I’m 6 weeks pregnant.
But even as I write this, I’m not sure I’m going to push the publish button. Maybe I’m better off saving this post for when I’ve cleared this mystical and sacred 12 week scan and there’s a slightly better chance that things will be ok.
The thing is, it wasn’t quite planned. It wasn’t unplanned exactly (read: I have a husband, and my mother has been busting my balls about getting too old to have a kid for the last three years) but we hadn’t actually started trying.
And the issue with not quite being prepared is…well, you’re not quite prepared. I had no idea about just how important folic acid was (I’m still not really sure because I’m too scared to look anything up on the internet knowing just what a catastophiser I can be). I boozed like a crazy woman before I made the surprise discovery. I ate raw seafood, rare steak, unpasteurised cheeses. I didn’t know about the breakthrough bleeding, the headaches or the low blood sugar levels. And I still kind of don’t. I don’t know what I’m supposed to know, basically.
But I know people who do. Friends who have been or who currently are pregnant, and who have been through it all.
So why, at this very important time in my life when I need support around me the most, do I feel like I shouldn’t tell anyone just yet?
Here’s something I didn’t know: 40% of women my age who are going through their first pregnancy will miscarry in the first trimester. FORTY PERCENT. Know how I found out? When I had signs of a miscarriage just three days after finding out I was pregnant and was whisked through the hospital system. The lovely doctors and nurses were all very quick to assure me that “if” something went wrong, I shouldn’t worry because it was so common and was no indication of whether I would be able to have a child later or not.
This is just one of the reasons why we’re conditioned to believe that we shouldn’t share our news until we’re “in the clear”. But why? For our own sakes, so that we don’t have to go through a round of pitying “it’s nature’s way” pats on the backs? Or is it for everyone else’s sake, so they don’t have to think of something to say in an awkward situation?
Truth is, if something did go wrong, I would want to talk to my girlfriends about it. Wouldn’t it be better if we all took a little comfort in each other’s war stories as well as happiest moments? It can’t be right of us to perpetuate a myth that everyone strikes it first time lucky. Women would feel far less alone if they could openly commiserate with others who had been through the same emotional rollercoaster.
I didn’t push the publish button. Despite my grumbling, I couldn’t quite do it. I did indeed tell some of my close girlfriends, but I couldn’t talk myself into making the news public so early. I’m now 13 weeks pregnant and fingers crossed, all is looking positive! Which means I can now start day dreaming about what fancy dress I’ll be putting our kid in first…