It’s been two months since my son was born.
Two months since we were told we wouldn’t get to see him grow up.
Two months since he went back to heaven.

We’re working through our grief. As most pregnancy-loss-parents know, there are good days and bad days. We have more good than bad. But that grief pops up. Sometimes for a moment, sometimes for a day.

That’s the thing with grief. It’s there, below the surface, always.

And it pops its head up when you want to be joyful.

For those of us who have struggled to get pregnant, or have had a miscarriage or a stillbirth, there are reminders everywhere.

 

My heart simultaneously sings with joy, breaks with grief, and flares in jealous angst when I see a pregnant woman.

Pregnant bellies are so beautiful. I’ve never felt more beautiful than when I had a round baby bump. I would wear my pencil skirt and show off my growing belly. My body was doing something amazing and I was proud to show it off. I was so full of joy that I was finally pregnant, and it showed. I felt confident and gorgeous.

I’m so, so happy for that pregnant woman at Starbucks when I see her belly. I know what it’s like to long to be pregnant and to finally get to experience your babe growing inside your body.

But when I see her pregnant belly I’m reminded that that’s what I’m supposed to look like right now. That I would have been 34 weeks pregnant today. And that, instead, I’m the mother of a dead child. I have a flat (ish) stomach and an empty nursery.

The lump in my throat forms. The tears threaten.

At the same time that the tears start to spill over onto my cheeks, my jaw clenches. It’s not fair. I’m supposed to be 34 weeks pregnant. I’m supposed to have that big baby bump. Why does she get to be pregnant and I don’t?

I’m jealous. Of her. Of every pregnant mama I see.

And I know those thoughts are unfair to her. I don’t know what her journey has been. But, those thoughts and feelings are there. And I allow myself to feel them, process them, and pray that my Jesus will keep healing my heart and comforting me. And I turn away from that pregnant mama in the coffee shop line, and I go on with my day.

 

My heart simultaneously sings with joy, breaks with grief, and flares in jealous angst when I see mamas with their babies.

I’ve always loved babies. They are adorable and snuggable and beacons of light. And I know what it’s like to long to have one of my own. So when I see that mama at the grocery store with her baby, I smile at those dimpled cheeks and that little toothless grin.

But again, when I see that baby, I’m reminded that I don’t have a baby of my own to smile at. That my son never breathed a breath on this earth. That I don’t get to snuggle him.

The lump in my throat forms. The tears threaten.

At the same time that the tears start to spill over onto my cheeks, my jaw clenches. It’s not fair. My son was born two months ago. I should be taking a “9 weeks” picture today. I should be pushing a stroller when I pop into the grocery store for milk. I should be the mama with the baby that others are smiling at. Why does she have a living baby and I don’t?

I’m jealous. Of her. Of every mama I see.

And I know, those thoughts are unfair to her. I don’t know what her journey has been. But, those thoughts and feelings are there. And I allow myself to feel them, process them, and pray that my Jesus will keep healing my heart and comforting me, and will one day give me a baby that I’ll get to watch grow up. And I turn away from that mama in the grocery store, and I go on with my day.

 

My heart simultaneously sings with joy, breaks with grief, and flares in jealous angst when my friend tells me she’s pregnant.

Since my son was stillborn two months ago, three of my friends have told me that they are expecting.

I’m so incredibly thrilled for them. They are my friends. They are wonderful women. Two of them are already amazing mothers to their living children. One of them has already experienced pregnancy loss and is getting another chance at mothering a living child.

But once again, I’m reminded that my child is gone. That I don’t get to be pregnant at the same time as my friends and compare our bellies and watch our children grow up together. That I’m a mother with no child.

The lump in my throat forms. The tears threaten.

At the same time that the tears start to spill over onto my cheeks, my jaw clenches. It’s not fair. Why do those two women who already have beautiful living children get more children before I even get one living one?

I’m jealous. Of them. Of every pregnant mama I see.

And I know, those thoughts are unfair to them. My friends have been sweet and kind and supportive on my journey through pregnancy loss. They have consoled me, delivered food and care packages, checked in via text messages and visits. They all were hesitant to share their news with me, concerned they would cause me pain. And this makes me, as I’m sure it makes every pregnancy loss mama, so incredibly sad. Pregnancy is such a miracle and should be greeted with joy and yet I can’t help but be angry and sad and jealous when I see those announcements. But, those thoughts and feelings are there. And I allow myself to feel them, process them, and pray that my Jesus will keep healing my heart and comforting me, and will one day give me a child that I’ll get to watch play with my friends’ children. And I turn to my friend and I hug her close and tearfully tell her how excited I am for her growing family.

 

For so many of us, pregnancy and motherhood is grief, jealousy, and joy combined in a tangled mess of emotions.

If you’re pregnant or a mama with kiddos and someone you know has gone through miscarriage or stillbirth, please understand – we are so happy for you and for every pregnant woman and mama we see, but we’re also a little bit broken. Your pregnant belly or baby, while absolutely beautiful, is a reminder of our brokenness, of our former joy, and our former hope.

We may tear up when we see that your belly has grown. We may smile through tears at your child’s antics. We may struggle to express how thrilled we are for your family. We may feel unable to attend events like baby showers and birthday parties.

We’re navigating grief, jealousy and joy all at the same time, and some days it’s hard for the joy to raise itself above the others. But please know, it’s there.

grief jealousy and joy after pregnancy loss

 

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

  1. Nicola Cameron says:

    This is beautifully written, Trish. A true lament. I rejoice that you are in Jesus’s arms. There is no comfort like His.
    Isn’t it amazing how we can feel so many conflicting emotions at the same time. Our writing should reflect this, and our reading would deepen of we demanded this profound expression from our authors.
    Thank you for your vulnerability and humility in honesty. I feel similar things because I was denied the chance to even conceive another child. I do pray that when you are ready you will have courage to put your heart there again. 💔 Blessings to your husband too.

    • Nicola, thank you for reading and commenting. This is definitely an unexpected journey for us and we are figuring it out as we go and allowing the emotions to flow.

  2. I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering how everything was going and I had no idea you’d been through this! I’m so sorry that you’ve had to experience this loss 💕 This is so beautifully written — your ability to take such an experience and translate it into the most eloquently heartbreaking essay is incredible. Sending you the biggest hugs and wishes for continued strength as you journey the path of grief.

    • Thank you for the hugs, Melissa! One of the reasons why I’ve been posting about it so that I don’t get those “how’s the pregnancy” questions. They are a little awkward now with a response of “it’s not…”. This is definitely a journey – we’re not the first to walk it and not the last, but if we can help those who come after us in even the tiniest bit, then I’m happy to share our journey.

  3. I’m so glad you’re allowing Jesus to heal your heart. Thank you for your honest words and sharing your feelings. I know it’s hard to open up about such deep emotions, thank you for your bravery. You’ve allowed me a window into a world that I want to be able to understand so I can comfort and walk alongside you. All my love my friend.

    • Amaliyah friend. Thank you for your eagerness to learn and grow as we journey. Your kindness and prayers are so, so wanted and so appreciated. Love.

  4. My heart broke as I read through this. I’m so sorry for your loss and I’m glad that you have the strength to move on. As someone who is much younger and can’t yet relate to these thoughts, I’m not sure what else I can offer up other than that I hope things get better for you soon! 🙂

    • Hi Nandini, thank you. Thank you for reading and for commenting. The only thing I ask is that you take this info and carry with you as you interact with women you meet. You never know who has a story or experience like this and that even in joy, there is often a layer of sorrow. 💗

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