Wednesday, 5 February 2014

When The Shoe Is On The Other Foot

As most of you know, The Hubby and I struggled with infertility for YEARS before finally giving birth to Frostina. As most of my friends were having their first babies, I was struggling with infertility. As these same friends went on to have second and even third babies, I was struggling with infertility.

I still vividly remember buying new baby gifts and bursting into tears in the mall afterwards. I can remember having a panic attack on the way to meet a new friend's baby. I can even remember crying so hard on the way to a party at a newly pregnant friend's house that we had to turn around and go home.

I had my "brave face" down pat. I knew just how to smile and say congrats even when my heart was breaking. I knew just the right gift to bring to the baby shower even though my heart ached to be able to be shopping for my own baby. I don't think most people had any idea that I was suffering so badly.

Then I got pregnant with my son, and he died, and it all got much worse. Though now people knew I was suffering so I wasn't expected to have my "brave face" on as much. I was able to bow out of baby showers without even making an excuse, so I suppose that was a bit of an improvement (insert sarcasm here).

I've always been the one who didn't have children. I've always been the one who couldn't get pregnant. Then I turned into the lady whose baby died. The person who everyone tiptoed around, worried they would say the wrong thing. Bad things always happened to me while everyone around me had easy pregnancies with living babies in the end.

Lately though, things have turned around a bit and I am finding myself in uncharted territory. As I mentioned here before, two close friends have had miscarriages. They happened within a few weeks of each other and I didn't even know they were pregnant at the time. They didn't know I was pregnant either as it turns out because we were all in the early weeks of our first trimester.

So when it came time to announce my pregnancy to everyone I was not sure how to handle things. I can't even count how many times I've been the one to receive this kind of news after a failed fertility cycle or after a loss. But I've never been the person with the happy news trying to be sensitive to the person suffering a loss. It is a very unfamiliar place to be, and I want to make sure I handle it well.

I decided to email each of them personally before I posted the news on facebook. In each email I shared my sadness about their loss and explained that I didn't want them to be blindsided by my announcement. They both know my history, so when I said that I know where they are and how it feels I think they knew I was coming from a good place.

I got great response from them both. I think they were surprised that I reached out, but they both seemed very grateful that I had. They have both been very positive and supportive towards me. It seems that I am not the only one who is good at the "brave face."

Now I've just got to be sensitive in navigating through this pregnancy. They are both in Frostina's playgroup so I see them often. I want to be sure that it never seems like I'm bragging or flaunting my pregnancy. I will try to temper the new baby talk when they are around so as not to be insensitive.

Basically, I am now doing all the things people did around me. It feels so strange to have the shoe on the other foot. It's not a place I ever thought I would be.

*It goes without saying that as a BLM, I know that this pregnancy is not guaranteed. I know that things could change in a flash and I could be right back where I started. I know full well that thisshoe could pop itself back on it's more familiar foot. So please don't take this as cavalier or assuming that now that I'm pregnant it's all roses and butterflies.


  1. Hard fought pregnancies are rarely roses and butterflied because of their hard foughtness we know all to well what can and does go wrong. I didn't read this as cavalier in the least.

    Empathy is a good thing.

  2. Congrats on your pregnancy. And kudos for your thoughtfulness. You did it right.

    Good Luck.

  3. Your disclaimer is totally how I felt all through my pregnancy with Claire. Hell, I still feel like I should add a disclaimer. Lord knows I needed it until the very last minute in pregnancy, that's for sure.

    What an interesting position to be in. I just ache for the thought of you having to experience infertility in the first place and then being knocked like you were in losing your son. It's just the worst kind of sadness and longing. I'm thrilled you have Frostina and the opportunity to have another baby soon. Wishing all the best.

  4. And because you have been where they are, you know the kinds of remarks that made you actually feel better and the ones that made you feel more hurt. It's so hard to navigate the territory from either side of the fence, and I'm sure your friends were grateful to have your support and understanding in the face of their grief.

  5. Hey, am over here from blow your own blog horn. What an incredibly moving post. I have seen a close friend go through a similar journey. It was absolutely horrendous for her. She now, thank god, has two healthy children, one of whom I'm proud to call my goddaughter. Huge congratulations on your new pregnancy - I'm rooting for you. x