Friday, February 17, 2017

Why I'm not hiding my pregnancy, even after a loss

There seems to be a difference in mindset these days as to wait until the end of the first trimester to announce a pregnancy, or tell people earlier. Probably a lot of this is enhanced since my parents' days because of social media making sharing much more prevalent across the board. There are those that pretty much tell everyone the second they pee on a stick and see the two lines, and those that make it 15+ weeks without a word! I feel like, for most people, there is still a 12 week wait-to-tell and there are the words of caution from parents, grandparents and others who say you should wait mainly because the chance of miscarriage drastically decreases after those first 12-13 weeks. The idea there being that since you haven't told anyone yet, you don't have to tell anyone if you lose the baby and that can be your secret with your spouse. I understand that mindset.... The first time Matt and I were expecting we were so excited it was hard to contain the news that I was pregnant. We had just gotten married and everything seemed so perfect. It was summer so hiding it was easy- I wasn't working so being sick I could do at home, I was in the best shape of my life so I wasn't showing, and we didn't see a lot of people like you would around the holidays. We announced our news at 10 weeks, almost to the "wait until the end of the first trimester" mark, so we thought we were in the clear and off and running, happily ever after, right? Nope, most of you know what happened. Just after 16 weeks my water broke prematurely do to an infection and 6 days later our little boy's heart stopped, I was induced and our dream came to an abrupt end. After much internal debate, I decided to share my story publicly and the outpouring of support was overwhelming. So many people came forward telling their stories of miscarriage and stillbirth and I would have had no idea because they kept it a secret. Losing a child during pregnancy is heartbreaking- it's like going from the highest high to the lowest low. Why do we keep it a secret? Why do we sit alone crying to our spouse, thinking we did something wrong and are a failure, searching the internet for answers and not leaning on friends and family because heaven forbid you would have told them something went wrong?

I think the biggest part of this problem seems to be that we keep pregnancy a secret in the first place. At any given moment, there are probably thousands of women suffering the loss of a pregnancy in silence. It's heartbreaking to think that they are grieving in private, trying to act normal in public, and move on without much support- and most likely the support of strangers found online in chats and groups instead of loved ones. I have cried numerous times re-reading posts and notes people sent to me in support about my own experience, people I hardly know sharing their stories, sending love and sharing stories of positive outcomes after a loss. So back to my original thought...why do we wait to share our happy news? Are we afraid people will find out we are pregnant and then we have to tell them we lost it if the worst happens? If I learned anything from my previous experience it is that you are not in control- sharing or not will not make a difference in the outcome of the success of a pregnancy. I may be alone, but if the worst happens again I want people to know. I want others to know they are not alone if it has happened to them. I want my friends to know that I am not ok and why. More importantly I want to announce early because I want people to know there is hope after a loss. That all these months spent grieving, seeing women with babies, everyone around me seemingly getting pregnant with no effort, baby things everywhere, my emptiness that most people don't understand, still existing has a happy ending after all. And if tragically something happens again I don't want to hide my pain. It is not a failure as a woman, nor an embarrassment that I need to hide. I want to share my pregnancy early because I am so happy there is a rainbow at the end of the storm.

Rainbow Baby Lamberti- Due October 1, 2017 

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