It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today, we hear from “Wishing for a Baby” who was depressed that she still hadn’t gotten pregnant after several months of trying. Keep reading to see how she and her husband are doing now.
We grieve in a way that I didn’t know was possible. In the hospital, I sobbed and howled at losing the baby. Our friends, family, and medical care have been amazing. But I just feel like a shell. I feel like I didn’t take care of the baby. My husband and I were trying so hard to be good parents already. We had fresh food at every meal, my husband would pump the gas in both cars because he didn’t want the fumes to hurt the baby, he would kiss me twice – once for me and once for the baby. I didn’t watch scary shows (i.e. “Walking Dead” or “Game of Thrones”) because I didn’t want the baby to think the world was a scary place. We started planning ideas for the nursery, and I was looking for maternity bridesmaids dresses for my sister’s upcoming wedding. We happily changed our whole lives in anticipation of this baby. And now it is gone and we are trying to pick up the pieces.
The hardest thing and what I am trying to do is to maneuver around my friends. They have been so sweet, but they all have kids. Intellectually, I know that they are loving, wonderful people. But emotionally, I resent them. I don’t want to talk to them on the phone and hear the kids in the background. I have cancelled all the RSVPs for kid-related things — one first birthday party, two baby showers, and a few get-togethers — and said I am not ready. Everyone understands, but it is lonely. Everyone tells me stories about people they knew who had miscarriages and how they have kids now, and they all say it’s great that at least we now know that we can be pregnant. I know these things are true, but I miss the baby I was carrying and I am not ready (physically or emotionally) to jump back on the horse and look for the next one. I hate when my friends complain about their kids even though I try to understand that they have their own challenges. I hate our friends who accidentally got pregnant for just existing in the world. I hate every news story about a terrible mother or father.
Any advice on how to move forward? — Still Wishing for a Baby
I won’t pretend to know what you’re going through because I imagine that losing a pregnancy — especially one you waited so long for — is one of those things that you can’t truly comprehend unless you’ve been through it before, and I haven’t. I don’t know the depth of grief you feel or the level of regret and sadness. I can’t fully wrap my head around the resentment you have toward anyone who has a child. And I can’t truly understand what it’s like to feel angry at the whole world for continuing to spin when you’re hurting so much — when you’ve lost something so important — because I haven’t been through it.
I can imagine what you’re feeling, but I don’t really know, and I think any words of comfort I could offer you wouldn’t be as meaningful as those from people who really DO know what you’re going through — people who have been there and know exactly what that grief and anger and resentment and hopelessness feels like. So I would recommend finding a support group for people who have experienced miscarriages, either online or offline (or both). I Googled “miscarriage support” and found several websites that would lead you to active forums where you could connect with others who know what you’re going through. You could also do a more specific search for support groups in your area. And maybe readers who have been in your shoes can also weigh in in the comments with advice and words of comfort.
I would also recommend talking to a therapist who specializes in miscarriage and fertility support. You can go to PsychologyToday.com and do a search for therapists in your zip code to find a match. It’s important to understand that what you’re feeling is normal, and that while you will always miss the baby you lost, the depth of sadness will wane eventually. A therapist — someone who is trained specifically in miscarriage support — will have the tools to help you deal with the world in a productive and healthy way. And eventually you will have to deal with the world. You will have to, and you will want to. Because the world includes those friends who have kids and celebrate birthdays and baby showers and host family get-togethers, and their love and friendship are what makes life a little brighter. Eventually, the brightness they bring will outweigh the sadness and you will welcome their presence (and their kids’ presence). But take your time. And find the support that is going to help you get to a place of acceptance and eventually peace.
And please keep us posted on how you’re doing. You have lots of strangers on the internet rooting for you.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at email@example.com.