I’ve never been very good at keeping things to myself at the best of times, and certainly if I was faced with something as exciting as finding out I’m pregnant, I’d probably struggle with keeping my trap shut, regardless of the implications!
But then, I’m not pregnant but was recently in the interesting situation of a close friend of mine revealing the wonderful news that she was pregnant. She shared it over dinner with myself and two other close mates, and of course we were thrilled with her news!
Thrilled as I was, I felt myself holding back; out of fear given she was only just at the 5-week mark! While her two other friends treated it with the enthusiasm expected when someone you love finally gets the dream she was hoping, I couldn’t help but be measured with my response. I just wanted her to be safe.
She said she wanted to tell us because naturally it was hard to contain her surprise and happiness at the finding, and also because if the worst-case scenario happened, she would need us there for all the support she’d undoubtedly need.
Sadly for my beautiful friend, a month later she got back to us and said she’d miscarried. To which, I burst into tears knowing how devastated she would now be.
And she was, and she probably needed us now more than she ever had, so for her it was right to at least tell us. There was still an amount of guilt that I felt that I had been hesitant to go completely with the elation she had that day, even though my fears were sadly founded.
Although we both knew she hadn’t reached the so called ‘safe’ period, in her heart she had that baby inside her and how on earth could she not feel connected to it, and how could she ever stop herself from feeling however you feel when you know that there’s a child growing inside you?
Of course she, as every other mother no doubt does, upon finding out they’re pregnant, allowed herself to believe that in 9 months she would have the little angel she’d always dreamed of having. Time, in this case as short as it was, held no protection to the fact that she was now grieving the loss of her child.
Although I’ve never had a miscarriage myself, I can only imagine the horrific grief that a mother, and equally the father must have to endure when they go from ‘feeling’ that child, only to find in one traumatic moment, it’s gone.
Even for us women who seem to talk about absolutely everything, how many of us have really talked about how this feels with our friends? And for the boys, how much support do they really get from their mates? As with all grief, the silence that comes after must be unbearable.
Is it better to protect yourself by not telling anyone your news until you clear the 12 weeks? Potentially allowing for the news to travel, only to then have to deal with not only the inconceivable pain of the loss, but then to never know when someone who hasn’t heard that you miscarriaged, innocently enquires where you’re at?
I thought of my friend alone that day in her apartment, discovering what only a mother that has miscarried could describe. How alone and soul destroying that time must have been.
And then, I think of the father, who although not physically carrying that child in his belly but undoubtedly in his heart must feel? Too terrible kinds of alone that tragically so many people out there know only too well!
I’m glad now that my friend did share her news so soon, because I realised that knowing she’d gone through the up, and then the horrific down, would have been extra silence she certainly did not need.