Paranoid much? Why it took us 7 months to announce the pregnancy
Many people asked me why I took so long to announce my pregnancy. The truth is because I was shit scared to jinx anything. For those who have read my first blog post "My story - Why I want to start Mummy Diary" and friends would know it is because I had a miscarriage 3 years ago.
Even though miscarriages are common, and I know friends who have been through it, we all reacted to it differently. I have friends who hardly affected them at all, and got pregnant again quickly after. Then I also have friends who scared them emotionally and had to see a therapist and be on antidepressants. Whichever way it affected you, it is important to remember that it is ok to feel this way, as we all deal with grief very differently. For me, it was mostly self-doubt and guilt, as I blamed myself for what happened, even though it was of no fault of my own.
My first pregnancy was a complete accident, my husband and I weren't even trying, and it was just by luck that I got pregnant. It took us both by surprise, but I was also super happy and excited about it. My husband, on the other hand, was slightly freaking out.
My first scan (around 8 weeks) at the doctor went well. The fetus looks normal, and it had a heartbeat. I still remember I cried the first time I heard the little heartbeat beating - it was magical. I had all the symptoms of a healthy pregnancy, sensitive to smell, nausea, and fatigue, so as far as we were concern, the pregnancy was going well. However when I went for the second scan at 12 weeks, the most devastating news hit me, the doctor cannot find the heartbeat. At first, I had no idea what was happening, the doctor just went very quiet and calmly said, we should do another scan, then she broke the heartbreaking news that the fetus no longer has a heartbeat, my heart sank, and I just broke down in tears. Even though the doctor comforted me and told me that it wasn't my fault at all, I was just heartbroken and couldn't help but feel guilty about what had happened. The most shocking thing was, the fetus stopped growing around the 9 weeks mark, but I had zero symptoms that the pregnancy wasn't going well. I still had all the pregnancy symptoms, and I had no bleeding or cramps. The doctor gave me three options: I either wait and see if my body will pass out the fetus naturally, take medication to help it pass out or go for an operation to take it out. I opt for the first choice, as I don't want to do surgery and if possible want to do it as natural as possible. Unfortunately, my body didn't know how to eject the fetus, even though it was now a foreign body inside my womb. 3 weeks had gone by and nothing, which was slightly worrying, as we were worried about infection. Finally, I started t have cramps but still nothing, so I had to go into the hospital and take medicines to help it along. Honestly, it was a traumatic experience. Not only was I having terrible contractions, I was all alone, as Queen Elizabeth hospital won't let you have guests in the rooms after visiting hours. After a night of running back and forth to the bathroom, and under excruciating pain the fetus was out, and I was all cleared.
Even though afterward I had no other physical symptoms, emotionally I was a reck. It affected more than you can imagine. I closed down my company, I wanted a complete lifestyle change, but one thing I found very helpful though was talking about it with my friends. Even though every time I talked about it, it was upsetting, but it was also very healing, as I was getting this grief out of my system. Slowly but surely, I just accepted it and put it behind us, or so I thought...
When we finally got pregnant after 3 years of trying, I was ecstatic, but also super worried at the same time. The fear of another miscarriage just petrified me, and I was constantly worried. My only solace was whenever I saw my Chinese doctor she will say that it is going well and she is very confident with her help that it won't happen again. I went to her religiously for the first three months of my pregnancy, and whatever she told me to do or not to do, I followed it to the T. I was super strict with myself. If she told me not to eat something, I won't. She told me not to exercise, so I did none. Literally, whatever she said, I regarded it like the testament in the bible.
After the first trimester, we were finally comfortable enough to tell our families, which was lovely, as I finally had someone else to talk to about the pregnancy apart from my husband. He was great, but I was desperate for another women's opinion and input on this matter. As we are both first-time parents, we have no idea what is normal and what was not. So just being able to talk to other mums was such a relief and I was less scared and worried. We were going to announce it after we told our families, but then we heard horror stories about how some pregnancy can still go wrong up to the 5-month mark. So...we decided to wait. When we hit the 5-month mark, we had a bit of a scarce, so we decided to wait a bit longer to announce it, as we were worried something bad might happened.
It was only once we hit the 7-month mark, that we can finally have a breather, and know that the baby is okay as I can feel the baby daily now, so at least I know he is doing ok. Honestly, this whole pregnancy is a roller coaster ride, and it is not even over yet. As much as I do enjoy feeling my baby growing inside of me, I cannot wait until we get to meet him. I know, a lot of my mummy friends keep reminding me that right now it is an easier time than when I am still carrying him. But to me, even though I know it will be tough, at least I can see him and know that if anything is wrong, I can run to the hospital or doctor to see what they can do. During my 5-month scarce, even when I went to the hospital, there is nothing they can do but wait and see. Can you imagine how nerve wreaking that was?
I think once my son is born, I can finally and truly put the fear or miscarriage behind me. At least I know I can carry the pregnancy to the end.
If you have gone through a similar situation as me, I would highly recommend reaching out to friend and family to talk about it, and if needed professional help. There is no shame in seeking help; it doesn't mean you are weak if anything I think it is brave to find help when you need it.