I’ll be okay no matter what. Because of you.

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.

40 Comments

  • EmilysHollow

    I’ve been seeing how Twitter and Instagram and commenters have been cheering you and this pregnancy on and it has made me SO HAPPY. Seriously. So many times it feels like we hear about how people are so unkind, especially online, but there’s this upside, too. This wonderful way of being connected and getting and giving help and it’s so amazing to see it play out with someone I genuinely care about, even though I only know you online.

    For this pregnancy (I’m 18 wks), we had to tell my parents right away because we were vacationing together and the no wine was a dead give away. But we waited until after the first ultrasound to tell anyone else. I’ve “only” had one loss, before my 2 year old, but we did have lots of chemicals before this one stuck. I don’t know why, either. I guess I felt preemptively embarrassed if I got all exuberant about something that would fail. Which is so LAME ! Why be embarrassed? It’s not like *I* can do anything about it either way.

  • Lauren

    I was obsessively refreshing your Twitter page yesterday waiting to read the “everything’s ok!” — and I am so glad I did and I am SO happy that everything is working out!! I’ll definitely be sending positive vibes your way for the next 2 weeks (and beyond!).

  • Cassie

    First of all, I’m so glad everything’s going well enough. It’s scary, as you know. But what can you do? That’s right, nothing but worry and go on with life.

    I understand what you mean about speaking about loss and miscarriage. When I had my second kid, I had the worst case of PPD and as I suffered, I found out that it’s such a hush hush situation. Women were so not open to talking about it. And this really worried me. Isn’t something like miscarriage, a difficult pregnancy, PPD…all something we need each other for? I know that I tried to go it all my own for a month before I was so down the rabbit’s hole I was afraid I was going to lose my entire family. I needed help, I needed community.

    Hang in there, and know you’re not alone.

  • Tanertown

    This is what happens when a don’t read your blog for a few days….Congrats and so happy for you!! Hoping these next 2 weeks go by very fast!!

  • g.

    I was holding my breath for you all afternoon yesterday — SO GLAD to read this. Major hugs to you.

    Also, I have an answer to the “why not tell people” question, which may only be true for me and no one else — but I kept my pregnancy a secret for a very long time because I was terrified of painful explanations to near-strangers. Close friends and family knew, and they are the ones whose support I needed, but my extended co-workers, extended family, every single hygenist at the dentist’s office… I didn’t want to have to face telling more people than I had to. And then something did go wrong, and I was so heartbroken and such a mess for so long — but it was a relief not to have to offer yet another painful explanation to some guy in the break room at work.

    So for me, the answer to WHY was that I spared myself bursting into tears for the 100th time every day in front of Random Break Room Guy. I don’t want to generalize, because I’m 100% sure that wouldn’t be true for everyone (particularly people who work in a tiny office, for example), but that’s why I didn’t tell, and I’m glad.

    • zoot

      Oh, I didn’t mean to criticize people who don’t tell because they don’t want to – but we hadn’t even told our PARENTS until that scare!

      And yeah – I’m just hoping if something bad happens – the random break room guy just won’t talk to me about my pregnancy anyway. If he does? I’m screwed.

      I didnt mean to imply I didn’t understand WHY people didn’t tell – because I do – I just meant that when people don’t tell anyone (like us not telling our parents until last week) then we’re kinda screwed when we need someone to think about us.

      • g.

        Oh OK, I totally get that. And if I had a blog that my community read, I’d probably tell too, but that fear is still so present in my mind.

        (Also, I should mention that I got screwed in a lesser-but-still-sucky way by unknowing coworkers: After my pregnancy loss, five different people commented that I must have had a great vacation because I’d obviously lost weight. Oh yeah, it was a GREAT “vacation.” Not their fault, but ugh.)

        Anyway — not to dwell on the bad stuff. I am sending you a zillion good pregnancy vibes and virtual hugs. And some virtual bean dip too. 🙂

  • Monica

    I am so glad you saw a heartbeat!! I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers for the next two weeks…and beyond!

