I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I might react when a friend falls pregnant. Hearing other people’s pregnancy announcements is hard to prepare yourself for after infant loss. I have (fortunately) not had to deal with anyone close to me falling pregnant since I had Riley, however, it is inevitably going to happen soon (people can’t just stop having babies right?!). I have only being affected by strangers on social media announcing their pregnancy. The feelings of jealousy, hurt and anger towards these people (who I don’t even know) are enough for me to worry about my reaction when someone close to me falls pregnant in the future.
My friend’s babies are beautiful and I cannot wait for them to have more. But, I have this toddler-like reaction of “well, I was supposed to be next” just like a child who’s been waiting for the swing and then another kid cuts inline. When my friends or family do go on to have their next babies; I don’t know if I will be able to show how extremely happy and excited I really am for them when I feel angry that I’m not next.
I have always been an impatient person. I have this sense of urgency –I always want every now or yesterday; or it’s not good enough. I sometimes feel like to escape getting this feeling of not being next I should just get pregnant. But I worry that I’m not giving myself enough time to grieve Riley. I worry that it wont be that simple ‘just getting pregnant.’ Falling pregnant is not how to fix this feeling either. I don’t know what the fix is, but having a baby to escape a fearful feeling is not a reason to have a baby. Just like having a baby to fix a relationship is not a reason to have a baby.
I catch myself watching pregnant women in public and thinking to myself “your baby might die, like mine did.” Then I wonder if they know how lucky they are going to be when their baby comes out kicking and screaming. I wonder if they might end up apart of the bereaved mothers club and how sad that it is going to be, adding yet another member.
I also wonder if they already are apart of this club and I think of how deserving they are to have this baby and also how terrified they would be. I can see them spending every second minute tracking movements, anxious for the whole pregnancy to be over to have their baby alive with them. I know the fear; I’m prepared for that fear to come to me. All these thoughts, within the space of five seconds and I don’t even know them or their situation.
I have not been faced with a newborn since Riley. All the other babies around me were born before Riley and that’s how I am able to differentiate my relationship with them. Of course, I’ve seen a whole bunch of newborns at the shops, at the doctors etc. –The best was when Matt was in hospital, a few weeks after we had Riley. He was in the ward next to the birthing ward and a newborn rolled passed when we were leaving. That was a good kick in the guts. But apart from that, newborns are not in my life.
I just don’t know about new babies. We’ll see I guess.