Wednesday, August 29, 2012

When Your Friend Has A Baby

As a mommy who recently (5 1/2 months ago) kissed her baby boy goodbye for the 1st and last time I figured maybe, just maybe, I can share what it's like to have a friend have a baby shortly after you do. I'm not talking acquaintance. I'm talking friend. A person that you spend time with often, you talk to all the time, someone near and dear to you. I have plenty of acquaintances that have had babies since Grant died. I even have quite a few that had baby boys in August, when Grant was supposed to be born. However, I also have a few good friends who have had babies recently or will in the near future. Only one of these friends actually lives in the town that I live in. The others live a few hours away so it's a little different for me with them. The one that lives here I see a few times weekly and talk to all the time.

One of my biggest concerns when we found out that Grant wasn't going to live was how was my friendship with this woman going to survive this? How was I going to be able to celebrate her baby while I mourned mine. Well, here's how. It's not easy. It hurts. However, it needs to be done. It's not her fault that my child died. Her baby is a blessing from God just like Grant is. Therefore, I'm choosing to celebrate her through my tears and pain. It's what a true friend would do and she deserves no less. I do have to say that it did help the pain a little when she found out she was having a girl. Something about knowing I wasn't going to have to watch a baby boy who should be growing up with Grant, grow up without him. They still would have been friends and would have grown up together but at least she wears pink and bows :) My first hurdle was getting through her baby shower. I decided I would help host it. We had talked baby showers before Grant passed away and it was something I wanted to do for her. I made hand-made baby presents so I wouldn't have to look at the registry and could focus on "girly" things. I survived that day with only a few tears, in private, before and after. I knew the next hurdle would be the delivery and visiting her in the hospital. She was delivering at the same hospital I did. There's not much choice around here. I thought her delivery would be in October, it's when she was due. I thought I had time to prepare. That's what I get for thinking. She texted me yesterday morning to let me know her water broke and she was heading to the hospital at 35 weeks. I called her and prayed over her and that baby girl. When I hung up I prayed some more. I prayed for safety. As a mommy who has lost a baby and knows many others who have lost babies and as a Pediatrician I know things can go wrong. I prayed that God would protect that little girl. A little girl I already love. I felt a peace and knew that she was going to be just fine. Then came the time to go to the hospital to visit before the baby came. We went up there last night and I think my husband and I did ok visiting while there. However, I have to admit that I did cry when trying to go to sleep because everyone was laughing and anticipating a healthy baby in that delivery room where the last time I was in a similar room we all had somber faces. Her baby girl was born perfectly healthy at 2:32am this morning. As soon as they told me the time I smiled and cried at the same time. Grant was born at 2:32pm. I felt like it was my little boy saying "hi mommy". I think it's really neat that they share a birth time (even though one is am and one is pm), since they don't get to share anything else. She was also born the month that Grant was supposed to be born. Today has been much more difficult emotionally. We went to see her this afternoon. I knew that I needed to make myself hold her. I knew that it was necessary and it would be hard. I didn't expect the look on my husbands face as I held her though. I don't know what I really expected from him but it wasn't that. He looked so sad again. He initially declined to hold her because it was so hard. Eventually he did hold her, and looked so precious doing so. I wonder if my face looked like his did when he looked upon me holding an infant. It took everything I had not to cry right there. How can one person feel so excited and happy for someone else and so broken for themself at the same time? That's how it is. Happy and excited for her, sad and broken for us. Intense longing to be where they are. Celebrating insetaed of grieving. I truly do think it is a necessary step of healing for me and I'm so so so happy that my friend and her baby are well. August has been a hard month and I'm happy to see it go soon. I'm hoping September is better.

For anyone who read all of that and is in my situation and wondering how they will survive it. Here's my advice. Try your hardest to do what you would have done for them before your loss. Constantly remind  yourself that it's ok to be happy for them and sad for you at the same time. It's ok to walk in your door at home and burst into tears. Heck, it's ok to cry wherever you want! Your friend will understand.

"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12:15

It's not easy to do but God has taught me so much with this one little verse. Just because I am grieving doesn't mean I can't rejoice with others.