  • Jana Frerichs

    I have ALWAYS thought the same thing. One of my coworkers was pregnant (about 8 weeks) and my other co worker couldn’t believe she was telling people already! She said “What if she miscarries?” and I told her basically the same thing that you said. Are you suppose to be able to just pretend it never happened and everything is okay as long as nobody knows? I’m calling bullshit too!

  • Angela

    I very rarely post a comment to any blogs, but since learning of your pregnancy – I check your blog two sometimes three times a day. I just want to say I am cheering for Baby Zoot, and sending happy thoughts. So I will close by just saying GO BABY ZOOT GO!!!!!

  • Katy McDonald England

    This is beautiful, Kim, and you are 100% right. It’s worth screaming from the rafters. Once I saw that beautiful heartbeat, it pretty much sealed the deal for me. I was attached and invested from that moment on and if anything happened, I needed people to know why my heart was in pieces.

  • LizScott

    Yes. Exactly. The minute I was able to tell people about my miscarriage, I began to feel SO much better. Like, ok: this is horrible, but look at the all the people who are telling me they went through it as well, and they are on the other side, and they are OK. I will be ok, too. But I never would have heard those stories or had the perspective if I had been suffering alone.

    Thanks for letting us in. You might be ok because of us, but we’ll be ok because you, too.

  • Laural

    I know this sounds nutty, but in my yoga class they are always saying if you think of someone send them light and love. And, I really really believe that works. So, in my class I’ve been thinking of you and sending you love.

  • Crystal

    I hadn’t chimed in yet, with a congratulations because I’ve been busy moving, but in reading this post I figured I should. Congratulations to you.

    I have never had a miscarriage, so I don’t exactly belong to the club but I do have a condition that should have caused my only child to have been a miscarriage. It was only by luck/procrastination that caught it when it happened and then being hospitalized for a month and then home on strict bed rest for a few weeks, along with taking steroid shots for lung development, that caused my outcome to be a happy one. So I guess you could say I’m one of the VERY lucky ones. I didn’t have an uneventful pregnancy but it ended up turning out just fine. My only child is turning 18 in a month.

    Because of the possibility of a miscarriage I was not very willing to have another child. But before I found out I had the condition I had wanted three. I don’t know how I would have dealt with losing a child I desperately wanted to have, especially if I had went through the whole process of fertility medications to get pregnant to begin with.

    As far as the telling everyone, I actually did not know that there was an “official” time when it’s recommended that you tell the news. I know it’s more common to have a miscarriage in the earlier weeks, and I’ve known several friends and relatives that have miscarried.

    I guess from the outside of the club looking in, I would love to share in the joy, and be there to hold someone up when they experience the loss, and to be that friend/loved one, so long as I knew I wasn’t going to be hated for bad timing. I just don’t want to feel that I have done something, even unknowingly, that made the pain worse, because I did not know yet that there was a negative outcome. Maybe that’s selfish of me. I’m not that keen on causing someone I care about pain. Especially if I’m putting a lot of effort into “doing it right” and I still fail. Rips me apart inside.

    So, Kim you are in my thoughts, as I clean and unpack and go about my daily routine. But I have one question.

    Why not tell Nikki and Wes? Are they unaware that you have had difficult pregnancies? It just seems, slightly unfair to them, to not be able to share in the good news, or to help hold you up, if that’s necessary. I would think it might just be helpful to put them both in a position to be NICER and more agreeable towards you, to ease your stress. And to be made aware that in general it’s a good idea to treat pregnant ladies with a little more care than normal because even easy pregnancies are HARD. Also, I would think the last thing you want is for them to find out, by someone else slipping up and talking about it in front of them. It is of course your decision, and you have your reasons, just thought these points might seem important to consider. *hugs for you and little itty bitty hugs for the littlest one* Keep smiling, and on the bright side of life.

