Cynical Much?

November 24, 2008

So my yoga teacher announced gleefully on Wednesday that she’s 11 weeks pregnant.  She said that she figured it was okay to announce because she heard the heartbeat so clearly everything was okay.  Really?  I, think, really?  Oh sister, nothing is okay until you are holding that baby in your arms and it’s screaming it’s lungs out.  11 weeks?  Jeez, let me tell you the things that could go wrong honey.  I hate that I am so cynical but I also know that she has no clue.  None.  And don’t tell me, “you don’t know what she’s been through.”  I know that she’s not “our people” because if she was she would never have announced at 11 weeks that she was pregnant because “our people” know that is still the “danger zone.”  Also, “our people” would never announced to a room of strangers that they were pregnant because they know that there is someone in that room who desperately wants to be pregnant and can’t be.  “Our people” would never want to cause the pain and sadness that such an announcement makes when you have lost a child or can’t have one.

And that, of course, makes me immediately begin to loathe her because she’s living in a carefree, “non-dead baby” world.  I hate that because she’s really nice and a really good teacher and never done anything too me.  She doesn’t know that she’s caused my pain and sadness.  And really, SHE didn’t.  Her announcement did.  It’s just my grief talking and projecting my anger at the situation on her.  But I now look at her in a different light.  This makes me feel like a very bad person that I am mad at her for having a “normal” life. 

I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone but if I’m not pushing my sadness and grief on you, why are you pushing your good fortune and blessings on me?  You want me to be happy for you but I would never dream of wanting you to be sad for me.  I know that’s just “sour grapes” but I can’t help it.  I am going to try and be happy for her and continue to go to her class but I just don’t know if I can once she starts showing.  She didn’t “do” anything to me.  She didn’t wrong me in some way, she just wanted to share her news and I wonder if it all goes back to it being so easy for some people that they don’t appreciate how hard it is for others.

This is not normal, is it?  I feel like such a bitch.

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8 Responses to “Cynical Much?”

  1. niobe Says:

    I’m kinda of a bitch about this sort of stuff, so I can easily see myself saying something to this woman like:

    “Wow, that’s almost exactly like what happened during my last pregnancy. At 11 weeks, I heard the twins’ heartbeats so clearly. It was so wonderful. And at 16 weeks I got a great u/s picture of the two of them snuggled up to each other. It was just adorable. And, everything went just perfectly, absolutely textbook. In fact, I barely even had any morning sickness or heartburn until right around 26 weeks WHEN THEY BOTH DIED!!!!! So, uh, when did you say your due date is?”

    Okay, I guess I’m not normal either.

  2. KB Says:

    First, remember that thoughts and feelings are simply thoughts and feelings. They are NOT who you ARE.

    I think feelings of jealousy and anger are normal when you’ve experienced a loss so great.

    I know that I have felt jealousy and anger, most recently toward my dear friend who has a pregnancy complication that is more easily treated than mine. My jealousy doesn’t feel like I want her to suffer any more than she already has, nor do I want her to lose another baby. I just want my next pregnancy to go well, carry to term and end with a healthy, living baby in my arms.

    I want happiness for myself.

    I feel jealous too of all the people I see walking around with their newborns in strollers – I feel this b/c my baby would be in a stroller now – she would be 2 mos now if she would have lived and been born on her due date. I feel sad when I see them – sad for me – b/c I want that too!

    I don’t like having these intense feelings of anger and jealousy – and still the sadness that won’t leave! I don’t like the way they make me feel about myself. I feel mad at myself for having them. Then I feel bad for having them – as if I AM BAD. So I have work to do. I remind myself that they are just thoughts and feelings -I can recognize them as such and let them pass. They are like big, ugly storm clouds in the vast, blue, beautiful space of my mind. I let them and they pass.

    Something I also try to remember is from meditation class, a Buddhist Prayer by Shantideva: “All the joy the world contains / Has come through wishing happiness for others. / All the misery the world contains / Has come through wanting pleasure for oneself.”

    There is much more to this Buddhist Prayer -I can send it to you if you like. I find it helps me when I experience feelings like anger and jealousy. i find it just helps me in general.

