Dealing with pregnant friends & babies

Seeing other pregnant women is something that an be difficult to face when you’ve suffered a loss. Babies can be even worse.  We hope that these tips, submitted by real women who have been there, can help you cope with this difficult part of life.
If you have advice you’d like to add, please send it to april@facesofloss.com, with ‘Dealing with Pregnant Friends and Babies’ in the subject line. Thanks!

It is OK to feel angry,  jealous and resentful of pregnant women and other babies.
These are normal feelings of grief and you are entitled to have them. Do not let anyone make you feel bad because of it.

    • I used to feel so guilty for feeling anger and sometimes even hatred towards others. Especially people who didn’t want kids and “accidentally” got pregnant. My advice is to do whatever you need to do to cope and survive the heartache. You shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling the way you do. It is okay to be angry… - Misty
    • After I lost my first, it took all of my strength not to lash out at the other ladies at work who were pregnant and complaining about their morning sickness, swollen ankles, and weight gain. After the second, I stopped going to showers unless I was very good friends with the mom. Since our third, (after our rainbow) it’s been better, but I still feel jealousy especially when the moms take everything for granted. - Sarah
    • It’s hard seeing pregnant women who just happen to walk right in front of you at the store or new parents pushing a cart with a newborn in the carrier…I swear that’s what my husband and I saw the first two days we went out after our loss. It’s like a slap in the face. - Alicia

     

    In the beginning, avoidance is best.
    Facing a pregnant friend without breaking down will be very difficult in the early stages of your grief. Avoiding them is OK if that is what you need to do to survive. It will get easier as time goes on.

      • Avoidance and backing away would be the best coping mechanism I used. It’s just too hard to deal with hearing about the advance of the pregnancy when you feel you were just as entitled to have that baby that is missed in your life. - Melissa
      • Avoid, avoid, avoid. I think you’ll know when you are ready and forcing yourself only prolongs the pain. There are plenty of ways to show you care for someone besides going to baby showers, etc. - Tiffany
      • Definitely avoidance. I couldn’t handle babies or pregnant moms until I had my rainbow baby. I stayed off Facebook too- it was like EVERYONE was pregnant after my daughter died. One friend was even due the next year on my daughter’s due date. I couldn’t even bring myself to congratulate her. - Amanda 
      •  If they are a close friend or family member, honesty. If not, avoid. … avoiding Facebook too. - Lindsey
      •  Right now? Avoidance. Most people in my life understand that this is painful for me.- Kellie
      • Avoidance. I can handle the babies of my very close friends who are already born but pregnant people and newborns of others break my heart. – Sara
      • I avoid all pregnant people & babies. After the birth of my stillborn son aaannnd 3 miscarriages I feel that I’ve earned the right to do this. I know I won’t feel like this forever, but for now it’s the only way I can cope. - Melissa
      • I stayed far away till I was ready. It was easier to deal with babies that I had already been around before losing my Ayden then being around strangers.- Diana
      • I have had to avoid pregnant women & small infants for my own sanity over the last year. – Deborah
      • Avoid, avoid, avoid. Not only pregnant people, but baby departments in stores. - Sheri
      • I avoid as much as possible. Some of my family members have called me selfish (and worse) but none of them have walked that mile in my shoes and I have to remember their ignorance when something hurtful is said. - Tiffany 

       

      Try to change your thinking.
      For most women pregnancy is an exciting and happy time. Try to remember how happy you were when you were pregnant and remember that is not that women’s fault that your babies is gone.

        • I try to remember how happy I was when *I* was pregnant. And how I was totally full of joy and baby love… It doesn’t make the pain go away, but it makes it a little easier…sometimes. - Brandy
        • I have a lot of jealousy towards friends and family members who are pregnant or have babies that are around the ages of my two angel babies. But I tell myself that it is not their fault I lost the babies and that this is an exciting time for them. - Tiffany
        • If I am unable to avoid the situation I congratulate, wish them the best and ask the “right” questions (due date, boy/girl, etc). Then I sneak off for a few deep breaths and usually a few tears. - Jamie
        •  I try to remember what a beautiful blessing new babies are, and to focus Love, Light, and Joy on the pregnant woman. It does ease the more time passed (or at least it did for me). - Melissa
        • I remind myself that it is NOT their baby that I’m missing…and then I find that I’m okay to be around them (with this new ‘shift’ in thought.) - Lori
        • I was happy for them but also very jealous and hurt. I had to remind myself that it was not their fault or their babies’ fault that I lost my boys. It took me a long time before I ever went to a baby shower.- Jennifer
        • This year will be 10 years since my daughter died. The past couple years have been drastically better, not because I miss her less but because I have allowed myself to be happy again and enjoy whatever good this life has to give.- Carianne 

 

Be honest.
Sometimes the only way to face pregnant friends is to be honest with them about your feelings.

    • My sister-in-law and I were pregnant together, due 1 week apart. Pretty soon after I lost my daughter, we sat down and had a heart to heart. We were completely honest with each other. I told her up front that yes, that sometimes it is hard for me to be around her and see her belly grow when mine wasn’t anymore. But I also told her that I loved her and my nephew, and I asked her to please be patient with me, as it isn’t a reflection of how I feel about her, it’s just me feeling sad. - Paula
    • I cry in private so I can be happy in public. But I am also honest with them about how I am feeling, and they are very understanding. - Kiara
    • I had to tell my sis-in-law, I love you guys, and the baby, you will b e great parents, but I just can’t do it right now. She understood, and eventually one day I was able to call her and ask her all things I should have been along. And it wasn’t so bad after that. You just have to follow your gut and if you aren’t ready, its ok to hide until you are. – Tiffany

 

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