May 24, 2007

I Was *THAT* Girl

***First and foremost, I have to say how happy I am for the lovely Bumble about her positive Beta after FET #1. She's one of my favorite bloggers; her beautiful spirit shows through in all of her posts. If you haven't already, go congratlate her on this monumentally fantastic news.***

Okay back to me. I was *that* girl. You know, the unwelcome pregnancy announcement. It happened at that wedding party we threw two weeks ago. I neglected to mention that the bride is seven months pregnant. Yes, it was one of those OOPS pregnancies. We found out about it last December just before we were scheduled to go back to the RE after our one year break. I haven't blogged about it because the bride and groom have been invited to the blog, but I don't have to tell any of you here in blogland what the oops announcement was like.

Time goes on, and eventually I hear that the bride's older sister, who is also unmarried and as the big sister had a hard time with the fact that her baby sister was pregnant before she was, is now pregnant too. My lil sis had her first before I was married and it was just sort of a shock to the system. It somehow unsettles your idea of the role you've had your whole life. So the big sister had been feeling all those things while trying to remember to be happy for lil sis when she found out she was pregnant too. WOOHOO!! These girls are very close so they were really excited to be sharing their pregnancies, and the due dates were very similar. I should also say the sisters are from the Southwest, but the little sister recently moved here to DC, and they miss each other very much.

Then big sister miscarried. Unfortunately I don't have to explain what that was like to any of you either. Now I don't really know these girls, our connection to this couple is through my husband and the groom (cousins and lifelong friends). But I felt a desire to reach out, so I emailed the little sister (pregnant bride) and in addition to thoughts and well wishes, I sent her all my fave web resources on pregnancy loss and how to deal with someone else's, etc. That was that, like I said, I don't really know these girls.

So fast forward to two weekends ago. I met the older sister in person for the first time at the wedding. We had exchanged emails because she sent me pictures to use for my cheesy slideshow of the bride and groom's life, so it was a warm hello, so nice to meet you, blah blah blah. Then later that night at the reception, she came over to me and said "Congratulations. I had no idea," clearly indicating my pregnancy. It was a very warm and friendly congratulations, but I thought I recognized that ever-so-subtle but no less intense certain kind of pain behind her eyes that we have all felt (and tried to hide) before.

I felt awful. Here's this big sister, happy for her little sister but naturally unsettled by her surprise pregnancy, who then finds out she's pregnant, is overjoyed about sharing it with her little sister, then loses it (devastating enough), then finds out that this new girl (me), an in-law no less, part of her NEW family, living nearby, is pregnant and sharing all that pregnancy stuff they thought they would be sharing. I am just so close to all those feelings still it literally hurt me to be in that position. I could feel her pain, or I imagined I could anyway.

So, I wanted to blog about this right afterwards and get your thoughts on whether I should reach out to the big sister. For me it was always nice to know someone understood. The idea of blissfully happy fertiles frolicking through their pregnancies was always more bothersome than knowing someone had struggled and succeeded. And I wanted to reassure her that she wasn't being replaced. But of course I was just assuming I knew what this girl was going through, maybe she didn't feel any of those things I was inferring on her at all and would be highly irritated to be surprised by a very personal and intrusive email in her in box.

But I'm no good at letting things go. I sent the email. I first just thanked her for her help with the slideshow. Then I told her how nice it was to meet her and I thought we had a lot in common (close friendships with our little sisters, mine moving away soon to so I can guess how much they miss each other, becoming an aunt before i was married, etc.). Then I said I knew about her loss, briefly described what we'd been through and the IVF and basically said I know it doesn't help much, but I just feel like I relate, and if you ever want to talk I'm here, etc etc.

Well I'm so glad I did. She sent me back a very warm and appreciative email, thanking me for reaching out. She is not where most of us in blogland are. She's just had one miscarriage. She's not an infertile. Hopefully she'll never end up where we've been, but many of us started out where she is. That was a hard place to be, before you had blogland and a whole team of medical specialists behind you. People don't talk about miscarriage enough. Most suffer alone, or with the support of just their closest friends and family. The loss is crushing but you have very little outlet for it. It reminds me again how thankful I am for all of you. The support I've had here inspired me to reach out to her, and in some small way I feel like I've extended the best things about our blogging community to this girl who really needed it. Thank you all.

