Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Good News?

Well, I thought I would take a break from the usual "this is what I've been doing" post and write about something a bit serious. And I'm not sure how to ease into the subject, so here goes.

A lot of women are going to have miscarriages. Someone did a survey and found out that one out of five pregnant women lost their babies. So that's kind of sad, but these things happen.

Someone else did a survey and found out that our pets and horses and cows and such were also having miscarriages. But the animals had miscarriages at a higher rate. One in three pregnancies ended in miscarriage.

So someone was wondering why the animals were having more miscarriages than people. So they did another study. And in this study, humans and animals both miscarried at the same rate. One in three pregnancies ended in miscarriage.

Why the discrepancy?

In the original human survey, the patients were asked if they had miscarried, and one in five of them reported miscarriages. In the animal study, well, you can't ask animals if they have miscarried. Instead, the information was gathered from veterinarians and people who bred dogs and horses and other people who keep up with such things. Their numbers were based on lab tests.

So, in the joint study, the human patients were asked if they had miscarried, and still one out of five said yes. But, in addition to that, lab work was done, and according to the lab work, one out of three had miscarried. A lot of these women had miscarried without even knowing.

Let me explain. Say that a hundred women are pregnant. But they have only just become pregnant today, and they don't know that they are pregnant yet. In the next two or three weeks, before they even know that they're pregnant, thirteen or fourteen of them have miscarriages. Only they don't think that they are having miscarriages, cause they don't know that they're pregnant. They just think that they are having periods. Maybe it is a bit more painful than usual, or maybe it didn't start on the exact day that it was supposed to, but it was still pretty much just like a period. So they don't report the miscarriage or go to the doctor or anything like that. In the next month or two, the remaining pregnant women find out that they are pregnant, but then later twenty of them have miscarriages. The rest of the women (except maybe one who will have a serious problem that might end either her life and/or the life of her baby) will be fine if they can avoid angry boyfriends, car accidents, falling down stairs, etc....

Enter the early home pregnancy test.

So now we have a bunch of women who are trying to get pregnant, and every week they go to the drugstore and buy these tests. And every morning a bunch of them are looking at these little sticks and wondering if they've done the test right, and maybe it just takes longer for it to change color, and what does this look like to you? And some of them happily run out and buy some sparkling grape juice, cause they're giving up alcohol cause it's bad for the baby.

And a couple of weeks later, about ten percent of them are crying in the bathroom.

Okay, someone I know went to the drugstore and bought two of the early home pregnancy tests. And the little sticks changed color and all of that stuff. And later a blood test confirmed the results of the first two.

Don't worry, it isn't me.

Anyway, this person doesn't want everyone to know, cause she's afraid she's going to be the one in three who has a miscarriage. Telling someone who would tell me was probably not the best idea, if you don't want people to know. On the one hand, they are happily doing things that couples do when they are expecting, only they are trying to do it without anyone noticing. On the other hand, she's trying not to get too excited, since sometimes she doesn't feel well, and she doesn't feel well in a way that is like how she feels right before she has a period. Every little twinge makes her panic.

She's had about six tests now. She's definitely pregnant. She's wondering when she should tell people.

Personally, I think that she should tell everyone right away. I understand wanting some privacy and all that. I understand not wanting everyone to know that you're going to have a baby and then find out later that you're not having a baby and have to deal with all these people coming to tell you how sorry they are. I get it.

But if you're really concerned that you might lose the baby, don't you want as much help as you can get? Don't you want people you work with to know that you shouldn't be doing the heavy lifting and such that is usally part of the job? Don't you want someone to kind of check up on you when your husband is out of town? Don't you want a few people to be ready to help out if there's a problem?

Of course, I don't want any babies. Maybe I'm just imagining the situation all wrong, because I have trouble picturing myself being in it. I don't know.

Maybe they shouldn't have told me.


The Diva's Thoughts said...

I know someone that had 2 miscarriages previously. She just had a baby boy a few months ago prematurely. Everything is looking ok for this young lad at this time but those two previous times where so dificult.

It's hard to know when to tell.

The Diva's Thoughts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David in DC said...

I think the time to tell is after the first trimester is successfully concluded.

Except if your applying for a job. Then you lie like hell until your appearance gives you away.

That's what I did.

laughingattheslut said...

So, the beard is fake?

Dame Honoria Glossop said...

I'm not going to be having any babies so don't really know how it must feel to lose one.

I know someone who had 5 miscarriages before having a healthy son. After the first 2, she told only a few really close people until with number 6 he got too big to ignore! She said it wasn't only that it had been upsetting having to say she was no longer pregnant, but also kind of like superstitious, as though telling people would be tempting fate.

David in DC said...

Beards real. Took a three month temp job when RFB was due the next month.

Quit the just about as soon as he was born.

Marius said...

Hi, Marius here. I found your blog via Stinkypaw. Last year my wife became pregnant. We told everyone, since it would have been our first. Unfortunately when she went in for the first ultrasound there was no heartbeat. She had what is called a blighted ovum. Her body acted pregnant, but the fetus would never develop. We had to choose to have it removed for her health's sake. Since then we have decided that, should she become pregnant again, we won't tell anyone until we are sure the baby is viable.

laughingattheslut said...

I would think that you found me via Pigeon, but either is okay. Welcome Marius, just be careful where you point that lightsaber.

Well, the pregnant lady in question really should do something about the work situation. There is heavy lifting involved, and she thought maybe she had injured something just a week or so before she found out she was pregnant. And she mostly works with other women, so she can't wait around for some man to come and do the work. And they can't all ask not to do the work just in case they might be pregnant, but after she's already had a scare, and she's sure that she's pregnant, I don't think she should do that part of the job anymore.

So, short of calling in sick for the rest of the trimester, I think she should at least tell the people she works with and ask them to keep it quiet.

And really, if you're going to keep something quiet, don't let the news reach my ears.

Marius said...

Oops, you are absoutely correct, sorry Pigeon. :-D