two on me

The last six weeks have flown and crawled by at the same time. It feels like I gave birth to L a million years ago, but I can not believe he is already six weeks old. He is a sweet baby, but I have a lot more trouble reading him than I did with E. Six weeks in with E, he and I were in a total love fest- even though he never slept and over-ate. L sleeps! and he takes himself off the boob when he is full! He is also connecting much better with Marc right now- and that is fine.

I am curious about what is going to be the same and what is going to be different between L and E. I do compare my experiences; asking myself if whats happening today is totally brand new or not. Having kids is an experiment and I find it fun to approach scientifically. I also regularly find L giving me flashbacks to the time when E was a newborn. But, I don't try to compare the two boys to each other because they are each individuals and I always want to see them that way. My goal is now and always will be to just enjoy each of them separately even when they are together.

Mainly focusing on enjoying them separately- at least right now. It is hard to enjoy them when they are both crying together. It is also hard to enjoy them when they are both nursing together. And that sums up about 90% of the regularly joined activities for my young boys and me. Tandem nursing is the new biggest challenge of my life. Maybe it is a surprise to some but, I actually don't enjoy nursing very much. Most of the time I feel pretty indifferent to the activity, other times it just totally overstimulates me and makes me very physically uncomfortable. For the last year and a bit, I have been able to take a break when nursing is too overwhelming. E was always able to find something else to do or try to fall asleep on his own. If he wanted more, he would come back a bit later and we could try again. I can't really ask the new baby to wait when it wants its "LAH" (this is what the baby cry for nursing always sounds like to me). And even if I do want to wait, listening to that cry for more than 30 seconds is by far more overwhelming than any solo nursing session has ever been.

Nursing two kids at the same time, however, is making me redefine my definition of overwhelming. Tandem nursing presents itself in two ways. The most obvious is having a boob in each child's mouth at the same time. There is also nursing each child on their own too, one after the other, possibly giving each child more than one turn, maybe eventually turning it into a two at a time session. The only guaranteed time that I only have to nurse once child is when I am only with one of them.

I didn't think it would be like this. E has only been asking to nurse once a day, maybe twice for months. He never asked if we weren't in bed or on our way. This was a rule we established before he turned two years old, and E never bucked against it. In the very rare occasions that E would ask to nurse during the day, he would agree, or even initiate, that we needed to go to the bed first. I thought it was under control, I thought he understood how nursing worked for us. I planned to use Marc and toys and food to distract E when he wanted to nurse at the same time as the new baby. I talked to E about all of it before L was born. But none of the preparation really mattered.

I always knew E would be jealous of the attention I would have to give to L. I don't want to make that jealousy worse than it needs to be. The fact is that E is angry he has to share now. He understands the situation and he shows a lot of love to his brother. But, sometimes he gets mad about the new circumstances. He expresses his anger purely and does not focus it on any one thing. If I make a choice that reminds him how angry he is, then he will focus on me a little bit. Ultimately, his anger turns into a raging fit that has no focus and no real conclusion because the only solution is submission to a new life of being a sibling. Having a little brother is the most significant thing to ever happen to him in his short life so far. He needs time to adjust and reassurance. His reassurance comes through nursing. So E is nursing as much as L right now- maybe even more.

Two babes for my boobs to feed (and comfort) is hard. I feel like I am starving constantly. I have entire days or nights without having any of my own space. If I am nursing one and the other sees, they want it too and start to almost panic about it. Both boys act like if they don't nurse immediately they will never have another chance. I have spent years finding my way to being a relaxed person because I am a better human when I am chilled out. Having drama and stress around me makes me lose that chilled out feeling. I never feel like I can relax because my children don't relax until after their needs have been met. But with two, I am constantly meeting needs and only occasionally enjoying the peace it brings.

