PLEASE NOTE: If you are struggling with infertility or are currently trying to conceive and you DON'T want to read about my pregnancy (which I totally understand), I recommend starting at the beginning of the blog (March 2010) and reading from there. I find out I'm pregnant in June 2011 so there is a lot of trying to conceive posts in between that you might find funny, helpful or relatable. Wishing you all the luck in the world!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Facebook, Family and Freaking Out

In the past few weeks, I’ve been waking up more often in the middle of the night and going to the bathroom. My husband, who never did this before, has started asking me, “Where are you going?” Usually, it’s four in the morning so I want to talk as little as possible but I’d love to say to him, “It’s four in the morning, I’m wearing an extra large t-shirt with no underwear, I have my mouth guard on and I’m heading to the bathroom. Where the hell do you think I’m going???” If he asks me again, I may answer, “I‘m heading to Nepal to climb Mount Everest. Don‘t wait up.”

This new line of questioning in the middle of the night I’m going to take as my husband being more protective and concerned about me now that I’m seventeen weeks pregnant. I can’t really blame him as I’ve been just as nervous and cautious. I even bought one of those home fetal heart beat dopplers. I must mention that my husband has often used it to sing to me with it. It’s like his own portable microphone. It’s cute and annoying all at the same time.

I try to limit myself to one night a week where I check the baby’s heartbeat. One night last week though, I couldn’t find it and I freaked me the f*ck out. Now, I majored in theatre, I have no medical background and to put it bluntly, I don’t really know what the hell I’m doing. Frankly, it makes sense that I can’t find the heart beat every single time as I‘m not the most qualified person for home health care. I also wouldn’t be surprised if our baby is like, “Dude! Can you leave me alone! I‘m gestating here!” and has turned away from the microphone for some privacy. Either that or the baby has heard it’s father’s singing and hides in shame.

Rest assured, the next morning, not only did I throw up on a street corner in the city (I assume that was the baby’s way of saying hello) but I found the heartbeat again later that night. Since this incident though, my husband has hid the Doppler. He did this to keep me from driving myself nuts and to perhaps rehearse a new number.

Now obviously, we all know that I struggled desperately to get pregnant. We also know that the more you connect with people in the infertility community, the more you hear horror stories of what people have gone through and all that can go wrong. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’ve had my share of heart break but I know so many who have had it profoundly worse and for that, they have my undying love and respect. All of this makes me especially cautious when it comes to this pregnancy… but there’s also another factor that I haven’t mentioned before that has also put me on edge.

Without going too into detail out of respect for the person involved, a family member of mine lost her baby somewhat around the point of where I am now in my pregnancy. We are not terribly close but the fact that this loss was not only sudden but also remains unclear as to what went wrong or why deeply upsets me. This also happened the same week I found I was pregnant and I have thought about it every single day since then. Come to think of it, I think that’s what prompted me to buy the Doppler in the first place.

Recently, we decided to announce my pregnancy on Facebook. I was very hesitant to but I was getting pressure from friends, family and even my husband. I get that this is the new age we’re living in but I can’t help but feel a little uncomfortable with it. Facebook pregnancy announcements tortured my sorry ass for two and a half years (I even nicknamed Face book ‘Fertilitybook‘) and I’m amazed at how this has become such an important part of letting people know you’re pregnant. The importance of Facebook in society in general is beginning to concern me. I’ve had two friends change their ‘married’ status to ‘single” and then receive hundred of posts asking, “Oh my god! What happened?” Do you really want to discuss the demise of your marriage on Facebook? Then, a month ago, someone posted that their father passed away but he lived eighty-five wonderful years. Do I click ‘like’ saying that it’s nice to hear he lived a long life or would it seem more like I’m happy he’s dead?

Anyway, we ended up posting something funny and not overly mushy about our pregnancy news. Still, after I hit ‘post’, I immediately thought of my family member. She’s on Facebook and although I believe a mutual relative had already told her the news, I couldn’t help but wonder if seeing the announcement upset her.

And here’s my question: When someone has a miscarriage, do you acknowledge it or not? My whole family, including myself, sent her cards and/or flowers when we first heard the news but beyond that, there has been no discussion of it. In the infertility community, I’ve heard different reactions to this. Some want to forget about it and move on. Others are deeply hurt when people stop talking about it as if it’s never happened. Everyone is different and I’m certain there’s no one way or even a right way of doing things but that’s almost the trouble. You don’t always know how the person going through a loss wants to handle it.

