Wedding Woes

It's called Mommyjacking

Dear Prudence,
While living abroad, I had a son who died during delivery, leading to the eventual disintegration of my relationship and my decision to move back to the U.S. Three years and countless hours of therapy later, I am single and enjoying a fabulous career. But now everyone I know is having babies. How do I handle the constant comments made by pregnant people I know about what they presume is my childless life? Things like, “Oh, you’ll understand when you get pregnant,” or “Wait till you’re 36 weeks pregnant! You won’t want to walk uptown either!” I hear this nearly every day from co-workers.

I find it unnerving and annoying—hasn’t anyone taught them not to make assumptions about other people? I feel tempted to teach them a lesson in tact, reveal my secret, and shut them up once and for all. But many of these women are on their first pregnancies, and I don’t want to frighten them (my own son’s death was a freak event, both unpreventable and unpredictable). And who wants to hear about someone else’s dead baby when they’re about to have a living one? I’ve taken to nodding and smiling, but it’s only becoming more common and it’s fraying my nerves. I avoid pregnant women now, just so I won’t have to pretend. I have accidentally slipped up a few times, too, commiserating with pregnancy-related complaints only to have them look at me quizzically. When my son died, I knew I was in for a lifetime of grief—but this is an unexpected dilemma!

—How to Talk About Babies When Yours Is Dead

Re: It's called Mommyjacking

  • I feel very sorry for this woman.  In a non-emotional moment she could tell one coworker and sort of let it spread.
  • I agree that she shouldn't hide her past pregnancy and child, but I get not wanting to upset someone who is pregnant. 

     What about just saying "I have been in your shoes/been pregnant, but I prefer not to discuss the details"?
    Agreed.   I think it's all about using tact.   
  • agreed with @DrillSergeantCat

    also regardless what she says, others may still not really understand what she felt :( I feel sorry for her
  • The LW needs to reveal that she has an angel baby in some way that she's comfortable with whether that's a purple butterfly at her desk/work space or  necklace, or something that brings her peace.  The coworkers have no idea, and until she tells someone (usually there's that one person in each office that is the company ear that can spread the word and people will stop making those statements IF THEY KNOW!).  Her coworkers aren't psychic, she should talk with her therapist again, but this time how to be o.k. with being vulnerable to tell people...
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