So maintaining as much peace as possible is the main reason why I can't wean E. We want weaning to be E's choice (which is why we even have a 3 year old nurser). But if nursing two children had me changing my mind about child-led weaning, weaning E at this point would be even worse than letting him nurse. It would be worse for my quality of life in the short term. But, even more damaging is that it would teach E on a root level that when things get tough for me, he can't trust me to not cause him suffering. It could give him a reason to focus his anger. Maybe he wouldn't feel safe focusing the anger on me, and L would end up on the receiving end. If I weaned E it would be for selfish reasons only; it would be for my benefit over his. We have to make enough decisions for E that compromise his benefit in some way. Making a choice that only benefits him and our bond with him is a positive that outshines all the negatives on tandem nursing for me.


the natural labour express

I have been wanting to post the email I sent out after E's birth for awhile and just have not done it. It is the story of how he was born. I never posted it as a blog post because I was in a different place back then, more focused on keeping personal parts about our life as private as possible. We had also just moved to Denmark a couple months earlier so we had a lot more people we were only communicating with through email.
But it is a good snapshot of where we were at right after the biggest change of our lives, right before we knew how big a change it was going to be. I am posting it because I am sure at least one post of compare and contrast is on the way. Also, I am having some struggles with writing while pregnant (another future topic), so this is an easy post to make as I am too pregnant to do any of the things that are really left on my to-do list.
We are ready for our second baby to join us and just waiting until it is ready as well. The feeling is like when you are in the front car of a roller coaster and it is climbing and climbing to the top of the first hill. At the top you hang over the drop a little bit just waiting for the rest of the train to finish the climb... that moment of anticipation and deep breathing before the ride really begins. You know whats coming but it still feels overwhelming and really exciting. All you can do is just wait for it though.
When E was born it was more like being at the back of the roller coaster train- wait, wait, wait and then suddenly get pulled into things with very little warning. This time around we have been hanging over this edge for almost a month. As in, I have frequently had days where the only thing telling me I am not in active labour is my brain. Even my brain was on board once this past week, but the ride didn't start. So this pregnancy feels prolonged and a lot more annoying right now than the one with E- a general theme these past 40 weeks that I still have not accepted! In reality, I have four more days before I am more over due with this baby than I was with E.

But this is what I wrote to all our friends and family two days after we rode in a back car of the Natural Labour Express and welcomed E into our world.

For context, what preceded this email was:
1. An email I had sent a few days before saying we were sent home from the hospital and we would let everyone know when we were headed back.
2. A facebook status update by my sister that she posted after we left a message on her phone telling her we had the baby. The message was broken up and she didn't hear the name correctly but she posted her incorrect guess anyway. This was how most of our close friends and family found out we were officially new parents.
3. A quick email sent by Marc from the hospital the morning after the birth (because we learned the news was out via facebook). While Marc and I had named E, we had not ever written out the name or discussed the spelling before he wrote the email...

