I was pregnant with baby #2. For almost five weeks, I was in the Second-Time-Mom club. On Sunday night I came out of the pregnant closet as hubby and I made our Facebook announcement. On Monday afternoon I started spotting.
That evening I posted in my pregnancy support group that I felt stupid for having announced and that if a single person told me that’s why I shouldn’t have announced so early I was likely to punch someone in the face. Everyone replied that a face punch would be the appropriate response to such a remark. 😀
A friend sent me a link to a wonderful blog post. The author was approaching the end of her first trimester and had remained silent about her happy news the whole time even though she thought that if something happened it would be better to have a support network. That’s pretty much how I felt last time. I was about a week or two shy of the second trimester when we made our public announcement but we had been telling friends and family for weeks. I wanted to tell the world earlier but I couldn’t handle the stigma associated with announcing during the first trimester. I even had a couple close friends react with surprise when I told them. They were concerned about what I would do if something happened. What indeed? This is one of the most interesting points in the article I just read:
The most alarming thing I’ve heard from friends who’ve had miscarriages is their surprise (only upon miscarrying) at hearing about how many of their friends, aunts, cousins, sisters, mothers and grandmothers have had them, too. If miscarriages are so common, why do we hide them behind a wall of shame and silence? If women could announce their pregnancies immediately, wouldn’t we learn that a pregnancy is truly awesome and terrifying and precarious and unknown — that anything can and does happen, and that women deserve all the love and support and understanding that comes with the act of trying to make another human being? (Source)
And that’s why I’m writing today. In the last couple of days I have told a few people about the spotting and the fact that things weren’t looking good. And today I’ve shared the sad news that the test results came back and I am definitely having a miscarriage. Almost every single person I confided in replied that they had also had a miscarriage. The few women that hadn’t replied that their mother/sister/aunt/cousin/or BFF had. In other words, I don’t think I know a single woman that has not had a miscarriage or had a close family member or friend that had a miscarriage. Why is that? Probably because 1 in 4 women will have a miscarriage.
So, chances are, someone you love has been through this. And how did your loved one cope with the loss? Did they have the support of their closest family and friends bringing them casseroles, ice cream, and/or hugs or did they cry alone in the bath? (Not to say that those two coping methods are mutually exclusive, just that it’s nice to have options.)
Of course, my husband is also mourning the loss. And if you think there is a lack of support for women, imagine what it must be like for the men. Society already expects them to hide their emotions and put on a brave face. When their partners suffer a miscarriage, where do they turn for support? Of course we have each other, but it helps to talk to people that have been through it and come out on the other side.
October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. A couple of weeks ago my Facebook News Feed was full or candles, ribbons, and memories. I wasn’t sure what to say in response. I certainly wasn’t eager to join the club. But I am glad that I saw my friends supporting each other. Now I am remembering all that support and it makes this process easier.
If my last pregnancy had ended this early, I would have been crying alone (at least until husband came home from work). This time I was determined not to cower under the veil of secrecy and as hard as it is going to be to update my Facebook status, I know that doing so will result in an outpouring of love and support. Which will, no doubt, make me cry. Probably in the bathtub. But they will be bittersweet tears of both sadness and joy knowing that I have people thinking of me and mourning the loss by my side.