  • Jenera

    I am standing and clapping for you right now. I have experienced a miscarriage in the past as well as a scary pregnancy with my darling I just had. You are essentially alone at times and it’s rough. I have also watched two women lose babies very late in pregnancy in the last couple of months and it hurts even though it’s not my loss. We all need to be able to be open about the losses of our children no matter how little they are or we’ll never truly move past it. My fingers and toes are crossed for you and I think you have an awesome support here.

  • Heather@YSP

    I told the internet the moment I got a positive pee stick, and I have never been more thankful that I shared. When Aodin died, the internet came through with an incredible outpouring of support that got me through some of the darkest moments of my entire life. Sharing losses eases their burden on you. We should all be sharing.

    Tiny promotion here for something else I’m involved with – Band Back Together helped me a lot, and they have a huge section of resources for all sorts of losses, baby, pregnancy, recurring pregnancy, adult child loss, parent loss… October is baby and pregnancy loss awareness month too, and I have a post scheduled to share Aodin’s story. http://www.bandbacktogether.com/all-posts/#

  • Rebekah

    YAY HEARTBEAT! I’ll be thinking of you in these next two weeks and throughout the rest of your pregnancy.

    When I miscarried about a year ago, I was just shy of 12 weeks, and so barely anyone knew, which meant that I had to tell a lot of people after the fact why I was so down. I’m having a little trouble getting pregnant again, but when I do, I will tell people right away, because God forbid, should I miscarry again, I don’t want my husband and I to go through it alone again.

  • Michelle

    Miscarriage was the absolute most grief I have ever felt. It’s so hard to think about still, even when I’m holding my little one. We waited until 11ish weeks to tell family, and then I miscarried and taking it back, telling them I’d lost the baby, was excruciating.

    I agree, though, that we should be able to talk about it sooner so that we do have the support of our loved ones. It shouldn’t have to be a “private” experience, unless you want it to be.

    I’ll definitely be thinking about you guys these next two weeks. Take care of yourself!

  • Isabel

    I hope things continue to go well for you and the little person growing inside you.

    I read that article once before and have often thought about, but couldn’t remember where I’d found it. I’m sure I got the link from you during one of my miscarriages. Thank you.

    You do bring up some good points and some things that are making me wonder why I feel the way that I do. When my first pregnancy ended we had already told close family members. We had to then go back and tell them the baby had died. So with my second pregnancy we kept quiet a little longer then the first time. My own mother didn’t know I was even pregnant until I called her to tell her the baby had died. Reading this post made me think about how my mom must have felt when she got that phone call. Looking back I’m realizing that that was a cruel thing to do to my mom. Not intentional, but still. She only got to experience the sadness with that pregnancy and none of the initial joys.

    With the third miscarriage I was 16 weeks. Well past the “safe” zone. Still, only few people knew. When I called to tell my mom I told her “please tell the rest of the family for me. And tell them I don’t want to hear from them.” And I didn’t.

    I think, for me, I’m uncomfortable with people knowing about my miscarriages because I’m uncomfortable with how they react towards me. I wouldn’t be comfortable having an acquaintance at church come up and ask me about something so personal. I’m not comfortable with people bringing me dinner. Or holding my hand when they talk to me. Or saying something that comes out so wrong that it only upsets me more. I am uncomfortable with their sympathy.

    I guess I’m in the minority here. I get that. I wonder what it is about me that makes me feel this way?

    I often think about BlogHer 2007. You had just had another miscarriage and I’d read about it on your blog. (I’d had two at that point and would have another within the next few years.) I was lucky enough to spend some time with you during the conference. I vividly remember walking down a hall with you and wanting to tell you that I was sorry for your recent loss. But I didn’t. And I don’t know why I didn’t. I knew you were hurting. And yet, I guess society, had taught me that it wasn’t something to talk about. I’m sorry.

    Thanks for putting this out there and making me think a little.