Hello Everyone! 
-insert big sigh-
I just want to thank everyone for their support and love for us, we feel so blessed right now. Nothing like an inbox full of love to give a boost of energy; you guys are all so awesome. 
First, let me say that we're sorry we didn't have chance to let everyone know we were going back to the hospital- things happened very quickly and I will give a (much) more detailed account shortly.  Second, we also want to apologize for the brevity of the email we sent out saying that we had the baby- we know it was lacking details and it wasn't how we wanted to inform you all. It was more of a "damage control" email.  And on that note, we also want to apologize to those of you who had to find out through my little sister's facebook status instead of from us. We're really disappointed we didn't get a chance to let everyone know in our own way, but we know it was just an expression of extreme love and excitement on her part- We love you Alison, please don't feel bad. 
In the same vein, I've attached a few pictures that I hope aren't too big for the email. Please don't post them on facebook! or any other social networking sites.  We're really not keen to have pics of our baby up online right now; when we're ready, we'll post them. Feel free to share them with people in more "old fashioned" ways though, and if you do send electronic copies via email please make sure the people who get them know not to put them up online. 
Ok one other thing before I get all "narrator" on you guys.  We've decided to change the spelling of E's name- see it's different now :-D.  Actually, we realized that if we spell it "[original announcement way]" he will be called "[a different name]" in Danish and we wanted to limit the inevitable confusion, as "[the different name]" is an entirely different name.  As it is, the pronunciation is a little different between the two languages, but spelling it E makes his name much clearer to the Danes and (hopefully) limits some inevitable confusion between the phonetics of the two alphabets. So, his name is E.  He gets both last names because mine is that way and the system here doesn't give any choice: the mothers last name is the baby's last name- we're happy with that though.  We haven't submitted E's paperwork to the state church yet so we can do whatever we want to his name... we actually debated changing it entirely for a few minutes today, but decided we're just happy with changing the spelling. 
Ok so let me just start from the beginning... 
I started getting regular contractions on Sunday morning about 1am our time.  At 8am the contractions were long enough and close enough together that we called the labour ward at the hospital and they told me to come in and get checked. We took our time getting to the hospital, we arrived about 10am. They monitored the baby and I for a half hour.  Everything looked good and I was only dilated 1 centimeter.  I was told I could stay if I wanted, but they thought I should go home and rest.  The midwife that checked me told us to come back when my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart, so we went home (We kept you guys updated for that part :-)  Sunday night I kicked butt at Spades against Marc and my mom while having pretty irregular contractions. Monday morning Marc got up and went to work because my contractions we're still very irregular and didn't seem to be getting anywhere close to a 2-3 minute frequency. Marc came home for lunch, we went for a walk, he returned to work about 1:30pm and at around 2pm everything changed for me. Suddenly, I couldn't tell when the contractions were starting or stopping; things were still varied intensity-wise but everything felt really different. I didn't want to be sent home from the hospital again (and I needed to verify with myself that I wasn't just being a drama queen) so I just kind of paced the apartment, had a snack, let my mom braid my hair and tried to wait until Marc came home from work for the day. But after an hour of that I changed my mind, called Marc to come home and we all headed to the hospital- we were checked in by 4pm and they assured me I wasn't going to be sent home again. I was at 2cm when they checked me in and reached 3cm within a half hour of being at the hospital. 
The first four hours of labour at the hospital I had to stay connected to a monitor and that was hard. E's heartbeat was way too high for about 2.5 of those hours; that's why I needed to be monitored. I was having a lot of pain in my back and my hips initially. The back pain was solved by our amazing midwife, Lise Lotte (sounds like Lisa-lotta), with a few injections of sterile water. She gave me heat packs, but really the only way I could control the hip pain was by swaying back and forth or sitting in "butterfly" position. We tried monitoring in both positions, standing up gave E more room and he didn't move around as much which eventually got his heart rate back into a normal range. Once the heartbeat did drop to normal, the midwife put in an internal monitor, but she wanted to make sure the heartbeat stayed low so I was still attached to the machine for awhile. Through the monitoring I did a straight hour and a half vertical, swaying back and forth and breathing through the contractions. Marc swayed with me the entire time and he was about to lay the smack down like a good labour coach and help me find a new way to solve my hip problems (because what I was doing was totally not sustainable) when the midwife said that I didn't have to be monitored continuously anymore and could get into the big bath basin if I wanted. We had been waiting to get permission to go in the basin because at home being in the bath had also relieved my hip pain. Before I got into the bath (this was just after 8pm), the midwife checked me- I was 4cm and I can honestly say I felt totally demoralized. The first four hours had been so intense, and really I hadn't progressed very much. Our midwife said that if I wasn't more dilated after being in the bath for a half hour she would want to give me oxytocin (which is what they call pitocin here) to help my contractions become more effective- that was hard for Marc and I to hear. 
