Thursday 12 April 2012

Don't you know that it's different for girls?

Last night my school friend Hannah posted a picture of her 12-week scan on Facebook. I know this isn't a particularly uncommon thing to do, but it really took me by surprise. I felt a little tense when I saw it, as if she was in some way 'tempting fate'. At first I wasn't sure why I felt this way, but then it hit me. Why wouldn't Hannah post on Facebook? Why wouldn't she tell everyone she knows about the baby? Why wouldn't she anticipate that everything will go well and her baby will arrive safe and sound in October as expected?

This would be the normal reaction of a first-time Mum, happily awaiting the arrival of her first child. But as much as I try, I can't always feel like that and occasionally that makes me sad. I'm aware that sometimes my reactions are the abnormal ones...

To try to explain - as much as I feel the Boy and I have worked through the miscarriage and our grief from last year, there is something about the fact we lost our first baby and that we lost a twin this time, that makes our experience of pregnancy now a little different to that of my friends who have not had a loss.

It's like my eyes are somehow wider open to the bumpy path that lies ahead. My senses are more keen to danger, my ears more alert to warning signs. While some of my friends think nothing of discussing names, buying baby goods, and excitedly anticipating their scans, for me each of these appointments is a strain and a hurdle. Something to be endured, not enjoyed. I try hard to keep calm and think positively - and for the most part I am pleased that I achieve this - but because of our experiences I have a tendency to think the worst. At every appointment I almost expect to be told that the baby has died or something has gone wrong - even though I know logically that such news is extremely unlikely and that what has happened to us thus far has just been extremely bad luck.

I don't want to give the sense that I'm not enjoying this pregnancy, because I really, really am. I couldn't be more thankful that I am where I am, and at many points every day I find something about being pregnant or the baby that makes me smile - today's was the anecdote from my Baby Centre phone app, that tells me today the baby is growing sweat glands! A vital piece of information for me to know...!

I suppose my point is that I am just way more wary about what can go wrong than some of my pregnant peers. And I envy that innocence a little. I'd love not to see each scan the way I do - at my 12-week scan anyone would have thought I was walking in to face a firing squad, I was that frightened! And I know that's not a normal level of concern to have for that occasion. I'd love to book my NCT classes without feeling I have jinxed myself, or to pick up some clothes for the baby and not think that by doing so I have condemned myself to another loss.

I suppose I must just keep trying harder and harder to rationalise and comfort myself. I have every right to be hopeful and what will be will be. We've been stung before but we have survived, and what I must do now is take courage and hope for the best. Because more than likely, that's what awaits.


  1. I think it is more difficult and scary if something has gone wrong and that is okay.

    I certainly think beating yourself up about it is not worth it. You will feel more scared and more wary, but that does not take away from where you are now. I'm glad to hear that otherwise you love being pregnant and will keep you all in my thoughts.

  2. Thanks Siobhan - I guess I envy a little those around me who are going through the same process as me but with a lot less anxiety than I hold. Sometimes it would be nice not to worry so much! But I hear you that it's only normal given the circumstances we've had thus far. Thanks for your thoughts x

  3. Hugs to you, Elly. I also think everyone's experiences and how they cope are different. I would definitely find myself in more the line of thought you have... and as you know, have decided to be much less 'open' this time to the change in our lives.
    I did read an interesting piece once about why we shouldn't wait for even that 12 weeks mark, largely because if there were issues with the pregnancy, 'we' would need the support- not silence. I guess it depends how you deal with loss and grief. I personally, would probably go with silence. It is just how I am.
    I have friends on FB (through becoming a Mum) that share news about positive pregnancy tests where my untrained eye cannot even see a line (2-4 weeks along.) It is not for me, but I guess is there path.
    I hope you can feel less anxiety before baby arrives... I have had such conflicting feelings this time myself, I am already aware I am going to have 'regrets' about this journey second time around x

  4. Thanks Kate. I definitely agree with the piece you read about sharing news with family and friends when you feel the time is right. We wouldn't have coped with our loss without the support and love we received from those around us in the ensuing days. I suppose I just wish I could have more confidence that things will go well from us from here in. Some of the time I manage it - but I have quite a few friends due in the weeks before and after us, and I can see that their experience of their pregnancies is different to where I am now. Not that that is a good or bad thing - it's just different. And I feel I wouldn't mind a taster of that genuine belief that a baby is really on the way. Hopefully as more time goes by I can feel a bit more like that xx