Still, for me, after our Facebook announcement came out, I felt I had to write her some sort of email acknowledging the whole situation. I basically said that I have been thinking a lot about her, that I sincerely hope she is hanging in there and that if my Facebook posting upset her, then I was truly sorry. I closed by wishing her nothing the best. I didn’t talk about my pregnancy (other than the announcement), I kept it short and just tried to let her know that she’s still very much in my thoughts. That was over a week ago and I haven’t gotten any response.


I can't help but feel this was a huge mistake sending this email. I had the very best of intentions and sincerely thought I was doing the right thing but the more I think about it, the more I think that if she hadn’t reached out to me to begin with, I probably should have just left it alone. I just hope I didn’t say anything overwhelmingly stupid or unintentionally insensitive. Again, it’s just so hard to know.

Meanwhile, I continue to worry, obsess and freak out over my own pregnancy. We got our second blood test results back and the risk of down syndrome is even higher. Mind you - it’s still not horrible and it looks like now we have a 98% chance of everything being ok but we’re seriously beginning to consider doing an amnio just so we can know for sure instead of worrying till February (which let’s face it, I’m sure I’ll worry till February anyway).

I’m terrified and lost on what’s the best thing to do. I was practically sawed in half several times to finally get pregnant and the thought of doing anything to hurt the baby or the pregnancy beyond scares me. Also, I myself have never had a miscarriage. Anytime I’ve heard of one, it has of course disturbed and upset me… but now, being 17 weeks pregnant and knowing first hand what it feels like to connect with my baby; well now I’m even more gut wrenched at the thought. And thinking about what happened to my family member makes me that much more scared the same thing will happen to me. How I would deal with it and what in the holy hell would I put on Facebook after already posting an announcement? It's a stupid, silly thought but one that has occurred to me.

So, there’s a lot in today’s blog post and I have this eerie feeling that I’m going to get the most anonymous, “You’re a twat” emails in response to this blog entry than anything I’ve ever posted on here before. I’m not sure why. Maybe because despite my best efforts, I didn’t handle things well with my family member. Maybe because I’m freaking out and that tends to annoy readers who find it ungrateful (which, to be clear, I could not be MORE grateful to be pregnant) or maybe because there’s someone out there who thinks Facebook is the most brilliant form of communication and I’m a big poop for making fun of it.

The plan over the next week is to talk to a genetics counselor, figure out our options, try to not worry more than necessary (if that’s possible), hope my family member doesn’t think I’m a big douche bag and let my husband ask me questions in the middle of the night and occasionally sing to me. Oh, and keep my sense of humor… I must ALWAYS keep my sense of humor.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you mind if I ask which Doppler you used? After dealing with infertility, it really is a form of knowing everything is okay and I plan to use it after I get my BFP!

I would guess your family member probably drafted several emails and none probably worked for her so she sent nothing. You did the right thing by reaching out to her because you CONSIDERED her when spreading your own good news.

Are you going to find out the sex of your baby? I am a stranger and I am dying to know. I am truly so happy for you!

kateypie35 said...

I personally think you handled the situation with your family member as well as you could - there is no perfect scenario so don't take her lack of response to heart. She may just not feel like talking about it yet? But that doesn't mean she doesn't appreciate your effort. I wish I could offer some great advice in regards to the amnio...it is so hard to know what to do. You don't want to be freaking out through to February, but, Amnio has its risks as well. The only thing I can offer is my own experience - I chose to not get the amnio because I was scared that it increased my chance of miscarriage...and yes, I worried every damn day, but probably would have anyway for a million other reasons. And er...I used my home doppler EVERY SINGLE DAY. It was the only thing that kept me halfway sane. How is your nausea, I hope a little bit better? Pregnancy is hard, yo!

ttcinfaith said...

Oh Jay, I can't believe you think facebook is silly!? How can you not love the fact that people share every facet of their lives with any tom, dick, and harry they've met over the course of their lives?

Eugh... I think facebook has ruined society's perception of privacy and modesty. Not to mention communication...but, enough about facebook.

I've never had a miscarriage, but if I were the family member, I would appreciate the email. Perhaps she is just absorbing it and will reply when she finds the right words, etc. She may just be trying to deal with all the emotions the announcement and email may have brought to the surface!?

I hope so at least... I hope she's not upset with you. I think it was a sensitive and supportive gesture!

As I said on twitter...I'll be praying for you and baby!

Natalie said...

I just want to tell you that I had a similar situation with my pregnancy and the downs syndrome screening. Our blood tests gave us a 1/98 chance of downs which sounds small, but not next to the 1/5000 chance that I was expecting and most of my friends got. I freaked out and worried and cried. I have had 4 miscarriages and the last thing I wanted to do was an amnio that had a chance of miscarriage. But in the end I just couldn't live with not knowing for the next 23 weeks. So I held my breath and did the amnio. (I put myself on bed rest for 2 days after) Everything came back fine and I am now 37 (!) weeks. Every case is different and it is no guarantee, but they are really good at amnios these days and the risk is very low, so if you have legitimate concerns that are keeping you up you may want to consider it.