15 comments:

The Momcaster said...

i think it was incredibly sweet and sensitive of you to reach out to her like that. i'm sure she's ever so thankful that she has a new friend and family member in you. good job, mama-to-be!

Reproductive Jeans said...

How sweet of you....you have such a big heart Sarah! That makes me so joyful that you extended your arms to her...sounds like a very rewarding experience! What a great mom you will be that that big ol heart of yours!

TeamWinks said...

You are so sweet to reach out to her, and you are right, we all need that. It isn't discussed enough, and suffering in silence sucks. Hats off to you.

Watson said...

Good for you for reaching out to her.

It's a scary thing to do, and because of that I don't think we do it often enough.

Hopefully, she won't experience another loss or have any IF-related issues.

But if God forbid she does, at least she knows you're a great resource for support and friendship...

Bumble said...

Thank you so much for the lovely well wishes Sarah! You're one of my favourite too!

I'm so glad you reached out to her, what a difference that might have made to her. When you go through a mc, it just feels so lonely and I'm sure even just the fact that you acknowledged her baby made a huge difference to her. You sure are a sweetie of note x

My Reality said...

You weren't *THAT* girl at all. You took the time to acknowledge that what she had been through and were able to relate.

You did a great thing by reaching out to her.

Lindsey said...

Infertility gives us such a heart for others going through it, and you did exactly the most sincere and heartfelt action for this woman. If anything, IF gave you the insight that perhaps no one else in this woman's life has. Thank goodness for you.

Sticky Bun said...

That's great that you sent an email like that. After my miscarriage, I would have really appreciated someone reaching out to me like that because you're so right, outside of something like that, nobody talks about miscarriage or loss. It's so taboo. And, now if she does get further down this road (which I hope she doesn't), she'll know she has someone to commiserate with. Very thoughtful!

Tinker said...

I'm glad you went with your gut and reached out to her. Miscarriage can be a lonely time and I'm sure she truly appreciated that someone understood, and maybe even that you particularly, being practically competition for sharing her sister's pregnancy had struggled so much more to get to this point.

My husband's cousin just had her first m/c at 11.5w (aged 36 and ttc for 1.5 years). Even though she lives 3 hours away, I've been making a point of checking in on her and trying to support her as much as I can. She has a close, caring family, which is a big help, but I think another understanding ear never hurts.

Whoever said that we don't talk enough about miscarriage is right. There's not a lot of support for babies lost before the second trimester, especially in the realm of general public understanding. So glad that you made the effort to help.

Nicole said...

You are such a good person and I have tremendous respect for you for reaching out to this woman. I completely understand her story, as mine sounds quite similar. My 20 year old sister will birth her baby girl in July. She's my youngest sister and the first to have a kid in my family. Meanwhile, I try again after my last miscarriage.

Coffeegrl said...

I think you did absolutely the right thing. I don't think it ever hurts to say to someone, "If you ever want to talk I'm happy to just listen and be supportive." Some people may not want to take you up on the offer, but maybe they feel better just knowing it's there. Good for you.

Carol said...

I think you did the right thing, so good for you. That kind of loss feels so lonely, it's comforting for someone to reach out and tell you you're not alone.

Foxy said...

I have been such a blog slacker these days.....so sorry!!!
That was so nice of you to reach out, I totally appreciated it when you sent me those same resources....that experience has taught me that it is always better to reach out to someone and just let them know you are there....ignoring or avoiding someone because you are afraid of saying the wrong thing is more hurtful. Good for you for being such a great friend! :)

Baby Blues said...

I owe it to everyone who reached out to me to reach out to others as well. I love the support I get through my fellow cycle sisters. It made this journey much easier.

LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

I am really glad that you had the courage to reach out to her! I am finding more and more that, if I reach out to someone, even if I barely know them or are not sure that they want to hear from me, they appreciate my efforts. Bravo on being there for her!