Forever changed

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!

17 thoughts on “Forever changed

  1. It took a lot of courage to go out with a couple that’s expecting. I’ve been avoiding every social situation like that. I don’t think your comment was bad either- it’s not like you told them about your miscarriages right there at the table. I probably would have just cried the entire time. This is exactly how I feel about people. Those that don’t care- everything is perfect. I do think part of them announcing is you NEVER think it’s going to happen to you. If you would have told me I’d have 3 miscarriages in 9 months and we’d be struggling for another 8 months, I wouldn’t have believed it. People are just so damn naive and I’m a bit jealous of that. I’m so glad you survived dinner. I still think about you often- I’m glad you posted.

    • Thank you. I think of you and my other blogging friends a lot too. In fact my evening was made considerably better yesterday when at dinner I sneaked a look at my phone and saw Lisette’s post about Sweet Pea 7 🙂

      Unfortunately (for us, great for them) almost all of our friendship group is either pregnant or has babies so we can’t really avoid it. In fact last night at dinner there was a pregnant couple, a six week old baby and two girls who are currently on maternity leave! I generally do ok in social situations but I think everything is still a bit raw and I was annoyed that I make such an effort to ask how the babies are and how the pregnancy is going etc that I just wanted someone to ask how we were and to acknowledge our situation rather than make us feel like we have to pretend it isn’t happening.

      Wow that was a bit of a rant. Sorry, it’s obviously one of those days!! x

      • The news about Sweet Pea 7 made my night too. 🙂

        I totally hear you about being annoyed that they didn’t ask about you. I hate that it all makes others feel so uncomfortable. I’m sure they care, but it’s just so hard for others to talk about. Rants are perfectly okay in the blogging world. 🙂

      • First of all I love you both. Both of your comments last night brought floods of tears to my eyes. I feel so blessed to have you both in my life. And it’s such a big part you play in my life. It sounds crazy that we’ve never met but I feel closer to you guys then I do in real life friendships I’ve had for decades. Your friendship and support is so hugely valuable to me. So thank you.
        Secondly, GK you have INCREDIBLE strength to have endured what you did last night. Seriously I don’t know how you did it. You are my complete hero. Like ACP says, there’s no way I could have done that either, I avoid everyone and anyone now. And for no one to ask about how you were doing, coping, feeling?! Unbelievable. I’m so glad you blurted out what you did. I’m afraid I would have done that, then balled my eyes out, swigged back every drop of alcohol on the table and stormed out. You have class. I hope that makes everyone think about what you’ve been going through. But I also recognise that unfortunately the majority of people are simply clueless to the complications associated with pregnancy and loss. Never thinking it could happen to them. It almost takes someone who’s been through it to spot that sadness in someone else, to have empathy, compassion, but why is that? Why does it have to be that way?
        As for the couple who’ve gone public already, I hope for their sake things go well, but their naivety shocks me. That’s not to say that no one should go public in the first trimester, but just that it’s important to understand the risks, and to be aware of every potential outcome. I have to agree with you though, that of course everything will be fine, because it just works for people like that, doesn’t it. This is so hugely unfair.
        Huge hugs to you both xxx

      • Thank you so much. I have to say it doesn’t feel like I’m being particularly strong. It’s not like I take it all in my stride. I still come on here after a night out with the pregos and new mums club and rant to you guys about it. But if I didn’t go out I’d feel like I was losing too much of my life to this horrid miscarriage lark. I guess there’s still a big part of me that is hopeful that we’ll get our baby and when we do I want to be able to share it with our friends, so that means I need to suck it up now and share in theirs. Some days it’s pretty tough though, particularly when I’m having a bitter and jealous day!

      • That’s what’s amazing about you, that you do it all hoping you will have a munchkin one day very soon. Because you WILL! Your actions are inviting it to happen! And you will share it with your friends and you’ll be so thankful you didn’t burn any bridges. Hang onto to that hope love, it’s so important xxx

  2. I don’t know what I’d do without you guys either and I too feel closer to you both than to many others in my life. I also thank you guys. I also completely agree with Lisette- it does take INCREDIBLE strength to have endured what you did last night. Hugs.

