We still have a heartbeat! We also still have a bit of the subchorionic hematoma, so I’m still under watch/restriction until the next appointment in two weeks. But still! Heartbeat! That’s always a thing to celebrate.
So we did. We told everyone we knew. (Except Nikki and Wes still.) Because we wanted them to all know our joy at heartbeat #2, and we all wanted them to be thinking about us these next two weeks as we stress and worry about whether we’ll see it again.
When you find out you’re pregnant, just about every website mentions that week 12 is the week to spread the news because your risk of miscarriage drop substantially. In other words…society says, “We would like you to suffer the loss of a pregnancy on your own! HAVE FUN!”
It’s the only truly sad medical event that people suffer, that we are expected to suffer in silence. Every woman knows that 12-week rule. Even my first pregnancy, before fear of miscarriage, I knew that rule.So when I suffered my first miscarriage a million years ago, I only had a few people to offer me comfort. I went through this devastating and sad thing, and no one knew because I was waiting 12 weeks to tell people.
Maybe it’s my repeat miscarriages and pregnancy loss…but now? I call bullshit on this.
If someone in my community – whether it’s my volunteer group, my book club, my running group, or my boot camp – is suffering and I don’t know about it because I have encouraged them not to tell me? Then I have failed that community.
Aren’t we all human? Don’t we all want to offer hope, strength, compassion, and even prayers to those around us in need? Do you ever find out someone is suffering and wish you didn’t know? No. Because we are compassionate people who want to help those in need. But with pregnancy? It’s different. Instead, the common thought is, “We don’t want to know you’re pregnant until you’re past the risk of having something bad happen. That way if something bad does happen, you don’t have to tell us about it.”
Miscarriage SUCKS. It sucks so hard. This blog saved my sanity time and time again because it gave me a community to turn to when my pregnancies failed. It gave me a support group. It gave me people who knew I was suffering, even if society asked me not to share my pain.
When we got pregnant this time around, we knew I couldn’t be as open on my blog because we now have so many real world friends and family who read the blog. And then? We had a scare. And we came through the scare free and clear, but it hit me: If we hadn’t, where would I have turned?
So we came clean on the blog. I told you guys I needed you. I needed my community. And everyone sent us their prayers and their messages of support. And those words kept me strong in this last week. You all left me 139 comments, and only about 20 of you all have ever met me. You were just wishing me well across the internet and holding my hand while I waited and hoped.
We had more good news yesterday, but times in the past when I’ve seen/heard no hearbeat? I turned to the article that I send out the most to my friends who have suffered pregnancy loss. If I had this in paper it would be worn and faded by now. It was written over 10 years ago, but I feel like I consult it regularly still. The painful truth lies in this quote, “There’s little acknowledgment in Western culture of miscarriage, no ritual to cleanse the grief.”
She goes on to say:
Without form, there is no content. So even in this era of compulsive confession, women don’t speak publicly of their loss. It is only if your pregnancy is among the unlucky ones that fail that you begin to hear the stories, spoken in confidence, almost whispered. Your aunt. Your grandmother. Your friends. Your colleagues. Women you have known for years — sometimes your whole life — who have had this happen, sometimes over and over and over again. They tell only if you become one of them.
For the record? This is a club I’d proudly ditch membership to if I could. But I’m in it, and she’s right, no one speaks publicly outside of the club.
WHY? Why do we not tell the world the second we find out we’re pregnant? If we did – then we women who suffer the loss – wouldn’t suffer alone. Every time I have a miscarriage I hear a new story from a person I know about a loss they never shared with me. And I want nothing more than to retroactively be there for them. I want to go back to the day they found out the pregnancy was over, and I want to hug them. And comfort them. And possibly take them to get drunk.
When I posted this picture to instagram with the news we saw the heartbeat, but still some bit of clot, all of my blog friends spoke up with messages like, “HANG IN THERE, BABY!” Do you know how much each of those messages made my heart swell? TONS. And these were just my internet friends and a few close real-world friends/family who already knew. This gave me so much strength, we finally came clean last night on Facebook. Facebook is full of most of my local friend and family. Most of my friends on FB I know in real life. And the support rang through the night. And all I could think was: If something bad happens now? These people will all hold us up.
I didn’t think, “Oh, these people will wish we didn’t tell them.” No! Because I have a community of people who stand by each other – through the good and the bad – and they want to know BOTH. They want to celebrate our joys and mourn our losses with us. And we want to do the same for them.
So I can be strong the next two weeks while we cross our fingers and offer sacrifices to fertility gods. (Kidding! Unless you know of some fertility gods that could help, then let me know.) Thank you for always giving me a space to celebrate my joys, but also to grieve all of my losses. Pregnancies. Dogs. And my dearest Dad. Every one of those entries has over 100 comments of support on them. You’re my strength. Time and time again, you’ve been there for me. While Western Culture and our society has not built a great structure to help grieving woman after pregnancy loss – I’m glad my community does give me that place to seek solace and comfort. I hope I offer you the same when you need it in return.
Basicly I’m saying, “Thank you.” I’ll be okay. No matter what. Because of you.