As for the family member with the miscarriage, you did the right thing reaching out to her. All of mine were in the 1st trimester so hers being so late must have been even worse. But it is heartbreaking and it only happened a few months ago. She may respond later when she is ready. I always felt the worst thing was that everyone else forgot about my losses while I was still living through them.

Dana said...

I am so happy that you are 17 weeks! I've been watching for an update from you. You made me laugh out loud about when I read about your husband using the doppler as a microphone.

You asked about whether or not to mention a baby that has been lost. I've lost 5 now (not to scare you, but you seem to know about this world already from other bloggers - 4 of them were on or before 11 weeks) and I crave for people to ask me about them.

I'm really glad that you sent her that note on Facebook. I had a fellow baby loss Mom, who had her rainbow in February and is pregnant again, send me a note on Facebook to tell me personally before I found out some other way and I really appreciated it. It took me a few days to reply, but I liked it. It might also be especially hard for your cousin right now, since you are right around the point she was when she lost the baby. I still have an incredibly hard time with pregnant women who are around 21 weeks.

98% is an excellent chance that everything is OK, but I know that 2% chance is scary. The IPS screening showed a 3% chance of a neural tube defect for my first and I was scheduled for additional testing. He didn't have any sort of neural tube defect and the IPS has a high rate of false positives too. I'll be hoping for the best for you.

Dr. Blondie said...

I absolutely think you did the right thing in reaching out to your family member. I've had several pregnancy losses, and I must admit that my relationships with friends and family who ignore what I've been through have changed, and not in a good way. It's hurtful and demeaning that they act like nothing happened. On the flip side, I've had several very compassionate people reach out to me and "soften the blow" of their own pregnancy news, acknowledging that they understood that I might still be hurting, and I have LOVED them for it. I will always remember their kindness and sensitivity to me, and their kind approach to sharing the news really did soften the blow--I felt genuinely happy for them rather than jealous and slighted as I had with other people who showed no sensitivity. I wouldn't take your family member's lack of response as a negative reaction. Your reaching out to her probably means more than you'll ever know... she just doesn't know how to express it.

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

Shanlee said...

Okay, having experienced 3 miscarriages, I can tell you that all things new baby and pregnancy related suck to hear about for a long time. We absorb the info, are mad at the universe that we aren't experiencing it anymore, but we certainly don't hold it against the person who is lucky enough to still be pregnant. It may seem that way, but really, we are just sad and upset at what we lost and the loss of the dreams we had for the little one.

I will be honest, I have a lot of pregnant friends on face book, but I just block their newsfeed and that damn babygaga counter, it hurts too much to see the constant updates.

It is tricky, and you tried really hard to be caring and understanding of her situation. Losses suck, and everyone handles it in their own way. It really is one of life's you have to "experience it" to really understand it things. Although I wish that no one would ever have too.

Wishing you a continued healthy pregnancy all the way to the end! :)

bodegabliss said...

As someone who has suffered 4 miscarriages and still hoping for a successful pregnancy, I think you absolutely did the right thing by sending her an email. It was very thoughtful of you and I'm sure she appreciated it. I've received those emails a couple of times throughout all of this, and it took me a long time to reply, but that didn't reflect how thankful I was of the email. It's just that when you see someone else go through a pregnancy when you're going through a loss (no matter how much the other pregnant women struggled to get there), it's still hard. Even if you are happy the other woman is pregnant, it's still incredibly difficult. She'll write you when she can. Most likely she's processing all of her emotions and waiting until she has the strength to write you back. I know I've wanted so badly what my pregnant friends have, and that makes it difficult to find the words because the last thing I want is to lesson their happiness with my grief, but sometimes that's impossible.

I think you did the right thing. I know I'm not in the exact shoes of your family member, but I would have appreciated it. I wish my family would acknowledge my losses more...it seems as soon as a week goes by, no one talks about i unless I bring it up...when it's still so raw and painful for me months after my losses.

missohkay said...

It's really hard to reach out and get no response. I've sent unreciprocated messages to a couple of people who announced their IF on facebook. And I sent messages about myself to my aunt who asked about how things were going but never bothered to respond when I put myself out there. It's awkward to wonder what they thought. But I think you did the right thing by reaching out. I wish very much that people acted like they still remembered that I've had losses. And I wish people would have reached out around my due dates so that it didn't feel like I was so alone. She might feel differently but at least she knows you care.
Good luck with the amnio decision and getting through these weeks with a minimum of freakout.

shutterbugwife said...

