I know there isn’t really a way to prepare for disastrous news, and that regardless of how much I try to brace myself for not finding a heartbeat during Monday’s ultrasound, it will still suck major balls (if that is, in fact, the case). Nonetheless, I’m trying to think of a few things that may help me cope. There’s the obvious: Wine, hot tubs and saunas, a vacation, more wine, no more chalky Endometrin stuffed up my lady bits, etc. I’m also reminding myself of all the millions of women in this world who’ve suffered miscarriages, recovered and gone on to have healthy babies while not totally losing their sanity in the process.
On top of all this, I’m re-listening to a Radiolab podcast I discovered a little while ago. In very basic scientific terms, the hosts talk about studies on fetal cells. Skipping to the good part: They’ve discovered that women who become pregnant, whether they end up delivering a healthy child or miscarrying, retain cells leftover from the embryo/fetus in their bodies — forever. AND, these fetal cells might just help the women fight diseases like cancer later in life. What’s crazy is that, even if you’re only pregnant for a very short period of time, those cells will continue to kick around in your system until you die.
I find this incredibly reassuring — at this point, even if I lose this pregnancy, a tiny bit of Mr. Embryo will forever be staying with me. It’s rather poetic, don’t you think?
P.S. It’s kind of fascinating that the comment thread on Radiolab’s page is full of men bashing this episode for bringing emotion into the scientific process and women praising the hosts for giving them a new perspective on their previous miscarriages. Says one woman: “Discovering I still carry the fetal cells of the precious little boy I lost earlier this year — I can’t begin to express how incredibly happy it made me to hear this. Good or bad, I’m just so glad to know I still have something of him left behind!” And another: “I just want to tell you how profoundly this piece moved me. I was pregnant once, in my 20’s, but lost the pregnancy in the 6th month. I never managed to have another child. Knowing that some of the cells of that baby are still alive in me? That’s the most comforting thing I’ve ever heard.”