It’s considered “safe” to tell people about your pregnancy after 12 weeks, since the chances of a miscarriage after that point are extremely low. This protects you from many painful, awkward, tragic conversations if you tell everyone, have a miscarriage, then need to tell them all the bad news over the next few months as they ask how the pregnancy is going. Each one of those conversations can be incredibly emotionally taxing.
That, and writing being my preferred method of coping with my feelings, is why I’m telling you in a blog post that we lost our 21-week pregnancy. We live our lives in public. Thousands of people knew we were pregnant; I can’t bear thousands of tragic conversations.
There were earlier warning signs, but there was always the chance that they wouldn’t matter. A critically low PAPP-A only weakly correlates to negative outcomes; the difficulty locating in every ultrasound could all have been unlucky positioning; the low movement could have just been a mellow personality.
In retrospect, we were let down gently, but it was still a shock to hear three specialists in the span of a few hours tell us that there was poor placental function and bloodflow, poor development, no amniotic fluid at all, and no realistic chance of survivial, mostly due to the inability for lungs to develop.
We didn’t have a choice whether to end the pregnancy — we could only choose whether to end it under our control or wait for nature to take its inevitable course to a stillbirth, which would have been far worse, physically and emotionally, and much more risky. On every specialist’s recommendation, we chose a dilation and evacuation to maximize Tiff’s safety and our chances of a successful pregnancy next time. We’ve always been pro-choice, but this wasn’t really a choice.
I’m not sure which is worse: quietly coping with an early miscarriage alone, since nobody talks about them, or having to tell everyone about a later loss like this. I suppose we’ll find out — we had a 5-week miscarriage last winter, and it was comforting to read the few other stories that brave people had shared. If sharing this can comfort a random Google searcher someday in even the smallest way, it’s worth it. Maybe this is our brick.
As horrible as this has been, we’ve had great care through it. Everyone has been compassionate, helpful, and gentle.
We’re extremely fortunate to have one kid already — that’s infinitely more than a lot of people get, and I never forget that. And he’s awesome, which is even luckier.
We’re going to regroup and are planning to try again when we can. Thank you for your support.