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Why Early Pregnancy Should Not Be a Secret

Last Saturday, my husband drove me out to the ranch where his best friend grew up. We were greeted by his mother and she sat us down and asked us questions about the miscarriage. Then she took me back to her room and had me lie down on her massage table. She scanned my body with her hands and asked me if I had a stomachache — which I did. My guts are always in distress. I think that was the moment when my thoughts shifted from, Reiki isn't real, to Maybe there's something to this.

She positioned herself by my head and told me she was going to set her intention and that I should set my mine as well. I kept thinking over and over again, I want a happy, healthy baby ... a happy healthy, baby. After resting her hands on my head for several minutes she said quietly, "I just want you to heal," and I started to cry. She soothed me and said, "I had three miscarriages. But I also have three children." She told me my energy was incredibly balanced, probably because I am so focused on one thing. And I have been, nearly all of my waking moments and many of my dreams revolve around thoughts of this little seed in my belly, if it will grow. I hardly ever think beyond that, when thoughts come to me about the future, I squash them down.

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She placed her hand over my pelvis and said she didn't feel anything beyond some activity. She said I could place my hands there and send some love when I feel overwhelmed by anxiety. I confessed that I didn't want to get attached to it. She told me I didn't have to get attached and that statement may have been the thing I needed to hear the most. I can just send it love and luck and hope for the best but I don't need to be attached. It's not my baby yet. I don't have to feel guilty for not wanting to be attached to something so tenuous.

Nearly all of my waking moments and many of my dreams revolve around thoughts of this little seed in my belly, if it will grow.

I went for my first ultrasound on the Monday before Thanksgiving. My parents were in town for the holiday so my mother went with me to the doctor's office and was in the room when we saw the little thing on the screen. We couldn't hear the heartbeat but we could see it, a tiny flickering in the dark. The yolk measurement was normal, the last time it was not. When we met with the doctor afterwards she said, "Your baby gets an A today." But she also said she didn't have a crystal ball, there's no way to know if everything will work out, but for now things look good but it's still very early. She told me if I wanted, I could come in every week for an ultrasound, so I'm taking her up on it. I have another scheduled for Thursday and I'm planning on going for another reiki session prior to my appointment. It can't hurt and who knows? Maybe it's helping.

Early pregnancy is terrifying and I find it so strange that we are not supposed to tell people we are pregnant until after the first trimester, when the scary time is supposedly over. On one hand I get it, telling people you lost your baby after you have announced your pregnancy is devastating — I've lived through it. On the other hand, I'm exhausted, I don't feel like taking shifts at work and when I do, I sometimes forget things because apparently pregnancy pokes a bunch of holes in your memory. I literally have to pee every five minutes and my moods are nothing short of volatile. And of course, I'm living in fear every second that my baby has stopped developing. I'm at 6 weeks now and that is when the baby stopped developing last time. I'm hyper-vigilant about monitoring my symptoms: Are my boobs still sore? Do I feel sick when I wake up? How many times have I peed? What smelled disgusting today? (By the way, the answer to that is EVERYTHING.)

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I know not everyone is a chronic oversharer, but I hate the convention that we must swaddle early pregnancy in secrecy. I want people to know there is a reason I'm feeling so crappy and emotional. I want them to understand why congratulating me on my pregnancy only frightens me. Why am I expected to bear this burden all on my own for 3 months? It's madness. Some people share the loss of loved ones on Facebook so people will know what is going on and can offer care and support. With families and friends spread all over the world, there can be a lot of loneliness in our modern lives. I don't want to be alone in these early days and if God forbid the worst happens again, I'm going to need all the well-wishes I can get. A dear friend of mine who also suffered a miscarriage but then went on to have a healthy baby gave me a phrase we can use for this pregnancy: cautiously optimistic.

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