Thursday, July 21, 2011


I have opened up to joy again. I find beauty and love and sweetness in my life. I smile. I laugh. I congratulate new moms—and mean it.

I don't want anyone to know the world shattering pain of losing a child. But I get jealous, even a little bitter when I read or hear gushy stories about perfect births. I get that way too reading about people feeling strong and amazed with themselves after coming through a dangerous patch with their baby, health issues that have been resolved or seem to be resolving.

I feel petty saying it. I feel the need to apologize to all my friends who have lost a baby and then lost again or waited and waited and tried and tried. I feel the need to apologize to my friend Tricia who is an amazing mom who deserves to feel strong and amazed with her self for what she went through with her baby, who has been doing quite well (last I heard, knocking on wood and like safety measures) and whom I don't feel bitter at at all.

Maybe part of it is the gushiness. Certainly part is what I didn't get, but maybe it's the gushiness that feels like the naivety I lost even when the gushiness comes from somebody who knows how fragile life is, who had a far from perfect birth, who had a rough start. And maybe all this bile rises in me because of a sliver of life I see in a blog, the bit that somebody wants to put out there being the pride not the pain, the loveliness not the lost.

I've noticed lately that I still get jealous and bitter and even angry sometimes about what I don't have. Despite what I have. Despite feeling the love and the joy and the beauty in my life. Despite liking to think that I'm "better." Despite feeling a little bit gushy myself when I see Elizabeth laughing at Kathleen.


  1. "I've noticed lately that I still get jealous and bitter and even angry sometimes about what I don't have. Despite what I have. Despite feeling the love and the joy and the beauty in my life."

    This is exactly how it is for me, too. I just visited a dear friend in hospital tonight, who just delivered her firstborn baby girl naturally and even though she's been one of the most caring people towards me in the last three years, and there was nothing gushy about how she was telling me of her daughter's birth story, I was still jealous. All of a sudden she's done something that I haven't done and may never do - push out a baby girl who lived.

  2. Me, too. I was thinking the other day about how wonderful Dot's birth was, even though it wasn't what I would have chosen.

    But I still grumble when I hear about women who were amazing during their vaginal deliveries. Not because they don't deserve praise, but because that's a kind of amazing I'll never get a chance to be and because many people just don't seem to realize - at all - that even when you are an amazing super-pusher, for example, a good deal of luck goes into allowing you that experience in the first place.

    And (I feel terrible about this) I have a hard time hearing about babies who have been seriously ill, especially in ways similar to Teddy, and who have lived and are "little miracles." Nothing makes me more jealous and snarly. Nothing.

    Thanks for writing this. I often feel like I should be over this by now and it really helps to know that it's not so strange not to be.

  3. I so get this, and was just thinking about this today as I read a birth announcement about a dear baby girl, delivered healthy and happy and well but of course.

    Despite my abundance of good fortune. Despite my beautiful boys. Despite the fact that we are done with babies. It still stings like a slap in the face.

    Sending love--you are most definitely not alone.

  4. Oh Sara, I feel the same and I hate it in myself. But that 'gushiness' just pushes all my buttons. I simply can't suck it up and be happy for the person in question. It's that 'but of course' that Mary Beth mentions that really gets my goat.

    I've now had a birth that was normal. Boringly so. But even that doesn't seem to have completely removed the sting. So perhaps there is just no helping me. Sigh.

  5. Thank you all for your comments. Sometimes it helps to know I'm not the only one harboring these ugly feelings that I feel like I should (and would really like to) be over.

  6. Hi Sara. I was just reading your blog and this post really hit me. I'm not even close enough from my loss to feel better and still bitter. I just feel bitter without the better. Regardless this makes sense to me because it is the "despite" thatalso rings true for me. I have so much to be thankful for and despite these things I am bitter. A dear friend recently gave birth to her third child and first son. There were no hiccups. It went smooth, all were safe- I am relieved and bitter simultaneously. Of course she would have a living breathing baby. Of course. What gets me is that my fouls who is also my closest friend and is her souls and close friend said after her birth how amazing and inspirational she was!!! Now prior to my loss I would have agreed. Giving birth is the most powerful experience on the planet. But damn it why am I not still amazing? I had to give birth to my dead daughter. She has no clue. None. Of how terrifying and close to death that brings a woman when they have to go through this powerful and life changing experience knowing that their daughter is already dead! Fuck! I'm bitter yeah. I'm bitter. I'm glad you are better and bitter cause I'm just still bitter without the better. I guess that gives me a little hope and at the same time I wonder if I'm just always going to be resentful and pissed off. Even when (despite) the lovely son and family I have. Thank you for writing this. I'm reading.