Friday, July 31, 2009


Today, two little girls were born. Out of the five women in my inner non-dbm circle who are pregnant, two delivered today. I am so incredibly happy for them and their perfect babies. Pictures and birth announcements. And older sisters. Did I mention they are girls?

Can I cry now?

The truth is, if I was left out of the birth announcement email with photos, I would be really devastated and upset, but I was so heartbroken to see everything I didn't get to experience, while simultaneously being thrilled for them. I am so incredibly grateful, thankful, happy that their stories are different than mine. I want to be last. A dying breed of the dying breed, if you know what I mean. I know I won't be.

So, wanting to divert attention from my own weeping and self-pity, what do you think would be the best way to announce a birth to a babylost mama? What do you need from pregnant friends? How do you respond to mass emails with photos and stats? Please feel free to wax poetic, bitch or overall talk about how non-babylost can celebrate and still be sensitive.


  1. What do I need/want? It depends. For friends who have been and continue to be there for me, I appreciate a simple checking-in, to make sure I want to be included on the emails, photos, etc...and I do. But I appreciate the ask, if only because it means they've thought enough to consider the possibility of pain.

    But for those who weren't there for me, it feels different. One such example had her second perfect baby in July and I just discovered her 7 day old baby pictures in my junk mail, as she'd sent them to an old email address (shows the kind of friend she is, to not even use my correct email, which I've had for years now). I don't want your pictures, I don't want to celebrate your child's birth if you didn't acknowledge and stand with me at the time of my child's death.

  2. I just lost my little guy in June, but many friends are going to be delivering soon, my sister as well. I would not want to be included in a mass mail. Maybe, it would be nice for the new mom (friend) to send me a personal e-mail. I think it all depends how close you are. But I know as close as I am with my sister, my heart will be broken and I guess this is natural.

    My friend who lost a baby at 24 weeks 2 years ago, delivered a week before our death and she has kept in touch but is very thoughtful of what is said/not said. I don't think that people who haven't had a loss (especially of a child) get it...I certainly didn't before.

  3. A very dear friend of mine had her second baby girl just a few weeks back. She's been one of the good ones, the really good ones. She gets it. She sent an email saying "I'm about to send an email about Camille and her birth with photos, do you want me to send it to you or not?" And I loved her for that. Because she asked, I said yes. And when it arrived, I was surprised I was able to open it practically straight away. And you know, Camille wasn't so scary. Gorgeous, in fact. And totally not Hope. And she spared any of the "I'm a birth warrior" crap. All she cared about, after what happened to me and Hope was that her baby girl arrived alive and well.
    Going to visit her though is another story. I'm still working up to that.....

  4. Every time I receive one of those mass email birth announcements, a little part of me shrivels and dies. I prefer a personal email or none at all, depending on who it is. But since people barely tell me about pregnancies or births anymore, I haven't had to deal with this too too much.

  5. I have two friends about to give birth in the next 4 weeks...both are first time moms. I know that I terrify both of them, but at the same time, they have both been among the most compassionate & caring. I can't help but be happy for them & celebrate in their joy...BUT, I will say, its an awkward road. Last night I was researching some kick count info & thought of sending them both a kick count chart, but I stopped myself - I didn't want to worry them about all the bad that can happen.....I'm just perpetuating the silence of stillbirth.

  6. It seems to me that everyone I know has had a baby (or two) since Freyja and Kees died.

    But the one that was closest to home was my youngest sister.

    This was her fourth child. She has three from her marriage, and now this fourth was from a new relationship. Her and her partner behaved very badly towards us when our children died and we have no contact any more. It felt like a vicious stab in my heart when I heard they were pregnant.

    I discussed with my other sister (who I have regular contact with) that she would email me when the baby was born. So that I could do with the information what I wanted. So that I wouldn't be confronted with the information in front of others. So that I wouldn't feel like I had to react immediately.

    However, sometime after I received the email, I spoke to my parents by telephone. My dad (in his way) started to make a big announcement to me ("we are proud to announce ...") before I interrupted him to tell him that I knew. That my sister L had told me. And that I didn't want to talk about it.

    He didn't get it. Not at all. You see to him, this new baby is as precious as my Freyja was, as my Kees was. But he doesn't see that although this new baby is precious, she is not my child. My children are dead.

  7. For me it depends on who it is. If it's someone I like then I am genuinely happy for them to send me whatever they want. It's bittersweet, of course, but leaning more towards the sweet side.

    If it's someone I am little ambivalent about it's enough to tip me over into full blown rage and grief with a chorus of 'why us?' thrown in for good measure.

    I think the wording is important. If it's full of the 'birth warrior' crap, as Sally says, I find my lip curling at how smugly oblivious they are, if it's simple details that's much easier to digest.

  8. its been quite an issue over here too. the 2 babies who were conceived weeks after silas died were just born a day apart 2 weeks ago. one was to my doula and very close friend- it was an accident. she didn't want to be pregnant. already had 2 at home. i missed her dearly through her pregnancy, and my grieving,i wanted her support but couldn't get it from her b/c she had what i wanted so badly.

    she had the baby and didn't tell us, no big announcement, nothing. i called her just to say hi and wish her a safe and healthy birth and she told me the baby was already born. i was shocked. but i was happy the baby was healthy. i haven't seen a pic or anything.

    the other baby was a first to a very smug and arrogant couple. their experience was quite the opposite of my other friend. they were everywhere with it and even if i didn't want to know a thing, it was almost impossible to hide from. i'm happy for them, but jealous and annoyed too. as thoughtful as it was that he took the time to share with me what was going on personally, i still get a pit in my stomach and an ache in my heart when i think of their perfect scarlet.

    i don't think any new perfect baby will feel good to me until i have my own.


What do you think?