I dread the conversational “How many children do you have?” asked so eagerly, so innocently. Nor did I realize how often people feel compelled to ask it. Woven into the fabric of small talk, along with the weather and where are you from and what do you do? Continue reading
“We must try not to sink beneath our anguish… but battle on.” -Albus Dumbedore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
In almost every SHARE meeting, it comes up: the innocence of pregnancy has been stolen from us. There are no “normal” appointments. There are no “easy” conversations about how we feel. I open the Baby Center app installed on my phone to do kick counts and I see the cute drawings of plump babies, or the smiling, leisurely photos of women. I have contempt for their complacency and cringe when I read about pregnancy complaints. I can barely allow myself to have any complaints of my own, without feeling guilty. The final few weeks should be excitement; instead, still fear, anxiety, and pragmatic planning. Continue reading
I am known for having the “right words.” Can soothe angry customers, diffuse heated conversations, bolster efforts. I often think about how to craft my words to elicit the right response. But for all the diplomacy, I have never been more at a loss for words than when I became pregnant again and needed to start revealing that information. Continue reading
So many of my appointments are solo visits. I waver back and forth between wanting Ger there, and thinking “I should be able to do this alone. If this were a normal pregnancy, I would be able to go alone.” In the back of my mind, I still have an inkling of blame, where I feel like this is my cross to bear: my body that failed, therefore I need to take on all of the burden of the pregnancy, and not make it harder for him.
We can be in constant damage control mode. Or we can get in a healthier lane and run. -Jen Hatmaker
I was walking to Quentin’s classroom at day care to pick him up. His former teacher from last year poked her head out of her classroom and stopped me, saying “I just have to ask, are you pregnant?”
I’ve said nothing to anyone at the school, and worn a large coat but it is getting harder to hide. I nodded and she said “Congratulations!” to which I quickly shook my head saying “No, no…” She misunderstood, thinking I was saying that I wasn’t pregnant and started to apologize to which I said “No, I am, 17 weeks.”
My eyes were watering, I said “Well, you know I lost the baby…. Actually I lost two babies…”
After losing Nelle, I had emailed the school’s director. I was worried that Quentin might say something, and at 21 weeks, everyone knew I was pregnant. No one at the school knew I lost Iris, because I had never even said I was pregnant. I had planned to do the same this time, at least for a few more weeks.
After losing Nelle, this same teacher told me how sorry she was. Quentin was in her class at the time. She told me that she had also had a stillborn baby, so she knew what I was going through.
When she saw my face in the hallway, my tearful eyes, she said “I know, you know I’ve been there. I wish the very best for you.”
As I gulped and turned away, I was angry with myself for reacting that way. Will I ever be able to be excited about this pregnancy? Accept congratulations, rather than crying? I had to tell someone on the phone the other day and could hear my voice shaking the entire time.
Quentin’s school concert/Spanish program was that night, and after the encounter with his former teacher I spent the entire time completely off balance and trying not to cry.