The Mighty Logo

Dear Pregnant Friend, I'm Sorry I Cannot Be There For You

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Dear Friend,

I have struggled to write this letter for various reasons. The most prominent one being I am not sure how you would take it. You see, while I have joy in you announcing your pregnancy, I also have great pain — a pain that will always be with me.

Let me explain.

Years ago I went through a loss. A loss that I never told a soul about. I never even told my mother or my spouse at the time or even my closest friends. I wiped my tears and carried on as usual like nothing even happened. I lost a pregnancy, but the loss did not stop there. I was told I would never have a healthy pregnancy and my chances of carrying a baby full term would never happen. Again, I wiped my tears and never told a soul for years.

Fast forward many years and we are in a pandemic and literally 10’s of 20’s of friends and family members are announcing their pregnancies or quarantine babies, as I have come to call them, and all I have to show is weight gain, a diagnosis of heart failure, advancing kidney disease and the fact that I am dying. I don’t have such joyous news of life continuing but life ending in some way if you really look at it.

It is very hard for me to look at social media and see your posts of “Baby xyz is due Dec 2020” or “Baby xyz is due 2021” or see your gender reveals. Although it has been many years since my loss, I still have a lot of hurt deep down inside. While yes, I went to therapy and have talked to someone about it, it doesn’t cure the fact that I lost my child, had no support while I went through it or after and will never get to host a gender reveal or experience the joy you are feeling.

So, forgive me if I am not feeling happiness and joy as you move through your pregnancies or if I don’t like your pictures showing off your bumps. It still hurts for me and burns a piece of me that you will never understand unless you have experienced it. Yes, I know pregnancy is hard and it is the closest thing to death while living when you deliver, but I have to live with death each day of my life and there is no sympathy for that. I don’t have people rushing to assist me or go wild over the fact that I started a new medication or that my labs came back screwy or that I am in the hospital again because I am in a severe flare. I am not trying to compare, because there essentially is no comparison, but the world is way more supportive of pregnancy and a baby than a woman who is losing her life day by day to chronic illness.

I shall end my letter to with this — I want nothing but the best for you and your babies. I want happy and healthy pregnancies and pain-free deliveries and easy and happy moments raising your babies. I want you to have all the desires of your heart, but just know it is hard for me and that may be why I may not be there for all the moments. It isn’t that I am not happy for you, it is that I simply must care for myself and my emotions, and it isn’t your job to fix that. Your job is to be a parent and be present in the life of your child. But know that my heart is broken and I have to distance myself in order to keep healing and growing, as well as to focus on the other things that may be going on in my life.

Always remember I love you and care for you.

Your friend,


Image courtesy of Getty Images

Originally published: October 15, 2020
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home