baby, no baby
I’m not pregnant.
I’m not pregnant any more.
I’ve been writing a super exciting blog post in my head for weeks.
This awesome new project I’ve been working on. A bucket list item.
I had a cool video recorded and everything.
I was ten weeks pregnant.
Until very recently.
Most women do not talk about their pregnancy until twelve, twenty or more weeks in. When I found out I was pregnant, I wanted to know why that was the case. The prevailing reason seemed to be “just in case something happens”. “Something” is the code word for miscarriage, in case you are wondering. Other reasons were superstition (not wanting to jinx the baby), and fear of repercussions from employer (not getting promoted).
I have considered waiting until the customary twelve or more weeks before telling anyone – even the close friends and family. However… I am not superstitious, and my employer is super supportive of all things babies. As for “just in case” – it just seemed as if I would be operating on the “worst case scenario” assumption, rather than the alternative.
“Am I missing something?”, I asked Italian again and again. If you do not tell people that you are pregnant, and then you have a miscarriage, how do you get social support? Who do you lean on? How do you get through it? Do you do the double-whammy of a tell? By the way, I was pregnant and now I’m not, can I have a hug? (Kind of like I am doing now?)
Besides, my appetite disappeared, and my boobs were out of control, and these were not details my mother would fail to notice. And so, despite the typical “OMG-I-hope-this-does-not-go-away” anxiety, I decided to act as if this WAS going to happen, rather than as if this WAS NOT going to happen.
My baby brother was one of the first people I told. He is a forest firefighter, and was about to leave for another season in Yukon, so I was not going to see him until late fall. He teared up when I told him he might be an uncle soon.
I surprised my best friend on her birthday by giving her my positive pregnancy test in a decorated box as the last of the gifts. It was a great present and a great surprise, if I say so myself.
I got my mom’s reaction to my pregnancy on camera. She’s been wanting to be a grandma for a very long time. I think she kinda gave up hope. She couldn’t stop crying. For days after the announcement, she would call me and ask if it was for real. Telling her I was no longer pregnant was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do.
I have really enjoyed telling people I was pregnant in person. There was something magical about it. Their eyes widened, their eyes sparkled. They laughed, and shook their head in disbelief. Lots of hugs ensued. I like hugs.
Bad news are not nearly as much fun to tell in person. And there are only so many times I can handle hearing “oh honey, I am so sorry” without bursting into tears. So, you get a blog post.
I realize that some women will not want or will not be able to talk about their own miscarriage experience. I respect that choice. It’s more painful than I could imagine. Right now I can’t feel anything. Yet I’m hurting all over. Simultaneously.
This is not a cry for help. I have a great social support system, and I will be ok. Eventually.
I’m telling you because this is fucking normal and typical, yet there is still stigma around miscarriage. Fuck stigma. Instead, I am choosing the most powerful two words when it comes to human connection.
(All The) Hugs,