relating

I have a hard time relating to other pregnant women. Maybe even other people in general – I think they’ll see me and my bump and expect that everything is great, and I don’t always have the energy to fill in the history. But it’s not quite so easy. Of course, I have no idea if things are/were easy for them – sometimes I like to make the “maybe they had a hard time getting here, too” assumption. But that became harder after A & C died. Many more people struggle to get pregnant than those that go through a second trimester loss. Of course there’s other hardship in life, plus neither playing pain olympics nor isolating myself count as really helpful strategies in the long term, even if it may seem the easiest thing to do in a given moment. (Example: a pregnant colleague, whom H overheard complaining how she dislikes being pregnant and can’t wait for her water to break… when she was about 22 weeks along. I just can’t go there. Or my brother’s girlfriend, who must be 6-8 weeks ahead of me, and already has everything for the baby at home and is now off work thanks to more generous, or perhaps reasonable, maternity leave. It’s just literally another continent.)

Nevertheless I’d like to try to meet a few new people. I guess their kids could be playmates for Strawberry Baby down the road, but realistically this may be more about me finding some mom-friends going through the same experience, hopefully – that of bringing a baby home. For those of you that have been there, any recommendations for where to start, other than my mindset? I’ve been thinking about prenatal yoga classes, birth preparation and newborn care classes, but other suggestions welcome. H isn’t interested in going to any of these, while I imagine that both the contact to other expectant moms as well as some activities where birth is a normal aspect, rather than the drama it turned into last time, could be good for me.

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19 thoughts on “relating

  1. I’ve also wondered about making community connections, although I don’t have any advice really, just muddling through it! I am taking prenatal yoga and enjoying it (it’s very, very gentle) and although it isn’t exactly a social space, it is a place where I can be with other pregnant people and feel like it’s normal. I’ve also registered for 10 weeks of pre and post natal classes but those don’t start till September so not sure what they will be like. Husbands/partners are encouraged to attend so Mr. Turtle will be coming with me; I didn’t present it as an option for him ;-). Very recently I’ve also taken the first steps to finding a doula and I feel this will be very helpful for us because the right kind of support person could really make a difference for the birth and days leading up. At least one of the women I’m considering is a Birthing From Within mentor and I’m somewhat intrigued by the class, but I don’t know yet if we’ll take it or if we can find one between now and October (I’m a bit late to the game on some of this; it’s taken a few months to feel “ready” to take these steps….) http://www.birthingfromwithin.com

  2. I have no advice for you but I think it is understandable that you find it harder to relate given all you have had to go through. Hopefully you will find some new friends who are easy for you to connect with :)

  3. I have no real suggestions for finding people now, but maybe there are baby & me classes offered through the hospital that you’ll be delivering at after you deliver? One thing to note, is that even if you find other moms who are due around when you are, unless they’ve experienced loss, if you’re anything like me, you’ll still feel somewhat of a separation from them.

    I strongly encourage you to find others that you can connect with, but am just hoping that you don’t go in with a certain expectations and then be let down when they aren’t met.

    1. I’ll look into that! I can be slow in making new friends though, so I thought it might be better to start now…
      The separation, yes, I’m sure that’s likely. I think at this point I’d still rather try to get a bit of a connection – we’ll see how it goes.

  4. I would definitely try to make those connections. I think it would be healthy for you. Maybe meetup.com or some online pregnancy forums if they have local ones. stork tours at hospitals. Hoping you find those connections.

  5. I don’t have any great advice because this is something I still struggle with. I agree that loss adds an extra layer of isolation that even infertility does not; I think if you haven’t been through it you (thankfully) don’t get it. I remember one visit to our OB just before my daughter was born, the waiting room was so full and all the moms-to-be got talking and exchanging war stories and I just wanted to shrink into the wall. I felt so out of place, and what’s more, I’m not sure I’d want to be among their ranks – the complaining about routine things I’d never dream of complaining about, the complacency and presumtion…I’ll never be that person. Still, I better overcome these reservations if I don’t want my daughter to be a hermit baby! I’m trying to go easy on myself and employ a ‘fake it til you make it’ approach. I hope you find something that works for you too!

