August 16, 2012

When Friends Have Babies

 It's baby season among all my friends it appears. I literally know three people who were due within a few days of each other. One, my good friend Jodi, just had her baby in the wee hours of the morning this morning. I have another friend due in about a month and another a few weeks after that. All of my friends that were at my little shower for Finn are (or were in Jodi's case) pregnant.

In some circles of friends I bet times like these are exciting and thrilling. But for me, while there certainly is excitement, there is also a lot of fear, worry, and sadly even some jealousy.

Losing a child changes your views on pregnancy and child birth (and child raising for that matter). Even when my closet friends, the ones who have stuck by my side (like I talked about in my last post) and the ones who have been so loving and supportive, even when they have kids, I can't help but have pangs of jealously. It must be nice not to lose your first child. Or It must be nice to only give birth to living babies. And the sad thing is I just can't help it. No matter how wonderful of a friend, no matter how truly happy I am that everything DID work out for them, no matter how excited I am - I still am just a little sad. Sad that I didn't get what they did. Sad that my family picture is always a little incomplete. And sad that I have these feelings when all I should do is celebrate their good fortune and happiness.

As Jodi texted me that she was on her way the the hospital, I had one of those jealous moments. I was saying it must be nice to go into labor and eagerly head to the hospital. And while I wish I could have that, I have to remind myself that I did. I started having contractions with Cale the night before he was born. Nothing seriously painful, but certainly noticeable. The next morning at work I realized they were more regular. I started timing them. It was Jodi who sat by me as I was marking how many I was having and how far a part they were. It was Jodi who drove me to the hospital. I said that I hoped they would tell me that I was in fact in labor, but I had time to run home and pick up a few things. She laughed and said, "if you are, I don't think they will tell you that." I sent Miles a text and told him I was headed to the hospital. He had just finished a workout and put on his Wisconsin Badgers Cheerleader shirt because he thought it would be funny since he was going to be my cheerleader. He met us at the hospital and a few minutes later our world came crashing down.

So I did have part of that exciting experience of labor. . . just not the happy ending for delivery. And I want them both. Yes, Finley's labor was wonderful - don't get me wrong. And he came out screaming and perfect and ALIVE! But, it still was far from what you dream up these moments to be. I never thought that I'd be up late the night before a planned induction because I was too scared to sleep worrying that my baby would die. I never thought that I would get to pick my child's birthday and that I literally would worry about him being ok even after I was hooked up to the monitors. I never thought my experiences with pregnancy and child birth would end up the way the did because I just never thought my first baby would die.

The funny thing is that while I have these feeling of jealousy or sadness, woe-is-me-ness, whatever you want to call it - it doesn't change how happy I am for my friends. I can be happy and sad. I can be jealous and thrilled. Because you never, ever want someone to join this club. I never want my friends to truly understand what I've been through. And I do ultimately want the very best for them and their babies. It's just that I wanted that for mine too.

The other thing that I have noticed a big difference in when my friends have babies is the fear and panic that I have for them. Yes, I worry that something might happen during their pregnancy and I just want the nine months to pass by quickly and uneventfully, but when it comes time to labor and it's actually "Go time". . .I just sit and worry. Jodi texted me on her way to the hospital. And then about an hour later or so, I realized I hadn't heard from her. My mind started to wander and I became that obnoxious friend who sent her probably too many texts while she was in labor. And her husband. It's pretty silly, really - what do I expect . . .that after every contraction she is going to pick up the phone and let me know how things are going?  . . .well, yeah! I mean, it's all about me here, right?! Thankfully her husband let me know that things were going well and I tried to just chill out.. . .although I just laid in bed, randomly picking up my phone every few minutes in case I missed anything . . until close to 1am my time when I got the wonderful news that she was here.

Welcome to the world Emilee Marie - I love you already!


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9 comments:

  1. I feel like I could have written these words. I have felt that jealousy at the same time as the joy for those I love. Its hard yo feel those conflicting feelings, but I'm happy to know that at least I'm not alone.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Emilee is beautiful!

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  2. "It must be nice not to lose your first child. Or It must be nice to only give birth to living babies."

