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   Tuesday, July 25, 2006  

Why?

Last week some friends of ours delivered their first baby, a girl. Our friend's wife had a completely uncomplicated pregnancy. Things went very smoothly. She had a baby shower that the lowercase and I attended. This morning, our friend sent us the link to the website he has set up for photos of his daughter.

And I realized something disgusting about myself. I resent them. I hate that they had it easy. I'm angry that she is able to breastfeed exclusively. I actually hate that they are happy.

I wished all of that for them, because of course I didn't want them to go through what I went through. So why does their normalcy make me feel diminished? Why do I feel less? Why am I so resentful of what I didn't have? What I do have is pretty damn good -- better than I ever imagined. My son is perfect. He's big, he's healthy, he's strong.

And still I feel less than. I feel not quite good enough.

I guess I really haven't come to grips with the way things were for me. I love my son. I love our life. But I haven't fully mourned my inability to carry to term...my inability to exclusively breastfeed.

And I haven't come to terms with the high likelihood that I will never have another biological child.

Somehow, now, for me, seeing people with their new babies is hard when it shouldn't be. I feel it as keenly as I did during the time when I was constantly becoming pregnant and miscarrying. They have what I can't have. They have potential to have more. And based on logic and sound reasoning...I really don't have that. I'm back in the emotional mindset of my pre-lowercase days...resenting everyone who can have it all so easily regardless of the fact that I have the most perfect little boy imaginable.

I just wish I knew how I could get rid of the resentment that I feel so often.

   [ posted  @ 9:26 AM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (6) ]
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  Comments about my post, "Why?":
I just blogged about something similar--hating pregnant women even though I'm finally pregnant myself. I suspect healing is a matter of time, though I wish I knew how long it would take. Given everything you went through, I think it's perfectly normal for you to resent people who have it so much easier. But remember, you're a great mom and you have a beautiful son--just because the road to get there was rocky doesn't mean you're "less than."
What you feel is so normal. I went through something very similar, in that I was never able to have another biological child and when my ex-husband's new wife gave birth effortlessly to two kids, I felt such hate and pain. (He divorced me for many reasons, but one was that he wanted more biological children and I couldn't have them).
Give yourself a break and don't be so hard on yourself.
We are all given different burdens to bear in life. Your friends were not given the burden of difficulty conceiving or breastfeeding, but they surely have their own set of burdens nonetheless. We all do. The best you can do for yourself and your family is to be thankful for your blessings, which it sounds like you are; and wish many blessings on others, which it sounds like in this case, with your friends and their new baby, you did. And don't beat yourself up over natural feelings of resentment; childbirth is something very close to home for you. Give yourself time to come to terms with your feelings.
It does sound like you need to take some time to grieve what you feel you have missed out on. And Carmen is right -- just because it appears that your friend (and every other pregnant woman/mom with newborn) has had it easy, doesn't mean that is actually the case. What you feel is normal, but hopefully not how you'll be feeling forever. You're definitely not "less than" any other mother, regardless of how you got there.
I'm not sure that ever goes away. Not entirely. I think its a craving for others to understand and appreciate life the way you do, but without having to go through what you did. Like a courage badge. It makes no logical sense, but it's there, nonetheless.
I have thought about your post since you wrote it, debating wheter to comment or not.
Not because I'm judging you, but because I'm so there with you and I feel pretty conflicted about it.
My issue is breastfeeding, as my daughter won't nurse and she'll only take bottles with expressed milk. While I'm happy, and proud of being able to give her my milk exclusively I'm crazily jealous and resentful of women who are able to nurse, especially when they don't give breastfeeding a second thought. My husband's sister is breastfeeding (not exclusively, as her supply is inadequate) her baby despite having had a breast reduction, and she tells me she only wants to do it "to try the experience and to save money." I swear I could kill her, I hate her so much... but I am really only jealous!
You're not alone, and your feelings are more than natural. At least, that's what I keep repeating myself.


 
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