Something you may not know about having a miscarriage is that loneliness is one of the worst side-effects. I can’t explain why this is, it just is. And it’s not a normal loneliness either. It’s not one I have ever experienced before, nor do I anticipate finding this type of loneliness within any other situation. It’s impossible to describe and when I try to, I picture words like hopelessness and darkness and other relatively empty descriptions.
For those of us that have experienced this loneliness, we eventually break free from it. We’re different at the end, but we get rid of it. Soon life returns to normal again and once we get there, we hope our friends and family will be there waiting for us. And we hope that they act normal too. When our friends and family don’t act normal, that loneliness has a way of finding us all over again.
Today I found out that a friend has been keeping her pregnancy from me. She told everyone we know, but excluded me entirely. Here’s the problem with that: when you’re pregnant, you get bigger. So you can’t keep the secret up for too, too long. (Especially with a second pregnancy.)
Her belly had grown since we last saw one another, but I didn’t say anything. Most people know by now that you don’t ask a woman if she’s pregnant unless she’s crowning. But then she just blurted it out.
“I didn’t want to tell you, because, well, you know…” She added.
Just then our other friend walked over and said, “Oh, did she just tell you the big news?”
And that’s when I realized that everyone knew but me—all of our friends. She chose to keep it from me.
I said congratulations and meant it. Then I stood there like a fool, no idea what I was supposed to say next, like I had forgotten my lines. How do I react now? I thought. Everything that came to mind seemed off, like I was supposed to follow some anticipated response, their anticipated response.
I understand her intentions, which is why I’m writing this today. Her intentionally keeping this from me until it was impossible not to, made me feel lonely all over again—like I was the odd man out, damaged goods, cringe-worthy. She did not treat me like she had treated everyone else. She made me different. And that hurt. It hurt so much more than the hurt she thought she was sheltering me from.
I can’t speak for every person that has had a miscarriage, but I’m willing to bet there are others that feel the way I do. So. If you know someone that has gone through a miscarriage and has arrived on the other side, please be normal. We want you to treat us like you do everybody else. Don’t put on kid gloves. Don’t avoid us because you’re afraid you’ll break our hearts. Don’t put us in the corner by ourselves. We want to feel normal.
I’m so sorry. About the miscarriage and the awkward situation with your friend.
I can’t say that I know what it’s like experiencing one or the aftermath, but I am glad that you wrote about because I honestly wouldn’t know how to approach someone I know who’s suffered a miscarriage with a pregnancy announcement.
But then again, I can understand your friend’s INTENTIONS, but how she played it out, I don’t agree with.
Thanks for the insight and oodles of love!
It’s OK! I am really OK. I just wish other people would see me (and others) as OK. If I hadn’t had a miscarriage, people would feel fine about telling me they were having a baby. I want THAT back. I don’t want to be haunted by this, and when people I know react this way, it makes me feel haunted. And that sucks.
Thank you for your kind words.
I’m sorry about your loss and I totally understand feeling like people think you are in some way damaged when they’ve never been through a m/c. If it’s any consolation (to today’s lonely feelings, not the actual m/c), you made me feel a lot less lonely during my own m/c, which occurred shortly after yours. At least your karma is in excellent shape!
Not everyone is the same. When I found out I was pregnant and while my mom was dying in the hospital I told my whole family, including a very close cousin, that I was pregnant… mostly because I had no emotional energy to keep a secret at that point. My cousin, who had gone through a miscarriage and was trying to get pregnant again (but had yet to succeed), stopped speaking to me for three months. She told me that she could not speak to me and “how could you do that to me!?” Though she now has a 2 month old daughter our relationship has never been the same nor do I imagine it ever will be… and I always wonder if I had just kept the pregnancy a secret from her if we would still be close. Not everyone can get out from under the grief, I suppose.
I’m sorry your friendship changed. That’s a shame. We are all different. Of course.
I do still feel grief from time to time. Naturally. But that doesn’t mean I want to be treated differently. It certainly doesn’t mean I can’t be happy for her or anyone else that’s pregnant. I just don’t want to feel exceptional in any way.
This will pass. It always does.
I know exactly what you mean. I had 2 miscarriages and I feel like whenever I talk about them or mention when I was pregnant, people get “that look” like I’m damaged goods. My due date for my first pregnancy was in August, and I also had my second m/c in August (yeah, not a good month) and my SIL had a baby in July. I had totally made peace with the fact that her pregnancy was separate from my own experiences, but I feel like the whole family was holding their breath to see how I would react to my new nephew. I understand that people are trying to be sensitive to me, but I also think a lot of their actions are coming out of their own discomfort, which I pretty much hate.
Kellie: You nailed it, particularly that last line.
I’m glad you spoke on this topic. I hesitated telling my cousin when I finally got pregnant because she and I had both been trying for quite some time and she had suffered several miscarriages. I knew she would be happy for me but I couldn’t help feeling like it was rubbing it in her face (for a lack of better words). And I have been on the flip side when a close friend announced she was pregnant and I hadn’t been able to conceive yet… I was happy for her but also jelous that her dream was coming true and I was afraid mine might not. That being said we are all blessed with children now :)
I am infertile, which is a different kind of loneliness, but one that seems to encourage the same kind of alienation you have described. I started trying to have kids 9 years ago. I have no kids. Friends that weren’t even married then are now working on numbers 2… 3. Their pregnancies (also often hidden until the last possible moment) are often simply uncomfortable silences, elephants in rooms, something discussed when I’m not around. I get that they’re trying not to hurt my feelings, but really this just hurts more. It would be so much better if someone just said “this is terrible for you, isn’t it? i feel awful having to tell you this knowing that you want this so badly for yourself”. I guess we all just want our experiences to be acknowledged, don’t we?
I’m so sorry that you are having this experience.
I felt like you…I didn’t want anyone to treat me differently. I was very open about my miscarriage because it was therapy to me, but I didn’t want to be treated differently…BUT I activily participate on a chat board with women who had miscarraiges (LI families) and MOST of the women on there are having a hard time accepting others having miscarriages…they have trouble being happy…I am not one of those women….but I wonder if there is a correlation between women who already have a child and those who haven’t had that blessing yet….
I miscarried on a random Tuesday that marked my twelfth week of pregnancy. One year exactly, to the day, of peeing on that stick with my last baby, I peed again and discovered I was pregnant. Those pink lines were as bright as Vegas lights. And I want to say that all I feel is how lucky I am, how amazingly blessed I am, but I’m so scared. Anxious. Undeserving even. What if something happens?Miscarriage is a dirty bitch, and she takes so much with her when she leaves. And this sweet baby, with his strong heartbeat, miniature legs and arms, and the slightest fluttering, has unknowingly and cautiously changed my heart, and my world, all over again. I never knew that love, this love for our children, could be so devestatingly beautiful.
It’s crazy. I miscarried twins a few months ago and I felt like I had reached that normal place. Then my closest mama friend reveals her new pregnancy (in a very decent way) and I could do nothing but wallow for 24 hours. Baby shaped hole in my heart.