Passionate About Genesee County
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Miscarriage and Jealousy: Why I Deleted Facebook

About half of my high school friends had children before I wanted to start trying.  I remember one of them telling me that someone she knew was announcing her pregnancy at six weeks.  I waited for her to further explain.  “Don’t ever announce that early: if you end up miscarrying, you have to tell everyone you lost the baby.”  More recently, a friend sent me a message on Facebook not to tell anyone, but she was pregnant.  A little while later, she told me she had lost the baby.

If these two friends hadn’t warned me about miscarriages, things would have been even harder.  I might have made a Facebook announcement that I was pregnant as soon as the first test read “positive”, and we had told our families.  I wouldn’t have texted a good Mom friend to reassure me that things might be okay — to not worry about the spotting at nine weeks until I saw a doctor.

Perhaps I’m more aware of miscarriages now that I’ve experienced one first-hand.  I see a lot more people I know, as well as celebrities, sharing their personal stories to make other women feel less alone.  However, there’s one aspect that I rarely see discussed.  Jealousy: it was one of the hardest parts.

Our Facebook announcement at 20 weeks: just the type of thing that would have upset me during our first pregnancy.

I took a week off of work for the miscarriage (because I opted to forego the D&C, and I also needed a week to grieve).  Upon my return to work, I would check my phone during lunch break as usual.  Again – maybe I was just more aware of things due to circumstance.  But, it seemed like one of my friends or family had a pregnancy announcement on social media every day that first week after.  I would have to storm out of the building in a fit of rage and/or tears every time.  I even had to deal with a graduate student being introduced to the person in the cube next to mine: “This is ______, she had an unexpected pregnancy…” 

She wasn’t even trying!?  My thoughts only spiraled out of control from there.  

  • “This person is younger than me: I should get to go first.”
  •  “This couple hasn’t been married as long (or, isn’t married, or even staying together!).”  
  • “They already have one – can’t they enjoy that kid and let us have a turn?”

 To be clear: I don’t actually believe any of those things make someone less deserving to be a parent.  But I wanted to share specific examples of irrational jealous thoughts, inc ase anyone out there experiencing miscarriage thinks they’re a horrible person, too.

I’m so embarrassed of the thoughts I had during that time.  I’ll never forget that summer of having my blood checked every week to make sure my pregnancy hormones were declining.  Speed-dialing my OB/GYN: why hadn’t they called me with my results yet?  Didn’t they know how hard this was for me to think about, every day??

Even social media ads remind you that you’re not having a baby yet.

Worse yet, my fits of jealousy were interspersed with guilt.  Guilt that other people have it worse: infertility, multiple miscarriages, late-term loss, or still-births.  Hardly anyone even knew we were pregnant.  Why couldn’t I just be thankful it happened as “early” as it did – and feel loving towards the women in my life who were about to become Moms?  And when I did finally tell people – like those who couldn’t stop asking when we were going to have kids – they would often say, “Oh that’s common”.  Then I would beat myself up even more, for being upset over something that’s so common.

In early fall I got a text message from a college friend I hadn’t seen in a year.  He said he’d had a crazy dream about me: was there something I should tell him?  I told him what had happened, and somehow he convinced me – without making me feel bad – that I needed to remain positive in order to heal.  I finally felt ready to let go of my jealousy.  I wanted to share in the happiness of new life with my friends and family again!      

I have a few suggestions for anyone that is going, or will go through, miscarriage.  

  • Maintain a private, ongoing conversation with at least one good friend. This person should be someone with whom you can share all of your feelings, without judgement.
  • Delete your social media apps.  Seeing those announcements is only going to compound your pain.  
  • Finally, live it up: enjoy those hobbies you might not be able to once you’re pregnant and/or have a newborn.  Travel, drink another beer at the wedding, and have that ladies’ weekend.  Spend more time strengthening your relationship with yourself, and with your partner, because those things will feel neglected once a kid (or, another kid!) comes into the mix.

Have you ever had to take a break from social media after an emotional event, such as a miscarriage?  Would you recommend it to others?

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6 Responses to Miscarriage and Jealousy: Why I Deleted Facebook

  1. Nicole
    Nicole February 8, 2017 at 6:30 am #

    I had second thoughts about announcing our second pregnancy as soon as I found out about it, however the ultrasound I had the day after my doctor confirmation revealed that I was actually VERY pregnant and passed the “at risk” stage. I had been questioned as to why I would announce so early, then I explained that I was almost 4 months along!
    I feel that with Social Media we don’t keep things personal long enough, a pregnancy(no matter the circumstances) is such a special thing that you should keep it in for a while.
    So glad that you are a strong person and and chose to grieve for your loss without public attention.

    • katiemollon
      katiemollon February 8, 2017 at 8:48 pm #

      Nicole – yeah, it is pretty special when you tell your closest friends and family, before social media.

      The timing of announcements is very personal – some people might prefer to have everyone grieve with them, it’s whatever works best for you!

  2. Mary C
    Mary C February 8, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    What a brave post. You are amazing, Katie.

    Grieving in the spotlight or out – they both are grieving. And yes, isn’t it amazing how those pregnant bellies seem to follow you?! Those infant carriers? The announcements on Facebook?

    I’m so glad for strong women like you, prepared to tell their stories. Women who don’t have “that one friend” who they know has gone through it need some resource to tell them that it’s going to be okay, that what they’re feeling doesn’t make them evil.

    We’re with ya, sister.

    • katiemollon
      katiemollon February 8, 2017 at 8:52 pm #

      Thanks, Mary! Yes… I always think of the movie Baby Mama and how all the babies are staring at her!

      Thank goodness for all the ladies who’ve spoken about this topic before and after me!!

  3. Julie K February 13, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

    It’s so hard. You want to share the joy but if you’ve experienced loss , you’re much more aware of the potential heartbreak. With our youngest I didn’t tell anyone(including my parents and siblings) other than my 2 best friends and husband. The previous pregnancy I waited until 14 weeks to announce. We were so excited after 4 losses(including 1 at 17 weeks). I had my then 3 yr old let everyone know. The very next week the doctor couldn’t find his heartbeat. One of the most difficult things was going through my FB account and deleting pictures of the sonogram of the baby that we would never meet. I deleted my social media for a month.

    • katiemollon
      katiemollon February 15, 2017 at 11:18 pm #

      So sorry, Julie! You’re right, the fear from one or more losses never totally goes away. <3