I see the updates. I see the newly posted pictures of a growing belly. I see the pictures of a nursery that was tirelessly decorated. I have the same pictures. But you'll never see them. It's not because I'm ashamed of my belly or because I'm an awful painter or decorator. It's because I didn't get the happy ending. My baby left me at just 12 weeks pregnant.
I hope you understand. I am not a bitter, angry or jealous person, but I am feeling all of those things. I am wondering why I didn't get to hold my baby. I am wondering, "What did I do to deserve this?"
Please know that I will do my best to be happy for you. If I seem distant at your child's birthday party, know that it's because I thought my baby would be here playing with yours. If I don't "like" the photos you post of your babies, just know that I thought my child would be in the photos with yours. If I cry a lot in April, know that it's because my first child's birthday never happened. If I'm sad at Christmas, know that it's because I thought I'd have more gifts to wrap and one more stocking to hang. If I don't seem to know what I want to do next, know that I had some pretty big plans and they all changed in an instant.
Be patient and understand that I'm not sure how to cope with this. No one is sure how to tell me to deal with my heartache. My large and in-depth pregnancy book that gives month by month details only has one small chapter at the very end devoted to pregnancy loss. No one wants to be a part of this group.
I'm hopeful that one day I can share parenting with you. But pregnancy will never be the same for me. I will always worry. I will always have my doubts. I may not seem joyful, because I know the reality of how quickly a life can leave you. I will be more concerned about the baby than how I feel. You probably won't hear my complaints about my aches and pains or about how tired or forgetful I am. I'll be more appreciative of pregnancy and treat it as the miracle that it truly is.
Forgive me if it's hard to understand how you can love someone so much when you've never met them. It's hard for me to understand this too. My baby was so loved but never had the chance to see the world. I mourn for a life that was never lived. I mourn for first steps that were never taken. I cry for first words that were never spoken. I grieve for a heart that will never be mended.
I'm hopeful that one day I will be there alongside you in the parenting world. Maybe we can have playdates. Maybe one day we can exchange baby clothes. Perhaps one day I'll get to share my growing belly and nursery pictures too. But until that day comes, I can't share your joy.