I’ll be the first to chime in with an “Amen!” when those in my community vent. We hear others complaining about not sleeping through the night because of a colicky baby or how they wish they could have some alone time just once in a while. We wish we could have that too and hearing people complain about what we wish for, just reminds us all the more what is missing. Sometimes our frustration is pretty valid, like how this loss mom describes how hard it is to read how people call their kids unseemly things in the name of humor. It’s hard for a bereaved parent to listen to others not appreciate what they have. I can get angry, especially at work where I see pregnant women and moms over and over. Sometimes my anger is justified. Sometimes it’s not.
You’re smoking marijuana while pregnant and mad at me for finding out? Sweet geez! You have no idea how good you have it! I would love to be pregnant and so unconcerned about my baby’s health that I make poor choices. Justified
You’re crying because you haven’t slept in days due discomfort of forty-one weeks of pregnancy? My gosh! You have no idea how good you have it! I wasn’t lucky enough to experience 41 weeks of pregnancy, let alone a baby to take home at the end of it. Not justified.
I complain how people lack empathy for me and my situation. But who am I to speak, when I can’t show empathy towards others? Can I be mad at people when they make stupid decisions like drug use in pregnancy or calling their kids hurtful names? YES. I can and I will. Can I be mad at people who are suffering in their own world, even if there suffering isn’t as great as mine? NO. It’s like someone who has lost her baby and her husband looking at me and saying I have no idea what sad is. Or lost two babies. Granted, I think about these things. I have experience a loss that some would call the worst kind of loss. But not me. I know different. Since I have tasted badness, I know that there could worse. These women suffering in the discomfort of their expectant bodies just haven’t known worse. They are not thinking, “I should enjoy this moment of pregnancy even if my hips hurt, because my baby could die.” No one should think that. I’m sure, we of the babyloss, probably do think that with subsequent pregnancies; it’s where my mind goes when I hear these common complaints of pregnancy.
I need to learn to reel it in and bury these thoughts. They are unfair. I need to re-learn empathy. I remember a midwife who was once able to sit with her patients and empathize with their aches and pains. She was even able to do while pregnant with baby who was going to die. But she is not me anymore. I struggle everyday to be that midwife. I struggle to merely fake it.