If you’re in the same phase of life that I’m in, you likely have friends who are getting pregnant and having babies.
And if you’re also on a journey through pregnancy loss or infertility, you likely have at least a handful of those friends who have gotten pregnant, had a baby and, very likely, gotten pregnant again — all while you’re still waiting for a live birth.
It’s hard to watch a friend’s belly grow round with a baby when that’s what you’re yearning for. It’s hard to watch a friend get a second or a third or a fourth living child before you have one in your arms.
But if this journey has taught me one thing, it’s the twofold nature of grief and joy. They go together. And while they seem like they should be in competition with one another, they create a balance and an opportunity for increased joy. Without knowing grief, would we really know true joy?
I’ve written before about how grief, joy, and jealousy overlap after pregnancy loss. But I was writing about me and my feelings then. Not about my friends who are expecting babies, and about their feelings.
And that’s why I’m writing today.
I want to write a letter to you:
- my friends who are pregnant while I am not
- my friends who have hesitated to tell me about their own pregnancies because of my loss
- my friends who are struggling to hold onto the joy of their baby’s development and impending arrival because of the fear of loss and the guilt of knowing how unfair life is that they are getting a baby or another baby before I get one
A Letter to My Pregnant Friend
To my pregnant friend,
You are beautiful. Inside and out. I am grateful for your friendship. The journey that I’m on has been difficult. But because of your support, your kindness, and your willingness to sit and cry with me, it’s been made a thousand times easier.
Because of you, I’ve been able to find light in the darkness.
Because of you, I’ve been able to find and feel joy during the most painful days of my life.
Because of you, I’ve known that I’m not alone.
And now, you’re pregnant and I’m crying two sets of tears at once.
One set of tears is for myself. I’m jealous, yes. I want that baby bump. I want a sweet child of my own in my arms.
But the other set tears, my dear friend, are tears of joy. Pure, unadulterated JOY FOR YOU.
Your baby is a miracle. Your baby is a gift. Your baby is so precious. And I am so happy for you and your family. Happy that you’re getting to experience pregnancy and that you’re bringing a new little human into your family. I know that you’ve been wanting a baby. I know that, like me, you’ve been trying for one. I know that struggle well, and I’m so excited that you were successful and that you have a baby growing in your belly.
Please, do not feel bad about your miracle because I don’t have mine yet.
Please, do not feel guilty that you’re pregnant and I’m not.
Please, do not let my grief dampen your joy.
You’ve told me that you feel bad, that it’s unfair that you’re pregnant and I’m not, unfair that my baby died. And yes, it is unfair. But it’s not unfair because of you. So please, do not feel bad. You are not to blame for any of the grief or pain that I feel on my journey.
My dear friend, I want to journey through your pregnancy with you. I want to celebrate with you, dream about who your baby might be, shop for adorable outfits and décor for your nursery, hear about about how you’re feeling and when your baby is kicking or has the hiccups. I want to snuggle that baby when they arrive and whisper to them how much of a precious miracle they are and how loved they are.
Yes, there will be days when seeing your bump hurts.
But I still want to see it and tell you how beautiful you are.
Yes, there will be moments where I struggle to hold back my tears.
But I still want to hug you and tell you that I love you and your baby.
Yes, the fear of loss is always there after you’ve seen it happen.
But I still want you to rest in the knowledge that it’s rare and that my experience is the anomaly and that your baby is perfect in every way.
I love you, friend. Thank you for being a part of my journey. I’m thrilled to be able to be a part of yours.