    1. Ouch, I’m so sorry for that OB visit. Depending on the situation I might be tempted to say that I’m so grateful to be pregnant with a living and viable baby… but that probably just triggers weird looks and withdrawal, not new friends. Going easy on yourself certainly sounds like a good plan!

  6. Our hospital has a Breastfeeding support group that pregnant mamas attend- it is mostly mon and babies, but a few preg ladies as well. Great diverse group of people- maybe a place like this would help in making connections?

  7. I have no advice on finding like souls after loss since I’ve never been there.

    On the other hand, experience has led me to believe that any randomly selected group of people (such as mothers!) will be full of people I can’t stand. The lunatic anti-science people who don’t vaccinate their children! (Stay away from Waldorf schools.) The people who think echinacea alone will cure mastitis! (All the otherwise excellent souls at the co-op.) The people who start every sentence with “I would *never*” (which I mentally translate to “My child has not yet”)! All the people who think you can’t take anything but Tylenol while pregnant – all data and common sense to the contrary! (And let’s not even talk about IVF. There are no drugs in IVF, right? Riiiiiight?) The people who give their kids unlimited juice with every meal! The people who would NEVER give their child juice ever! The know-it-alls, the neurotic people who have never left their 4-year-old with anyone not even family, the people who publicly disrespect their spouses….

    What I’m saying is that I, personally, am lucky if I really like one in twenty, and if I can tolerate half of any given group. I didn’t do a whole lot of birth-prep classes- this is mostly regarding people who already have living children- but I suspect it might be similar. I won’t hope you find lots of other people who’ve had terrible losses- because that would be terrible – but I will hope you find some good company in at least a few intelligent, compassionate women who are also expecting babies in the next several months, whether they’ve had bad experiences personally or not.

    1. I hear you. I’m quite picky, too. But, I guess if I don’t try, chances are even lower that I meet people I can relate to or get along with…
      Also, I had that same thought – I hope no-one in whatever group I pick has been through such a loss.

      1. I guess what I was trying to say was, I go out looking for new people-to-hang-out with all the time, but I don’t expect them to be soulmates. And I end up hanging out with a lot of people I maybe don’t really like and that’s OKAY! And waaaay better than not having any friends/ someone to bring you dinner/ whatever. :) So, go for it, and I hope you find a couple one-in-twenties.

  8. I think that’s a great idea to try to meet new people and get involved in….something. I never did prenatal yoga, but I think it sounds great. I think most hospitals have mom’s groups, although again, I’ve never been, but I do have a friend who goes to one at our local hospital. I did meet another boy/girl twin mom who’s babies are close in age to mine, and she also is an infertile who went through the IVF process. It is SO nice to know someone that has been through a similar experience and understands. I hope that you are able to find someone that you can talk to that will also have an understanding of where you are coming from. In the meantime, you know you have the blogging world as a sounding board!

  9. I don’t know — I have a very hard time with pregnancy, period. For me, that’s not where the magic is. I really have very little interest in talking about pregnancy with others, because inevitably it makes me feel like an alien. But new parenthood — that’s another story. Be sure to find a local new moms group in some form — at your hospital, a parenting center, through a local nonprofit, etc. and sign up immediately. You’ll bond quickly with new friends that way, and by then you’re all on an even playing field, all muddling through the late-night feedings and the diaper blow-outs, etc. There’s no greater equalizer than baby poop, no matter how you got pregnant or delivered.

    1. Perhaps part of my drive here is that I always wanted pregnancy to be magical. And it was, except when it wasn’t, and then everything became more complicated. I do love your point about the poop equalizer though, and I hope that I’ll have an easier time at that stage.

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