Sunday, January 9, 2011
I'm here tonight to write about guilt.
It's a strange position I find myself in, one that might be foreign to almost everyone else I know. But for me, when the time comes where I have to confess that I'm pregnant, I hate to do it. I know that I will crush some people, make them feel jealous, awkward, and angry at the world. I know that my good fortune will be one more lashing for a good percentage of the people in my life. I know that having another baby will build a wall between me and some people I hold very, very dear.
Although with Fiona I so hesitated to write about my pregnancy here for this exact reason, I'm making a conscious effort not to do so this time. My rationale behind this is that each one of you can choose to read or not to read. I'm not a person who blogs so her family and friends can follow her, I blog for purely selfish reasons, to dump my innermost thoughts down into print. I've probably only told about five people about this blog in the three years I've had it. Therefore it seems bordering on ridiculous to censor myself because of my perceived audience. I know many of you are, indeed, baby lost, but I really don't know many of you. So here, I am going to allow myself a lifting of the guilt, and know that you will read if you so choose, and skip the parts that you don't like.
But out in the world, I'm growing everly more self conscious of my pregnancy. Now I am 21 weeks and you can see that I am pregnant. I still haven't had the experience of someone approaching me and calling me on it, but I'm really guessing that has more to do with the baby in my arms and less to do with my protruding belly. It's much smaller than it was with Fiona, but it's there. Perhaps the winter coats and sweaters are doing me a favor. Whatever the reason, I'm still in the closet, but I have to come out.
The most important place I have to come out is to the support group I run. Last time around I made the announcement at the end of the August meeting, just barely visibly pregnant, and then I didn't come back. I was so terrified of people seeing me. This time I'm toying with the idea of making the announcement this month that next month will be my last meeting to facilitate. I'm showing, but with the right outfit I could definitely conceal it for this time. But I'm wondering if this is a dumb idea. Will people instantly not want to be near me when they find out? Will I cause them pain just by being in the room, when they know that information?
I am so terrified of making people sad. I feel ashamed and awkward about having to share this information, and if it wouldn't sound so ridiculous I would want to tell people that I really don't want them to talk to me about it at all. It feels so dreadful to me to be admitting my good fortune to people who would give anything to be where I am, pregnant with my fourth child who might live, with three glowing babies at home. I am so afraid that people will congratulate me , because I really don't want to be congratulated by the bereaved. It just feels to awful and awkward.
There are a number of people who I have pretty good friendships with who are relatively recently bereaved who don't know yet. I am starting to feel deceptive by not sharing this information, but I'm just so incredibly afraid of how to say it, when to say it, and how to do it without making them feel awful. And I'm also just postponing the possibility that they may have to drop out of my life for a while.
And, for those friends who are bereaved and do know, now that I am starting to look pregnant, and realizing that sometime in the future I may actually have a newborn baby, this also feels like a loss of sorts. I realize that some distance may have to occur, and I accept this as what may have to happen. I hope they know this.
I'm just so worried right now. I wish I could keep this a secret forever so people wouldn't have to know about what's good for me. I hate, hate, hate the fact that when good things happen to me, by default because of the role I serve and the friends I have, my good fortune brings others pain. There are a few friends who I shared this news with who have never spoken to me since then. This makes me sad, but I have to try to understand where they are coming from. Sometimes it's just too hard.
I wish it didn't have to be this way. I wish I could have my baby and just feel happy, happy, happy about it. Honestly, I'd even accept the fear and anxiety that sometimes sends me reeling, but I wish that me having another baby wouldn't make other people really, really sad.
Because I'm not in the business of making people sad. I'm just not.