"What about a miscarriage? What do I look for?" I asked my doctor as I was leaving her office the morning I discovered I was pregnant. She never once brought it up. I almost forgot to. "Oh, right. Yes, that could happen. It does happen." She seemed uncomfortable. "There's about a 20 to 30 per cent chance it will happen. Call me if you have intense cramping with bleeding at the same time. Some spotting is normal, as is some cramping. But they shouldn't happen together." Later when I told my girlfriend how much that stat had terrified me -- 20 to 30 per cent -- she laughed it off. "No, that means there's a 70 to 80 per cent chance it WON'T happen! You have to think of it that way." So I did. I knew friends of friends who'd had miscarriages, but it wouldn't happen to me.
While Mother's Day is a celebration of love for many, it is a day of pain and grief for so many more. There are many faces of motherhood, some less obvious then others. There are mothers whose arms are empty; suffering from infertility, miscarriages or the death of a child. The world doesn't recognize them as mothers but they are and always will be.
While the majority of people haven't found the courage yet to talk with expectant parents about the risk of losing a child, how to survive such tragedies and continue to live, we need to be even more diligent in ensuring that we have experienced specialists in place that are available every time parents are facing the tragedy of losing their baby.
The shifts in friendships and relationships are extreme. The negative ones go all the way to a feeling of being shunned. Here comes the living nightmare, take cover. A couple who lost two children. Sometimes it feels like we have a contagious virus that others try to dodge by avoiding bereaved parents.
As I sit here, almost seven months pregnant, I'm faced with thinking about what the future holds for generations to come. I want to teach my children to do the right thing -- always. But with the layers of social media, experimentation with sex and drugs earlier than ever before, and the apparent lack of support from our justice system, how can I make sure they are safe?
Sticky situation: In our daily lives, from work to the community and even within our very own family, we regularly receive news that may make us uncomfortable and will at times, leave us speechless and paralyzed. To enlighten you, and hopefully prepare you for what to say and do, here are some suggestions.
Gwyneth Paltrow announced to the world this week that she suffered a loss at some point in her pregnancy that was so severe it almost took her life. And people made comments. That's the rub of celebrity gossip and celebrity news. These people are real people with real lives and real feelings. A loss is sad no matter who it happens to. Even if it's someone people don't realize is 'real.' Because ultimately, she very much is.
There is a fantasy surrounding pregnancy portraying it as a blissful state when women glow with health and the miracle of life. Yet, when a woman has experienced miscarriage and/or infertility, a pregnancy can be filled with fear and anxiety. We are not women who will ever experience that radiance that is supposed to accompany pregnancy.
I don't know where it came from, I don't know why, but from one moment to the next I was mourning my unborn babies. My heart felt the painful cramp of loss like it was freshly earned. I felt a wash of trauma sweep over me and I gasped to catch my breath. Great. Right here on vacation in Florida. In Target.