Stuck in the (not) mom(ent)

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Seven is not the lucky number

I am in the middle of a 7th miscarriage. I am six weeks today and, if I didn’t know better, I would be happy to be here. I knew I was pregnant when my period did not show up. Still, I did not test: after my 3rd miscarriage I stopped testing, I decided to test in case of spotting just to be sure I was not delusional about the pregnancy. So I did not test for my 4th, 5th, 6th pregnancy until I saw some blood on the toilet paper. All the times, that was the beginning of the miscarriage. I wasn’t delusional: I was pregnant and miscarrying, once again.

This time it wasn’t an expected pregnancy. I am not TTC actively anymore, because I lost all my hopes. My last pregnancy, a chemical pregnancy, lasted only ONE day: I “miscarried” at 4+1, the test was positive, but I did not have the time to realize I was pregnant. So I thought that was the end of everything: if your pregnancies are decreasing in length it must mean that the eggs are getting worse, that is what I thought. Worse eggs = shorter pregnancies. So I thought it was it. And I was OK with that. I could cope with that. This month I had only one intercourse, because we were worried for things going on in our life and we were not exactly in the mood for that. I thought: well, who cares, at this point the concept of a wasted month makes me laugh. So, imagine my surprise when I felt pregnant. You know what my first thought was? It was: this time it has be the one. Because I was so relaxed about the TTC thing, I wasn’t thinking about it, right? I was not thinking about it anymore and – hear hear – the miracle happened. Isn’t it like that, when we read success stories in forums? Women who have lost all their hopes and then, when you are not expecting anything anymore, your miracle baby appears. This is the story you hear. Except, for me it has never worked. After my 4th pregnancy I lost all my hopes, and since then I got pregnant 3 times, just to loose them again and again and again.

This time I also had a lot of symptoms: headache every day, I was really bloated (it was so uncomfortable, I was almost showing!), I had very tender breasts, and my back hurt to the point that I was walking in a funny way. I wasn’t sleeping and I got up earlier than usual. So hey, I thought, this has to mean something, right? I was obviously worried every single time I wiped myself in the bathroom: what if there is blood? Nope, all went OK for ten long days. This can seem ridiculous to any woman who has not experienced a miscarriage. Ten days is a week and a half. It is really the beginning of a pregnancy, and a pregnancy is long! But when you have had miscarriages, every single day without seeing any blood is a huge step forward.

On wednesday, I woke up feeling not pregnant anymore. No more tender breasts, at all, no more backache, no more headache. I got worried and when I went to the bathroom, there was the blood. I began spotting and so I took a test just to be sure I was really pregnant: remember I had not tested until then, and I was 5+4. I took three other tests since then, every day. All positive. I am still here with the spotting since I think I have to wait until the hormones are low enough to start the proper flow. I did not call my gyn since everybody is on vacation in Italy and, even if he were available, I would have to book an appointment, and I think it is useless. I could go to the hospital for an u/s but you know when you don’t want to waste your time for something you already know? I don’t want to go there… I will wait today and tomorrow and if nothing happens I will go to the hospital on Monday, just to see that everything is OK, but there is no hope for this pregnancy, this I already know with all my experience. I know my body really well and I was never mistaken.

The worst part is not being able to tell anyone. Not being able to celebrate a pregnancy because you know that the odds are against you, so what is the point in telling anyone? Not being able to talk about the miscarriage to anyone because no one understands that you are not happy that it is happening, you are only rationally accepting the truth. Not being comforted by anyone because people just say: stop thinking about this, just relax and it will happen. But they don’t apply the same behavior when they complain about their problems with cheating boyfriends or with mean colleagues. I would never say to anyone “Relax and don’t think about it because you will make it worse”.

I also googled and read about successful stories of ladies who were spotting and lost their symptoms and – lo and behold! – the pregnancy went on and now their baby is sleeping in the bedroom. Yes, maybe it happens, but for the most part these stories are inaccurate because people tend to worry too much, tend to tell a subjective version of their story and maybe they did not realize that some symptom was still there, or the symptoms were not so strong to begin with, so it was normal not to feel anything. The sad truth is: bleeding is not normal, if you bleed there is something going on. Not necessarily a miscarriage, but something worth checking. At the beginning of a pregnancy, though, if you loose all the symptoms suddenly and they do not come back after a day or two, and you at the same time begin spotting, well… what is the logical conclusion to that? A miscarriage, I fear.