So last cycle I really thought I was pregnant. I mean, I had convinced myself that it was really it this time. Of course I wasn't because my body freaking sucks but that's not the point of this comment.

The moment I let myself believe that I may actually be pregnant, the worries reared their ugly head. I have always told myself that once I am pregnant, I will relax and not stress. Who the hell am I kidding? I couldn't even keep the worrying away long enough to see the stupid "NOT PREGNANT" on the stick.

You know that worrying won't change or help anything but how can you help it? You are just doing the best you can. You wrote the email because you wanted to try to make someone else feel better. Even if she took it the wrong way, you did it with the best intentions and so you need to give yourself a break. You are way too hard on yourself hun.

Do I Have to Be a D.I.N.K.? said...

I have been through multiple first and second trimester losses and I always appreciate emails from friends to tell me about their pregnancy before I get blindsided on FB. I think you handled the situation perfectly and in her own time she will respond. Her loss is still so raw and she needs time to process everything. You are considerate to think of her during this time. You need to focus on you and your sweet little baby. I have also had a love / hate relationship with the Doppler! Might be a good thing that your hubby hid it!

Doogie said...

What will you do if the baby has Downs? Are you going to terminate? Because if you're not, then I would skip the amnio. I debated this same question with myself, because I didn't want to do either the triple screen or an amnio but was pressured by my gyn to do the screen. In the end, I agreed because it was a blood test only, but from a pragmatic standpoint, I had no interest in termination, regardless of the results.

I think it must be a strange attitude I have because people react to me funny when I say it, but I don't feel the need to put my baby at risk for something that isn't really going to change my behavior.

Kate said...

I think emailing your family member was far better than not- I know I would be touched if I was in her shoes. You can't always do the thing that actually turns out to be right, but thinking about people and trying to figure out the thing that you think is most likely to be right is enough. Also- some people are TERRIBLE emailers; we forget this as bloggy internetty types.. Could that be it?

Kristin said...

I think you handled the situation really well. I had a loss last year at 26 weeks, and in the weeks and months immediately following that, I received LOTS of emails (mostly nice ones, like yours) that I just wasn't able to respond to, so I didn't. I would guess that is what's going on with your relative. For me, it meant SO much just knowing that people hadn't forgotten what I had been through, and acknowledged that it was really difficult.

XO

Sabrina said...

I agree with everyone else. You did the right thing by acknowledging your family member's grief. I have never experienced a miscarriage and can not even imagine the pain, but I wish that my friends and family who know about my infertility were a little kinder when breaking a pregnancy announcement. A nice e-mail simply acknowledging my pain and telling me that they understand would mean a lot!

Alex said...

I agree with the previous comments - you did such a nice thing by emailing your family member. I think most people ignore the whole thing, thinking that if they don't bring it up, then they won't remind someone of their loss. But the thing is that there's no way she's forgetting it! And even if she doesn't want to talk about it, it's so very nice that you acknowledged her feelings and told her you were concerned. Well done!

If it were me, even if I wasn't going to do anything about it, I would probably elect to do the amnio. But that's because I'm a control freak and want to know all information available. But that's just me. You'll make the right decision for you, I'm sure of it!

Have fun peeing in the middle of the night. I'm up to about three times per night. It's fantastic. But at least it's not every 20 minutes like it was during this morning...

cik said...

I'll be the debbie downer here and say that if I were your family member, I would not have been happy about that message, esp in lieu of you just coming out on FB. I think a note right after the miscarriage (or, better yet, a simple mailed card) would have probably been more appropriate. But that isn't to saw that you a twat. Had she wanted to reach out to you, she would have done it herself, and I think, judging by this post, you ultimately know that.

Also- and this might be a bit harsh- but you asked for it- is that you need to "own" your decision to go public on facebook. You are clearly ambivalent about it because you have been on the other end, but you did make the decision to go ahead and do it. And I'm pretty sure that it was b/c you were excited/wanted to, not b/c of family/friend "pressure." it was your choice, just like it was your choice to continue posting about your pregnancy on your IF blog. Stop apologizing to us for doing stuff that you know, in the back of your mind, might be deemed annoying or hurtful. Either say f*k it and do it, or resist the temptation and don't do it. Because for some of us, it might be a slap in the face- but you know what's even worse than a slap in the face? A slap in the face, followed by an exploration into why being slapped in the face sucks, followed by a meta-conflict on whether or not to slap again...followed by.... another slap in the face. Anyway, congrats on the pregnancy :)

Secret Sloper said...

