Worry Over Miscarriage

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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?

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Author: Rita Brhel

Rita Brhel, BS, CLC, API Leader, lives with her family near Hastings, NE, USA, where she works as a WIC Breastfeeding Counselor. She also writes for Mothering and La Leche League's New Beginnings.

14 thoughts on “Worry Over Miscarriage”

  1. First of all, congratulations! With my first, we told around ten weeks. Like you, I was torn. These were my thoughts. The little one is already part of our family, whether s/he is born or not, so why not tell? At the same time, something I have learned from other moms who have miscarried is that people tend to feel awkward and not know what to say so they often pretend the pregnancy did not happen. For the mom dealing with the loss, this is heartbreaking. So, in a way, it’s easier, for some people, not to tell, particularly for those with multiple miscarriages. That being said, your post has given me a different perspective! I might just tell sooner if/when we get pregnant with #2!

  2. with my first (and thus far only) pregnancy i was so scared to tell anyone inside the first trimester. scared of miscarriage and scared of having to tell everyone if the worst happened. we waited until 12 weeks. i was happy with our choice but those first few months were also very lonely ones.

    now i see it a little differently. i’ve had close friends have miscarriages and have seen their struggles. i think in the future i would choose to share our news earlier, that way we could have as much support as possible. miscarriage isn’t something to be ashamed or embarrassed about and i wouldn’t want to have to hide my sadness.

  3. I had 2 miscarriages before my first baby was born. With the 1st pregnancy we told everyone right away because we were so excited! When I lost the pregnancy we were devastated and I had a close friend tell everyone else of our loss. I needed the love and support of my friends and family to get through it all so I can’t say I regretted telling people early on in the pregnancy. Even so we decided to wait until 13 weeks when we became pregnant the second time. Little did I know that my second pregnancy had quietly ended two weeks previous to our announcement. I started spotting a few days after we told everyone. Once again I had to lean on my closest friends for love and reassurance that I would one day be a mother. Those miscarriages left me in doubt of my body’s ability to grow a healthy baby and even when we were out of the “danger zone” of the 1st trimester, I worried. I worried until I was able to feel her move, and then I worried that she wasn’t moving enough. When she was born after a easy, un-medicated labor I breathed a sigh of relief. Only to start worrying all over again about a whole new set of things. Vaccines, breastfeeding, growth, development, emotional wellbeing, etc., etc. I’ve always been a worrier but I think worry just comes with the territory of motherhood and it starts the moment you find out you are pregnant. My advise is to follow your instincts about when to share the news. Personally, I could never have suffered through my losses alone but I’m sure that there are women that would prefer to keep it private.

  4. I have had two miscarriages in the last 14 months. With both pregnancies I “told” as soon as I knew we were pregnant. After both losses not only was I grieving, but I (and my husband) then had the task of relaying the heartbreaking news to family and friends. Each person that had to be notified was like reliving the loss over and over again. We are trying again and have decided to keep it quiet until we make it through the 1st trimester – even though loss can occur at any stage of the pregnancy. Although it will be lonely, it seems easier that way.

  5. I was pretty open with my 1st pregnancy. I have to be due to my job in the veterinary industry. There’s a lot you have to refrain from once pregnant. I didn’t worry too much. With my second pregnancy, I told friends and family and some co-workers. I tried to hide it from some co-workers. It had absolutely nothing to do with my being worried or ashamed about the pregnancy. I simply didn’t want certain people to know right away as I wasn’t close to them. I lost that baby at 8 weeks, two days after seeing a perfect baby on the u/s with a perfect and strong heartbeat. A miscarriage destroys your soul. And the response I got about my miscarriage and the way I handled it it (naturally, as opposed to getting a D&E) was downright disgusting. There is a horrid silence that comes with losing a baby. People don’t talk to you. People make comments about the way you grieve. People don’t make eye contact. I’m fine with being in my own little world with my baby and the few who know about him or her in the beginning. But, treating a mother like nothing happened, like she can just go out and get another baby and like she can…no SHOULD…get over it quickly is just wrong. That was an extremely lonely time.

    I am now in the first trimester of my third pregnancy. I’m 10 weeks and I saw my baby last week, heartbeat and all. I am frozen numb with fear. I’m a big time birth advocate and I always tell women to trust their bodies. But, my own confidence and pregnancy innocence is gone. In my mind and heart I *know* I shouldn’t give into fear. I tell myself to feel the joy everyday…and I do. I tell myself and I understand that fear gets me no where. Still, it’s there. I have talked with countless mothers (and some fathers) who have experienced miscarriages since I had mine last year. Almost all of us are the same with pregnancy after loss. You know and you want to be fearless and carefree, but the experience of a baby’s death leaves a scar on you forever. For some of us that scar is superficial and we don’t always notice it. For others, it’s deep. You don’t want to give any power to that fear, but you can’t always silence that little nagging thought in the back of your mind that is waiting for the other shoe to drop. We don’t keep our little passengers a secret out of shame or because they are any less of a child. I believe life begins the moment that sperm and egg hit it up. I believe the life I carry is sacred and I have so much respect. I have shared my happy news with those I want to share it with. I have bought maternity clothes and some cloth diapers already. But, I keep the news from certain people because I just don’t feel they need to know at this point. I enjoy my little secret. Soon, my secret will be very obvious and then everyone will know. I’m not superstitious. I don’t believe buying baby gear at 5 weeks pregnant will cause a miscarriage. I don’t believe sharing the news on Facebook 10 minutes after you pee on a stick will doom the pregnancy. But, I definitely understand where the dear comes from and why some women keep it secret.

