My Musings

Reading Between the Lines

Read between the lines (phrase): To look for or discover a meaning that is implied rather than explicitly stated

I wrote a tongue in cheek blog about all the Baby Loss Superpowers you acquire, once you’ve gone through a pregnancy loss. I joked that you can predict pregnancy announcements a mile off, but that’s not surprising, when your mind pretty much always goes there.

Here are a few examples of some Whatsapp messages I’ve received, the little snippets I’ve read in the app’s preview window, and the inexplicable conclusions I’ve subsequently jumped to:

“Hey lovely, it’s been a while. I was wondering…”

My thought: Is she wondering how to tell me that she’s pregnant?
The truth: She was wondering where I got my bathroom tiles from.

“We will never know for sure”

My thought: Oh my gosh, have they had a miscarriage and she’s saying she will never now know the baby’s sex, for sure?
The truth: She was talking about Lisa Kudrow’s face and the fact that we don’t think she’s had any work done.

“There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you”

My thought: She’s 20 weeks pregnant!
The truth: She’s been reading the blog and wanted to say thank you, as it’s enabled conversations with others.

“Hi, I was just wondering how you’re doing?”

My thought: Why is she messaging me? Is she about to tell me she’s pregnant?!
* several Whatsapps later *
The truth: Oh, it seems that she really was just wondering how I’m doing. Huh.

There’s probably a lesson in here somewhere about jumping to conclusions. But really, I think the real takeaway is that baby loss isn’t something you can just switch off, or just try not to think about: it lingers. The classic uninvited guest, outstaying its welcome.

In the same way that I glimpse whatsapps, so many quotes now also seem to scream baby loss. These noted below didn’t make the cut for last year’s book quote blog, but these were also jotted down on my phone pre-baby loss, but now seem to resonate in an entirely new way:

“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected”   – Source unknown

Pre-baby loss thought: Ahh, that’s simple, but true
My thoughts now: Childless couples always get taken for granted

Her self-doubt was like water. It found the tiniest gaps and flooded in – Source unknown, it may be Azar Nafisi

Pre-baby loss thought: This applies to my career, classic imposter syndrome.
My thoughts now: There is no way I’ll be able to carry a baby to term.

“People who love to eat are always the best people”– Julia Childs

Pre-baby loss thought: Haha, this is cute! I love food. People on diets are no fun, no good story ever started with a salad.
My thoughts now: Never underestimate the nourishing power of food. Keep feeding yourself, whatever it is that you need: food, food for thought, self-appreciation, support, boundaries. These people are the most interesting people.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela

Pre-baby loss thought: I need to be bolder in my career plans.
My thoughts now: It is scary to think about trying again, it would be easier to call it a day now.

“Making money isn’t hard in itself… What’s hard is to earn it doing something worth devoting one’s life to” – The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Pre-baby loss thought: What do I want to devote my life to?
My thoughts now: What is the point of me? I need to make career decisions on the assumption that I’ll never have a child.

“Do not belittle a work of fiction by trying to turn it into a carbon copy of real life; what we search for in fiction is not so much reality, but an epiphany of truth” –  Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi

Pre-baby loss thought: This is why I love reading, finding quotes like this.
My thoughts now: These Mumoirs are just stories to you, but they are my truths.

You should think about your character. Know where you are changing, how you will be changed, what cannot be changed back again – Amy Tan

Pre-baby loss thought: It is so important to hold on to the important stuff, to remain grounded.
My thoughts now: I am irrecoverable, baby loss has fundamentally changed me. It was never a choice.

Present – that part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope – Ambroise Bierce

Pre-baby loss thought: I guess everyone has regrets from the past, yet optimism for the future.
My thoughts now: Has he gone through recurrent pregnancy loss?! This is exactly how it feels.

Reading Between the Lines – A well known phrase

Pre-baby loss thought: I love reading between the lines, not just what she said, but what she didn’t say!
My thoughts now: What lines? Two red lines? She’s pregnant!

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(1) Comment

  1. Yes.
    How many yesses are too many???

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