26.2.13

exactly why we tell people we're pregnant early

Yesterday Brad and I giggled in an elevator on our way to the 5th floor of a building that we have come to love over the past three years.

Yesterday while he got me a spicy vanilla latte from the Starbucks on the main level, I answered medical questions and was weighed and had my blood pressure taken.

Yesterday we had a babysitter so I didn't have to go to my first doctor's appointment alone.

Yesterday was very familiar and completely different.

It's how we've always done things with each pregnancy. Brad doesn't come to every appointment but he comes to the first one because that's when you hear your baby's heartbeat for the first time. It wouldn't seem right him not being there.

And those clinical beds topped with crunchy paper are never comfortable but we were at great ease as we laughed about me wanting twins and anything in the room we could make a joke about.

And then the nurse couldn't find the heart beat.

I wasn't completely panicked because I know sometimes it takes time. Three minutes passed. Then five. Still no heartbeat. She was really calm and assuring but the tears were welling up in my eyes and Brad's I'm-trying-to-encourage-you smile was looking a little fake.

So the doctor came in and tried with a stronger doppler. And couldn't find the heartbeat.

We kept hearing mine, but it was much slower than a baby's so we weren't fooled. Five minutes. Ten minutes. She kept trying and I kept crying. Twenty minutes passed and she started asking me questions about how the pregnancy has been going. Not a good sign. Has there been any spotting? Any cramping? How have you been feeling? I had all the right answers but I also know full well that a woman can miscarry with no symptoms and still have  strong pregnancy symptoms until after she has miscarried.

She turned the machine off and suggested an ultrasound. At this point, I was sure we'd lost the baby and all I could think about it how am I going to get through this? Brad was still trying to be positive but he also started reminding us both that God is good no matter what happens today. Truth I love, but I knew I was only hearing it because he, like me, assumed the worst was going to happen.

And seconds after the ultrasound began, we saw our baby's teeny tiny heart. Beating away. Healthy as ever. Hidden from the doppler but so clearly a thriving baby with accurate measurements and no cause for concern.

We cried and laughed and exhaled and it was my favourite moment ever.

And relief washed over us but it could have easily been grief. I've never been naive about the possibility of miscarriage. In fact, I've probably worried about it too much for each and every one of my pregnancies. My prayer life is consumed with petitions to God to keep our baby alive in the 1st trimester and I've googled all the stats and facts about a hundred times.

Which is important to note, because one of the first comments I seem to always get from people when we announce our pregnancies long before the 12-week mark is "aren't you afraid you'll miscarry?"

OF COURSE I'M AFRAID I'LL MISCARRY. Every single time I'm pregnant I'm afraid I'll miscarry. Which is exactly why we tell people we're pregnant when it's still a large possibility. Friends of ours demonstrated this so gracefully years ago, before we were even pregnant. They told people they were pregnant and she miscarried, and they then told people what had happened. I knew then, as I was part of their grief with them, that I would do the same thing when I became pregnant.

If we claim to put a high value on community, family, friendship, and fellowship, we felt we needed to live that out - and early pregnancy seemed like an ideal time. Sharing joys and griefs alike is one of the purest ways to do that. I share about my pregnancies early because I can't contain my joy and can't hide it from those around me who I love. And if God should decide to carry us through the trial of a miscarriage, the same would be true of our grief.

Hiding grief and mourning in secret doesn't mesh well with our beliefs of the Christian life, particularly our views on community, and so, we share.

Yesterday I was absolutely expecting to be sharing grief with you all today. And I wouldn't have regretted for one second that I told the world I was pregnant. I would have needed delivered dinners and free babysitting and warm hugs and shared tears and back rubs and prayers and comfort, and you don't get those things when you mourn alone.

It takes a community, we believe, to mourn and heal. God designed things that way. And to properly celebrate and rejoice, too. So rejoice with us today, because our third baby is alive and well! I'm so glad you know :)


Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep 
[Romans 12:15]




24 comments:

  1. Thank you Lord!! He is so good to us. Praising Jesus for the little life that is growing inside of you!

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  2. Happy everything is well. We tell people early too. Friends & family... but usually don't put in out on the social network world until closer to 12 weeks, just because I don't always feel that those "friends" from highschool need to know EVERYTHING.

    On a 2nd note, I am surprised your doctors were concerned. We couldn't find a heartbeat at 10 weeks either and my doctor just said it was too early. Apparently it happens all the time. I went home from my first appointment without hearing the heartbeat and didn't think anything of it. Glad you got a picture of the babe though.. ultrasounds are the best!!