I agree, people reaching out to me was ALWAYS appreciated. I received a few emails the first mother's day after our first loss and they meant the world to me. And the silence from family members (especially) stung. Whatever they were thinking and feeling (and I'm sure in retrospect it was awkwardness and pity rather than anything else), it always registered as them just not caring. And that hurt a lot.

I'm glad the doppler brings you peace of mind. I eschewed getting one because I was worried about not finding the hb and needlessly worrying myself, so if you can deal with that you're already miles beyond me. Sheesh, I'm 36 weeks and I still freak out if the baby stops moving for 30 minutes at a time. I need therapy. Or make that, more therapy.

(Oh, and LG's preferred sarcastic on-the-way-to-the-bathroom answer for my questions is "Utah.")

zygotta said...

you know what? you honestly and sincerely wanted to do what's right. Even as you posted the news on fb, you thought of your relative. You spent a lot of time thinking of her, trying to find the best way to handle this. So as far as you're concenred, you did everything right.

The problem is, there aren't universally right solutions for most problems. So while you did what seemed right for you, might seem wrong for her.

However, you should know that you're truly a good, caring person. And you cannot live your life with goal #1 being not to hurt those around you - because you still will, inadvertently.

I feel like I'm babbling. I hope you understand what I mean.

Most important thing: grow baby, grow!

Anonymous said...

About your family member: well, maybe she is just busy and didn't find the time to react to your email. Or maybe there was not much to react to it, she just acknowledged the fact that your email was nice and didn't know what to write back. There can be so many things behind one's reactions (or lack of them) that we don't know, and it's better for us (and for them too) if we assume only positive things instead of worrying about the possible negative options. But even if she got angry or she thinks it was hurtful, that wasn't your goal. You did your best, whatever you would have wanted others to do if it was the other way around, and that's it. Don't stress out about it! Either way she hurts, but not bc of what you wrote or didn't write! It's a painful thing that she is going thru and you can't help much, no matter what you do or don't do. So try not to worry about that thing anymore.


Amnio: my friend got the same results and she did the amnio (she was an infertile too) and after the amnio she got up and walked a lot and cleaned the house and bc of that she started having red spotting and had to be hospitalized. But everything is fine now with her and the baby, so no worries. What I'm trying to say is that it's totally up to you if you do the amnio or not, but in case you do decide to do it, make sure you REST and RELAX and don't do housework or move around too much for 2 weeks after the procedure! For your own sake and your baby's.


Facebook: how dare you??? I love facebook :)))
Well, but it sure has it's positives and negatives. There are a lot of people that I couldn't (and didn't) keep in touch pre-facebook, and now it's convenient to at least know what's going on in their lives. But as everything else, it can be dangerous, overused, misused and a horrible thing. So I think you just have to do it civilized and don't necessary need to post the color of today's underwear.

I laughed so hard on your post today, it is well- written as always and I LOVE reading it! Thank you for sharing your life with us, and hang in there... you will soon feel your baby move!!! how exciting is that? I felt mine first when I was 18 weeks along.... so get excited!!!! and then you won't need that dopler anymore.
Not to mention the sex of the baby... are you going to find out??

Eny

Jay said...

Thank you very much for these very thoughtful comments. Both emailing the family member and getting an amnio (and even posting on Facebook) are personal judgement calls and I knew that everyone would have a different response..

And yes, we definitely want to find out the sex of the baby. We're both dying to know actually!

Also, for the one who asked, I got the Hi Bebe BT-200T Fetal Monitor. I got it used on Amazon.com so it wasn't SO expensive. :)

cik - I just want to assure you, in case it wasn't clear from the post, I did send her a real card in the mail after everything happened. I mention that in the post but again, it might not have been entirely clear on my part. You're right though - if I didn't even do that and just sent the email, that would have been a bit odd. In terms of Facebook, I wasn't exactly clear on that either. Posting something was definitely my choice and I do, in fact, own that. I didn't think I had to quite spell that out as obviously, no one can force you to hit 'post' so I thought it was implied BUT you're right, it IS worth mentioning. The reality is I was for waiting to post our news till I was further along but my husband and parents wanted to post the news sooner as they were excited. We all did discuss it and they even waited a few weeks longer than they wanted to to acomodate my feelings. I apologize if I gave the impression that they bullied me as again, we discussed it and basically it wasn't so much about posting something or not -- the debate was more about when. That being said, I still stand firm that it's crazy to me how vital Facebook announcements have become. Any which way, although I can't say I agree completely with your comment, I truly and sincerely appreciate your honesty. You made some valid points that were fair, well put and I think it was an opinion worth publishing on the blog. So thank you for that and I wish you well as well. :)

Anonymous said...

