I was ready this time around.
I knew when the right time to take pregnancy test was, I knew when to call the doctor for the first appointment. I knew what vitamins and supplements to take in the first weeks. I knew how to adapt my dietary habits. I knew, and I knew that 9 months would fly! And that this, this one would be the last time I would be pregnant. And somehow – I was already sad about it.
I learnt about the pregnancy really early on. I knew what signs to look for that I did not even need to take a pregnancy test to know! But I took the clear blue test anyway, and got all excited when I read “1-2 weeks pregnant”! So I called the doctor to book the first check up. Then I sent an invite to my husband saying “first lunch date …”. He thought it was going to be a lunch date between us – he did not pay attention to “first”. So the day we went for lunch and I brought him to the hospital… he started to cry of happiness. It was an amazing moment. This was our first date with the fruit of our love.
Only few days passed, and we had already imagined how to announce the pregnancy to the whole family. This time no big announcement to everyone like the first time, but small groups to share the news. Maybe something funny through our son… capturing the cute moment for the family memory book.
We had already thought on whether we wanted to know the gender or not, and whether to disclose it. We were already brainstorming on the possible name! We were 2 months in the journey!
The the second check up arrived… and here I knew we would hear the heart beat – this is a moment you will never forget. That is the moment when pregnancy gets real. There is life inside you and you hear proofs!
So we went on a second date … but there was no heart beat.
I had a spontaneous abortion.
I did not say a word. I asked very factual questions, and try tol hold my feelings for the rest of the check up. I asked all i needed to know on how to handle the removal, and wrote down all the instructions on what to do. I have been told the percentage of miscarriages: 1 out of 4. Very high, I was simply part of the norm.
After lunch i had to go back to the office. On the surface, i was trying to hold it all together, trying to do like nothing happened… but something was dead inside me. Not only the life i was looking forward to meet, but the desire, the hope. I went through my darkest moment. Nothing I could hear would make sense any more. I did know it was part of life. I did know. But… I wanted that life.
What to do now? Life continues, you still need to go to work, you still need to take care of your family, but you also need the time to mourn the life that died inside you. And… that you can do only after 9pm, when you hade dealt with all the rest. That is hard to put a time to deal with sufferance.
Only my husband and parents knew about the pregnancy, and they tried to comfort me with all the possible logical arguments and action oriented comments like “you will try again”… yes, we would try again, yes it happened only once and there are people who are sterile, yes we had an amazing kid already… i knew all that. I did realize the luck we had the first time around. But I felt alone. Alone with my pain, because that life was inside me, and maybe I did not take good care of it. Maybe it was my fault. I felt guilty for all I have done or not done. I felt guilty for everything: for doing sports, for drinking that glass of wine (i did not know i was pregnant yet), for traveling to the other side of the world for work, for sharing the news with my parents too early, for not sharing it with the people who I needed the most who could now just hug me instead of thinking “what the fuck is wrong with her ”, for skipping one day of folic acid… anything.
I felt guilty, like if it was all my fault and I could prevent it. Which I knew was illogical, but that is how I felt. And I felt lonely.
Miscarriage is hard, more psychologically then physically. But also practically: how do you explain at work you will be absent for a while? How do you explain your head will be partially busy for a while? How do you excuse yourself for snapping at everything for a while? Well you don’t … and you keep everything for yourself. Maybe you isolate yourself, and you fake it. And again, wait for 9pm to let all your tears flow away… And that… is hard.est.
I can say now I believe I managed pretty well.
I called my manager, I told him I lost a baby, very factually, I tried not to cry, but I did not manage. And I explained how I wanted to be handled “no reconforting words, no questions, no personal talks for a while, just mere back up on my tasks and understanding for my uncommon behavior”. Initially I hesitated in sharing it. But I am proud of doing it that way because it clarified expectations. And i got more understanding than i had expected.
I called my parents and told them they needed to stick with one grand son for a while. That I was fine, and I needed no help. I consciously lied, but I realized they needed to be handled more than me. Of course they did not buy it, but they got I did not want any comforting words. I wanted my time alone.
Then I messaged my best friend telling her I needed to talk to her. She surprised me asking me if I was expecting… and I had to give her the sad news that I indeed was expecting but not anymore. And she knew exactly what to say and when to say it. Because she had a miscarriage too. She was the only one that knew how to behave around me, and there i understood: you can understand only if you go through it. In that exact moment I understood what she went through too, for real.
I learnt 3 things through my miscarriage:
1. I will not wait 3 month to announce my future pregnancy to the ones I love. Because if anything goes wrong again, I will need their support.
2. I will share my experience, I will not keep it secret. I want my friends to know, because I want them to know I am there to listen if ever they go through something similar.
3. Sometimes it is better to share a bit more than needed – with work colleagues for example – to avoid misunderstanding afterwards. People can be surprise you. Positively.
4. I have been lucky my first pregnancy – because everything went well the first time. But that is not the norm. I will be more understanding of people who are trying to have their first baby but nature challenges them. For them, it must be a nightmare.
5. I will never – never – never say to anyone: “you will try again”.
Today she was supposed to arrive. Today I was supposed to become a mum for the second time. Today is probably the time I am ready to look for a new life.