So after my last post on pregnancy after loss feelings, it was almost synchronicity that something would have to trigger off all those feelings again. I just didn’t think it would be the very next day…
Yesterday, in quick succession, I got messages from two friends congratulating me on my pregnancy. Neither of them were people I had told. What had happened was that Person A had been invited to my baby shower. (She can’t make it.) She then told Person B, as they work together. And then Person B told Person C.
On my baby shower invitations it really clearly says “Please do not mention on social media.” I hadn’t anticipated that people would think telling people off social media would be fair game.
Now, I come with a history of infertility and a recent-ish (one year ago) miscarriage. I am 28, almost 29 weeks pregnant. In most people’s eyes, this is 6 months pregnant nothing-to-worry-about but that’s not how I feel, and there was a specific reason why I didn’t tell Person C in particular.
Person C was the person who absolutely crushed me when I told her about our miscarriage last year. I can’t even bring myself to think about it, but let’s just say she said all the wrong things. In case you are wondering what those are, they included:
“At least you know you can get pregnant.”
“It happens to loads of people.”
“Why don’t you just adopt?”
“Sometimes it’s not meant to be.”
“How far along were you?”
I have answers for all of those (which mainly involve paraphrasing a ruder version of “You’re not helping”) but that’s not the point of this post. The point is, I responded in a very visceral way and I am still kicking myself about it.
Firstly, Person B. She doesn’t have children. Actually I don’t have a big issue with her knowing. But I would have preferred her not to have mentioned it to Person C. She was actually apologetic and said that Person A had clearly said that it should not be mentioned on social media, but hey ho, she’s very good friends with Person C so I suppose that it was to be expected.
Person C. I actually did a blog post about her a while back but I took it down because I feel like a lot of my problem with her is my problem and not hers. Person C is older than me – and I’m considered a “geriatric mother”. She got pregnant first go, after waiting, in her 40s, and whilst on honeymoon. By all accounts Person C is a borderline alcoholic or at the very least an enthusiastic binge drinker. Like, not the person you’d expect to get pregnant that easily but I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles. And I get that. People get pregnant all the time.
What most people do though is have a modicum of sensitivity. Person C is kind of not that person. She’s actually great fun in real life, but over time I’ve distanced myself from her as she has a habit of not saying the right thing (putting it mildly). For instance when I split up with my ex, she told me she had never expected it to last. (Umm, it was like a decade and you came to my wedding.) So when she kept pestering me about coming to meet her baby, I felt like the best way to deal with that was to tell her about the miscarriage.
After the very upsetting exchange last year I just settled on not telling her stuff, and so I had absolutely no plans for her to be invited to my baby shower or even to know I was pregnant until the baby was born.
Instead I got this message from her. And I said thanks, who told you? And she told me Person B. And I said can you please not put it on social media as we are not telling people. And it just sort of escalated from there. She kept pushing on congratulations, how do you feel? And pregnancy questions and I just said I am not really into talking about it and there’s a reason I haven’t publicised it. And she wanted to know why. Like, the stupid ***** had completely forgotten about our conversation about miscarriage last year. Her response when I told her was “Oh I thought it was really early.” Like really… so it didn’t matter because it was “early”. Let’s not think about the months and years leading up to that.
She then had the cheek to say she was here to talk if I wanted to talk. Like, she’s the absolute last person I’d ever want to talk to about this! And then just to make it even better, “I had a miscarriage too. Sucks.” Well, yes, it really does. Why aren’t you more sensitive about it then? I literally cannot fathom why she thought any of this was comforting to me. And I know I am in danger of offending people here but I can’t even describe how different it is if you don’t have a child. She already has a healthy child and seemed to be suggesting miscarriage was no big deal (because I shouldn’t care because my last one was “early”) and I just can’t even.
Anyway, I don’t mean to rehash the whole conversation. It ended badly. She told me that as I was 6 months I should just “not worry about it” and I was just getting more and more upset and I told her that it wasn’t as easy as that and I really did not want to talk about it. It finished with her saying “ok” and me feeling suddenly like I was the bad guy.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, I know I handled it badly. I know I’m okay at receiving congratulations from people – if they are people I wanted to tell, and not people who I specifically didn’t want to tell. It is really hard when you open up to someone about loss and your fears about pregnancy after loss and they tell you in a blasé fashion “not to worry”. Speaking from a place of having a healthy child or children. (I’ve lost count of how many people have said to me they had difficulties and whatever but now have two kids or whatever… It is not the comfort they think it is. Unless they are actually empathising it seems extremely cruel to tell people not to worry, like I can’t imagine they were completely carefree about it until they actually had their children.)
I thought I was doing better. I thought maybe the babymoon had done me good. But I’ve spent the whole time since the conversation yesterday feeling bad about it.
I had the NHS growth scan yesterday as well, and although it was fine, it didn’t really put my mind at rest. B’s growth has accelerated – particularly his stomach, which went from about 50th percentile to 100th. So he’s a fatty! This puts me at risk of suspected gestational diabetes. I’m not overly worried since I saw my amazing midwife this morning, but I was kind of mildly worried last night, so the timing probably wasn’t good. I have to go in for a glucose tolerance test in the next week. Also L (amazing midwife) said that sometimes the measurements can vary from scanner to scanner so they just need to rule it out. B is maybe just a big baby. (I’m v small so that seems like sod’s law!) We have the private scan tomorrow so we shall see. I’ve also been given iron tablets (which apparently turn your poo black!) as I’m slightly anaemic, so that at least accounts for the crushing tiredness I’ve been feeling!
T and I are going to the cinema tonight to see The Light Between Oceans. I’m anticipating a massive weepie. (I think it has pregnancy loss in. And adoption. Wonder why I wanted to watch it so badly!) So maybe I need to figure out some lighter things to lift my mood! On the plus side, I spoke with my boss today and he still seems to like me, and he’s even hinting about increased responsibility for me when I get back from mat leave. So it’s not all bad. And I’ve worked from home today and spent lots of time with Dog. It could be worse!