Who I THOUGHT I could COUNT on….

I guess the topic of friends, family and support is not often addressed in cases of a baby loss. These are people who have been part of my life for a long time, people on whom I thought I could count in good times and bad – I mean they were there to bask in the good times!  We all delude ourselves into thinking that we have a good support system – it’s only when it is tested, that the truth comes out.

Friends.  Let’s see. We didn’t tell anyone until after the first trimester that we were pregnant, so most people didn’t know. Neither our friends nor family have been anything but “ok…now get over it” attitude.  Only my in-laws and my mom have been really good about it.  I did sent out an email notice to close family and friends to share our sad news and barely got any replies back.  I got a card from a work friend, and another one from a colleague who said “she knew how much I wanted to be pregnant”…what?  It was a To Cheer You type of card. It wasn’t about being pregnant, it was about the baby that we lost!!

My brothers in law have not communicated with us at all, most of my family hasn’t said much either.  I have two friends, one came over and spent about 4 hours with me, the other spent 2 hours chatting with me – they both went through this….we haven’t talked since.  I get the vibe from the first one that she also thinks I need to move on…. other than that, I’ve really had no friends step up and let me talk or offer me a shoulder to cry on. I’m shocked and really disappointed. I think of all the times I was there for them….  I think that the relationship has changed with our families – I feel like I’m done putting up with crap from them. I don’t want “fake” sympathy now…but I’ve learned that I can’t count on them at all. Its really hurtful and so extremely disappointing.

It seems that friends are usually great in good times, but when you need them, very few step up and help. I don’t feel the need to talk to them about this, as it will end in an argument and I know they don’t “get it” regardless of how much I want them to understand.  So I think I’ll muddle through as is, then share some good news with them next time there is some and leave it at that…

We haven’t had any baby news in our immediate circle, except for my next door neighbor who is due 10 days after our due date. There are some girls at work who are due, but I do not intent on going to their showers…I just can’t do it.  We had our angels’ memorial service -we only invited our parents, as I don’t want that fake family support now…where were they all when we needed them?  We didn’t get cards or flowers or a casserole. It would have been great if someone had offered to make us dinner…but we got nothing. In fact, my mother in law pointed out that we should be calling her two other sons, because one also has a chronic illness and he gets “lonely” and the other one has kids and is busy. I was so upset – they never called us, they never expressed condolences, I’m also home on disability leave for a chronic condition and no one calls me, but somehow I’m supposed to reach out to others? It just seemed to take the cake!  My family is Catholic and we’re supposed to believe that a baby has a soul from conception, yet somehow, my family and friends don’t really practice that belief…if they did, they’d understand that we lost a child, not a pregnancy. You know, the more I think about it, the madder I feel at my family & friends for their apathetic response to this. It just really makes me feel so totally alone…

There are days like today, when I’m really sad about the whole thing. The loss of our baby, the lack of family support, etc.  Then there are days when I have to remember that our baby was actually real.  We had tried for so long to have a baby, that it almost seems like a distant dream…and I’m almost back to feeling like we’re never going to have kids.  I still don’t get out much – I really don’t want to be out with people too much – I listen to their gripes and I can’t help but think “Big deal, its not as if you lost your baby or anything”.  Sometimes, I still do the count to see where we would have been now. In fact, we’re went to a wedding in November, and I was really looking forward to showing up  in a loose dress, showing off our happy news…and I’ll be thinking of how it might have been…

Wow, writing this has really made me sentimental and has made me sadder than I was before.  I guess I still can’t really accept that this has happened to us…

 

Joanna

A mid-30's Catholic female, lucky enough to be married to her best friend, Freddie, since 2007, mom to an angel baby and chronic back pain sufferer of almost a decade.

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