Let’s talk about what very few people talk about, pregnancy guilt. With all five of my pregnancies I have felt this guilt. There has always been someone around me who has recently suffered a loss or has been diagnosed with infertility. I would get pregnant and be so happy, then overcome with guilt because there are others who are much more deserving of a baby than I am, guilt because I haven’t lost a baby like nearly every woman in my family, guilt because I haven’t ever struggled to get pregnant.
I sit here with so many children that I can’t even hold them all at once AND I’m pregnant again very unexpectedly, but so many others around me have aching and empty arms. How crushing for them. How unfair. How cruel.
With this newest pregnancy the guilt hit me extra hard. A couple very dear to my heart has had multiple losses this past year. Oh my heart hurts for them so badly. I kept my pregnancy a secret for a while because I didn’t want to cause their hearts any more pain so soon. Then I thought I had a missed miscarriage and I could help them feel less alone. That week knowing my baby may have stopped growing and was absorbed by my body was so painful. I hated seeing the pregnancy announcements, growing bellies, and all of the newborn goodness that I would miss out on this time. There was a deep ache in my heart and a pit in my stomach while realizing I didn’t get to give them a name or know who they would’ve been, what they would’ve looked like, smelled like, and sounded like. But then I found out my baby was still alive. Such a mixture of joy for myself, and extreme guilt and grief for my loved ones and so many others because my story isn’t theirs when it should be.
It seems impossible to navigate how to celebrate this new soul coming into our world, but still mourning that experience for others; not knowing the words to say or the words to not say, only wanting to be gentle, loving, and thoughtful.
To the mamas who have been waiting or with babies in heaven, my heart has only known a tiny portion of what you’re going through, but please know that I have so much respect for how strong you are through your pain and I care for you so deeply in my heart.