Last night we went out for dinner with a group of friends. They all knew that I had been in hospital and had surgery last weekend but only one person in the entire group asked me if I was ok. Everyone else asked if I had a good birthday or NYE leaving me in that awkward position of either lying “yep it was good thanks, how about yours?” or telling the truth and once again being the depressing person who brings down the mood of an otherwise happy group in seconds. I lied. I’m bored of being the bad news fairy.
The evening was going perfectly well. It was good to catch up with everyone and hear about their Christmases and, as much as it hurts that friends seemingly ignore the though time we’re going through, I understand that miscarriage is still a hugely taboo subject. Our friends who announced their pregnancy on Boxing Day were there and as expected the conversation moved to babies and due dates. I asked the husband when they were due and he said 21 July. This took me a little by surprise as I was expecting early August. I said that they must only have just had their twelve week scan and asked how it went. The answer I wasn’t expecting, “oh we haven’t had a scan yet”. My face must have changed and I quickly trawled my mind for something to say. I ended up with “it should be soon, as you’re 11 weeks now aren’t you?”. He said it was this week and congratulated me on my amazing calculation skills at being able to work out how many weeks they were having just been told their due date. After having tried earlier not to be the bad news fairy, I couldn’t keep it in any longer. I told myself that it was their own fault, all the people there knew about our miscarriages (including the most recent one) and if they couldn’t work out how I knew how far along they were then that was their problem. So the bad fairy landed and chucked bad news dust over everyone “well we were due on 23rd July so I know how many weeks along you are as we were the same”. I felt bad after I’d done it. I could have just shrugged rather than lowering the happy pregnancy news atmosphere but I was feeling bitter and couldn’t keep it to myself any longer. Thankfully the conversation quickly moved on and the happy atmosphere was re- established.
When we were in the car going home, the first thing DH said to me was “so did they announce their pregnancy when they haven’t even had a scan yet?”. We discussed how people shouldn’t be afraid to wait until 12 weeks but we agreed that even with our first pregnancy we would have been a little less confident, maybe acknowledging in our announcement that it was still early or that we had yet to have a scan.
I think the hardest thing about it was that it made DH and I feel that they hadn’t appreciated our story. They know about our miscarriages and had been told how the first was discovered (at our 12 week scan with no warning that anything was wrong) but it felt like they hadn’t appreciated what happened. It seems like they consider a miscarriage to be nothing more than a heavy period and that you would know if something was wrong. I wanted so much to warn them. To tell them to have a small part of them prepared for bad news at the scan, to try to save them from the horror of a missed miscarriage when you’re expecting to see your baby waving back at you on the scan. I didn’t say anything. Although for DH and I the experience of pregnancy will be forever changed, we don’t need to ruin the innocence for others. Anyway, it’s not like anything bad will happen for them, why would it?, they’ve made a social media announcement to everyone before they’ve had a scan, she drinks caffein and had wine over Christmas and they probably weren’t even trying. Of course they’ll have a textbook pregnancy!