So the first ten minutes in the basin were the worst part of labour for me. I really didn't think I was going to be able to get through the labour without having pain medication and I felt devastated. I truly didn't even want to try anymore because I didn't think I was going to be able to succeed. I remember thinking "this is why people just sign up for c-sections!" Marc gave me an amazing pep-talk, reminding me that everyone reaches the point where they think they can't do it and this was the hardest part to get through; he said a whole bunch of other wonderfully supportive things as well about how he knew I could get through it. The midwife told me that if I spent a half hour in the bath and still was not more dilated we could talk about pain relief options then. I can honestly say I didn't think Marc was right. I assumed I would end up having to get oxytocin and then need an epidural. But I resolved to suck it up for the rest of the time in the basin, and I changed the prayer in my head from "God please get this over with quickly" to "God please give me the strength to do this." Within minutes my contractions got so intense, I couldn't help but bear down. I didn't think I was supposed to let that happen, but the midwife said it was a good thing so I stopped trying to fight the contractions and let them do their (totally brutal) work. By the time my half and hour in the basin was up I was 7cm. After, I think, ten minutes more in the water, and then a double check from another midwife to confirm that the baby's head was on it's way out first and not the butt, I was 9cm. I moved from the bath to the bed. The midwife asked to give me an injection of something to help with my elasticity. I don't know what it was, but she said it wasn't a pain killer and it wouldn't affect the baby so we said ok. 
I don't really know how long I laboured on the delivery bed for. but it wasn't long. I was on my side the whole time. Marc held my leg up forever and every time he would switch with my mom or our midwife to get a break, I begged for him back because he did it right. It felt like forever, but I finally was allowed to push. It took me a bit and I can say that pushing out a baby is seriously the WEIRDEST experience I have ever had. In my head it was a "thing" and every time someone would say anything to me about it being a little human I needed them to stop talking to me cause I just couldn't go there mentally.  I delivered Euan just before 10 pm. Everyone was so happy and overwhelmed, it took a few minutes before the midwife lifted the baby legs to see what it was. 
All the "aftermath" took a little bit of time.  Euan hung out on my chest with one thing on his mind: boob. I was in too awkward a position to actually help him breastfeed, but I tried. Once the "clean up" was done, Marc, Euan and I were left alone for a bit. My mom left around midnight and headed back to our apartment in Brande for the night. Marc and I were in the delivery room with Euan for a few hours, with our midwife in and out.  Euan did get to breastfeed and eventually they weighed and measured him. He was 3.4 kg, 51 cm long. I have yet to do the conversion from metric, but he's a little guy with a full head of hair. The midwife had Marc dress him, which was incredibly sweet to watch and also funny because the midwife had trouble giving him instructions in English. 
We picked the name, which happened pretty randomly just going back a forth with each other. Marc was more opinionated about what he liked and didn't like, so the story will probably eventually go that Marc really named him and I helped. I tried to get Marc to agree to giving him the middle name of "Alison" and he wasn't down.  He said if I wanted something like that we could use his brother's middle name "Francis" because it was "actually a real man's middle name." I also tried to give E my middle name "Jean"  It's a family name, but also my mom has been calling the baby "Eugene" after her dad for the entire pregnancy because of how close the due date was to her father's birthday. In all, the name conversation really just had us laughing pretty hard at what we could do, but eventually we settled on E because we liked the way it sounds in both English and Danish. 
We stayed the night at the hospital and came home yesterday afternoon.  Marc is taking the rest of the week off work and maybe some days next week too.  My mom is leaving Friday night and I will be sad to see her go. E is doing so well, he mostly sleeps and eats at this point (not much pooping yet :-D). We have had some time where he has been very alert and he seems to focus a lot on the photographs we have up on the wall. He really isn't too fussy and settles very quickly, especially for Marc. My mom is LOVING him because he doesn't fuss when she holds him; she keeps finding reasons to be the one that gets to hold him and I think it is so funny and sweet.  I think E's sold her on being a Grandma. 
So that is about it. I feel indebted to the Danish system because I really don't think I would have had the same outcome in Canada. I couldn't have got through everything without Marc, my mom and Lise Lotte for sure. I feel amazed and incredibly blessed that I can say I had a natural childbirth- I really can't take credit for any of it. Truly, God made it all happen for me. 
SO I hope that was enough detail :-)  I avoided talking about my placenta (even though I think it's really cool) so you're all welcome :-D 
Love you all so so much, we miss you all and can't wait for everyone to meet E. 
[paragraph about people setting up Skype if they wanted to chat with us]
Ok, for real I'm done now.  Love,
Catherine (and Marc and E)


