Dear pregnant woman in my office—
It was such a shock to see you today. They offered me this new job, but nobody told me you would be here. You are beautiful and glowing, and you pointedly ignore me, and this makes me sure that you know. And my heart is breaking, but life goes on, and I really want good things for you.
Dear pregnant woman in my office—you finally said my name. I think about how hard this must be for you, this depressing influence in your familiar space. I think about myself at seven months, and how I danced around the painful subject of my cousin Caleb* and his lost child. Morality is terrible. In your place, I don’t think I would have welcomed me either, but you are so very nice to me, and for this I say thank you.
Dear pregnant woman in my office—people are getting excited. They threw you a baby shower, and things are feeling familiar. I wish I could explain why I’ve started to dislike you. I wish there were some logic beyond jealously and pain.
Dear pregnant woman in my office—I’ve had a string of bad days this week. I promise it has nothing to do with you, though sometimes I wonder if I’m deluded. Sometimes I wish I could just run away.
Dear friends of the pregnant woman in my office – you have so many questions, and your voices carry, and I could tell you all about the hospital, but you pointedly avoid me. It would be different if you whispered. But you don’t, and you make me feel invisible. You make me hate my job.
Dear pregnant woman in my office—I’m so glad you’re okay. They said your blood pressure was high yesterday, and you were going to be induced. I will always wish I had been induced. I am thinking about you constantly.
Dear pregnant woman in my office—you are no longer pregnant, today. You have given birth, and your child is living, and you are doing okay. I’m happy for you. I am also very sad.
Dear no-longer-pregnant woman in my office—I’m so glad you’re both okay. Your daughter is strong and healthy, and you are home with her for the next twelve weeks. And I am thankful, and I am crying, and this is just one of those things that will always be hard. And I am glad most of all that I am moving, and I’ll be gone before you come back to work again. It’s better this way.
I’m so sorry that it’s better this way.
Topics Page: People & Relationships
Resources Page: Resources for Expecting Parents
Miranda’s Blog: From one mother to another: A letter to the pregnant mother from one who is bereaved
Miranda’s Blog: Waiting Rooms