About a week ago, my good friend had a baby. A healthy, beautiful baby boy. This was a long anticipated event for me from the time she told me she was pregnant. I was incredibly thankful when she told me she was pregnant in private (just in front of our husbands), instead of in a big group of people. The news came a few months after Joshua was born. When my husband and I left their house, we got in the car and I started to cry. I was so happy for her, but at the same time sad for myself. Especially as my husband and I had just started trying again. I wanted to be the one who had that announcement.
I had told my friend that I loved pregnancy and that she could ask me anything she wanted. Over the course of her pregnancy, she texted me all the fun things like kicks and appointments, as well as any random questions she had asking if I experienced the same thing. We met for lunches and coffees and chatted about pregnancy. It was so great to be able to experience that with her. I had an amazing pregnancy with Joshua and even though I didn’t get to take him home with me, I love talking about a time in my life where I was incredibly happy!
Then came the ultrasound. From a few old wives tales, I was sure she was having a girl. Or more so, I wanted her to have a girl. Her having a girl seemed easier for me. I had a boy and it may seem silly, but every boy announcement that came after our boy passed was met with a grimace. It’s hard to explain, but girl announcements were so much easier for me to accept. Of course, my friend’s announcement was a boy. Again, I was happy for her and sad for myself. I wanted my boy, and she was going to experience all of those boy things that I was had been missing out on.
I got over the fact that she was having a boy quickly. It didn’t matter the gender. People are going to continue having boys and I needed to accept that. Once she reached the end of her pregnancy, a couple weeks before her due date, we were in touch a lot discussing appointments and those fun cervix checks. She’s was giving me updates on how dilated she was. It was fun to hear, but hearing it brought me back to my appointments. It brought me back to that highly anticipated time when you don’t know when you’ll be going into labor. Is it today, tomorrow, three weeks from now? The anticipation of my friend going into labor made me anxious and jealous. I cried one night to my husband that I was jealous of the stage she was in right now. It didn’t make much sense, I’m pregnant myself. But thinking of how excited she was and how close she was to labor brought me back to how excited I was and it made me miss Joshua that much more.
I almost dreaded the day I would get the announcement that he arrived. However to my surprise, when he arrived, I wasn’t jealous or sad, I was just happy! I was happy mom and baby were healthy! Plus, he was pretty darn cute!
Then a day or two later, it hit me. I cried again. My husband asked me what was wrong and I told him, “I’m sad we didn’t get to have a happy experience like she did.” I kept thinking of her in the hospital doing all of the things we missed out on. Family/friend visits, first bath, breastfeeding, diaper changes, anything you do in the hospital with a newborn. I felt robbed of that happiness. I know it’ll happen. I’ll have that happiness one day, but it won’t be the same. I will always have the sadness that was experienced when we lost our firstborn.
She wanted me to meet him. I wanted to meet him too but I was working myself up. I kept thinking, will I cry? Will this be difficult for me? Will I be happy? Will I be jealous? Will I be able to do this? I prayed that God would give me strength. I met the baby as soon as I could which happened to be about a week after he was born. I went to my friend’s house and spent a few hours with them. It was much better than I expected. I was happy for her. We talked about labor and birth. It was fun to see a little baby again. He was just 1 oz bigger than Joshua when he was born. The first time she put in him my arms I thought, wow, I haven’t held a baby this little since Joshua. I forgot how little he was. The time spent with her was good. The anxiety I had before meeting him was unneeded. Her baby boy wasn’t mine. He wasn’t the same. He was so different than Joshua that the jealousy I expected wasn’t there. I’m happy to know that I could be there for her during her pregnancy and now she’ll be able to be there for me when I have my second baby and have a million questions for her!
*To my friend, if you ever read this, I’m so happy for you! The sadness I experienced along your pregnancy would have happened regardless if it was you or any close friend that was pregnant during this time in my life. I can’t wait to be able to share in the experiences with you in a few short months!