define priority

I fight against the idea that what I do defines me.
It is easy to do that when I have not had a full time, life consuming, pay check earning job for nearly five years. But it is not easy to explain.
I am educated as an engineer. I spend most of my time fulfilling the responsibilities of a wife/mother. I invest effort in to improving my Danish. I enjoy working on projects for my garden and house. When I have spare time, I love to write. But to say that I AM these things that I do or have done... I struggle with that.

For the last 25 weeks defining myself as only pregnant has been easy. Most of my friends (because, like, everyone I know is having babies!) are pregnant while they are something else- their full time job. For me, being pregnant is a full time job. My body just does not have the energy to do very much else on top of growing a baby. And it is not because I am physically unhealthy, I'm not. It's that in order for me to be a healthy pregnant person, I happen to require a lot more sleep than most. While I am tempted to just blame the narcolepsy, the truth is that I actually need to sleep more when I am pregnant than when I am not. The narcolepsy does make my sleeping schedule a bit more complex though.

It has been frustrating coming to terms with this idea that I am not awesome enough to just add a growing fetus to my life, unfazed. For the first four months, I couldn't keep up with the house work. I couldn't cook food. My body still tries to throw up on a regular basis, mainly when I am stressed or upset about something. Generally, this pregnancy has given me a very sensitive gag reflex alongside constant nausea. So, the thought of being pregnant while working a full time, pay cheque earning job, really just seems not fathomable. This makes me feel like a failure. If you told me when I graduated from university that I wouldn't be a career woman; that the majority of my accomplishments before I was 30 would have nothing to do with my engineering education.. I would have vehemently disagreed... I just never saw myself as I am now.

My pregnancy has highlighted the parts of my life that I am not happy with and it has done the same for my husband. It's not surprising, it is par for the course. Everything was very much up in the air when we were pregnant with E. We didn't know where we were going to live or how we were going to earn money. The questions we had to answer were easy and basic- even if the answer required an international move. This time around the questions are a lot more complicated, more emotional and harder.On top of the normal emotional complexity, I am having some bad side effects from the pregnancy hormones- mainly that they are making me a little crazy.
For example, I couldn't watch E take a bath for a week because I had too much anxiety about being stranded on a life boat with him in the ocean alongside other strangers. And one of those strangers offering to hold E, but then throwing him into the ocean. I would be in a position to decide whether to jump in after him and probably fail trying to save us both, or secure my life by staying on the boat and letting E drown, alone. Seriously, it was that outrageous; that specific. Seeing him wet in the bathtub just put me over the proverbial edge; I could not breathe. And I KNEW it was crazy the entire time! but that did not help me make it not a problem. From the outside looking in, it is pretty hilarious- if you aren't me.

So this pregnancy has really been a pretty crazy ride- one that still has awhile left to it. But I am better strapped in these days, I think. I'm trying really hard not to put any extra pressure on myself. Prioritize prioritize prioritize. Asking myself regularly: what matters most to me right now? and what is the simplest way to approach it? Unfortunately, writing has not been at the top of my priority list for basically my entire pregnancy!

I wanted to put some extra time into learning Danish, so I actually went to classes at a school in Herning for the time between Christmas and Easter this year. I had to travel there three days a week which was exhausting, I am now on my "baby break,: so I should be able to use the rest of my free education after we are ready to put this new baby into dagplejer.

Since I stopped going to school I have been putting a lot of work into the garden. Last year was our first year growing anything, and we're adding more to the line up this year.

Marc and I have also been focusing a lot of effort on our house. We have in-progress work in every room. Some is just simple reorganization, but there is also some other real construction going on. Our living room, bedroom and laundry room are all in the process of undergoing very significant changes. Projects that have come about since I have been pregnant.

