Like many people around the world this weekend, I stumbled across a video of a husband who surprised his wife with their positive pregnancy test. I was somewhat appalled yet impressed with the audacity of this guy (Sam). He used a dropper to extract some urine from an unflushed toilet to get his sample. He then presented the positive test to his wife in front of his two other children, filming the whole thing.
His wife (Nia) was shocked but played along admirably. She marvelled that she hadn’t had any symptoms, particularly as she had been vomiting up early on in their first pregnancy. Their toddler daughter was immediately excited about getting a new brother or sister. It was all very joyous as they pondered over the pregnancy to come and the new life they would meet in eight or so months.
I was happy for them too, except one thing immediately jumped into my mind. “What if they lose the baby?” I thought. Such a negative thought, and I hated myself for it. However my experiences have meant I now err on the side of caution these days.
In my first pregnancy, we too told people immediately. After all, what were the chances we would lose the baby? Most of our friends and family knew we were pregnant before we’d even got the positive blood test back and we made a joyous announcement at 12 weeks on Facebook. Sadly after a catastrophic 20-week morphology scan, our baby was born still at 21 weeks. Obviously this was past the miscarriage danger zone and our announcements at 4 weeks mattered little but it was so difficult telling excited, expectant friends, family and work colleagues that our little baby hadn’t lived.
In our second pregnancy, we were far more cautious however as the weeks ticked by we started to gradually tell more people. We figured we couldn’t be so unlucky twice. We got to 11 weeks then I miscarried. We again had to make that heartbreaking announcement to our friends and family that again, our baby wasn’t to be.
By the time we got pregnant again, we were done with announcements. We barely told anyone for weeks and even when my stomach was obviously far more rotund than normal, we avoided saying anything almost to not jinx ourselves. It was only after getting the all clear at the 20 week scan that we could finally breath a little and really only relaxed after our little girl was born perfectly healthy.
So when I saw Sam & Nia’s announcement to the world, I was scared for them but admired their bravery. I also dismissed my fears and assumed that all would be fine for them as it is for so many other couples.
Sadly I was wrong. Wondering why they kept referring to the camera as ‘you guys’, I googled them to find out that they have a YouTube channel with hundreds of thousands of subscribers. I also found something terribly sad. Just days after their video went viral, they announced that they had lost their little baby.
My heart skipped a beat as I watched their announcement. “We were just so happy… it was just a huge celebration then bam, it just hit us like a bomb,” Nia tearfully tells the camera. Anyone who has experienced a miscarriage can relate to this heartbreakingly raw interpretation.
Obviously a deeply spiritual pair, they go on to thank God for using them like this. “Maybe there’s someone out there who is going through this with us.” With one in five pregnancies ending in miscarriage, there most certainly are. Those couples are probably grieving in silence, shrouded in the mystery of miscarriage, as they may not have shared their pregnancy news in the first place.
Sam and Nia on the other hand have support in abundance. There are thousands of supportive comments on their Facebook and YouTube accounts, many telling their own stories about miscarriage and stillbirth. Although they have had to make this heartbreaking announcement to the world so soon after they shared their pregnancy, Nia and Sam can be comforted in the knowledge that they are not alone in their grieving
It made me realise how hypocritical I had been to hide my third pregnancy. One of the things that helped me get through losing our two babies was the support I received from others in a similar situation. Once we announced our sad news on Facebook, so many old friends came out of the woodwork to tell me their stories. It might be a societal norm to not share pregnancy until 12 weeks, but it doesn’t do anyone any favors to keep miscarriage in the shadows.
So I applaud Sam and Nia for being so open. I hope they are able to move on from this experience and have many more healthy babies in the future. And I hope their sad story helps open up the dialogue of miscarriage and baby loss, and shows others going through it that they’re not alone.