Do you know the signs of a miscarriage? Odds are if you’ve ever been pregnant, you know the signs. It’s a huge What-If monster that no one can prepare you for. I, myself, didn’t go all the way back to Google School for it, but the What-If-I-Lose-The-Pregnancy Monster did take pleasure in enrolling me in a Google Obstetrics class about 6 days after we found out we were pregnant.
“How common is miscarriage?”
“Miscarriage and PCOS.”
“What are the signs of a miscarriage?”
If I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Googling is a bad choice. BAD choice. I learned that my risk of miscarriage was almost 45% because of PCOS. I learned that normal women have about a 15-20% chance of miscarriage and it almost always happens in the first trimester. I learned most miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities, something moms have no control over. But women with PCOS have a higher incidence of chromosomal abnormalities because we just don’t make good eggs. Overwhelmed? Yeah. I became terrified of having a miscarriage. I’m sure you’re terrified of having one now too after reading that, even if you’re a guy.
So I called Sally, my nurse. I told her I’d just read on Google that I was going to have a miscarriage within the next 2 weeks and that I would likely never carry a baby to term without massive medical intervention. She gasped and immediately commanded, “Erin! NO MORE GOOGLE! EVER!”
Ok, ok, so I stopped Googling. I took deep breaths and I also ate a lot of chocolate, and this actually helps. I’m pretty sure it’s clinically proven.
Unfortunately, when I was at Barnes and Noble a few days later, I found a book about PCOS. The What-If-I-Lose-The-Pregnancy Monster came back. David encouraged me to close the book and read Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy instead (a must-read for any pregnant woman). I said, “Ok” but I really meant, “Ok, I’ll read the happy book as soon as I’m finished COMPLETELY FREAKING MYSELF OUT.” I proceeded to sit on the floor of Barnes and Noble in the pregnancy section and cry all by myself. Well, the What-If Monster was there too until David came over and sat on him. I guess the hormones are starting to set in.
It was on this trip to Barnes and Noble that I learned there are a BILLION pregnancy books to choose from. A BILLION. I had already read several and decided to purchase a few that were recommended. If I can make a suggestion, never ever read What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Please. Don’t do it. Put it down. The entire book was actually written BY a What-If Monster. It should be considered cruelty to women. Every possible thing that can go wrong is listed IN DETAIL, followed by, “Oh, but don’t worry. I’m sure that won’t happen to you.” I’ve had listeria and toxoplasmosis more times than I can count because of that book.
There are some good books out there, though. I already mentioned Belly Laughs. This is not exactly an academic book, but Jenny McCarthy recounting her trip to the hemorrhoid doctor and other ridiculous stories are so funny that I forgot it was all about to happen to me. The Sears’ Series of pregnancy books are excellent; both academic and calming. Also, Your Pregnancy, Week by Week is a great choice. Not overwhelming, but just enough information to answer some basic questions (Why am I completely constipated all of a sudden? More on that later…). David started reading The Lamaze Guide to Pregnancy. The day he read a few pages out loud about how pregnancy is not a sickness and you can give birth without any intervention at all, I informed him that he was welcome to continue reading that book while I was getting my epidural.