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Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

not ttc | infertility after loss > A friends pregnancy.

Our son died 3 and a half years ago. He was stillborn, no real reason was ever given. We got to the hospital and he was fine at 39 weeks, and then all of a sudden he wasn't. This happened in a foreign country, a European country, where I was living and working at the time. My relationship ended a few months later and 6 months after that I was back in the States. The pregnancy was unplanned, and I consciously have not yet tried to have other children (though it takes all the self control I can muster!)

I've made a new life for myself- new career, great friends, some puppies along the way. But one thing still strikes so much fear into my heart....I'm at the age where my friends are just starting to have their first babies. Career oriented and driven, I've unconsciously surrounded myself with women who have delayed childbirth until their mid 30's and I've been lucky so far- the ones who have had babies have all been acquaintances. And finally it happened, the moment I've been dreading. My dear friend told me she was pregnant, over a text message, saying that she "didn't want to lie to me."

I listened to her complain about her morning sickness, gave her some advice, and then gracefully exited the conversation. And then I started to plot. How quickly can I disappear from this friend's life? How many times will I have to ignore her texts before she gets the message? How many plans will have to fall through, how many times will I have to fake illness? Will she even notice, or be too wrapped up in her pregnancy to see that I've withdrawn?

She is a good friend. We are cut from the same cloth. I like her. We have enjoyed years of friendship- sharing drinks, dinners, movies, books. And all I can think about is how to escape- how quickly I can abandon her, how quietly I can go. I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I know I can't be the friend she needs. If she complains about her pregnancy, it will annoy me (I'm not the right audience for pregnancy complaints!). If she gloats, It'll make me angry. If she tries to be nice and never bring it up, I'll be annoyed by that too. If she talks of nothing else, I don't know how I'll cope. She can't win, my poor friend, and I feel like a monster for admitting this.

It's so hard to have been traumatized by something that most people view as the greatest joy in life.

She is a dear friend but I never want to see her again. I too have been pregnant, I know the 6 month road that lies ahead of her. But I also know that our roads will diverge. Her baby will be fine (other people's babies always seem to be so fine, so alive, so fine.) I can't bear to accompany on her journey, knowing that hers will have a happy ending.

How do you guys cope? Sometimes it feels insurmountable.
July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterOlive
Oh Olive, I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious son.

Could you be honest with your friend? Perhaps letting her know that supporting her through her pregnancy is too difficult for you emotionally? There may be a time in the future where you feel you can see her again?

I had a good friend pregnant at the same time as me. We both had issues raised at our morphology scans. Her baby turned out to be ok, mine died. She initiated the conversation that seeing her would possibly be too difficult and she said if I wanted to see her in the future to let her know. I didn't see her until her baby was over 12 months old. I rarely see her daughter- catching up instead for dinner or drinks. There is a possibility that your friendship can continue at some point. But I would suggest talking to your friend about it- if she can't see the difficulty for you and be sensitive then I would walk away from the friendship knowing that you at least tried,
July 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterShelby's Mum