15 Weeks & Stupid Pregnancy Movie

When the movie What to Expect When You’re Expecting first came out in May 2012, it had been one year since my miscarriage. I was faithfully attending acupuncture appointments and taking expensive Chinese herbs. We had just started testing for infertility: HSG, lots of blood work, and an SA for hubby. There was no way in hell I was going to watch that movie, despite my secret love for cheesy romantic comedies and my girl-crush on Cameron Diaz. Turns out, my instincts were right.

Fastforward to today. I figured it would be “safe” to watch the movie now. In some ways it was safer now, but in many ways, this movie still made me feel bad. Since it’s nearly 2 years old, I don’t believe I need to say spoiler alert, but I will anyway.

What are you waiting for? I already said it.

The movie follows 5 couples who find themselves on the brink of parenthood. First (and these are in no particular order) we have the infertile couple who has been trying for 2 years and hasn’t started treatments yet. They decide to take a break, get drunk, have sex in the park, and boom – pregnant. Because, of course. When they share the good news with his dad, they find out dad’s trophy wife is also pregnant… with twins… and they weren’t even trying. That sounds about right. Then there’s the infertile couple pursuing adoption. They have one home visit, during which they are told it would be a year or more before a baby is available. A couple weeks later, they get The Call. Because that always happens in real life. Couple #4 gets pregnant from a one night stand. Unfortunately, she has a miscarriage which breaks them up, even though they weren’t really going out to begin with. In the end she says she’s not sad, because she’ll have another chance to have a baby when she’s ready. Because it only takes a couple of months to get over a miscarriage. Couple #5 is way famous in this movie world. They get pregnant “accidentally” after being together for just a few months. Their biggest disagreement is whether to have their son circumcised. It almost breaks them up. But then she gives birth and it turns out the ultrasound tech was wrong – it’s a girl! Problem solved. Because life loves to work out just right like that.

It wasn’t all terrible. There was one very touching scene that captured the adoption ceremony in Ethiopia. I appreciated the fairly real and accurate reactions of the infertile couple when they learn about dad and step-mom’s twin pregnancy. But that’s about it. The whole thing was flat, shallow, and boring, even though one of the moms nearly dies after her c-section. (She ends up just fine. They don’t really address what went wrong.) I know it has to be difficult to accurately portray infertility in a movie, especially in a movie that’s all about pregnancy. And dealing with miscarriage in a movie that’s supposed to be funny has to be even more impossible. But it’s like they didn’t even try. Also, they totally ignored the fact that not all infertility journeys end with a baby. In fact, both infertile couples get lucky. Then again, it was a movie about pregnancy. I guess? I’m still not sure what the point of it was.

Don’t see this movie. Ever.

********************

15 Weeks Update

How far along: 15 weeks (due date August 28)

Total weight gain/loss: -5 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight (It was as low as -7.5 during the last few weeks.)

Symptoms: 

  • Nausea is improving, but I still have it, especially when I’m hungry.
  • I still don’t have much appetite, hence the weight loss.
  • Still tired all the time, though that seems to be improving a tiny bit.
  • Still very emotional.
  • If I don’t brace myself before sneezing, I get a terrible pain in my lower ab muscles.
  • Constant heartburn.

Maternity clothes: I stopped wearing the belly band (it wasn’t working well), and switched to maternity pants. So comfortable! I’m acquiring maternity tops one or two at a time to round out my wardrobe. I can’t just wear larger tops, since I’m tall. I need the extra length provided by maternity clothes.

Stretch marks: None yet.

Sleep: Sleep is okay. I have a hard time waking up some mornings.

Best moment: Every time I hear the heartbeat on the Doppler, it’s the best thing ever! It’s so reassuring to find it more easily.

Movement: Too early. (You better bet I’m paying close attention!)

Food cravings: Still no real cravings. I favor salads with pickled beets and honey mustard dressing for lunch, peanut butter wraps and a glass of milk for breakfast (or anytime, really), and by the time dinner rolls around, I’m too irritated and tired to want anything, though I will pretty much eat anything you put in front of me.

Sex of the baby: We will know soon! I had my blood draw for the Verifi test yesterday, which, in addition to assessing our risk of Down syndrome, Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 13, will also tell us the baby’s sex. My instinct says girl. My mom, sisters, and aunts agree. I’ll be surprised if there’s not a girl in there!

Labor signs: None.

Belly button: No change; still an innie.

What I miss: Enjoying food.

What I look forward to: Feeling movement and finally getting my second tri burst of energy.

Baby buys: Still nothing, and I’ve been too tired to work on the knitted blanket.

Milestones: I’ve started interviewing doulas. So far, it’s been a very positive experience.

More and more, I’m feeling confident about this pregnancy. I’m so very grateful that I haven’t had any problems or severe symptoms. I send out silent wishes every day that my luck continues.

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20 thoughts on “15 Weeks & Stupid Pregnancy Movie

  1. I was stupid and watched that movie in the thick of our IF journey. I think I cried or yelled obscenities at the T.V. the entire movie. Not one of my wisest, or proudest moments.

    I’m so glad things are going well for you, welcome to the second trimester! The Doppler is one of my best investments, we try not to use it too often, but when we do, it’s the best sound in the world!

    Can you do a post about what questions you ask doulas when you interview them? I think we’re going to star that process soon, and I have no idea what to ask!

  2. I use mine every other day, but I know some women who used it every day!

    I will definitely consider a post about doulas. In the meantime, DONA.org has a great list of questions to ask. Most doulas have sent me articles or information prior to our visits, as well. They all seem dedicated to providing quality birth education. One even offered to provide me with articles about specific topics at my request, even if I don’t hire her.

