Wow! Here we are! It feels like I’ve been saying I’m 20-something weeks for EVER.

Janel's 30-week bump - You're not alone

Author’s Personal Collection/Janel Morphy

This week we finally crossed the line into the “30-something” week category! Last week I shared about feelings of jealousy and envy I have had throughout my pregnancy. On a contrasting note, this week I have been reflecting on all the kind, understanding, and struggling mamas I have met.

Pregnancy after loss can at times feel quite lonely.

In the early weeks, everyone we told was quite excited, as we of course would want them to be. However, it didn’t seem to reflect the anxiety, fear, and stress I was experiencing. This lonely feeling has ebbed and flowed throughout my pregnancy, but it has lessened immensely upon talking with mamas that are also struggling.

It’s really true that you do not know what someone is struggling with so always be kind. When asked about my pregnancy by acquaintances or more distant friends I would often give an answer like, “We are so grateful, but emotionally this pregnancy is much more challenging,” or “No it’s not my first pregnancy, but hopefully our first babe.” Upon making these statements the responses I received were truly fascinating to me.

It seems like in general women want to talk, connect, and share their experiences with infertility or pregnancy loss. But it’s hard. Some people don’t want to listen. If you’re in the pregnancy after loss community you have maybe experienced this. Often people don’t know what to say, or they say nothing which can hurt even more.

Connecting with women that understand is a completely different experience.

Throughout this pregnancy, I have shared that this is my second pregnancy with many women that I know. Some of them in turn share their story. I have known some of these people for years and never knew they experienced loss. I never knew they struggled to get pregnant. I never knew about the complications they had. It is been so refreshing to connect and share openly with those that understand. They want their story to be heard and they want their babies to be known.

It’s always an interesting balance in these conversations to listen and accept while not comparing. It’s human nature to say, “Oh that happened to me too,” or “Mine was different because…” I really have to stop and listen during these chats. Try my best to understand the weight of what they are sharing, the profound effect it has had on them, and put myself in their shoes. Meeting and sharing with those that have similar stories while avoiding comparing can be challenging but so refreshing!

As I move into the final chapter of my pregnancy I am determined to keep connecting. Keep sharing and keep the dialogue open. There are so many ways we can support and learn from each other with just words!

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