    1. Jenn, its like i know where you are coming from with some of the the things you are saying here. First off I had two miscarriages in the past and they were both different relationships. The first one was at 17 weeks in 2003 and the last one was at 19 weeks in 2006 so i was well past my first trimester and into my second. With both pregnancies when i lost the babies i was devistated and lost but i do remember telling people about both pregnancies early on which did make it hard on me when i lost them because i had to go back to everybody and tell them the sad news while i was still mourning myself.

      So now i am in a new relationship and on my third pregnancy. I am 12 weeks and i’m not gonna lie i am scared to death. And as for people knowing, A good majority of people know becuase of word of mouth and not even my mouth. I only told my closest friends and family and a few close co worker friends and one of them told everybody! I didnt want that because the fear of me miscarrying again heaven forbid.

      And as for the father of the baby hes estatic about me being pregnant because its his first baby and all so he wanted to tell everybodt from the time he saw the stick i peed on..But i really had to convince him to wait till i was 3 months to mention it to everybody because of my past losses which he knows all about becuase i told him about them alot before i became pregnant. It was hard to get him to wait to tell the news to his friends and family and extended facebook friends and family. When i tried explaining to him why i didnt want him to tell he took it a whole another way like i was trying to keep it a secret or was ashamed but its nothing like that at all. I want this baby as much as he does i;m just afraid becuase of my past. and heaven forbid something terrible happens again then he has to go back to all those people he announced it to and share the sad news. Thats the reason why the people that knows now is the only people that im going to tell for a while until i get more comfortable. As for him he already put it out there on facebook with sono pics and all so theres no turning back there. Im just trying my best not to stress too much even though its hard. This time around i am considered high risk pregnancy, and am on full bedrest so its not easy. I’m just taking it day by day and trying to pray and stay positive..

  6. I’m definitely too afraid to announce early. It happened to my best friend, she announced, then miscarried. People kept asking her about it for months, and every time it hurt all over. Everyone spreads the word about pregnancy, but miscarriage tends to be a very hush hush thing.

  7. I have had 4 pregnantcies but by the grace of God have only 2 children. Both miscarriages happened between my babies. The first I had told every one that I was pregnant and it hurt so much to tell people that I had lost my babie – it hurt real bad. So the next time we got pregnant I told my husband we will not tell any one not his folks nor mine until after 12 weeks. We lost that baby too, but this time I ended up in the ER. It still hurt to lose my baby but at least that time I did not have to tell every one the story. And now we have Eddie 18 months old – with my eldest at 5 years we have decided to not have any more. All in all it will hurt to lose a baby no matter the age.

  8. One thing first that you might want to fix…you say “I believe life begins at BIRTH” and in the next sentence refer to the new life inside you…I think maybe you mean to say “I believe life begins at CONCEPTION” or possibly “implantation”, but it doesn’t make sense the way it’s written in regards to the point you are making 😉

    Second: congratulations! I’ve had morning sickness, so I know it’s not fun, but it is a good sign for a healthy pregnancy. I hope it subsides soon and the rest of your pregnancy is easy and uneventful 🙂

    I have had a miscarriage, the same day I found out I was pregnant. So I wasn’t able to tell anyone except my partner, and I have hesitated to share the “news” with others because in addition to people saying dumb things *about* miscarriage, they say dumb things when you have one (especially an very early one). Things like “oh, that baby obviously had something wrong with it, you should be glad you won’t have to take care of a disabled child” or “oh, you can have another”.

    But I do agree with you…the fear of having a miscarriage shouldn’t prevent you from telling others before the second trimester. You wouldn’t hide it the entire pregnancy even though I know of people who have had late stillbirths (in the third trimester) due to cord accidents and various defects. Life–inside or outside of the womb–is not a guarantee. But that doesn’t mean we have to live in fear of death.

  9. Congratulations Rita!

    I had one miscarriage, and while the worst part was certainly dealing with the loss, being forced to tell those I had told I was pregnant, made it more difficult. But that’s me. I’m a very private person. Or, I should say, I used to be. Blogging has changed a lot of that.

    I think it’s fine to talk about your pregnancy early on and if you have a miscarriage, talking about it might help people understand that you are sad or going through a trauma and they will understand why.

  10. Thank you for this site and all the comments; It’s been very helpful ! I had my first pregnancy in August of this year and it ended in a miscarriage at 6 weeks. We hadn’t told anyone, and I felt really alone during the whole grieving period. I was devastated, but we had only been married a month when we’d conceived, so I was very hopeful we’d conceive again, and sure enough, 4 months later and I’m 5 weeks pregnant!!! With Christmas just a few days away, we felt we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share the exciting news with our families, who are dying for grandchildren! I am so, so scared of another miscarriage though that I’ve turned into such a worrying mess. I am hoping sharing the news and excitement with our families early will help keep me positive and worry a little less. Plus, I’d really like to be able to ask my mom questions throughout the pregnancy. My doctor told me our pregnancies go a lot like our mother’s did, so to use her as a reference?? I don’t know if it is true, but I know my parents conceived the first month as well, and it ended in miscarriage at 6 weeks, too.

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