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With all this there are some very unhelpful things that people tend to say to women going through a rainbow pregnancy. And these aren't just things that are pet peeves of mine. I've been talking to a few fellow baby loss moms who are going through a rainbow pregnancy as well. These are a few things that really bother a lot of us.
Pet peeve #1: Don't treat us like this is our first pregnancy and please don't give us pregnancy advice unless we ask for it. This is not our first pregnancy, we've done this before. By treating us like this is our first pregnancy you are forgetting our child in heaven. One of my biggest fears is that people will forget Alexander. We still count our children in heaven as our kids please do the same. Just because our baby died does not mean we did something wrong that time and we need advice to make it not happen again. Actually many of us did everything right and our baby died anyway. I don't need you to tell me what I should expect in my third trimester. One my body handles pregnancy differently then yours. Two I actually went full term with my first pregnancy so I know what to expect already. We don't need to be told to take it easy or to not stress out. We are already doing everything we need to do to the best of our ability. We go to extra Dr appointments, we are extra careful with our activities and food, we freak out about any pregnancy symptom that might be an indication that something is going wrong, we try to stay positive and stress free as possible (because everyone says stress is bad for the baby), and we try to trust God that he will handle everything.
Pet Peeve #2: If we express worry and concern about the outcome don't respond that everything will turn out just fine or that everything is going well this time so it should turn out just fine. Unless God has given you a divine revelation that I will get to take Oliver home from the hospital, please don't tell me everything will be fine, because you actually don't know that. My personal experience tells me that everything going well does not mean you get to bring a baby home. Everything was going well, fantastic actually, when I was pregnant with Alexander until he no longer had a heartbeat at a routine prenatal appointment. I know saying things like this are meant to reassure me, but what you are actually telling me is that my worry and concerns are invalid. Instead recognize our concern, let us know you are praying for us, or just give us a hug. (If you are not actually praying for me please don't tell me that you are.) When I know you are praying for me it helps me out emotionally so much.
Pet Peeve #3: Don't refer to us as almost a mom/dad. Or tell us about someone else delivery of a healthy baby by saying "so-and-so is officially a mom/dad." When you say something like this to me you are telling me that you don't think I am a mom. If I am not a mom, then I don't have any kids. Which isn't true. Just because my first born died and my second child has yet to be born does not mean I don't have any kids. When people wished me a happy fist Mother's day this year they basically told me that Alexander doesn't count. And worse when someone wished me a happy almost mother's day they not implied that Alexander doesn't count because he died but that Oliver doesn't count until he is born. In my mind I officially became a mom when I found out I was pregnant. As soon as I knew I was pregnant I started thinking about my child's well being above my own and if that isn't being a mom then I don't know what is. I am proudly a mother of two. If you say something like this I will correct you and depending on my mood (I have been very moody this pregnancy) I won't always do it nicely.
Pet Peeve #4: Expressing your preference or even worse your disappointment over the gender of our baby. While we may or may not have had a preference ourselves our biggest concern for our baby is that they are healthy. And since we don't control the gender of our baby we don't need to know that you think we should of had a boy/girl instead. We love our baby completely no matter if they are a boy or girl and we would appreciate it if you rejoiced with us about the little miracle that is growing in our belly instead of telling us you would of preferred it was a girl/boy. I do admit that I thought that Oliver was a girl (along with almost everyone I talked to) as soon as we found out he was a boy we knew he was completely an individual who wasn't going to care what everyone else thought he was. We love him to pieces for the little person he is and will be.
#5: This isn't really a pet peeve but do realize that even "normal" pregnancy questions (like how are you feeling, are you having a baby shower, or how is the nursery set up going) are loaded with extra emotions for us.Baby showers are tough for most women who have lost a baby (either because they never had one or it reminds them they never got to use the gifts from the last one). We have all this stuff that was his that he never got to use. When we found out Alexander had died I had had two baby showers and we had everything prepared for him. Setting up the nursery for another baby is an emotional experience because as you do it you wonder if you will actually get to use it this time. So if you get awkward answers after you ask a pregnancy related question just be aware that every thing we do for our new baby while we are pregnant is bring back a memory of the baby we lost. It makes everything very complicated.