by Christine Sherrill
Thank you for showing kindness in your announcement. Instead of doing a social media blast or taking cutesy photos of three pairs of shoes, you came to my house.
You waited until I came back from my trip because you “didn’t want to ruin my vacation.”
You told me kindly, in private with just my husband. When you left, I leaned on him and cried.
Why was it so easy for some people to get pregnant? I wondered to him.
Why did ours have to die when yours will probably be fine?
This will be a journey for both of us. It will be hard for you, too.
You sat with us and cried at the hospital. You brought us food and groceries even while your own heart was flooded with sadness and confusion.
You know just how wrong things can go.
You know that no matter how many times you hear your baby’s heartbeat, no matter how many scans you stick on your fridge, no matter how many weeks go by, that a perfectly healthy baby can die on their due date for no explainable reason.
You’ve seen how baby loss hurts and what it does to people. I know in the back of your mind, behind all the celebrating, sometimes this thought pesters you.
I know that I am a reminder.
I also know that every day I have my own reminders.
I am reminded that other people get pregnant with ease, that others have perfectly healthy (or at least living) babies they get to watch grow up and never have to wonder about the kind of person they would have been.
I’ve found my own ways to cope with that reality: muting people after a pregnancy announcement on social media, avoiding acquaintances or colleagues that are expecting, and a lot of therapy.
But with you, it’s different.
You’re not a stranger on the internet.
You’re not just a colleague I pass in the hallway.
You are my friend. And I care about us.
Our relationship from this point forward will be a little more difficult. There might be days that I’m happy to see you, and there might be days that your baby bump is a painful reminder of my own perceived failure.
There may be days where our in-depth conversation takes a halt because some random word you’ve said has been a trigger.
I won’t be able to help you plan a baby shower – and I’ll be unsure of my own attendance until the moment it starts.
I will doubt myself as a friend and withdraw at times so as to not “bring you down.”
The truth is that I want you to be happy. I want your baby to thrive.
Even if I am not happy, and my baby died.
Though we’ll certainly experience ups and downs, I truly believe that our friendship is worth it.
If we can practice patience and understanding with each other, and if you can extend some grace to me and all the weirdness that comes with being a Loss Mom, I know we can make it.
Your Loving Friend