Yesterday, a good friend of mine tweeted about the birth of her nephew. Welcoming babies into our lives is difficult at any given time, but it's especially difficult when it's family or close friends. You've likely already endured months in close proximity to a pregnant belly, and you can escape no conversation without someone mentioning the child-to-be. So when the baby is born, it becomes a bittersweet moment. While you are excited for your family member or friend, you are struggling with your own feelings: sadness, jealousy, loneliness, anger, fear, grief, etc.
These feelings are normal, and each of us deals with them in our own way. I think it's safe to say that not one of us is proud to feel these things. They are difficult - and shameful - to admit. But we tell our support group because we know they won't judge. We tell them because it's a safe outlet.
So when this friend posted a few tweets that reflected her struggle with the birth of her new nephew, she was looking for support. Instead, one person in particular chose to respond negatively. She accused her of acting like a bitch, and stated several times that she never felt that way about the babies in her life.
I admire people like her. I do. The ability to feel no jealousy is more than I can give myself credit for. I know many of you out there feel the same way. It's not a constant state. It is also without harm. All of us love the babies in our lives. It's just... hard. It's hard not to look at that child and be reminded of what you want, what you don't have, or (worse) what you've lost. Every milestone that child reaches can bring on a wave of different emotions - each different for every person and sometimes different for every occasion. Not everyone can push those feelings aside and be perfectly happy and content. Some of us simply aren't built that way.
What I'm saying is this: don't feel sorry for your emotions. It's something I've had to remind myself of constantly - especially in these last few months as I mourn the loss of my fertility and try to leave it behind as we move down the path toward the adoption. It's impossible to be happy all of the time. It's also worse to ignore those feelings and not share them with others. Leaving them bottled inside of you causes more pain and anguish. Besides, that's what we are all (supposed to be) here for: to support one another during those days when we wish we didn't feel the way that we do.
It's okay to be a bitter bitch some days. We've all been there. The comfort of it is knowing that it won't last - and knowing that you are not alone.
On Sunday, I received a pregnancy announcement from a great friend of mine, and for the first time in as long as I can remember, I didn't feel bitter. It wasn't a surprise. There wasn't an ultrasound or pee-stick photo waiting to greet me. It was simple, well written, and sympathetic:
I wish I knew the perfect way to tell you this news, but I don’t. I am 13 weeks pregnant. ____ and I are both very excited.
I wanted you to hear it from me. If you don’t want to talk about it, I understand. Please know that I love you and care about you.
I think this year will also make you and Joey parents -- you're already getting things ready :)
It was the perfect pregnancy announcement. I hope that she doesn't mine me sharing it here (I removed the names for privacy purposes), but I think it's important to recognize that there are people who get it. And those are the people who make going through this hell a whole lot easier.