    • Thanks for the DONA.org website! The two doulas my OB said she had worked with in the past aren’t listed, so I’m not sure if that should be a huge red flag, or not. It sounds like you’ve food good candidates, I hope your search continues to go well!

      • Not necessarily. I don’t think DONA is the only licensing group for doulas. DONA recently trained a group of new doulas in my area. The ones I’m interviewing aren’t licensed yet, but they did go through training. They have to assist a certain number of births to get licensed. You can email DONA for a list of trained doulas. I also checked with local mom groups on Facebook and got several names that way.

  3. I watched it last year when I was mid-pregnancy and regretted it, although I did enjoy the dads group every weekend in the park. I randomly watched it again a few weeks ago with my husband while we were snowed in. I wanted to see if I felt any differently having had gone through labor (and ultimately a csection). Needless to say, the dads were still my favorite part.

  4. I’ve seen the movie twice- once during our IVF cycle (BAD idea!) and once since I’ve been pregnant. Both times, the scene where Jennifer Lopez is crying and is saying she can’t do the one thing a woman is supposed to be able to do has really touched me. I think anyone struggling with infertility can relate to that.

    I bet you will start to feel twitches and slight movement in the next few weeks! It’s awesome 🙂 Can’t wait to hear if your instincts about a girl are right!

  5. one of my friends went through her infertility journey almost 20 years ago. years later, when the sex and the city movie came out where charlotte finally had her baby, she was livid. she was SO upset that she wrote an angry letter to darren star, the creator and producer! and guess what, he actually wrote back! it was a very nice response, and he agreed that yes, it did seem highly unlikely that charlotte would conceive naturally after all those years, but that’s what movies are often for – an escape from reality. many good wishes for your pregnancy!

    • Yeah, I have to remember that about movies. But still, it’s like salt in the wound, plus it only fuels all the myths that we infertiles constantly battle.

  6. Thank you for saving me from ever watching that movie. I thought I would watch it when I finally got pregnant again – now I can just cross it off the mental list together. Hoping all continues to go well with you 🙂

  7. Ugh, I watched that stupid movie 2 years ago after we just got the news IVF was our only shot at DH having a biological child. Totally regret it. All the b*itching about how “awful” pregnancy is really got to me. It just seemed so negative and whiny. I saw it with a group of ladies and I was the only one bawling while everyone else was laughing.

  8. Oh man, that film sounds AWFUL. I am allergic to films with births and babies as a side storyline at the moment, so I dread to think what that film would do to me!!!

    I bet you start to feel movement soon… Eek!!! That’ll be a pretty exciting day xxx

  9. I watched this the day after transfer (mainly because I used a clip from it in my Miscarriage and Infertility Video Project) and wanted to punch most of the people in it. The only thing I thought they did well was convey the thoughtless and hurtful things fertiles say (J. Lo’s client telling her not to wait, and the step-mom’s fertility).

    But, yay for 15 weeks! You are well on your way!

  10. I disagree with all of ya! I *love* the movie, and we’re in our 3rd try at DE-IVF as well as in the middle of adopting from Ethiopia. I wasn’t offended at any of it, and it’s actually a go-to movie of mine during all of this to give me hope for both finally getting pregnant and for our adoption. Sure, things aren’t exactly how they go in life for most folks, but it’s A MOVIE. I thought the dads in the park were a riot, I love Elizabeth Banks showing pregnancy not being pretty and “glowing” like she’d always envisioned, and rolling her eyes at the Barbie-esque wife of her father-in-law (especially when the Barbie sneezes and the babies come out), I love the reality of the heartbreak of miscarriage, and most of all, I love the whole Jennifer Lopez storyline, from her talking about spending all of their money on IVF to being nervous at the home study (we only had one visit as well before the dossier went out) to dealing with stupid comments from others to going off to Ethiopia to meet their little boy for the first time.

    I’d much rather focus my frustrations at seeing people in real life pregnant rather than movie characters. Infertility affects everyone differently, and I’ve had friends who it’s never worked out for as well as the ones who got pregnant after 2 successes with IVF. When “What To Expect” came out, Ethiopian adoptions were at a record high and the process for a referral was much faster than it is now with the PAIR processes that were implemented the following year (which for us means a 1-2 year wait for a referral instead of the quick turnarounds there used to be), so while the turnaround was a bit exaggerated, I didn’t take offense at it, because with adoption you don’t know your gestation period, per se, and unlike pregnancy, you don’t have a “due date” so it messes with your head when it’s sooner or later than expected.

    Worst infertility movie by far IMHO is “A Smile Like Yours” with Lauren Holly and Greg Kinnear. Best infertility/adoption movie (drama) was “Mother and Child” with Kerry Washington and Annette Bening.

    I know my comments are well after the blog post but wanted to provide an alternate perspective from a woman who has never seen a positive pregnancy test after 2 IUI’s and 2 failed DEIVF’s with the 3rd next week. While I don’t like seeing pregnant bellies, other than that I don’t have any issues with those around me with children – in fact, I volunteer with little ones every week and it keeps me reminded of why I’m going through this struggle yet again to try to become a mum.

    • I had to go back and re-read what I wrote so long ago. Wow, I really hated this movie! I actually re-watched it recently with a friend, and I’ll admit, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I remember it. You’re right – it’s a silly movie. I even laughed pretty hard when Elizabeth Banks’ character jumps in the pool with all her pregnancy tests, and later when she has that break down in front of an audience.

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