So, the doctor's visit went well enough; a bit briefer than I might have liked -- more efficient than warm, my doctor. But I think that's okay -- she has a great reputation as an OB surgeon, and since I'll probably be having a Caesarean due to the fibroids, that's important. Kevin noted that he didn't think she had the best grasp of statistics, based on the sorts of things she was saying about risk rates with various procedures -- but to be fair to her, he thinks most people don't have a good grasp of statistics. I certainly don't. So she's in good company, anyway.
We still haven't decided what we'll do about CVS/amnio -- my understanding at this point is that CVS is actually more risky (1/100 risk of miscarriage, as opposed to 1/250, on average), but you get the results a lot earlier, which means that if you choose to terminate a fetus with chromosomal abnormalities, the termination happens during the first trimester (12 weeks instead of around 20 weeks) and is less physically traumatic/dangerous. We'll see what the early ultrasounds and other screening tests say and then decide, I suppose.
I've been thinking a lot about some things that Ben said to me in e-mail:
"As a culture, we seem to be in a lot of denial about miscarriage; there's not much place for the grieving. There's the whole "don't tell anyone for the first three months, then no one will know you lost a child and you can pretend that nothing's wrong and you are cheery" custom. Mind you, we followed the custom. But it seems kind of unhealthy."And I think that's really true. I think it's perhaps based more in a superstitious averting of bad luck than anything else -- a feeling of 'oh, we can't start celebrating yet, because things might still go horribly wrong.' Which is an understandable feeling to have, but I think people cheat themselves of their friends' consolation and support if things do go wrong. If I miscarry, I suspect we'll end up telling our parents. I just don't think I could pretend nothing was wrong. Kevin said that, when we were talking about it all recently -- that if we chose to terminate a baby with Downs or some other serious difficulty, that telling people about it would be the least of our worries. Any upset from that would be swallowed up in the larger grief.
If it weren't for the job search, I think I'd be arguing pretty hard for announcing the pregnancy now, in fact. Or at least as soon as we got back the first ultrasound.
Ben also said:
"One part of the tragedy of our culture's polarization around abortion is that there is no room for people who get abortions to grieve. It may often be the right decision, but that doesn't mean you don't need to grieve."Most of you don't know that I got pregnant at eighteen (I was on the pill, but had messed up in taking it), and had an abortion. I don't know that I ever let myself grieve, exactly, but for years afterwards, I wondered whether I'd done the right thing. On my birthday every year, I'd think -- 'if I'd had the baby, he'd be four years old now' -- or five, or six. I somehow always thought it would have been a boy. I didn't name it; that would have been too much.
When I started actually wanting to have a child, being ready to be a parent, and then realized that it might never happen, there was a part of me that was convinced that I'd done this to myself.
It feels strange to type this, to admit it. As if I'd committed a crime, even though it was certainly legal, and in retrospect, absolutely the right choice for me at the time. Some people can handle being parents at eighteen; I couldn't. But I almost feel as if admitting to the abortion will jinx this pregnancy -- some part of my mind is saying, 'you don't deserve to have a child, after what you did.' And even if I don't say that, I'm afraid other people will.
I don't know if I'll leave this part of the entry up, when this journal goes public.
I need to stop being so scared.