    I don't think the majority of people in my life understand that concept above. With more kids, will come a better experience (hopefully) and therefore I will be just as I was always meant to be with Alexander. And that will never be the case. Ever.

    I will always feel that way, as you've described so well above. Even to my closest of friends. I want to remind them that they have it so much easier than I do...in THIS department. And the woe-is-me pity party begins. But it's damn hard.

    And I just wanted to say I think you're a great friend.

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  3. I will allow you to text me as much as you want and I promise to text you back as much as I can. Hey we could even face time! :)

    I know it's not the same but I have those same feelings about those I know in car accidents or going through traumatic situations.

    For sure get jealous and pangs of hurt when there are so many good things going on in peoples lives. I want to be happy for them but sometimes it is so damn hard...even when you know they don't even deserve it. You know what I'm talking about Im sure!

    I am glad Emilee made it safely and I hope you get to snuggle her soon! I see some more miles on the Pilot coming on!

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  4. So very well said. I'm SO glad Jodi's daughter is here -- happy and healthy -- but I totally feel you on ALL of that. I've been and continue to be that way with Deb at the moment. She even called tonight to tell me her plans of an epi, etc after attending a class. So many thoughts and emotions, both happy and sad -- especially the slight jealousy of it all. Thanks for being so open -- especially about something so many of us feel, but might not voice as well as you just did. :)

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  5. Oh hun it's so hard isn't it? I have several pregnant friends, several friends with babies.

    As you read on my blog, my first and only son, my Finley, died. But I did get the excited happy feeling. My waters broke and I called my parents and my husbands family. We told our neighbours so they could watch the dog. I told my best friends. And then I went to the hospital. Finley was alive and well. I laboured for 25 hours, and 2.5 of them were spent pushing. His heart rate was dipping and he was stuck, which is why I had a c section, but never ever did I think that when he was delivered he wouldn't be ok. I went from the highest high of thinking in a few moments I would be finally meeting him, to the lowest low knowing that he was poorly and then that he died.

    I now really HATE when people announce that they are in labour on facebook or the likes. I just keep thinking that everything could still go wrong.

    I am sad that this is my automatic assumption and I feel sad, like you for being sad and jealous at the same time that I'm happy for my friends.

    Nothing is fair, and you can't help how you feel. But at least you know that you have some wonderful friends :)

    Lisa
    http://dear-finley.blogspot.com

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  6. Don't know how I stumbled upon your blog, but in babyloss world I guess that just happens. Thank you for writing this. Makes me feel less terrible about how I react with all my friends' pregnancies. I liked how you stated that its alright to be happy and sad, jealous and elated for them. I must remind myself this. Thank you for sharing!

    RyAnne

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  7. I can only imagine all the feelings you go through...and it's not like you can escape from it. Especially at an Army post where babies and bellies are EVERYWHERE. From the other side of things, I've realized that I feel a kind of "guilt" around friends who have had to experience loss in a way that we haven't. I don't ever want to be the one to go through it, but it certainly doesn't seem fair that others have had to. I guess it just comes down to the fact that we all recognize the magnitude of the precious little lives who have left this world too soon.

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  8. Oh Caroline. I agree with everything that "MCH" said above. And, would also like to let you know that because of you, and your honesty, I have not taken a single moment (pregnancy and delivery) for granted with Emma. I hate that you've experienced loss, i can't even begin to imagine what it is like, but I do know that you and Cale are teaching us all very valuable lessons that I wish more people had exposure to. My heart and prayers go out to you, always.

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  9. This whole post is perfect and said so eloquently. This part really spoke to me.

    "It must be nice not to lose your first child. Or It must be nice to only give birth to living babies. And the sad thing is I just can't help it. No matter how wonderful of a friend, no matter how truly happy I am that everything DID work out for them, no matter how excited I am - I still am just a little sad. Sad that I didn't get what they did. Sad that my family picture is always a little incomplete. And sad that I have these feelings when all I should do is celebrate their good fortune and happiness."

    I understand this more than I ever wanted to, unfortunately. Lots of love, dear friend.

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