite, or shallow competition- it is done from a place of literal self-preservation.
So, I am sorry.
And I am happy for you.
But I will not be there.
When you announce your pregnancy with a stylized photo on Instagram, a punny post on Facebook, in a card, or even in person – I will feel two things.
First, I will be indescribably, over-the-moon, giddy-glad for you.
And then, I will need to escape.
Exit out of social media, minimize the page, throw the card in the trash, get in my car and drive away – far far away – from every single shred of pink, blue, pastel, stork, streamers, confetti, stupid, happy celebrating.
I am happy for you – I promise.
But I won’t be there.
Because I CAN’T be there.
When you invite me to your baby shower, and I’m unable to make it, please know that I am happy for you.
When you want to talk about the flutters and kicks, or nausea, the swollen ankles, the nursery, the receiving blankets, the list of names, and I derail every conversation by changing the subject to anything non-baby, please know that I am SO happy for you.
I don’t want to dim your light, and I don’t want to downplay your joy, and I don’t want to be the rain cloud that crowds out all of the infectious mom-to-be sun, but also I can’t be part of it.
I want you to have it and feel it and cherish every moment, but please, as gently as I can say it, I beg of you to leave me out of it.
Because I am SO happy for you, and I cannot be there.
I’m not asking you to understand because I don’t think that’s possible until you’ve carried a child who didn’t get to come home.
But I am asking you to be forgiving, and to be okay with my absence, to extend grace and compassion, to know that none of this is personal; to know that my heart is with you, and your precious teeny tiny one.
It’s simply with you from a distance because that is emotionally safer for me.
I’m not asking you to hide or be less excited or be guilty of having what I wish I had because that wouldn’t be fair, and also, I truly do not want that for you.
I’m just asking you to be sensitive, to be cognizant, to remember that some of us are surviving pregnancy loss as a trauma every single day, and read the room.
For example, if I change the subject of babies and pregnancy and nesting, please just let me do it.
If I leave the room when you’re gushing over pregnancy euphoria, please know that I’m not rude; I’m doing it out of respect and kindness for you so that you don’t have to stop.
But I can’t be part of it, you see.
Because I am happy for you, but I cannot go there.
If I go there, I might not make it back.
So please accept my congratulations and know how thrilled I am for this most beautiful and exciting time in your life. I wish you nothing but happiness, health, a safe delivery, and a thriving baby.
But I won’t be there.
And I hope you can forgive me.