"Thank heaven there is tomorrow. Because there is tomorrow, all our yesterdays have meaning and all our dreams have hope."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Laura's Question

Q: I just lost my little girl Heidi in February at 23 weeks. Overall, I'm doing pretty well, but still having a hard time in some ways. How do you get over the feelings of jealousy for other people? I have friends who are pregnant and instead of being excited for them, I feel jealous of them that everything will work out for them. They get to look forward to having a new little baby in their home without any heartache. While I don't want others to have to go through the same thing I'm going through, I wish they had some sense of what I am feeling. Do you have any suggestions for dealing with these feelings?

Dear Laura,

Oh boy - how I understand jealousy!!! Before Gavin was born we lost a baby through a miscarriage. That was a very bitter and lonely time in my life. It is terrible to admit this - but I used to see pregnant women and just despise them. I know. That is so incredibly awful of me. However, that being said I think that jealousy is instinctive. Especially when is comes to a mother's desire for a child.

You have tasted the sweetness of being a mother. You know what it feels like to love something and not have it anymore. You see others who don't appreciate or love their pregnancy or child like you imagine you would. It hurts.

I had a very difficult time seeing mothers and babies after Gavin passed away. I used to be insanely jealous of the mother of three who got pregnant at the drop of a hat. My heart ached to see children the age mine would have been.

When you have an experience like you have had, you lose your innocence in a way. I felt that way when I was pregnant with Jack. Pregnancy after a loss is filled with anxiety and worry. Jealousy is part of that too.

As for suggestions - this is the biggest thing I have learned. Be patient with yourself. You are human and emotions like that are normal. It is how you deal with those emotions that determine what kind of person you are BECOMING. You have learned how much you love your children. Odds are that you will appreciate being a mother so much after having gone through this experience.

I don't think there is a cure for jealousy - but try picking out and acknowledging the blessings you have in life. We all have our individual struggles and pains. Perhaps there is something you can do for someone to help them through a difficult time. It may help divert your feelings and help you focus on something else.

I am telling ya - I understand jealousy to a fault when it comes to children. Please be patient with yourself. I hope this helped . . .


Brittanie said...

I felt this too. It was so hard. My husband was going to BYU-Idaho and at any one point 75% of the women in the the relief society in my ward were pregnant. It seemed so easy for everyone. It was SO VERY HARD.

And then one day, while I was at work, I saw out of the corner of my eye a lady with 3 boys who was very pregnant and that jealousy crept in. She wanted fish though, so as I was getting them for her we got to talking. I'm not sure how it came up but I mentioned my Cora. She then mentioned that she had had 2 miscarriages before her oldest, another miscarriage before her youngest, and before the baby she was pregnant with at the time she'd lost a baby in the second trimester.

It really hit me then: I had been hating her because "she obviously had it so easy" when really she didn't. She knew how it felt. She knew the grief of loss.

Ever since then when I've seen those happy carefree women and the jealousy creeps in (now for the fact that women can just be innocent and happy when pregnant, which I can't be anymore), I remind myself that maybe she isn't as innocent and carefree as I think. Maybe she has some hidden grief that I can't see. Thinking that has made it easier for me.

Laura Cates said...

Thanks for the advice! I will need to copy it down so I can refer back to it. I hope these feelings can begin to ease a little bit as I look at what I do have, and realize that everyone struggles with one thing or another. I appreciate your honesty in your answer!

Carrie said...

I have been reading through your Q&A's and just wanted to tell you I am so impressed by what you have to say. I couldn't think of anyone that could do as good a job as you at something like this.