This post may offend some, and does mention premature labour and child death.
A friend of mine made the heartbreaking decision last week to end her pregnancy at 18 weeks. Her waters had broken a week previously, had been on strict bed rest but the fluid levels were pretty much nil when she went back for a scan.
I can't even imagine the pain she is feeling right now. Myself, and our other friends, have all shared in her pregnancy. For 18 months they kept trying to get pregnant, had 2 miscarriages and this was the last time they were going to try. They have a daughter Bubbas age, and no-one quite knows why she had problems conceiving and then carrying a baby. They said it's just one of those things.
The first 12 weeks were hard for her, she kept expecting to start bleeding. When they saw a heartbeat, they allowed themselves to feel happy. At 15 weeks, she complained of not feeling right, that something was wrong. She went to the hospital where one doctor said her cervix was opening, and another said no, it was scar tissue from a previous procedure making it look like it was open. At 16 weeks she started bleeding. Everyone said it's ok, your cervix is firm shut, bleeding happens. At 17 weeks, her waters broke, and that was that.
She gave birth to her little boy on Thursday, and is now feeling an immense amount of guilt that she couldn't bring herself to see him or hold him. She is feeling guilt that she still wants another baby. She is feeling guilt because she wants her son and not a daughter. Her husband is trying to hold it together for her and their little girls sake, but cries himself to sleep every night.
When people have miscarriages in the second trimester, a lot of people seem to think it's a simple affair, that the foetus pops out, no pain and no after effects. A few of my friends now have had second trimester miscarriages, and every single one has been in labour for hours. They feel the pain of labour, they feel the passing of the placenta. They see the bleeding afterwards. They have to deal with engorgement. All while dealing with the fact most people don't realise they have just given birth, simply because they have no baby to show for it.
I am so thankful and grateful my pregnancies have been straight forward. So utterly grateful and thankful. It could very easily have gone the other way, my family history on miscarriages (1st and 2nd tri) is not good. I look at Oliver, our miracle baby who stayed hidden for the first 26 weeks, and wonder what I did to deserve him (and this time I mean it in the good way!). I did everything you are not supposed to do during pregnancy - smoked, didn't take folic acid (or anything for that matter), ate bad things, cleaned cat litter trays without gloves - simple because I didn't know I was pregnant, and he turned into a perfect little boy, yet horrible things happen to people who want a baby and try for a long time to have a baby.
The universe is so unfair at times.