This post deals with pregnancy loss and might be triggering for some readers.
The more we talk about the first trimester of pregnancy, the less stigma there will be around it, and the less easily will our loved ones fall into ugly traps of ‘being helpful’, fear, and judgement.
Let me explain.
My partner and I lost our first pregnancy at nine weeks, only a couple of weeks after I’d told my family. They were devastated for me, supportive, and quietly mournful.
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Only two months later we were pregnant again, and overjoyed! Making super sperm jokes and counting our blessings. We told our families just after the first scan at eight weeks, our beating little peanut showing promise and hope.
I told them early so they could be happy for us, so they could prepare to support me should something go wrong, so they could share and hold space for my messy blend of joy and worry.
I was after proactive rather than reactive support – something deeper that requires some complex emotional intelligence. I didn’t think it was a big ask because my family are extremely open and close with one another.
A couple of days later, I got a "thoughtful reminder" from a family member I’ve considered closer than a sister.
My most trusted ally after my mother throughout my youth. Her message read: “Traditionally, women don’t tell anyone they are pregnant until after 12 weeks, except perhaps the father, until the pregnancy is more stable.”
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This, after she knew my heart was broken by a loss just a short while ago.
I felt that message as a brutal and cruel slap in the face.
My partner and I are expats living in Australia with all our family and closest friends in Europe. We don’t have anyone locally for support or protection of any sort – emotional, financial, physical.