On one hand, when I meet a bereaved mom, I want to rush in and share my experiences and let her know that the solutions uncovered in this pregnancy came at great cost (the loss of three 24 weekers). I want to over-explain and convince her that I'm really still a member of the hurting mom's club.
On the other, I just want her to know that this child is a blessing and I've worked hard (through the grief process) so that one day I'd be able to turn in my membership card! I don't want the looks of pity. I don't want people to fearfully ask, "well how far along are you now?" ... I just want to enjoy the gift God has given and not feel like I betrayed anyone.
I'm still 100% committed to raising awareness of the effects of infant and pregnancy loss. I'm still committed to comforting hurting parents.
I finally realized that my sad face and apologetic attitude for my "condition" isn't going to take away a hurt that only God can heal. I can be supportive without being apologetic for my miracle.
If there are a few things I've learned from being on both sides of the grief fence it's this:
- Allow yourself to feel the pain without hating those whose babies have survived.
- Reach out to those who you have much in common (found in support groups on and offline) instead of fixating on those who can't understand your experience.
- Write your thoughts in a journal, talk to a counselor ... do something positive to release the pain and anger.
- Lean on Jesus. Never turn your back on Him. It hurts so much more when you do.