1. My husband asks me stupid questions all the time. When I'm walking toward the laundry room with a laundry basket in hand, I feel that question is unnecessary. Same goes for midnight bathroom runs (where else would I be going at 3am?!).
2. I think it was a good thing on your part to send the e-mail. After my miscarriage, I was so frustrated and hurt when close friends or family members would post pregnancy news and act like I wasn't hurting. It was nice of you to acknowledge her feelings, and I would guess that she is thankful for it, but isn't quite sure what to say.

Renee
nowaklife.blogspot.com
(for some reason I can't post using my google account)

barrenlazza said...

I think it is very thoughtful of you to have sent the email. I've had a miscarriage and am now also 17 weeks pregnant again after close to five years of trying.

I still think of my first wee babe, as it's part of me, my husband and our history. For you to acknowledge your friend/family member in the way you did, is acknowledging an important of her - I'd be surprised if she didn't appreciate it.

Hope everything keeps going well for you! And I wouldn't go near the Doppler - I'd be in agony if I couldn't find a heartbeat so choose to go in blissful ignorance getting rounder and rounder and hoping it's because of the baby that's in there and not all the chocolate I've been eating!!

Debi Huss said...

you are not a twat. But man do I really love that word!
I want to echo most of the sentiments here. The note to your family member was perfect. I found out that I was pregnant at the same time that you did and sadly I lost it.

I was going to avoid your blog because I thought it would make me sad but I keep coming back because you are very thoughtful and cognizant of others feelings so you shouldn't worry yourself that you will do the wrong thing because everything that you write comes from a place of understanding and caring.

Also another reason I keep coming back is because when I read one of your posts I feel like I am reading my own thoughts only funnier and more organized.

I too felt like crap when I was pregnant and then felt like crap about complaining about it because this is what I had been working on after all. And your current fears, Holy cow, I would be exactly the same way all the way down to the heart monitor. Anyway, keep doing what you are doing. You are appreciated.

Tara dS said...

Well obviously this is a personal decision but if I were you I would NOT get the amnio. I think you have to do a little risk/reward analysis.

Risk: Albeit extremely low, it could negatively impact the pregnancy. Or something else could go wrong that would be totally unrelated and then you would always agonize- "was it the amnio? if only I hadn't done the amnio..."

Reward: Peace of mind? I highly doubt it. As you stated in a previous post, you won't have peace of mind until you have a baby in your arms.

So the way I see it, there is some risk and no reward. Unless the outcome of the test would impact your decision to keep the pregnancy, in which case there is a lot more you have to think about.

Anyway, I wish you the best and I do think it was a kind and thoughtful gesture with your cousin. The important thing is that you meant well and I'm sure she knows that, although she is probably in a lot of pain. You seem like a thoughtful person.

EBC said...

i lost triplets early on. no one, not even my family, has mentioned them in the two years since. it's like it didn't even happen. the silence is absolutely deafening. i do mention briefly them from time to time and their brief existence. but no one else acknowledges them, their loss date or their due date. except for one friend who sent me a "i'm thinking of you" message on their due date. and that single message meant the absolute world to me. everyone's different, but many i think just want their losses acknowledged. i think your email did just that. you may never hear a response to it. but i would venture she was grateful that you sent it and didn't weave it through with all your pregnancy details too.

Jen's Life said...

I do not usually comment on blogs but as a fellow infertile facing the same amnio dilemma, I wanted to say that I know exactly how you feel. My results were 1 in 102 for Down's and I am pissed about it. It minimized my excitement for this pregnancy. I hate these feelings. I am worried and freaked out and feeling sorry for myself. Even my OB was upset after getting my results. I also think these NT scans are scams. If my chances are 1% why am I being talked into a level 2 ultrasound and a meeting with a genetic counselor? Oh well, I wish you the best with your decision and your pregnancy!

Kate said...

Hi Jay,

If you do decide to go the amnio (or CVS) route, make sure to get a referral for someone you really trust. My friend's first baby was born with severe health problems due to undetected chromosomal abnormalities, so with her second pregnancy she and her husband decided they had to have some testing done. She was very nervous, but she went to a doctor at Columbia hospital (NYC) who came well recommended- he is an expert at amnio and CVS and that is pretty much all he does. Knowing how respected and experienced he is made her feel a lot more comfortable. (And everything turned out fine- the baby is very healthy.)

As for whether or not to do it, that's a decision only you can make. I think there are arguments for doing one and not doing one. Good luck with whatever you decide. Thinking of you.

Kelly Jean said...

