Monday, March 9, 2015

The crappiest kind of mentor to be

Just about two months ago I wrote about a colleague who lost her baby at 36 weeks gestation.
She has since returned to work and we've gotten rather close. We talk frequently and had lunch recently.

She told me how me being pregnant gives her hope and how she believes she can learn from my experiences and know how things might be for her when she's ready to be pregnant again.

While I'm thrilled to be able to be available for her, I hate that she is even in this position. I hate that someone I know has had to go through something so horrific and I am here for her to be able to relate to.

She is the first person I know in real life who has suffered a stillborn since I lost my son nearly three years ago. The thing is, I figured at some point in my life I'd be able to help someone cope by telling them that I've been there and I'm 100% in their corner as they navigate the grief and, hopefully, the anxiety that comes from being pregnant again.

But, I thought I'd be much older to be honest. I thought it would be someone I didn't know when that very thing happened to me.

Less than three years isn't very long to have waited.

It's therapeutic to be able to talk to her, too. While I have made friends who have gone through a stillborn loss, they are people I met through a support group and their losses happened before mine.

Not that it matters when it happened, grief is grief. But, being able to talk to this girl has been great for me, too. I feel less alone also.

I'm proud at how strong my friend is being in the face of her loss. As much as she's feeling grief, she's feeling hope, too.

Speaking of anxiety during pregnancy...

Last week, during a snow storm, James and I were navigating the rather treacherous roads to get to my OB because of a series of weird and disconcerting events over night. I called and asked to be seen right away and, they did it.

Bottom line, baby girl was fine. Heartbeat was 167 and she's still perfect.

The thing is, it was panic that brought me in. And, it's so hard to let go of the feeling that things are going to go wrong. I don't want to be like this. I want to be calm and serene. But, I can't get myself to that place for more than a day after I see her on an ultrasound.

Yes, I'm in a total paranoid place and I don't think I'll get to be relieved of that until she's in my arms. Trust me, it's not a great way to live.

I do manage to make it through my days acting normal. I'm not completely paralyzed by the paranoia. I manage each day but, the thought in the back of my head is always persistent... "is she still alive?".

The doctor was extremely sympathetic and he said himself that I won't feel safe until she's here. I'm afraid there really is no way around that. All I can do is take it day-by-day and deal with the anxiety and dark thoughts that persist.


  1. While I'm not glad that your colleague's child died, I'm grateful that she has you to turn to. You're right in that this is not the kind of mentor you want to be.

    So glad to hear that you and baby are doing well. The freak-outs will happen, and your doctor is partially right. You won't feel safe until she's here, but then you'll have all those other worries that go along, as you know, of having a living child.

  2. I'm so glad to hear baby girl is fine. You've been through such trauma with your experience of stillbirth, I reckon feeling panicky is a completely natural reaction. I'm really pleased that your doctor is understanding though.. I think taking one day at a time is the best approach as you said. Sending you much love and strength to you.xx

  3. I'm hoping the time to feel first kicks will come soon. Of course my experience with early miscarriages is different, but I so remember that feeling of seeing a good ultrasound, and not being able to hold on to that feeling for long. Feeling kicks on a daily basis made all the difference for me. (And of course when room for movement was getting tight in the last weeks that triggered worry then)
    hugs (Here from the roundup)

  4. Your doctor sounds great - it's comforting to have people communicate understanding rather than annoyance at our fears based on our experiences. I'm glad everything is ok.

    You're a good friend. It's crappy that you each have these shared experiences... But it's really wonderful that you have each other.