I don’t need any consolation or false hope, and reading those stories only makes it worse. I was already dreaming about names and the baby and the nursery: there is no need to feed these dreams anymore.


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What to expect when you’re expecting, the movie

In questo film si parla di diverse coppie che stanno per avere un figlio, di gravidanza, aborto e infertilità. Il film è carino e ha il pregio di presentare diversi punti di vista riguardo alla gravidanza o alla ricerca di un figlio, ma non ha approfondito adeguatamente gli stati d’animo dei protagonisti, forse semplicemente per il fatto che è una commedia leggera e con il lieto fine.

Spoiler alert!

Note positive:

  • Mi è piaciuto il fatto che abbiano parlato di infertilità: una delle coppie non riesce ad avere figli e sceglie l’adozione dopo aver speso moltissimi soldi in FIV, un’altra coppia sta cercando la gravidanza da due anni.
  • Hanno presentato diversi tipi di gravidanza: quella senza problemi e quella con problemi, e lo stesso vale per il parto.
  • Hanno parlato di adozione e di FIV, seppure molto superficialmente.
  • Particolarmente interessante, per me, il fatto che abbiano parlato di aborto spontaneo: una delle protagoniste perde il bambino all’inizio della gravidanza.

Note negative:

  • Si sono evidenziati i lati comici e positivi dei personaggi e delle loro situazioni, senza approfondire le loro storie. Non ci sono riflessioni sull’infertilità, o sull’adozione, o sugli stati d’animo delle coppie che cercano un figlio da tanto tempo. Tutto è abbastanza leggero, da commedia, per far ridere.
  • L’aborto è affrontato solo marginalmente. Una sera la ragazza, incinta per sbaglio dopo un solo rapporto occasionale, perde sangue e all’ospedale le dicono che ha abortito. La sua reazione è di allontanare da sè il padre del bambino, con cui la storia era appena cominciata. I suoi sentimenti non vengono però mostrati allo spettatore, la sua storia rimane ai margini. Alla fine si riconcilia col padre del bambino e dice che arriverà il momento giusto per avere un figlio. L’aborto è superato molto velocemente, e io non sono sicura che sia proprio così.

Alla fine è un film piacevole nel quale, una volta tanto, vengono raccontate storie differenti e non c’è la solita rappresentazione della gravidanza come un avvenimento che fila via liscio e tranquillo, o che arriva come una bella sorpresa o un miracolo.

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This movie revolves around several couples who are about to have a baby, pregnancy, miscarriages and infertility. It is a cute movie which has the merit of presenting different points of view about pregnancy or the TTC process, but it did not elaborate adequately on the characters feelings, perhaps simply because it is a light comedy with a happy ending.

Spoiler alert!

Positive notes:

  • I liked the fact that the movie dealt with infertility: one of the couples cannot have children and chooses to adopt after spending a lot of money in IVF.  Another couple is trying for two years.
  • It depicted different kinds of pregnancy: with or without issues, and it did the same for delivery.
  • It talked about adoption and IVF, albeit very superficially .
  • Particularly interesting, to me, the fact that the movie dealt with a miscarriage: a girl loses the baby during early pregnancy.

Negative notes:

  • The movie highlights the positive and comic sides of the characters and their situations, without analyzing their stories. It lacks some thoughts on infertility, adoption, or on the feelings of the couples who are trying for so long. Everything is  light, typical of a comedy, in order to make people laugh.
  • Miscarriage is addressed only marginally. One evening the girl, pregnant by mistake after just one casual intercourse, wakes up bleeding and at the hospital the doctor tell her that she have just miscarried. Her reaction is to move away from the father of the baby, with whom the relationship had just begun. Her feelings are not, however, shown to the viewer. Her story remains on the sidelines. At the end she reconciles with the father of the baby and says that the right time will come to have a baby. She gets over her miscarriage very quickly, and I’m not sure that’s accurate.

At the end of the day it is a nice movie, one that tells different stories, without the usual representation of pregnancy as a magical event that always goes smoothly, or that comes as a surprise or a miracle.