It's hard, because you're right - you never know how that person wants to handle their loss. If *I* personally miscarried (we've been TTC for 14 months, never a BFP), I would love and appreciate flowers and a card. I would also appreciate people asking me about it the next time I saw them. But I feel like most people who are not in the IF community are very uncomfortable with baby loss and don't really know what to do/say, so they do/say nothing.

As far as the email - I put myself in her shoes, and I wouldn't have wanted an email from you. I would have been like yes, I know you're pregnant, thanks for being such a Saint for emailing me, but all you're doing is #1 reminding me that you're pregnant, and #2 reminding me that I'm not. BUT - when I put myself in *your* shoes, I completely see why you sent the email. I may have done the same. I can understand why she didn't write back. Maybe she didn't know what to say. Maybe she did think you were a douchebag lol. Or maybe she is just working through her own stuff and will write back when she feels like she can without crying while typing.

Overall, you can't please everyone in life - but you're a good person inside and you obviously tried. You TTC for a long time, you DESERVE to be pregnant and it's not your FAULT that she m/c. :( It's a sad horrible part of life but it doesn't make your pregnancy (or your happiness about your pregnancy) any less well-deserved.

Take care hun.

Emily said...

I lost my son last year at 23 weeks so I'm part of that loss community that you speak of. I would say you did the nicest thing possible by trying to acknowledge her loss, but I would also say that hearing "sorry your pregnancy didn't work out" from a pregnant lady is hard. Because what do you write back "yeah, it sucks...hope it works out for you"? She probably is grateful you wrote and are thinking about her, but may not be in the head space yet to write back.

As for the amnio, I might wait until after you've had your 20 week ultrasound. There are often other 'signs' of Down syndrome which may be seen on the ultrasound. If you're at high(er) risk AND you have obvious markers on the ultrasound AND you really want to know one way or the other then go for the amnio. But if the results wouldn't change your mind about termination, and your ultrasound looks okay then maybe it's too big of a risk to take. Good luck! There are lots of people rooting for you out here in blog land!

SJW said...

Glad to see you posted again....I like updates! I think what you did for the relative was really kind. Even if she doesn't respond - probably because she's just going through a lot of grief right now - she will always remember that you were thinking of her. I had my miscarriage very early on in the pregnancy and it was like no one even acknowledged it. To this day, no one in my family has ever even brought it up. That hurt way worse than if someone would have brought it up to me.

But glad to see you and the baby are doing well. I cannot wait to find out what you are having either. I have 3 boys and 1 girl.....trust me, you want a girl.

Heidi said...

You should have no regrets over the email you sent--it was a sensitive, heartfelt, sweet email. Props to you for talking about it. It's a part of the grieving process, so I have to believe that it was helpful to her, too. No matter how and/or if she responds.

As far as the amnio, I wouldn't do it. Unless termination is an option, which I'm assuming it isn't. If your risk was higher, I would probably have a different opinion--my sister's 18 month old has DS and was a surprise, and although an amnio wouldn't have changed the outcome of her pregnancy, it would have prepared her with the diagnosis and all that comes with it. 98% is way too hopeful to me to risk something happening to your perfect little baby blessing.

On another note, my doppler was my best friend--even when i freaked myself out multiple times. MULTIPLE times. but that sound--oh that sound--the best sound in the world. it just gets louder and easier to find the bigger he/she grows, and i listened at least twice a day (yes, freak here) :) i just loaned mine out last week :)

Anna said...

We borrowed my SIL's doppler because I was freaking out and it was a source of comfort one night. But then I tried to find the heartbeat myself the next day and ended up crying for hours when I couldn't find it. That sucker went right back to her. It caused me far too much stress!

Damita said...

Congrats on 17 weeks, I have heard of some many people not being able to find the heart beat with one of those *hugs* turned out they were looking in the wrong place.

My So-Called (TTC) Life said...

I had the same issue with posting on Facebook. A friend of mine from high school had just had her 3rd miscarriage and as soon as I posted on Facebook I felt this overwhelming sense of guilt. Like how could I do that to her? I immediately emailed her, let her know I was thinking of her, and that I never intended to hurt her. She wrote me back a few days later and said she was so happy for me and expected the Facebook announcement.

I also asked other infertiles and former infertiles: how do I go about letting people know on Facebook that this was a struggle without going into details? Holly (@ready2bemom) had great advice: After everyone has left their comments comment yourself about how grateful you are and how much you prayed for this, etc. And so I did. And it was received so well. So I was able to say, "Hey, this wasn't easy and it hurt like hell to get here but now that we are we're eternally grateful." And that made it feel better.

As for your choice on the amnio--there is no right or wrong answer. I totally understand freaking out about the risks but also wanting to know so you can prepare yourself. I don't know what I would do, to be honest. But I wish you luck in your choice.

