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.