  1. So well written. I can't imagine how hard that was. Thanks for sharing.

  2. What a wonderful post! I was pretty fortunate that the ladies who were pregnant with me or soon after me were all distant acquaintances. I didn't have to do anything with or for them. I'm not sure if that was good or bad. Because I didn't know them all that well I felt "safe" harboring bad feeling toward them and their oh-so-perfect pregnancies. In hindsight I felt terrible. That's not the person I want to be. It might have been better for me had those other ladies been actual friends. I feel very shameful now with the thoughts in my head that I had. :(.

    Lots of love to you sweet friend!


  3. I'm sure you're doing a great job...and the very best you can. A good friend of mine is due with a little boy too. It is/will be a challenge, but I cherish our friendship...and never want another family to have to endure a loss, so it helps me feel happy for her. Isn't easy though is it?

  4. So much of what you wrote...I have felt. Though I didn't lose a baby, I did lose a young child (he was 7). Almost all of my close friends (none live near me...we are military and are now separated geographically from all of our close friends) have just had or are going to have babies. I've fought jealously for quite some time. And within two weeks of Ethan passing (in 2010), three of my really close friends had babies. It was all I could do to go to the store to buy gifts, let alone go visit them and hold their babies. But I did...only by the grace of God.

    You are not alone in your feelings. I applaud you for braving the hospital and sharing in your friends blessing. It's hard to let go of the flesh and the pain and mourning for a bit and rejoice with others. Only through Him can we do such things.


  5. You are a wonderful friend! You are an inspiration. I appreciate you sharing your story!

  6. You are such a good friend. I love that both of your babies were born at 2:32, definitely makes me think that grant had something to do with that. My sister had a baby boy 11 months after Jacob was born and I found t very hard to be involved in her pregnancy and I sobbed when I held him. Luckily my sister was very understanding. Now Danny is 15 months old and I can't get enough of him. I'm glad that your friend ad a girl though, that makes it that much easier and every little bit counts.

  7. I held my nephew that is the same age as Jonathan in June. I cried and told him he would always be my special nephew because he would give me a glimpse into Jonathan. I know that whenever I see him I will think of my sweet baby boy. The hardest part for me is My SIL also has a baby the same age as Joseph my 20 month old. To watch those boys grow up together will be bittersweet. You did a good job and you are an excellent friend she is so blessed to have you!

  8. I have several pregnant people in my life who are important to me. One of them is closer than the rest and I must admit that just like you I almost immediately asked my husband how I could remain friends with her. I have gone to great lengths and been through much pain to be happy for her while missing my boy. I've been open and honest. I've felt her baby move and visited her nursery. I've helped her pick out baby things. We've discussed labour. I thought things were ok. I've since been told that she doesn't want to see or speak to me because she is so scared of what could happen. She has nightmares. And apparently she isn't willing to make the same effort for me as I have done for her.

    I must admit I am very hurt and sad. I've always been the kind of person who would do anything for a friend and have done for this friend. I'm struggling now with the fact that there are people who I love who won't do the same for me when I need them gte most. I know she is afraid, but her worst nightmare is my life, and I feel like I'm being punished now because my son died. I've had no choice over any of it and I'm beginning to feel like a leper.

    Sorry that this has turned into a rant. Your post is lovely and you are right. I just am glad that your friend is more deserving of your efforts than mine seems to be.

    Lots of love,

    1. Lisa, I am so sorry!! How could your friend possibly think that being around you could cause harm to her baby. She just doesn't want to face reality and I'm sorry if that sounds harsh but being your friend has no bearing on the outcome of her child. I like what you said about her nightmare is your reality, so true!! I say see this as an opportunity to distance yourself from her. Maybe her time in your life has been fulfilled and she can no longer offer you anything in return. Again I'm so sorry you are feeling like this. Please take care!!

    2. Thanks Stephanie. This never ending rollercoaster continues to surprise me each and every day. I find that most people aren't who I thought they were,some better and some worse. I am sad but I think you are right about distancing myself now.  

      I wrote a similar post to this one on my blog a few weeks ago now if you fancy a read

  9. What a great post! Thank you for your courage and strength and your ability to share that in this community. Beautiful!!

  10. Beautifully written. I remember going to the hospital to meet my Godson months after our daughter died. It was a different hospital, and on the way to the room, we passed a memorial for babies who had died there. It was nice to see they were remembered, but so difficult at the same time. Thankfully, I was able to hold him (I do think it helped that the baby was a different sex) and hold back the tears until we left (though I'm certain our friends would have understood had I cried - they were so wonderfully supportive of us on our journey). You put it so well - "Happy and excited for her, sad and broken for us."