Car­rie Bick­more “I was re­lieved I hadn’t told many peo­ple I was preg­nant.”

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents -

Twelve weeks. The magic num­ber at which so­ci­ety has de­cided it is ap­pro­pri­ate to an­nounce your preg­nancy. It is not a num­ber that some­one just pulled out of a hat, it’s a num­ber based partly p y on ev­i­dence and partly on so­cial cial con­ven­tion. But it’s a num­ber that hat di­vides opin­ion.

There’s been een a real push lately for women to o an­nounce their preg­nan­cies ear­lier so there isn’t such a taboo around mis­car­riage.

Re­search shows up to one in five women who know they are preg­nant will ll mis­carry be­fore 20 weeks, most ost in the first 12 weeks. They ey say the rate is prob­a­bly higher gher than that too, be­cause a lot t of women have early mis­car­riages rriages be­fore they even know they hey are preg­nant.

Watch­ing g a doctor search for a heart­beat at or see­ing that first drop of blood is noth­ing short of gut-wrench­ing. wrench­ing. But while mis­car­ry­ing rry­ing seems to be an ex­pe­ri­ence eri­ence that is phys­i­cally sim­i­lar mi­lar for many women, it’s emo­tion­ally dif­fer­ent for all of us.

For some it hap­pens dur­ing a preg­nancy gnancy they’d been wait­ing years for, for oth­ers it’s a slight de­tour ur in the road of an oth­er­wise wise suc­cess­ful child-rear­ing g jour­ney. Then there are those for which it’s repet­i­tive and dev­as­tat­ing, with no re­ward at the end. I know women who rarely speak of their loss and oth­ers who will hap­pily chat to the butcher about it. There is no for­mula or rulebook for grief. g I do be­lieve we need to rem re­move the stigma around mis­car­riage fo for the sake of both women and men, but I know both times I mis­car­ried, I was w so re­lieved I hadn’t told man many peo­ple I was preg­nant. I was str strug­gling to get my head around w what had hap­pened and was not in i the mood to talk about it. I can’t imag­ine how I would have cop coped see­ing the sad look in peopl peo­ple’s faces or an­swer­ing all the q ques­tions: “How’s bub com­ing a along?”; “Have you got a bum bump yet?” I needed time to adju ad­just. My mind raced. Gu Guess I won’t need to turn the of­fice into a baby’s room. room What if I never get preg­nant pregn again? We can go on h hol­i­day at the end of the y year now. I won­der if it’s s some­thing that I ate? We s should be grate­ful we are al­ready par­ents to a he healthy child. I re­ally lik liked Harry as a name. Wh Why is her baby growin grow­ing just fine? Why me? me Maybe it was stre stress… and the list goes on.

I can un­der­stand the push for early an­nounce­ments. There’s a strange sense of com­fort when you hear of an­other woman’s strug­gles, and of course there are many ben­e­fits of hav­ing wider sup­port dur­ing those first months. The sick­ness and ex­haus­tion can be de­bil­i­tat­ing and cer­tainly led me to wish I had con­fided in more peo­ple. But there are other things to process in those early months. Is the baby healthy? How will the other kids feel? Will it im­pact on my work? What does it mean for us fi­nan­cially as a fam­ily? Some­times you need time to process.

All women ben­e­fit from hear­ing other women’s sto­ries of mis­car­riage. We need to share more, but in our own time. If you wanna sing it from the rooftop the mo­ment you see that gor­geous lit­tle blue line, that’s OK. But there is noth­ing wrong with keep­ing your news close un­til you know things are likely to be OK. Car­rie co-hosts The Project, 6.30pm week­nights on Net­work Ten, and Car­rie & Tommy, 3pm week­days on the Hit Net­work.

“Both times I mis­car­ried, I was re­lieved I hadn’t told many peo­ple I was preg­nant”

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