Sunday, October 16, 2005

"It'll be you next!"

It's funny how people say things. I was out without Mrs T last week with a group of friends who I've known for just over a year. One of them is expecting her third child within the next three weeks, and I happened to be sitting next to her during the meal. (We are the youngest two in this mixed group.) I was chatting about how things were going and how ready she and her husband felt and all the other small-talk one makes with a soon-to-be-mum, and at some point in the conversation she dropped in the line, "Well, it'll be you next". I smirked and raised my eyebrows as I tend to do when people speculate about whether we're planning a family; none of this group knows our secret. A few years ago my reaction would have been genuine. Now it is rehearsed. I smirked outwardly but grinned inwardly. Little do they know, I thought.

But it got me thinking: why do people say things like this? It could be so very insensitive. Imagine if I had burst into tears with "we've been trying for years". That would have surprised her!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Week 23?

I've spent some time recently reading blogs of other people hoping to conceive in similar circumstances. Well, I say similar - in fact they're mostly very different. There are some heartbreaking stories out there of still births and babies born who survived only minutes. They're very different from our story because to get that far through pregnancy, and to have to go through birth as well, it seems that you've already bonded with the child and see him or her as a person. Certainly in most of the blogs I've read recently (all, incidentally, written by the mothers concerned - although one has contributions from the father) talk of the child by name and some mention a funeral service of some sort. That really is a million miles from our experience. Mrs T miscarried at only 6 or 7 weeks and we feel we lost an embryo rather than a baby. It was a life - a human life - but not one which either of us felt we needed to grieve over. I'm sure many miscarriages that early happen without the woman ever knowing she was pregnant.

Another theme that crops up in the blogs I've been reading is that of thinking about how old the lost child would be now, and what he or she might be like. I'd not thought about before, but I just looked up our dates and see that Mrs T would be about 23 weeks pregnant now - about half way through - had things not gone wrong. According to the book we started reading that means that the foetus would be about 20cm long ("from head to bum"). It's not something I want to dwell on, and Mrs T certainly hasn't mentioned thinking about it. No - as far as I'm concerned, our first pregnancy failed. It's behind us and we can, to some extent, forget about it.

This may, of course, be very much a male perspective.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Pregnant colleague

I mentioned earlier that Mrs T has a colleague who's pregnant at the moment. Mrs T was one of only a few at school who knew, but today a letter has gone out to all the parents to let them know about staff changes when she goes on maternity leave. I guess everyone will be congratulation her and wishing her well. I'd thought Mrs T was okay about M's pregnancy but she mentioned today that she was finding it really hard. Of course she won't tell M about our situation. I just hope I can be strong enough to support Mrs T when she's feeling down about the whole thing.

She surprised me a couple of week ago by letting me know that she has told one friend about the miscarriage. I'm not sure how much she told her, but she does live over three and a half thousand miles away so it didn't matter too much. The surprising thing is that she is coming to visit us in a couple of weeks time. It'll be interesting to see whether we talk about it much.