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    1. They weren't overly concerned and did say it might be too early. I'm 10 weeks and 4 days and both my other babies' heartbeats were strong enough at 11 weeks 0 days, so it was only a matter of 3 days difference. My doc will be away during my 12th week or age would have scheduled me then :)

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  3. ... i meant to include that we tell family and friends early because if anything happened, we would want their support. Same as you, we don't relish the idea of grieving alone.

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  4. I found those first weeks the hardest when thinking about having a miscarriage. So glad you guys were able to find that little one hiding in there!

    I completely agree about telling early we told church and friends and family but didn't make it total public news until a bit later

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  5. This is exactly why we did tell early and plan to do so again, should God see it fitting to bless us with more biological children in the future. I completely agree with you about the purpose of community. It's such a beautiful thing! Definitely rejoicing with you and your family today!

    http://www.domesticblissdiaries.com

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  6. My doctor wouldnt even let me try to hear the heartbeat at 10 weeks because they didn't want to frighten us. We waited a LONNGG time because I had an anterior placenta, and didn't even feel movement much until late 3rd trimester. It was stressful but I learned to lean on the Lord so much during that time.

    We also told lots of people right away, but waited to post on facebook until 12 weeks, however, in the future I don't think we'll do it the same. I think we'll just tell our close family and friends, because they are the ones who are going to be there for you if something does happen. I don't think there is a "right" choice. Each couple needs to choose and decide what they need to do. One thing though that annoyed me was that we'd tell close family and asked them to keep it a secret and they told all their friends, and that irked me because I felt like it was our news. Oh well, nothing works out perfectly!

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  7. Rejoicing with you today!

    We lost our 1st baby. I was so thankful that we told everyone early, because, like you said, I NEEDED the support, love, prayers, help. Community done the right way is a most beautiful thing.

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    1. So glad you had that support in such a hard time, Cory. Hugs!

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  8. I told real life friends around 8 weeks and kept second guessing myself, but knew I would need people to know if I did miscarry. So thankful your little one is healthy :)

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  9. rejoicing with you as well. we lost our second baby at 12 weeks (3 weeks ago). Its one of the worst experience my husband and I have dealt with. The Lord is good at all times. So happy for you.

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    1. Oh Judy, so sorry for your loss.

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  10. Praise Jesus! Just reading your first few paragraphs made me sweat.
    This makes so much sense.. telling your family and friends, your community right away. After a number of early miscarriages and lots of grieving alone, I think I'll do things differently next time around. The support is so important (either way), and also the prayers! Having others to pray over your child and speak in faith for you and your baby.
    So happy for you guys!

    PS- relatively new follower, btw! :)

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    1. I'm so sorry for your loses Aja, and that you guys had to mourn alone :-( community is so wonderful! God bless you girl.

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  11. Praise the Lord!! So happy for you and your beautiful growing healthy family :)

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  12. This truly brought tears to my eyes as I read through this story! My heart was breaking with the possibility of a miscarriage for you! I am so happy that both you and baby are healthy! This is so exciting! Pregnancy is such a blessing! :)

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  13. Thank you all SOOOOO much for rejoicing with us! Xoxo

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  14. I am so glad to hear your baby is healthy. And I could not agree more about sharing in community. I have been dealing with infertility for 5 years and have been incredibly open about it. It makes a lot of people uncomfortable, but I honestly feel a little hurt when people feel they can't or shouldn't ask me about it. I don't want this struggle to bring me into myself and my grief; I want to share it and grow in love and relationships through it. I can't imagine anything more lonely than dealing with it without community.

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    1. I agree that sharing grief can sometimes make people uncomfortable, but if they're in your life/circle/family/whatever they NEED to care. For what it's worth I think you're right to share, ask people to pray, etc. So sorry to hear of your trials with infertility the last few years Kate, and hoping for a pregnancy + healthy baby soon! God bless xo

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  15. Thank God for your post. I have always wondered about that, and it makes so much sense to share with others our trials, blessings, struggles all alike! Truly, in good times and bad, we share to praise our God most high, that His name may be glorified. All things happen for a reason, and in it and through it, our faith becomes strengthened. (:

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  16. so so happy for you friend...and so relate and agree with all you have said!

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  17. Wow, I love what you are saying here. I have two children (on Earth) and have also miscarried a baby. It is a shame that people say "aren't you afraid you will miscarry" as if women should be ashamed to tell people about a baby that has miscarried. As if it should be our little secret and no one should know about that life. So sad.

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    1. totally agree Gillian! God bless your family.

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  18. Amazing... I needed to hear this. Thank you.

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