February 22, 2011

No I Don't Want To Hold Your Baby

By Kaci Goodrich Uipi
At our Annual Ward Chili Cook-off a couple of weeks ago, Salesi asked me something that will forever stay in my mind, "You wanna hold the baby?" I yelled back with a dirty look on my face, "What? No, of course I don't want to hold the baby! Are you out of your mind! Why would you ask me that!?" He told me that he "felt bad" for a sister in our ward who was sitting all by herself with her newborn. I thought to myself, "Do you not feel bad for your wife who is without a newborn?" Within a few minutes, however, there were plenty of eager baby-lovers lining up to hold the infant.

Not long ago, I remember my sister telling me of a friend who loves to hold babies that are the same age of her infant who passed away. Well that is her, and she's not me. Everyone grieves differently. Not only do I not care to hold little babies, but I don't care to have much to do with expectant mothers either. Seeing little babies and pregnant women give me a very sick feeling and an awful pain in my stomach. This is not always the case, but usually it is. This makes it very hard when 2 of my sisters are pregnant right now. One of which, will be having her baby any day. I haven't said anything to her, but I hope that she's not planning on that congratulations call from me when her new baby arrives.

I know some of you might be thinking that I sound a little angry and jealous. Well you're absolutely right. Anger is one of the main components of the grieving process. Does it make me angry to see pictures on facebook of friends holding their new babies? Yes. Does it make me jealous to hear about a friend who just found out she is pregnant? Yes. Will I avoid you if you have a little baby? Sadly, the answer is yes.

Today I was faced with a dilemma. I had been invited to a baby shower for a friend. I knew that I had 3 options: Go and pretend like I was super thrilled for her to have a new baby boy; Not go and come up with a good lie; Or not go and tell the truth. If I went, I knew I would have to not only paste on my smile but also make lots of oohs and awes. This might make me feel like vomiting. If I chose to lie, however, I would feel bad about it. If I told the truth, I would make my friend feel bad about it. I knew I didn't want to take away from her happiness of having a new baby. You see, I don't want to be angry and jealous. I pray that these horrible feelings will leave me very soon, but in the mean time, I have to be careful so that I don't cause more pain to my very broken heart.

After much thinking and praying about this recent baby shower situation, I called a friend for one last piece of advice. She also happens to be a part of this very crappy club. She said that I can't keep "picking at my scab" or it will never heal! A baby shower just isn't the place for me right now, and might not be the place for me for a very long time.

Misconception of the ungrieving world: "If you lose a baby, you will find peace and joy in holding someone else's baby." This might be true for some, but not all. Remember, everyone grieves differently! Therefore, it is so important to be sensitive around those who have just lost someone, especially a baby. If at all possible, don't flaunt your pregnant belly or bring your baby with you to the same places where she will be, unless you absolutely have to. If you are ever unsure that you might be doing something that's causing pain to the grieving mother, ask her. I know that I really appreciate emails or private messages on facebook. That way, I can be completely honest and not have to worry about emotions and awkward immediate responses getting in the way. It gives the 2 parties time to think and ponder about how to say things the best.

1 comment:

  1. I remember one anniversary (I think it was the 3rd year), and my sister-in-law decided that was the weekend to announce her second pregnancy to me. My response was "That's exciting for you." I couldn't even say that I was excited. In fact, I was angry that she could wait another week, at least, to tell me. You have a very wise, good friend.

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