Last Womb Standing

I keep a list in the back of my head.

It’s composed of the names of women, friends and acquaintances and colleagues, who have one child within a year or two of E. and no others.

One of them e-mailed me the other day.

The subject was “News”.

I didn’t even need to open it to know what it said.

She’s pregnant.

Due in April.

Finally able to get excited about it because she can tell people now.

She wanted to tell me in person, but did it over e-mail instead because the next time I’m going to see her is at our Christmas party and she didn’t want to surprise me.

It was a very kind and thoughtful gesture on her part, and I appreciated that I wasn’t going to get blindsided at my own party.

She was the second one that week.

Two years ago, I wasn’t even keeping that list.

A year ago it was still plenty long.

Now it’s almost empty.

I don’t begrudge these women their second children.

Far from it.

I am happy for them.

Many of them have struggled, even if they didn’t the first time around, like my friend who discovered her pregnancy was ectopic the same week I lost our baby, or my friend who lost a baby very late in the second trimester to a fatal genetic disorder, or my friend who had four chemical pregnancies before one stuck.

Of the two last week, one had been ready to add to her family for a long time, and the second was on her very last IUI before walking away from treatments forever with an only child.

E. is getting old enough now that if my friends were going to have had a second child easily, it would have either already happened or it would be on the way.

So an announcement these days is often a little victory.

It still hurts.

Every name I take off my list is a reminder of what we tried and failed to do.

I have never been more grateful for this community. Here, on my blog, I do not feel alone.

In my ‘real’ life, I’m so terribly lonely.


Filed under Baby Olympics, Friends, Grief, Loss, Three's Company

4 responses to “Last Womb Standing

  1. It was hardest for me during and just after my second miscarriage, when everyone I know, including my therapist, was on maternity leave, and my SIL was pregnant with her third. It hurt enough that I started deliberately choosing to spend time with friends who had older kids and who were clear about being done. I just couldn’t deal with being smacked with the seconds and thirds.

    It’s two years later and a year after walking away from treatments, and I can tell you that it doesn’t hurt as much anymore, those announcements. They are fewer – thank goodness, yes – but I’m also in a different place.

    No way out of this but through it, unfortunately.

    I’m sorry we don’t live closer to each other. Here if you need to email or vent though, you know that, right?


  2. I’m so sorry.

    I keep a similar list. Most of my close friends are actually pregnant with their firsts, and it’s so easy to be happy for them. But I know their second pregnancies will be the ones that cut me like a knife.

    Btw I wish we lived closer to each other. Maybe one day we will? I’d love to have a coffee, or something stronger, and let our treasured children play.

    I think of you often, as one of the few people in my life who truly get it.

  3. j

    I’ve got a list as well. I am so sorry that you feel alone. We are here for you!

  4. I can *really* relate to this. It’s so hard — it takes so much effort to keep this from getting us down. So often I feel that the absence of #2 is such a strong presence. It’s just impossible if you’re a human not to take it personally when nearly everyone around us gets what we want. I don’t think we should try to fight it. It’s always going to be there…I’m just hoping it feels less and less significant as time goes on. Hugs to you.

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