At least (phrase): If nothing else – used to add a positive comment about a generally negative situation
I’m sure I’ve said before, that when speaking to the bereaved (in the baby loss community, or otherwise), the number one rule is to shed the words “at least” from your vocabulary.
- At least you can get pregnant
- At least you’re still young
- At least you can try again
- At least it happened early
- At least you weren’t showing
- At least you didn’t tell everyone
- At least you weren’t full term
- At least you can try IVF / adopt
- At least you already have a child
…. No no no no no no no no. Just no.
It’s fine if the bereaved chooses to use the phrase, expressing their own silver linings, but they don’t need external people to dangle those vacuous platitudes in their face. (I’ve been reminded of this myself recently, with a bereavement in the family. Those two little words, “at least”, that come from a place of wanting to provide comfort to others, have occasionally been on the tip of my tongue, but I’ve consciously held them back. I’ve decided – from my personal experience – that more harm than good will likely come from them).
Talking about useless clichés led to me being published as part of this book. Bizarrely though, one of the most-read blogs here on Mumoirs, was one from December 2020 called Crazy Thought of the Day, it was all about how I needed to catch covid ASAP (the very early, initial guidance was that it was not advisable for women planning to get pregnant to take the vaccine. Very important update: this is no longer the case, as per current UK guidelines found here. Today (as has been the case for some time), there’s no need to delay getting pregnant after being vaccinated). Anyway, I got my wish. Last week, I tested positive for covid.
Oh the irony – I finally see two red lines on a test again, and it’s a covid test, not a pregnancy one.
I also despise that it looks like a pregnancy test I once used, when I was pregnant the second time with My Baby. You can see that particular test and our accompanying youthful glee in the photo at the bottom of this earlier blog. I still have that pregnancy test. I still have all of them, for all three of the pregnancies. I looked at them recently, and years later (BoC’s are from 2018, My Baby and Summer’s from 2019) they still clearly show two red lines. I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Good probably, so I can remember that it was real. Sometimes I feel like I imagined it. I can’t remember what it feels like to be pregnant anymore, so at least there’s some cold hard proof.
Is it easier to get covid or to get pregnant? Ha! I know the answer, in my own little sad case. Haven’t been pregnant for approaching two years, but I did get covid!
Given that I am the only one with permission to make light of my own situation, I am totally “at least”-ing myself right now, and have been for a week:
- At least I ovulated earlier this month and didn’t miss a cycle of trying – when I tested positive, my husband avoided me like the covid (why hasn’t this phrase taken off?!). I joked that “it isn’t real love, unless he gets it too!” – and he tested positive a day later
- At least the last thing I did, the day before I tested positive for covid, was have my blood taken as part of my ‘next step’ sub-fertility investigations, so that’s not been delayed another month
- At least I will be out of covid isolation when my next set of fertility bloods are required
- At least my appointment for my follow-up endometrial womb biopsy can go ahead next week
- At least it’s unlikely my appointment to have my tubes tested will get cancelled due to covid
- At least I might get a few months of covid immunity from this now
- At least I didn’t catch covid while pregnant, as that would be an additional worry
- At least I caught covid now and not in my third trimester
The reason I am “at least”-ing myself, is because it’s still all a medical mess. In all honesty, these “at leasts” don’t make me feel a whole lot better, they just reinforce my opinion of how useless they all are. Truth be told, I’d simply rather have a positive pregnancy test and a baby at the end of it – at least I’m honest about that.
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