Congrats on 17 weeks! This is a great milestone. xoxo

Lisa (bakebikeblog) said...

I think you have touched on an important question - one that I dont know the answer to, but wish I did!

When we were having 'trouble' getting pregnant, and again after our losses, hearing others announce their pregnancy was so very hard. What was harder, however, was the people who had been avoiding telling me - and I found when I saw them at 7 months pregnant lol.

nurslouisa said...

Dear sweet Jay,
Worrying is very normal! I didn't stop till the baby came out although regular fetal movement really helps. I think you did the right thing reaching out to your relative but don't exspect a response. Cheering you on!

Nikki said...

Personally, as someone who suffered three miscarriages, I would say that you handled the situation very well. In fact, I'm overall impressed with your entire family. No one ever acknoweledged any of my miscarriages and I think that was almost harder than the loss of the baby. It was like they were saying that I hadn't really had a loss or that it wasn't a real baby or pregnancy.

Of course, you can never anticipate how others will react, but you did the best you could and showed you were concerned and cared. Good for you.

It's impossible, I know, but try not to worry too much. Pregnancy should be enjoyed (if you can - I'm always so sick, I tend to forget about enjoying it) and lived with hope (again, not taking my own advice here). The anxiety can harm your pregnancy in the long run and produce a not-quite-term baby, and you certainly don't want that. Try to relax and know that all those horrible symptoms and discomforts mean that the little one is just fine and that everything is doing what it should.

Clovis said...

We have a friend who got pregnant really easily around the time when we first started trying and before we knew we had IF issues. If I'm honest its kind of hard to be around her little one now how is 18months as she is a constant reminder of what we could have had. That being said she is still a good friend and I appreciated that she told us before everyone else.

My point is dont beat yourself up you done what you thought was best and thats all you can do. I wish you nothing but a compltely peaceful and boringly normal pregnancy with no issues or concerns.

I love your blog and recently found it during my own 2WW - thanks for you insite and humour it was much apprecaited

Melissa said...

I think you did the right thing by reaching out. I have had 3 miscarriages. Never that far in a pregnancy but still hurtful nonetheless. If you were my relative even if it hurt to know you were pregnant I would be grateful that you respected and reached out to me. Again even if it hurts. I would still be appreciative.

As for the genetic testing/amnio ect. Would you finding out your baby has down's syndrome change anything for you? I mean that honestly. would you terminate if it was down's? because if you wouldn't then what does it matter? you will love that baby all the same?

Kristie said...

Reading your post made me think of myself and my husband's family. I lost my son in January when I was 23 weeks along. Before that I had an early m/c and then most recently had another m/c at 9 weeks. After we lost our son in January we got cards from his siblings, but that was the absolute end of it. They never called or emailed to check in and see how we were doing. It hurt tremendously. His brother called him awhile back to let him know they they were expecting again (we were too, but hadn't shared the news with anyone yet). He didn't wait to talk to him, but left a voicemail instead. That stung. When we found out we lost the baby most recently we emailed his entire family to let them know, only his mom and sister responded by email and his mom called later to check in on us. Not a word from either brother.

Me sharing this is not to say you are the sibling who never reached out, but I just wanted to highlight from my perspective it's hard when people wait for you to say something about your loss. It's hard to bring up the subject because you feel like it makes everyone uncomfortable, so when someone says something as simple as "hey, how are you doing?" it means a lot. I think most people don't say anything to me b/c they don't want to upset me or remind me, but I'm always thinking about my son so it's not like I had forgotten and you just poured salt in my wounds. It's just hard for all involved really.

I think it was really genuine and kind of you to email her and reach out, and she probably really appreciated it. I think others are right, she just may not know what to say back. I find that with my friends who are pregnant, but have been super supportive of me takes the jealousy edge off quite a bit. I have a really hard time not being jealous of his brother and pregnant wife, and I feel like it's harder too because they haven't shown us much support during this really difficult year.

On the Facebook note, I think it's a piece of junk. I myself limit even checking it b/c it just makes me mad reading everyone's stupid crap about what they ate for dinner or how awesome they are. Sad though for missing out on things that are actually worth reading, but hey I have to protect myself from the things that make me sad..i.e pregnancy stuff.

Congrats on your pregnancy as it is such a blessing. I hope all is well and continues to go well.

Jenn said...

Acknowledgement is best.

Even better is when someone remembers the duedate (or gets somewhere even CLOSE to the right date) and tells me so.

I don't always answer because I don't always know what to say. What DO you say? "Thanks for remembering, yep, baby is still dead and I'm still sad, have a good day"??

But it still feels good to know that someone else remembers.

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