By Rita Brhel, www.theattachedfamily.com
At the end of December, I found out that I’m pregnant with my third child. My first emotion was pure joy and uncontainable excitement. My second emotion was worry. Worry over the health of my baby, worry over the fear of miscarriage. Not that I have any particular reason to worry, but some expectant mothers have this practice of not announcing their pregnancy until the second trimester, just in case a miscarriage should happen.
I found out with my first baby that worry and motherhood go hand-in-hand, so this emotion was nothing new. But still, there is nothing pleasant about worrying. It doesn’t bring a magic solution. Worrying doesn’t guard against bad things. But I am a worrier by nature.
Today, I decided that I’m not going to wait to announce my pregnancy. I’m in my first trimester. I have a long way to go before I see this baby face-to-face. And I don’t want to wait that long to tell the world that there’s a new little one in our family.
For one, I’m dead tired and starting to get morning sickness. This is bound to clue some people in to what’s going on. Hard to cover those signs up when they’re happening every day. Saying I have a little touch of stomach flu starts to look suspicious after two weeks of nonstop sickness.
Another reason, the biggest reason, is that I want to enjoy this pregnancy. I don’t want to keep it a secret while I secretly worry about the future. I want to hang on to every moment, during the moment, and not think about what could happen.
And I want to acknowledge that I now have three children, and one of those is in my belly. I believe that life begins at birth, and I want to acknowledge this new little life within me. My older children have already nicknamed the baby, “Baby J,” which is short for what they want to name the baby: Jingle Bells. The older children ask every time I go somewhere if I’m going to the doctor to get the baby out. That’s when I pull out the diagrams of developing babies and show the children how small their baby brother or sister still is. And they touch my belly, which is not yet showing, hoping to feel a kick. I know all they feel is my bloated stomach – but they’re convinced that they feel the baby. And they are so excited to meet him or her. So, yeah, Baby J is already a part of our lives.
True, something could happen to my baby. But worrying about a miscarriage is like worrying that every time my three- and four-year-old children walk out the door, something bad could happen to them. And who wants to dwell on that? And when someone mentions to me that I shouldn’t tell people that I’m pregnant yet because I could have a miscarriage, I say, shame on them. What a terrible thing to say, that one of my children could die. If that happened, yes, of course, I would be devastated. Just as I would be devastated if something happened to any of my children. Miscarriage shouldn’t be talked about in such a way.
We don’t keep our children outside the womb a secret, just in case. Should we do that with the children inside the womb?