Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The universe is screwing with me, big time

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that our Older Nephew & his wife are expecting their first child -- our first great-niece/nephew (gender soon to be revealed here! ;)  ).  And that her due date is exactly ONE DAY apart from my own, 21 years ago (November 15, 2019 vs November 14, 1998) -- meaning I am going through this pregnancy with her, reliving my own doomed pregnancy in the exact same time frame.

It's been hard at times -- but the hardest part -- getting through that first week of August, and August 5th & 7th in particular (the day I learned Katie's heart had stopped beating, and the day I delivered her -- the "official" date that's on all the paperwork) -- is yet to come.

And it just got harder.

She's had some difficulty making the transition from her family doctor's care to an ob-gyn -- her original choice was booked solid and not taking any more patients at the moment -- but she was finally able to get a referral and an appointment to another ob-gyn.

JUST GUESS when her first appointment is.

Yep -- August 7th.

This obviously adds to the my levels of anxiety on their behalf around those dates.  It amps up the emotions & stress I'm generally feeling around then.  It also adds a certain level of guilt to anything I want to share about my/our own thoughts & activities to remember our daughter then.

I don't often mention Katie, our loss (or pg loss in general), or our involuntary childlessness on social media (let alone "in real life" conversations with non-ALI friends & family members) -- but there are a few times during the year that I feel compelled/entitled to do so:  Mother's & Father's Day. Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day/Month in October. Sometimes around what should have been her birthday in November.

And August 7th.

Now I'm feeling like I can't do anything, at least this year. If I post anything on THIS August 7th, it will only serve to remind our niece and nephew (not to mention BIL & SIL) that not all pregnancies have a happy outcome, and increase their anxiety around this initial ob-gyn visit/checkup. Of course, they already know what happened to us -- they know about pregnancy loss, in a theoretical way (just like we all did, until it actually happened to us...!) -- but would posting about our daughter then be like rubbing it in their faces at a critical time? BIL keeps saying he just wants them to "relax" and warns all of us not to do or say anything that will stress them out too much. I don't believe he was thinking of dh & me or talking about Katie specifically -- but I'm sure anything I say or post that day might well be taken the wrong way.

If it were anyone else but our nephew & his wife, I wouldn't be so anxiety-laden on this point -- but I adore those kids and would never want to do anything to hurt them or add to their stress levels right now.

(I suppose I could still post something, and fiddle with the privacy settings to prevent them & other family members from seeing it -- but I've never done that before, and it seems rather complicated.)

I kicked dh under the table when the date was mentioned. He didn't clue in WHY I did that until later, when I mentioned this to him (duh -- men!!).  He reminded me that, apart from some headaches, nausea and heartburn, and one fall, over a month ago, she's had a much better/far more normal pregnancy so far than I did. (By this point in my pregnancy, we knew things were not progressing normally... things were very much up in the air.) The baby has been healthy & growing at every ultrasound & checkup so far. The mom is already much bigger than I was at this point. That's all good. There's absolutely no logical reason to believe that the similarity in dates means the outcomes will be similar too. (In fact, there's a huge part of me that believes that OF COURSE, things will be fine -- everyone ELSE due on/around Nov. 15th gets to walk away with a live, healthy baby -- just not me.)

It's just hard. :(

No doubt there will be more anxiety-laden posts to come from me between now & August 7th.  (I'm grateful that we're going to be away for 2+ weeks between now & then -- out of sight, out of mind? -- although I'm sure it's going to hit me big time when we get back...!) Thanks in advance for your patience & any support you can lend between now & then (as well as prayers & positive vibes for the parents-to-be & their baby, of course).


  1. Oh this sounds incredibly difficult. I hope you give yourself permission to feel all of your feelings without judging yourself. I hope you find support here when you need it. You are definitely free to say/write whatever you want here. We are here for you. <3

  2. Wow - that must be...a morass of emotion! I wouldn't even know what to feel. Sadness, irritation that you have to shelve your emotions, anxiety, grief, but also expectation of joy and excitement and...well, just everything!

    I think, though, that you should still make mention of Katie on important dates - maybe withholding details this year, in deference to the parent-to-be. But there is no way she should be erased. (Note: that's how it would feel to me, if I felt like mention of her would cause someone else anxiety. It may be different for you.) A simple "Thinking of my Katie today" could serve as a way to express your feelings without triggering someone else. Just my rather useless opinion.

    Thinking of you...

  3. This is hard, and I'm sorry. My sister-in-law is pregnant now (6 months) after many miscarriages, IVF, etc and it has, honestly, kind of been like a PTSD experience. Waiting for my brother to call me and tell me test results and ultrasounds? It brings back all that terrible stuff from my own experience. Having basically the exact same due date as Katie? That's rough. No advice other than keep going with your own busy life, as you've noted already. Totally separate, but I have been loving your book reviews. Just read "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" and really enjoyed it. I'm so glad you are in a book club--those lucky participants! I'm jealous :)

  4. Oh, I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. That really, really is anxiety-producing and unfair and very hard. I echo Infertile Phoenix above that you absolutely deserve a place to feel your feelings and have space/support for those.

    Definitely sending lots and lots of prayers, positive vibes, and good thoughts to all of you.

  5. How ironic the timing of the new arrival has to mirror your time. I am sure you are feeling a swing of emotions. Understandable.

  6. Oh wow, that IS hard. Can you wait till after their appointment on the 7th (ie just later in the day, when they've got good news - my assumption), then post your remembrance? Because I don't think that any of us should feel we have to pretend our losses didn't occur, just to protect the feelings of others who aren't considering our situation in any way. (I'm thinking of your BIL here.)

    Or, as you say, just set up the privacy to exclude them. (It's really easy - I do it on a regular basis. If you post on a PC, click on Friends/More/ and then you can customise Friends Except ... and list the couple and/or BIL/SIL. Slightly different on mobile, even easier, because when you push Friends it comes up with Friends Except straight away.)

    Because whilst they are at the centre of their pregnancy, you are at the centre of your loss and grief too. And so if you need to post, then you should feel free to do it. I think that's why pregnancy loss and grief is so misunderstood. We all quell our own grief to make life easier (when it's already easier for them) for others.

    Sending love.

  7. Oh, Loribeth... This is so awful. The universe sure screwed with you, because you do adore your nephew and niece-in-law, but how can you not struggle through this? How can you balance the joy for them and your grief, which are so closely entwined? The dates are a terrible circumstance. Can you at all talk to them honestly about the coincidence of dates and while you are very happy for them you have to also honor Katie? I don't know how to do the fancy sharing filtering, but that seems a good option. It's terrible when your anniversaries coincide with someone else's happy circumstance, but you have to be allowed to feel your feelings, too. Oh man, I'm so sorry and I'm here with you in this tricky, sticky situation.

  8. Lending a ton of support between now and then. Talk about embracing all the emotions! It's amazing to watch you be able to do just that.

  9. Dear Loribeth, I'm very sorry to read that. I hope you will still find a way to honor Katie's memory, because your loss is not less important than other people's celebration... On this point I agree with Mali. I'm thinking of you and sending hugs!