Friday, July 23, 2010

oh baby! I'm so sorry.

I feel like I need to apologize to all the babies whose births I am not as enthusiastic about as I feel I should be. That sounds a little strange. It's not like I am upset at a baby's birth, it's that I know how happy I used to be about hearing of a wee one being born, even from parents I knew distantly. There used to be this feeling of excitement in my heart when somebody would report a birth or when I would get wind of it electronically.

Of course, since October 1st, 2009 that enthusiasm in my heart has dampened.

I probably owe a bigger apology to all my pregnant friends whose pregnancies I have had difficulty getting excited about. I must admit, I have to limit my time with pregnant friends because it is too painful. It's a very strange thing to parcel out. I want to spend time with a friend, but the aversive nature of having to, in each moment I spend with her, be reminded of what is not likely to happen for me, well, it's difficult. And sometimes I can't really tolerate it for too long, before I want to physically leave or before I mentally vacate the premises.

But back to the babies. I held a 2-day old baby this morning. Little Nathan was born on Wednesday and I went to visit him and his mom briefly this morning. It was wonderful to hold him and I did let that sink into my hear to some extent. The perfection of a newborn is really awe-inspiring. I saw 11-week old Finn on the weekend and 5-week old Norah this afternoon as well. Such beautiful little ones. I can say that there was a discrepancy between hearing of these babies' births (through facebook or email) and the way I felt when I saw them. I think it was easier to dismiss the miracle when hearing of the births, and fold myself in on my own pain. But when you get to hold a baby, it's a different story. It's not really about my pain anymore, but about their arrival on earth and my wanting to welcome them.

So this is why I want to openly apologize for not showing much enthusiasm about the pregnancies and births going on all around me. I feel left out of this important life cycle and it's excruciatingly painful. And my retreat is simply a crude attempt at protecting myself. But I need to say that I welcome all babies, even if they did not come from me.

And maybe there will be a baby who is mine in the end.


  1. Oh my I could have written this post. You are a stronger and better woman than I, though. I haven't held a baby since our first loss. This is often difficult since my SIL and I shared an EDD from my first loss and she gave birth prematurely on the day of my D&E from my 3rd loss. I avoid her and her daughter like the plague. Nice, huh?

    You're only doing what you have to do to survive and there's nothing wrong with that. (((HUGS)))

  2. I read the comment you recently posted on Adele's blog (about hold ups being a forced pause) and had to pop in to say hi. Your comment made me stop and think and I like that new perspective. I have to say i've never looked at it that way, so thanks for opening my eyes a little.

    As for your thoughts on birth announcements, I agree its impossible to separate your own pain from these situations. Sometimes our need to protect ourselves is stronger than the need to jump for joy at somone elses good news. But yes, seeing a baby in the flesh is a whole different story. I still shy away from holding newborns as it just feels too raw, but I can goo and gaa with the best of them!

  3. I also popped over after reading a comment you left (on Meagan's blog). You have a beautiful way with your words and I had to read more, thus I am your newest follower.

    I totally feel you about babies being different. My bestie was twenty weeks pg with her first when we got our official IF diagnosis. It was hard to see her belly grow, and I was so worried about meeting her babe. But it was different. It was perfect. I adore her little girl, and her little girl adores me :) Babies are somehow distinct from my experience of pain and grief.

    The baby milestones, on the other hand, are different. I've found myself avoiding the 1st birthdays. Maybe its the social interaction with the other adults, but it is just more than i can do.

    glad I found your blog!

  4. First, thank you for your post on my blog. I always appreciate your comments. You did not offend me in the least. I have been thinking about doing what you suggested for awhile, and you put into words many things I have been thinking about. So thank you.

    I completely understand your post here. I have always tried to be positive and welcoming to my pregnant friends and rejoice in the new babies, b/c they shouldn't feel bad that they have a beautiful baby, but sometimes it is hard b/c as you said "I feel left out of this important life cycle and it's excruciatingly painful."

    I hope your new step into donor eggs pans out.

  5. You have really inspired me to go and talk to this one friend I have been avoiding.
    Right after she got pregnant I found out about my PCOS and so it was really rough to see her getting bigger and bigger and happier and happier. It didn't help that she had this, "When God wants to give me children it will happen." view and so 5 days into her marriage she was pregnant.
    I should rekindle that friendship because it really isn't her fault how fertile she is...just like it isn't my fault how infertile I am.

  6. I understand your feelings towards announcements and pregnancies. I am the same way In the last 3 years, I have missed out on showers, and parties and even birthday parties once the kids have grown. We do it to protect ourselves, it is natural. Beautiful post.

  7. That's a beautiful sentiment and so true.