Maybe my hypersensitivity and constant thought processing of losing Andrew forces me to develop this assumption that all people are uncomfortable or nervous around me. They might be. They might not be. Either way, I feel like a buzzkill most of the time in social settings. I used to be fun, social, and interested in all the details. Now I feel like my interest and attention span has dropped exponentially.
Here's the tricky part. People still live their lives and, shockingly, still get pregnant and have babies after I did. After Andrew was conceived, grown, born, died. People all around me are experiencing their first pregnancies and the births of their first babies. Babies they get to keep. What a novel concept.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel people were cutting me in line. It may be juvenile, but that's exactly how it feels. I should've gone through all those firsts before them and I should be holding my almost 8-month son right now. The void is excruciating. But the truth is, no matter how many people have babies from here until my death, I'll still feel like I should've been first. Like I was slighted. And no matter how many babies I have (please?), I'll still miss my firstborn. We will never be a complete family. That's pretty hard to swallow. Family photos will be bittersweet. I'll witness milestones of future Wilson babies and wonder what if at the same time.
Once I'm finally at that place again, I still don't think I'll ever feel like being a part of those smug "mommy and me" groups because I just don't think parenting after a loss is the same as parenting without loss. The approach has to be different. The discipline. The priorities. I could be wrong, but I have no idea.
I receive emails with, "There isn't really any easy way to tell you this... but I'm pregnant" and I hate them. But I'd be offended if I didn't know ahead of time. Being caught off-guard is worse. I think. There really is no easy way.
I read this excerpt on another blog and changed it a bit... totally how I feel:
This is one of the things that I hate most about baby loss. It robs you of the ability to fully participate in someone else’s joy. You can’t control the grief when you are faced with the announcement of someone else’s pregnancy. I hate, hate, hate it. I hate how she must have been nervous to tell me.
I get invited to events but know that I won't go if there are babies present. I don't even really like being around pregnant women or other parents, honestly. I wish this wasn't the truth, but it is. I avoid appointments and parties and dinners because I know that if babies/pregnant women are present, I'll just spend the whole time in a sad void. I may be there, but I'm not really happy and I'm probably counting the minutes until I can leave and sob in the car.
It's sort of a lose-lose situation I'm in. Be antisocial, risk being a hermit crab the rest of my life-- or at least until I learn to manage this better. Be social, risk feeling sad and jealous the entire time. I've been choosing the former. I think it's what's best for me right now.
I read blogs from women further in this journey. They have subsequent children and sort of find a way to live life again and breathe a bit easier. But, they still admit that the thought of their deceased child is never far from reach. When they see a child around the same age, engage in conversation with those parents about milestones, etc. It doesn't get better, but it does get easier.
It doesn't get better, but it does get easier. I'm just wondering how long it's going to take. Because these announcements and babies and births and parties and everything are still really difficult to manage. I think they might even be harder to manage now, nearly 8 months out, than they were before. Months ago, people knew I'd be sensitive and topics were avoided. People knew that a few short months prior, I said goodbye to the very most important person to me on Earth besides my husband. They were careful. They figured I was just making excuses and accepted that. But I'm still making excuses. Because it's not better.
Maybe I should buy this.
You think it'll work miracles?