Recently I have dealt with a bold & somewhat brash lack of support for my pregnancy from a fellow miscarriage survivor. This incident (which was in fact not my first negative experience with this particular person) led me to contemplate just who was now actually supporting me now that I am pregnant. And a very 25 weeks pregnant, at that.
In the online world of support, I found some interesting patterns. There are those who have just gone mute since I announced my pregnancy. Or my fears and concerns since becoming pregnant. Or the joys of finally being what seems to be successfully pregnant. No more comments, no more tweets. Just silence. Though at first I felt somewhat hurt by this, these are the people that I mostly get. They had been there for me as I experienced the loss of Blueberry, the testing that came after, the decision to try to conceive again, and the agony that we aptly call the Two Week Wait. But once I received my positive pregnancy test, many offered some words of excited congratulations, and that has been just about it since then. And I do not fault them. We were once together in the same place, and now we are not. I understand the hurt, the anger (at their situation, not me), the disappointment. And I realize that I can now serve to be a reminder of what hasn't happened for them yet, despite my losses. I get that. I have no ill feelings towards those individuals. I still hold out hope that one day I will serve as a source of inspiration and hope for them, and not just a painful reminder.
There is also the group who hasn't faltered. No matter where they are in their journeys to become mothers, they have supported me. To these women, I am so grateful. It takes incredible strength (that so many of us struggle to find on an ongoing basis) to support a pregnant woman when they are still grieving, still hurting, but still hoping.
Then there is the group that I find I can most relate to now and they can most relate to me. Those in my online support group that are currently pregnant, whether after a loss or losses or after struggles with infertility. For the most part, we get each other. We are struggling with the same fears and concerns, the surreal feelings that we actually have a little precious life growing inside of us. We have not made it safely to home base yet, and we all know this. We all know that we still need support, maybe more than ever. Because now the stakes are so high. We have something so, so precious that could be lost now just like that. Most of us have experienced how cruel that kind of loss can be, and no matter how far along we get, how many ultrasounds we have had... that feeling of helplessness, of what seems like the randomness of Mother Nature never really goes away. We are not in the "free and clear", and therefore do not forfeit our right to support just because we peed on a stick or got a positive Beta.
But the most surprising development in my pregnancy after my two losses has been some rather brash and hurtful and mostly passive-aggressive comments from an online friend (whom I have met in person now). Someone who has experienced early 1st trimester miscarriages. Someone whom I was not expecting this reaction from. We are not BFF's, but this was someone I was hoping to forge a closer friendship with since geography is not much of a factor as it so often is in the online world of support. I won't get into too many of the details (most of you who follow my Twitter already know the specifics), but this has been the only times in this pregnancy when I have been made to feel guilty for being pregnant, when I have been publicly chastised for choosing to celebrate this instead of muting what has been a dream of mine for years. Even after this most recent incident in which I was almost made to feel bad because she had lost her baby and I hadn't lost Bean, I tried to support her and offer her friendship. My last attempt has appeared to fall on silent ears. I have heard nothing back from her and it has almost been a week. I understand her pain, her anger. I completely get that. But to direct that anger, that aggression towards a friend who has finally found herself pregnant after suffering her own grief and heartache? To even hint that it isn't fair that that my baby is still alive and that I didn't lose her? I do not get that.