Sunday, 27 February 2011

When to tell people you are pregnant?

No I am definitely NOT pregnant. But Orson's death and my recent early miscarriage made me rethink when I will tell people I am pregnant if I am lucky enough to be pregnant again.

It seems almost traditional to wait until you are past the first trimester to share your good news. That is presumably because the chance of miscarriage drops dramatically after about 12 weeks. And for some reason early miscarriage is treated like some kind of dirty secret that you don't want people to know about.

In my first pregnancy with M I waited a lot longer than 12 weeks to tell people I was pregnant. I was 16 weeks when I told my parents and 21 weeks when I told everybody else. It was almost as if I didn't really believe I could actually be pregnant so didn't want to jinx anything by sharing the news.

With my second pregnancy I didn't tell anybody until I was 19 weeks. I had bleeding and wasn't given the all clear (how ironic) that everything was okay until 19 weeks. By that time everybody had guessed I was pregnant anyway as I showed quite a bit. But then 2 weeks later my waters went...

With my most recent pregnancy ending at 11 weeks I hadn't told anybody. When I miscarried I ended up telling a lot of people. I blogged about it, told close friends, told colleagues at work... So why did I keep it such a secret when I just told everybody when everything went wrong?

My new thoughts on the matter are that if I am lucky enough to get pregnant again I will tell people a bit earlier. I might as well tell those people I would tell if I have a miscarriage so at least I can for once share some happy news even if it is just for a very short time.

When did you tell people you were pregnant? When will you tel them about a future pregnancy? Would live to hear your views on this.

Friday, 18 February 2011


It has been 3 weeks since my miscarriage and I think I am doing well. But today is a good day. I feel slightly positive about the future.

Isn't it strange how although nothing changes from day to day some days are easier than others?

The day I went back to work I struggled a lot. I found myself almost in tears for most of the day. I kept expecting people would ask why I had been off work and had no idea what I would tell them. Of course lots of my colleagues already knew, but thankfully of those that didn't know nobody asked me outright why I had been away from work, although I did get asked if I was feeling better. To which I just replied "yes."

Straight after the miscarriage I struggled. But I think that is probably normal. I found myself having trouble getting to sleep at night. I thought about Orson a lot. How if he had survived I would never have tried to get pregnant again. Of how I missed him. It didn't help how the operation (erpc) I had was in the same hospital and even the same Theatre where I ended up when I had Orson.

I have had lots of 'feeling sorry for myself' thoughts. Most of these thoughts involve the immense time it takes to conceive and give birth to babies (without having a miscarriage, stillbirth etc). As I have said before it makes me wonder why people ever bother to use birth control as it feels so difficult to have children. I know it isn't the case with everyone. And that hurts. The fact that some people have babies easily, I know I have M and I am very grateful I have him. I have it better than a lot of women who have lost babies but then there are just so many who have had it even better than me...

But I am not going to dwell on these negative feelings today. I WILL be positive. It is hard to be positive about a pregnancy ending in miscarriage, but i will attempt it here for your amusement:

1. Whilst we didn't conceive this latest pregnancy ultra quickly we did conceive. I don't have any infertility problems. I have been pregnant 3 times. We can do it a forth time.

2. I didn't have any bleeding in my latest pregnancy until I started to miscarry. With my pregnancy with Orson bleeding started at just 6 weeks and my consultant thinks that may have ultimately caused my waters to break. So 2/3 of my pregnancies have not had really early bleeding, maybe that will be a trend?

3. The Consultant believes there is no connection between the miscarriage and losing Orson. I was just unlucky. But then combine anything with stillbirth and you are unlucky. Very unlucky.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Raising awareness of stillbirth

The stillbirth of Amanda Holden's baby (see my last post) has meant that stillbirth has been discussed in the press more than normal recently. Raising awareness of stillbirth is fantastic. Here are links to three articles discussing stillbirth, all recently published. All are from papers I never normally read but a Google search of stillbirth news brought them up and I thought they were surprisingly good.

This article is written by somebody who experienced stillbirth years ago. I liked how she described her experience and said you never truly get over the experience despite what people think (and tell you):

This article describes some causes of stillbirth and explains that treatment of women who experience stillbirth has changed over the last twenty years in the UK:

This last article explains how babies are ten times more likely to be stillborn than die of cot death and examines why stillbirth is such a taboo subject despite it's frequency:

Finally while I am doing a really easy 'list of links post' here is a final link to a great website trying to raise awareness of stillbirth. The campaign known as Chloe's 'Count the Kicks' Campaign aims to encourage mothers to be very aware of their baby's movements and seek help if they are concerned. It is a great campaign that I support:

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Reporting of Amanda Holden's stillbirth is a miscarriage in the press

Yesterday evening I heard that Amanda Holden an actress and judge on a talent show here in the UK had given birth to a stillborn son a few days previously. She was seven months pregnant. I recognised Amanda's name but wouldn't have recognised a photo of her and wouldn't have been able to say why she was famous. I am saddened to hear about her loss. I wouldn't want anybody to go through the pain of losing a baby. My thoughts are with her and her family.

The reporting of Amanda Holden's loss really annoyed me. Most of the initial reports from news websites such as BBC News reported that Amanda had suffered a miscarriage. A miscarriage? She was seven months pregnant! How can reporters not realise that a loss of a baby at seven months is not a miscarriage? It is either stillbirth or neonatal death. They really should get their terminology correct. I cannot give you a link to any of the stories using this incorrect terminology because thankfully most have now started to refer to the loss as a stillbirth.

I have seen so many comments on websites from women who have lost babies complaining that the press used the term miscarriage instead of stillbirth. I know it is just a word but it really does make a difference to those of us who have experienced such a loss. Correct reporting helps raise awareness, incorrect reporting makes women like myself who have experienced stillbirth feel like reporters are trying to demean our loss. I am not saying that miscarriages are not painful, and I still believe that there needs to be a change in terminology for late miscarriages. Sadly I feel - and I could be wrong- that many people who have not experienced late miscarriages, stillbirth of neonatal death think of early miscarriages when they hear the word miscarriage. They assume they are common and that the women can just "try again" and will "have better luck next time."

Using the term miscarriage for a loss at seven months feels hurtful, perhaps I am wrong about this, please let me know if I am, but to me if somebody calls the loss of Orson a miscarriage I feel like they do not realise what I went through and what I am still going through. Having given birth at term to M and had a stillbirth at seven months, I know that both experiences of labour are equivalent, but there is one big difference, with the stillbirth you do not have the excitement of knowing you will soon hold your baby. The stillbirth is so much harder and that is an understatement.

So if any reporters read this (I would be shocked if any did) please, please, please check your terminology is correct before you write stories about the loss of a baby in the future. It really will make a difference.