Monday, October 09, 2006

Miscarriage Central

Sometimes I write posts here knowing that eventually someone is going to be googling information and find what she needs from my own experiences. I even will check out the referrals to this site and see that someone has come here looking for information on HCG not doubling twins or some variation of a search on days past ovulation, heartbeat and miscarriage and arrive at my dismal news. Sometimes I know from their search they will have good news and sometimes, I know they will not.


But I still feel like I'm providing useful information to folks out there on the Internets.

Well, this weekend, I got to provide useful, although not always happy, information to my real life friends. One friend had a miscarriage last Monday night. Another had a chemical pregnancy this weekend. And another is experiencing spotting in the early stages of her pregnancy (twins!).

I'm really glad that I can help the Internets. But it was honestly more touching to me to be able to help my 3 friends. I am not glad at all that I have had the experiences that I've had. But I was so glad that I could share my experiences and the information I've learned to help my other friends out. If my crap could help 3 other people feel a little better about what has and is happening, then I'm proud of my freaky characteristic of sharing some of the most intimate details I can with known and unknown other people.

I don't think women have always known the other women in their life who've had miscarriages. In fact, when I told a friend at the beginning of the last pregnancy that I was pregnant she replied "Well, I guess I'm old fashioned; I didn't tell people until week 13." And I responded "Why? If I had a miscarriage, I'd tell you to!"

Am I supposed to be ashamed if I have a miscarriage? It it because we're discussing something that is vaguely associated with my nether regions that I'm not supposed to tell a soul that I'm pregnant until I'm showing? Helloo!!! WORLD!!!! Get past Queen Victoria and stop blaming the mother for everything that happens!!!

I do understand the awkwardness of having to explain to someone after the fact that you are no longer pregnant. I was thinking of inventing a button that says "I'm not pregnant anymore, but I'm OK!" But if I had kept my pie hole shut, I'd never been able to talk to my friends this weekend who needed a shoulder, some information, and a "sister's" about what they were going through.

So there. I'm not going to shut up. Not that I ever could.


mc said...

Good for you, Anita -- I wholeheartedly agree.

Carroll said...

Well, you've helped me too, Kiddo, even though my time for such matters has long passed. When I was your age, and having my own babes, I only knew one woman who had a miscarriage, and even then it was only incidentally that I found out. Conventional wisdom was that "you shouldn't tell until all is well". Last weekend our daughter in law's sister had one of those nasty mid-term miscarriages, mere days after an ultrasound had proclaimed that all was going just fine and they'd started telling their friends the happy news. Her water broke, and she had to go through full labor knowing she was delivering an non-viable fetus. So sad. This is a second miscarriage for her, after one successful, but extremely fragile pregnancy, and her older sister has been unable to conceive, so I'm pretty sure our son and daughter in law must be having some significant concerns about their own family planning at the moment. Anyway, thanks to you and your readers and your links and your ongoing ability to "keep it real" around here, I feel much better informed about this whole subject, and much better equipped to say/not say the right/wrong things under such sad circumstances. So keep on keeping on, as they say, and big hugs from here to you, your friends, and all who find themselves here at your blog for information about this often-devastating experience!

Mandy said...

I didn't tell people I was pregnant until after 12 weeks. I'd seen too many people announce their pregnancies early on and then later have to (painfully, sadly) explain they were no longer pregnant. I didn't want to do that; I don't like being vulnerable and I didn't want sympathy from people I don't know well. It's not about being ashamed. I'm your basic introvert. If I had miscarried and later learned that a friend miscarried I would certainly share my experience with her and offer a shoulder to cry on.

That said, I think a blog is different. It's like a journal, even though it's read by lots of people. You are doing a service!

DeeDee said...

Way to go, and way to reach out. Have you seen this before?

"I Spoke With My Child"

It's amazing.

funkyjunkie said...

"I'm not pregnant anymore, but I'm OK!"

hmm ... I could've used a button like that last year at this time.

We lost our last one at 20wks due to Turners Syndrome/Monosomy 46. So, now that we are pregnant again and just finally telling the world after a healthy ultrasound at 18 1/2wks, people (in general) wonder why we've waited so long to tell.

And, now I get the question, is this your first? I don't hesitate to say, this is my second pregnancy & then offer a brief explanation. Why? For the sake of awareness.

After we lost ours, I was shocked to learn of all the women I knew who'd had pregnancy losses. I decided not to be silent - not for pity's sake - but for those who have had losses and don't want to feel alone.

Anonymous said...

well, after five miscarriages (and no babies) i feel like i have a much different perspective on when to tell. I always told, at least my close family and friends, but with this last pregnancy, i just found i couldn't anymore. You're getting a bit high-handed, i think, in dismissing the reasons not to tell. that decision often has nothing to do with any victorian mores, or even shame, often it's pure terror of even putting voice to something you know is so completely fragile. it's so very private. plus, after five of them, i just couldn't handle all the pity. and honestly, i think most people just don't know what to say anymore. false positivity never did it for me. so, yes, having support is essential, but sometimes you need to come to terms with what's happening (or might happen) before shouting it to the world.

Anonymous said...

I found that no matter what is decided (on any situation), life sometimes like to throw curve balls. No, forget curve balls. It launches nuclear missles. My husband and I decided not to tell anyone we were expecting until we were "out of danger." Come 12 weeks, I had my ultrasound and found my baby super squirmy and with a strong heartbeat. My doctor said that my chances of miscarrying at that point were 1 in 200 and that we could tell anyone we wanted. So, being the non-risktakers that we are, we waited until I was 14 weeks and announced it to the family. And at 16 weeks, I made the announcement to my department at work (we are pretty chummy). One hour following this announcement, I had my monthly pre-natal check up heartbeat. I was sent to the hospital for a second ultrasound and it produced the same results. The baby had just up and died mid-term and I had to get a D and E. My sister said it right as she was consoling me - "That's just a bad joke. You might as well just tell everyone when you first find out." There really is little safeguard against these things when a miscarriage is destined to happen due to bad chromosones, deformities, whatever. It all boils down to the question of whether or not you are able to deal with people sympathizing non-stop if a miscarriage should occur. If you can deal with it, go ahead and tell them! If not, keep quiet as long as you can.

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