Waiting To Cross Over

July 23, 2018

By Sanda Rathamone

"Everything you want is on the other side of fear." - Jack Canfield
For weeks, I have been tip-toeing on my Instagram feed. My biggest fear is seeing a post about a new pregnancy from someone I know, like old friends or family.

Everyone I knew from middle or high school are now having babies or on their way to having a second child, even a third. It's even stranger to see friends of my old friends having babies, too.

In the case of family, I really hope that the next new member is either gestating inside of me or being pushed out of me, breathing and alive, and held in my arms. It's a real stake to the heart knowing that ever since Elijah had died, there has been three new members on my husband's side of the family.

It feels like God had overlooked my pain and prayers and decided that I didn't deserve my baby. 

However, the more heartbreaking pregnancy announcements aren't from old friends or family, but more so from those who have endured baby loss.

It's crazy, right?

These women who have lost their babies, like how I had lost Elijah, have endured the same pain as I have.

We are part of the same community that grieves the same loss and share the same burdens. We can understand each other better than anyone else could. 

But, when they finally have the courage to announce their pregnancy after loss (after keeping their pregnancies a secret for at least half of the nine months or weeks before the due date), my mind knows that I should be over-the-moon happy for them.

Losing a baby sucks and being pregnant again after loss is a sign of hope to mend some of the broken pieces, in which not being pregnant after loss will always leave broken.

On the other hand, my broken heart drops further down the sinkhole of grief. It's like every time a baby loss mother makes a pregnancy announcement, my hard work of getting through grief, healing my heart, trying to "go with the flow" of life, accepting my loss and God's timing gets blown away by some unexpected wind.

And so, I spend my time after their announcement all frazzled, trying to regather what I could from everything that had flown away, all at the same time, trying to make a decision on commenting "congratulations" or at the least, "liking" their post to show that I am happy for them, while secretly wishing that I hadn't seen their announcement because now my day and night is ruined by the notion that another baby loss mother got to "cross over" to the "pregnancy after loss" group and not me.

It's even crazier that these announcements never ceases to be the first post that shows up on my feed; as if on purpose.

It has been like this for two years now. 

Some of these announcements comes with a polite notice: "trigger warning." It makes the announcements all the more obvious and 10 times out of 10, even though I know it is a "trigger," I was never wrong in guessing that it is indeed, a pregnancy announcement that will have me grieving even harder on a day that I really wasn't hoping or expecting to.

I always end up in the bath, crying, tending to my empty womb, and praying to God. 

Some of them are compassionate and could understand the need to "unfollow" after their announcement.

Most of these announcements always follow that same speech about the fears of another loss and not being able to enjoy the pregnancy. While I know that this is true and valid - pregnancy after loss can be very daunting - I also know that it is because of their fears that they are not able to enjoy the pregnancy.

If it were me, I would be thanking and praying to God every day to protect this baby through whatever happens and give my fears to Him, so that I could enjoy every second of this blessing. 

I have witnessed plenty of these announcements and each one feels like I had lost another "friend" in the baby loss world. It is like the baby loss world is full of wandering souls, seeking other souls to help each other find their way through the darkness, but also waiting for some light (that comes every now and then) to shine a way to the entrance of a bridge and cross over to a world where the possibilities are endless.

Most of us want to get out of the darkness and know that crossing that bridge is a huge leap forward to another path; some of us don't get to cross over that bridge... some of us are made to take a different bridge. I should be happy for those who receive the opportunity to go through that bridge, but the feeling of "not me," of "not seeing" the light to that bridge is...  I don't even know how to describe it or what the word is. I just know that it hurts and feels like being in limbo.

It's hard to cheer them on because it hurts to not be the one who was chosen to cross over that bridge.

Many times, I have sent a loving comment, wished them well with a healthy pregnancy, then "blocked" them.

I know that I should be more supportive...

I drove myself insane, going back to their announcement, re-reading their pregnancy after loss speech and staring at the photo of their bulging bellies or the familiar black and white photo of an ultrasound, all just to set myself up to cry about it. I don't know why I would torture myself by doing this. It is like I am re-living the emotions of "I can't believe this is real" or maybe I am wishing that it was me announcing Elijah's baby brother or sister.

And then, I realized that if I had the opportunity to make my announcement, someone else would be in my place, feeling that same awful way as I had...

Maybe I wouldn't make an announcement after all. Maybe I would write about the whole story after the birth, because I don't want anyone else feeling that same hurt from my joy.

Pregnancy announcements are one of those things that I am still not able to pass by without some sort of pang of hurt and jealousy and then feeling guilt because of feeling that pang of hurt and jealousy, instead of happiness and excitement.

Humility is one of the most admirable and strongest qualities of a person. It's all the more admirable when it's seen and felt in someone who is hurting.

Maybe I'm not the most humble or kind person. Maybe I'm too full of jealousy to be happy for another's success. But to admit that I have tried and failed, even though I am hurting like hell, well, that should count for something.

All I know is, waiting to cross over isn't for the faint-hearted, nor should I feel any guilt for the way I feel about it.

With love,

Must Read: 
Read the full story about Elijah:

Post a Comment

Little Heart Tiny Wings © . Design by Berenica Designs.