And E. He started in the Danish kindergarten, børnehaven, at the start of May. We have had some ups and downs with his language. The pregnancy has obviously been affecting my relationship with him. He needs a lot of energy and attention, but he is also very confident and independent. He wants to try to do everything himself now days- how do you say no to that?

@27 weeks



I have always wanted to raise children that spoke more than one language. It is one of those things from the moment I was aware it was possible that I just felt would improve my life. Language is so basic and yet so powerful. It only made sense to me, even as a young child, that knowing more than one language would be a good idea. Growing up in the US is a disadvantage for a child who desires to be a polyglot. I can remember looking at my life, my parents divorce, my after school time filled with so many other things and automatically turning the hope of mastering more than one language from myself into hope my future children would have this amazing opportunity that I didn't have. It was just an idea, not a goal, and I never recognized it to be anything more than that.

Sometimes ideas become a reality without doing anything to actively make them happen.

E is 2.5 now. He is has a very athletic body. He loves to jump. He has a physical ability beyond his age. He has always been a physical kid and never a communicative one. Now days, he communicates, but not like any other 2 year old child I have ever met. His English vocabulary is at least 100 words. His Danish vocabulary is probably matching, but I don't know for sure because he doesn't speak Danish directly to me. He will start or end his sentences with recognizable words from one of the languages, but the middle is this hilarious language that he has made up himself. E's language is essentially the equivalent of someone saying "blah blah blah blah" but with proper inflections because to him, it has meaning.
Marc came home from work the other day and E had a story to tell him. He used his hands as he spoke. "Daddy! sadada dada luh buh luh luh, sadada more! Oh suuh lu de da duh da sa more." It was as if he was saying "I was enjoying the fruit I was eating, so I wanted more! And then I went into the kitchen and ate I more." But I don't know what he actually said, except that he used the word "more" twice.

I am not sure if this is what E thinks language is. He is exposed regularly to at least four different languages, so it could be that he thinks everyone just makes up sounds as they feel. It's also possible that while his head is full of a Danish and English words to say, his mouth is just not capable of forming those words yet. Or, he knows something should go in there, but doesn't know what exactly so he just fills in the blanks with noise- similar to how, when I speak Danish, I will just stick in the English word in a sentence if I don't know the Danish one. I don't really know whats going on, but I am thoroughly entertained.

I honestly have done zero research on raising a child that speaks more than one language. This is actually not normal for me as a parent. But, for whatever reason, I am passive about it. I care about other things more, probably because my dream for my child is being fulfilled. I am content to sit and watch as he grows up with two languages in his head. I am content to laugh, smile and nod as if I understand all these sounds that are nonsensical to me. It clearly makes complete sense to him and I don't want to discourage any verbal communication. I hope one day he can explain it to me, even a little, what it is like to grow up learning two languages at once. I would love to know what is going on in his head right now.


miscarriage is alright.

"Didn't you feel like this was inevitable though?"
"No. What do you mean?"
"I just had the feeling, since we went to Chicago, that this was going to happen."
"Why didn't you say anything to me about it?!"
"I didn't want to be that negative voice bringing you down."

I don't remember what my response was, but I certainly remember feeling like my best friend (at the time), Jon, had truly done me a disservice by not being open with me. We were discussing my miscarriage that just happened days before. I was 11.5 weeks- days away from finishing my first trimester. In my tenth-ish week, Jon, Marc and I had taken a quick trip from Toronto back to my hometown outside of Chicago. While we were there, we gathered with a pretty large group of close friends and family who inevitably found out about my pregnancy. It is one of those conundrums that plagues you when you don't live near all of the people you love: You have the opportunity to let them know big news in person and you roll with it, even though there are risks involved. During that weekend, every time I made mention of the fact that I was not through the first trimester and could, of course, miscarry, I was shut down. Every time I asked my friends and family not to get too excited, I was told that I was being negative. I was told not to look at things so pragmatically. I should be excited. I don't hold this sentiment against these people- they were ecstatic and wanted to be excited for Marc and I. It is good advice for life in general- look on the bright side. But, the irony of the situation was that, essentially in the week leading up to the miscarriage, I truly emotionally invested myself in the pregnancy. Then I started bleeding.