  • Theresa

    Yay!!!! So so SO happy for you guys! I will have my first ultrasound next week and can’t wait!

    BTW, your baby is beautiful! 🙂

  • Erin

    I agree. I had a small group that I told the instant the second line showed up, and a larger group who found out (via Twitter) when we had a heartbeat this time (last time I followed the 12-week rule a little better, but I wasn’t on Twitter). We’ll wait till 12 weeks to go facebook-public, because at this point the people I’d share a loss with know and the people leftover on FB are not people I’d tell if we lose the baby. But I agree with you fully — it’s a terrible thing to suffer alone.

    I have been thinking of you since I read your first post about this pregnancy. I am about a week behind you, I think, and I had some really scary bleeding early on (the morning I had to leave to be a bridesmaid in an out-of-town wedding, OMG) so knowing how scary that is, I’m pulling for you super extra hard.

  • Samantha

    I agree wholeheartedly. I hope the next two weeks go by so fast, and that everything will be just fine. And congratulations!!

  • doahleigh

    I’m about a hundred years behind, but right on sister. First of all, I didn’t know you were pregnant, so congrats on that. And second, this is all so right on. When I had a miscarriage earlier this year I didn’t suffer in silence. I turned to my friends, my family and my blog. It was so therapeutic, I can’t imagine doing it another way. So when I got pregnant again earlier this year, I didn’t hesitate to share the news. I knew if anything bad happened, I’d be spilling anyway, so why wait to get people involved in the celebration?

    I’ll be thinking about you. I know several women pregnant, many with complications, and I send positive pregnancy vibes out to them as often as I can. I’ll add you!

  • Jen Ambrose

    I always thought that waiting to tell for 12 weeks was BS as well and always spilled the beans early.

    This time (yup, I’m preggers again too), I was going to wait to tell the kids (6 & 9) because of the same reasons you haven’t. But they are older and they’ve caught onto the whole ‘why is Momma throwing up?’ ‘why is Momma in bed?’. Plus, add to that a wonderful ovarian cyst that pregnancy hormones have decided to make grow and cause pain and other issues and all of sudden we are rushing to the dr and….we caved and told the kids.

    So far, so good. Only about 7 weeks.

    We’ve told a select few, but yeah. What is something goes wrong? And suddenly? And no one knows? That would be just as weird.

  • Maribeth

    Kim, I wish I could give you a big hug! My niece in-law suffered her loss mid-summer and she has pushed us all away. We are not allowed to love her, help her, or anything. You are so right no!
    God Bless you, Donnie and the kids!

  • Colleen

    There was nothing worse than NOT having told my parents I was pregnant yet and then having to tell them “hey, I was pregnant… but I lost the baby” all in one conversation. And there was no way I wasn’t going to share the loss. It makes NO sense to me not to tell the people you’re close to… the people in your life… the people who support you through the good and bad.

    I am SO happy for you and for heartbeat #2. We’ll all be here with you… waiting anxiously and excitedly!!!

  • Elissa

    I am not good about commenting, but wanted to let you know that I’m part of the virtual crowd supporting you and sending all my best wishes for a healthy pregnancy. You are an inspiration, and I think you make so many great points in this post. Hang in there!

  • Jen

    Very well written, Kim. You should not be alone. As true friends, we celebrate our high moments together and hold each other though the rough ones. Love you.

  • suz

    Wow. I had a crazy week or so at work and fell behind on reading blogs, and I read this and thought, “waaaaaa?????” I had to catch up super-fast, and, well, WOW!!!!

    I’m sending much positive thinking your way.

  • Kristine

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! I hadn’t had a chance to read your blog in weeks and was worried when you missed the last week of Boot Camp. I am so thrilled for you and your family! Many, many positive thoughts coming your way:)

  • Phancymama

    This is so beautiful, and the screen is too blurry to see through my tears. Wishing for many strong heartbeats, for yours and mine.