I can’t escape it- reminders everywhere. The night before my due date a friend on facebook announced her pregnancy and now a belly photo follows. At bootcamp the woman who owns the studio had her baby a week after I lost Mabel. And she’s got newborn pictures posted right next to the sign in board. I went to a bridal shower (I’m a bridesmaid) yesterday, excited to have a day where I could focus on someone else, and another bridesmaid brought her 3-month old. I was warned ahead of time that she would and I thought I’d be fine. But seeing her in the parking lot carrying the baby carrier just reminded me that I should be doing the same but I’m empty handed. And then there are those posts on fb about how grateful someone is for what they have. Or squeezing their kids a little tighter today. I certainly think pregnancy should be celebrated, newborns need to be near their mothers to nurse and people should be thankful for what they’re given. These are things I would be doing too. Heck, these are things under any other circumstances, I would be celebrating with my friends. Even my latest distraction- Friday Night Lights- just had a plot line where a main character had a baby. It all just feels like salt in my wounds.
I’m not saying these things shouldn’t happen. People have every right to celebrate what they have- pregnancy and babies. I hope no one sees this as an attack. It’s just a frustration. An unavoidable frustration. Life goes on. More people will get pregnant. More babies will be born. To borrow a phrase I used earlier in pregnancy- “This is our life now.”
I know the answer is to avoid. Get off facebook, don’t go to bootcamp, leave if I see a newborn. But these are all places that I need in a way- I need distraction and exercise. I have already given up so much, why should I have to give up some things that used to make me happy?
When I get upset seeing pregnant women, hearing about their recent births or seeing them with their babies, it’s not because I necessarily resent them. It’s just that I’m supposed to have all those things too. I did what they did and how is it that I’m standing here empty handed? Like someone who has never had a baby? Before I had Mabel I was content being someone without kids. But now I’m not content being in that category. It’s like running a marathon- I ran the same race that everyone else did, but at the end I don’t get a medal. I don’t get my photo taken. I don’t get a rest. Instead I’m told I have to run it all over again and no one will really know that I even ran the first one. And they won’t tell me when they’ll even let me in the next race. I have to wait. And watch others as they cross the finish line and are rewarded and recognized for it.