I grieved harder because I let my guard down. But, Marc and I were not alone in mourning our loss. It was a loss of an idea more than anything. And through that trip, we had inadvertently created a large network of support for ourselves to lean on while we experienced our sorrow. The support helped us get through the grief.

The other part that helped was how I felt during the miscarriage:
I opted to have a "natural" miscarriage, which involved about twelve hours of significant pain and physical submission to my uterus as it rid itself of the growth it had hosted. I could have stayed in the hospital and had them take it out for me, but it wasn't what I wanted at the time. As I laid on an old mattress on the floor of our bedroom, uncontrollably crying out from the pain for hours, the only thought that kept running through my mind, over and over, was "this is preparation." My mind was so separate from my body, the words were so soothing... the source of it was clearly outside of me because I was turmoil. During the miscarriage itself, I had perspective on the experience like nothing before in my life. I understood the true purpose of what was going on at an incredibly deep level. It is one of the events in my life that I look to now as confirmation of the God I believe in. Of course I couldn't hold on long to that perspective afterwards. Marc and I grieved the loss of our plans for the future pretty hard. I think the worst part was the months after it though. They were filled with waiting to find out if we would have to go through another one.

Now my perspective on miscarriage is very interesting. Having gone through one, I researched them to an unhealthy degree. The doctors tell you that you didn't do anything wrong and you couldn't have changed the outcome, but they don't explain why and you don't really believe them anyway. I believe them now. I touched on the science in my What makes human life? post. When you read about miscarriage, you find out that it happens a lot. A lot of women you know have had a miscarriage, but you probably can't name most of them. Miscarriage happens so frequently, that the general advice from society about how to reveal your pregnancy is "Don't tell anyone you are pregnant until you've past those first 12 weeks." But it's this encouraged secrecy that makes people, like Marc and I, feel like they have failed and are alone.

People who have miscarriages don't normally talk about it with other people. Marc and I say that is CRAP because we felt alone and we don't want that to happen for other people. We are so open with the people in our lives, that even if they didn't ever know we were pregnant that first time, they know now and they know how it ended. We're not shy about it- even though it is an awkward thing to talk about for other people. They don't know how to respond. But when we talk about it, we give it the reverence that a transformative life experience like it deserves and make it clear we never felt like our world was coming to an end. It is a discussion that has helped other people and never hurt anyone. Miscarriage is a big deal to the people going through it at the time, but it shouldn't be something remarkable to any one else because it is incredibly common. It should be considered part and parcel in the course of a thing called pregnancy. Like how sometimes, in baseball, a batter strikes out. Sucks for the batter, but it isn't headline news the next morning.

So I'm in my ninth week of the third pregnancy of my life. I am sick and exhausted a lot of the time. My morning-sickness, or baby-sick as I like to call it, hits me in the middle of the night. Right when I can't sleep. The hormones in my brain are making my impulsive thoughts pretty hilarious. And basically every acquaintance I have here in Denmark now knows I am pregnant. We let people congratulate us. We tell everyone it is early, and we tell everyone if things don't work out, Marc and I will be alright. We know this because we have been through the experience. But, I dream of a society where people know they will be alright if they ever experience a miscarriage because of the other people that have lived through it and freely shared their experiences. A society where miscarriage isn't whispered about, but discussed honestly. People's eyes shouldn't bug out when someone admits to having a miscarriage- seriously, that is the most common reaction I see. While miscarriage is a devastating experience, it is also a beautiful part of life. An awe inspiring symptom of the complex design called human.

Telling people to keep their joy about their pregnancy to themselves because it might turn into tragedy is backwards. It hurts the people who end up experiencing tragedy, it isolates them. For what purpose? It doesn't make experiencing a miscarriage any easier, it just allows everyone else to stay ignorant of a reality and not be inconvenienced with something "sad to hear".

If I miscarry in this pregnancy, I will grieve, I will write, and I will let everyone know when we are alright.

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