This is one of the trickiest things I've had to navigate in the last year. Other people's fertility. I've had friends get pregnant around each of my three losses and go on to have healthy, beautiful babies around my due dates. There have been much prayed for children after years of fertility struggles and heartaches, "Hey, look at that" pregnancies that are just par for the course and "Oh no how are we going to cope" pregnancies due to a plan that is not our own. There have been first babies, second babies, babies to families bursting with children and babies to unwed parents. There have been healthy pregnancies and scary pregnancies. I feel like I've seen it all.
I can't say I've handled every pregnancy announcement with grace. I have sworn. I have been angry. I have cried silently in numerous bathrooms and declined invitations and outings because I just can't deal.
But in the end I've learned one thing.
The world does not revolve around me and my less than stellar genetics. It's not that I don't deserve sympathy, respect and private "heads up" before a public announcement. It's not that I don't have a right to be sad or angry. It's not that I don't have a right to silent cry in every bathroom. I deserve every moment of that and say that without shame.
However, it's bigger than me
Each of those children (and their parents) deserve love and joy. My sadness and my struggles, as justified and important and worthy as they are, cannot stand in the way of celebrating life where it is. No matter who it comes through. No matter when it happens.
I cannot ask the world to forever consider me and only me in my sadness - there must be life, there must be love and there must be hope.
If you are one of the lovely ones around me carrying a new little baby please do not shy from me, do not feel like you need to side step or stay silent.
There will be days when I am sad and angry. There will be days when I fight with bitterness. There will be days when I need to shut the computer or ignore email, blogs and social media because it's too much. These are a given for a grieving mother; but these are things that will happen regardless. These are things that I can deal with and navigate. These are not reasons, and never should be, to minimize the joy your children should bring to the world.
If you are my friend and expecting, please don't be afraid to share with me. Know that there will be days when I close my computer on your blog or your pictures, but that is not about you - it is me; it is me grieving and coping and healing. For every day that I need to step away there are dozens more when those sonograms, clever announcements and mountains of baby cuteness are what keeps me going. They remind me of life and love. They give me hope.