  3. I really really really think you shouldn’t feel like you need to keep the mood up by not mentioning your true feeligns and whats happening in your life. I understand the impulse, but isn’t all of this unfair enough without feeling like you’re so unimportant that you can’t talk about what’s happening to you because it might bring down the mood? I mean, it sounds like they could use their moods being brought down just a little, they’re so naively blissful it brings out my bitter angry side. I guess I’m just feeling defensive of you that they could dare not ask you how you’re doing, knowing you had surgery. It’s one thing to not ask about the miscarriage directly, but if someone has surgery (and yours wasn’t totally minor), you have to freaking ask how someone is recovering, don’t you?? And, you’re going out of your way to be the strong person who asks about their pregnancy (which is exactly as far along as yours was, ouch!!), and they can’t do a little thing like ask how you’re handling it all?

    People announcing so early without even having had a scan drives me insane too. On the one hand, I agree that this shouldn’t be a secret thing that people need to keep under wraps until some arbitrary point (because when is it ever actually safe??). But, on the other hand, it’s the complete confidence they feel sharing that early that makes me crazy. Especially when they know people like us, and STILL think it can’t touch them. We have friends who did the same thing, and It hurts so much because it feels like they’re saying miscarriages are OUR problem, and it could never touch them and their perfect reproductive organs. I’m probably ranting now, I hope your doing okay, clearly that dinner would have been too much for me to handle :).

    • Thank you. I completely agree with your comments about our people feeling as if miscarriage is OUR problem and not something which will affect them.

      I have to say it doesn’t feel like I’m being particularly strong at the moment. It’s not like I take it all in my stride. I still come on here after a night out with the pregos and new mums club and rant to you guys about it.
      If I didn’t go out I’d feel like I was losing too much of my life to this horrid miscarriage lark. Some days are pretty tough though, particularly when I’m having a bitter and jealous day!

  4. I agree with others. You are incredibly brave not justfor going, but asking them about it and even trying to maintain a positive atmosphere. That shouldn’t be expected of you, though honestly, I would have done the same thing.

    I would NEVER tell people before 12 weeks, but like you said, that’s only an infertile/miscarriage survivor thing to do. Everyone else announces it the moment they have peed on a stick.

    • Thank you. I have to say it doesn’t feel like I’m being particularly brave. It’s not like I take it all in my stride. I still come on here after a night out with the pregos and new mums club and rant to you guys about it. But if I didn’t go out I’d feel like I was losing too much of my life to this horrid miscarriage lark. Some days it’s pretty tough though, particularly when I’m having a bitter and jealous day!

  5. Your entry really made me reflect (yet again) on how terribly isolating it is to suffer through infertility/early-pregnancy loss/recurrent loss. It already requires so very, very much to sustain hope and to keep our fears at bay… now add to this the extra effort of masking our pain and sorrows NOT TO MENTION expressing interest in and joy for the pregnancies of others… It really is tremendous… After so many years, no longer able(?) and/or willing(?) to make the required efforts, I have surely allowed myself to travel too far down the path of isolation and have (possibly irreversibly) lost many, many friends.
    Don’t think twice about having had your moment of honestly the other night. You were incredibly generous in your presence and interest in your friends’ pregnancy. I also felt like engaging them, even a little bit, in your reality and struggles, is your way of fighting back against this natural tendency we all have to retract into ourselves and isolate. Suddenly speaking out was like a sign that your very being resisted! That IS strength. Your strength. And I admire you for it.

  6. There are three women in our church that are pregnant. ALL of them are right around where I would have been. They still have their babies, but I do not have mine. And I’m like you, it is easy to calculate how far along they are because their due dates are similar to what mine would have been. And it sucks. And I know that feeling of wanting to share, to tell them that you had a miscarriage, that you were pregnant too, and you want to have your baby be appreciated and your story be appreciated. I can so relate to you on this. Hugs to you – I know that must have been such a hard night for you.

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