    I have to also come to acknowledge a place inside of me that fears, realistically, that I might not ever have a healthy, living baby. There are NO GUARANTEES! I can’t spend the rest of my life being mad at every single person who has a baby – thousands of babies are born every day – born to people on drugs and people who already have 5 kids – born to people who don’t want kids – born to teenagers – born to people who abuse their children – born to people who will never know how painful it is to lose your baby – I’d spend the rest of my life being pissed off if i was amd at every person who has a baby! People are going to have babies and be excited and eager to share their news everyday. Before I lost my baby – I bet I shared my exciting news with someone who experienced a loss – I don’t know. Oh well! Pregnancies and babies are exciting – they are Fucking Miracles! Truly – you and I both know that it is a miracle that they are even created from our primordial goo, develop from kidneybean shaped lumps of tissue, grow 10 fingers and toes, have working organs and are born alive. So, the way I look at it is – I may as well practice feeling happy for others in the meantime – acknowledge that I am sad for myself, maybe go out back and smash some plates, kick the air, scream into my pillow, run around the block, throw tennis balls at the shed, and then move on. I don’t enjoy feling pissed off, jealous and sad. Well, that’s not entirely trrue – I prefer feeling angry as opposed to sad b/c anger at least has some adrenaline in it – but either way – anger and sadness eventually get tiring and I want to feel happy, content, and even I want to laugh again.

    If you don’t like the Buddhist prayer, try to remember your poem about the shoes. Remember that while your yoga teacher doesn’t know what it is like to walk around with the pain you carry each day – remember that you do know and you are compassionate and could very well help someone who might experience a loss or a pregnancy complication. You understand – you can’t make her understand it – but you have been a source of support for other women who unfortunatley like you have to wear the horrible shoes we wear.

    It was a really healing experience for me to help my friend at work when her baby died. I didn’t want that to happen to her – but it did nobody could do anything about it. I knew what to do to help her. It helped me to be able to help her. Had I not had my own awful experience I very well may have been like everyone else and sent a card, felt awkward and said nothing. Now I know what to do – and really, the only person I can do anything about is me.

  3. tntstanifer Says:

    Those feelings have GOT to be normal for us. I felt the same way. I never wanted to bust their bubble, though. I would never want to hurt someone even a tiny bit like we hurt. Let her stay naive.

    I only really get pissed when I see someone who doesn’t appreciate the blessings they have been given though. I was at a baby shower for a young teenage girl. She and another pregnant teenager were bemoaning the fact that their babies moved so much and kept them awake at night and that they wished they would stop. Ooohhh, I layed into them and told them that they better watch what they wish for! I left in tears.

    I also remember that before I became one of “our people”, I was just like your teacher. I had no clue what it was like and I didn’t want to go there in my mind. I would shake my head and feel bad for anyone that I had heard about going through a loss, but really, did we ever have a clue BEFORE we went through it ourselves?

    I will admit that I am lots better being around pregnant women & babies now. I am not sure why, it may be the passage of time (4 years) or the fact that I have a child after loss. I wish I could hug you and make all the pain go away.

  4. KB Says:

    PS – Yes. You definitely need a hug too. Several hugs. We all need hugs.

  5. Meeco Says:

    it was not after my own loss that i became aware that there are so many of us that out here who suffer in silence.

    i now know that my anger is part of my grief, and that i have right to pist off. my pain is real. and it’s still here.

    just yesterday someone who i hardly knew said to me, “why don’t you guys have any kids?”–i don’t even know what i said back beecuase i was so red with anger and angst…but i thought…who says that kind of stuff to people…i would never ever, ask that of person i don’t know. but i wonder, if i didn’t have my own loss would i ask someone one some dumb s**t like that.

    most of all, her comments, just the question i got last night, are part of a pervassive insensitity to issues that are now so real to me.

  6. jaded Says:

    oh my goodness, if you are a bitch what does that make me??? of course you are not a bitch…you are a realist…you know the realities of life and pregancy. of course we wish these ‘innocents’ the best but at the same time their words can peirce us very, very deeply. you do what you can…the moment you can’t handle that class (if at all) you do yourself a favor and split. ok?

  7. Marilyn Litt Says:

    It is normal for you now and it is a normal reaction.

    We don’t always stay in place, so “bitch” away and some day you may be able to hear such announcements and share the exuberance. Maybe a month ago you would have left the room in tears.

    If it is hard to take the class, then look up what you wrote a few weeks ago about the volunteer position. If your yoga class is stressful, that is not working! 🙂

  8. Kelly Says:

    I cringed when she made that announcement knowing how hard it would be for you to hear it. I’ll go with you as long as you want to keep going. Then when you decide you don’t want to go, we’ll switch to Tuesday nights… “ah….very good…” or find a new place to go. Or just swim on Wednesdays. No reason to go if it’s not restful and restorative!


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