Today, my babies should have been turning one. We didn’t celebrate, didn’t visit the cemetery, and I didn’t collapse into an alcoholic stupor.
Because, I’m pregnant.
I want to write “it looks like I am pregnant”, or, “I might be pregnant”. But the pee on the stick doesn’t lie. It doesn’t guarantee anything. But for the past three days (since the day my period was due), there have been two little pink lines of the stick. Very faint on the first day, but getting stronger day by day.
And there are a shedload of things that can, and probably will go wrong. At this point I am approximately 4 weeks and one day along. Something like 50% of pregnancies miscarry withing the first trimester – before 12 weeks. Conventional wisdom says that you shouldn’t announce a pregnancy until after this “danger period” has passed.
But hey, I was well out of my first trimester when things went pear shaped during my pregnancy with the twins. Aubrey was 19 weeks when he died. Archimedes was well past “viability” when he was born.
Crazy, terrible, devastating things happen during pregnancy, and there is no magic “safe” time. Your baby can die during labour, or you can have her for three years and have her die in her sleep. I have lost the comfort of believing that these things don’t happen, or that they happen to “other people”.
I am now the living embodiment of that horrible warning. The woman with the dead babies. The one that you don’t quite know what to say to. And that is ok – “I don’t know what to say” is a perfectly acceptable thing to say.
So the announcement is coming now for two reasons.
1. I am not your gorgeous glowing pregnant woman. I get really tired, really nauseous, and I find it really hard to stay cheerful and hide my symptoms in public. And this time there is one other symptom that I will be unable to hide. The all consuming terror. The countdown to early September (if we make it) will be glacial. Every hour, every twinge, every cramp, every visit to the toilet will be, in my mind, a harbinger of doom. It’s hard to live a normal life when you feel like that.
2. If this goes pear shaped, I will need people to know. Miscarriage is such a private thing, rarely discussed, usually hidden and secret. Baby loss used to be the same way, whispered about, but never discussed openly.
And that just isn’t my style.