Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Anatomy of a Miscarriage

It hit me finally on the British Airways flight from London to Washington, D.C. Something was terribly wrong. I was six weeks pregnant and I was bleeding heavily.

In the days leading up to the flight, I had refused to believe that my pregnancy was coming to an end. Two gynecologists and one radiologist (who performed the ultrasound scan) in Bangalore had told me that things were not progressing well - they should have been able to see the baby's heartbeat by then but they could not. Was I sure of my dates, each of them had asked. Any history of miscarriages?

I was convinced that the problem was not at my end. Perhaps the scanner was outdated. Perhaps the radiologist did not know what he was doing. Perhaps the gynecologist was counting the weeks from the wrong date. Spotting is common, isn't it, in the first few weeks of pregnancy? Perhaps this was implantation bleeding.

Things could really not be going wrong. There was not even an inkling of a problem the first time around, when I was pregnant with Big N. I did not even have morning sickness. So how could my pregnancy not be progressing well this time?

I decided I needed to get back to the US, back to the same environment that I was in during my first pregnancy. May be that would make the niggling problems of spotting and no heartbeat go away. I was not thinking rationally but my plans made perfect sense to me then. So I advanced the date of my departure flight and still upbeat about having a second child and a sibling for Big N, he and I started on our journey back to the US.

The flight from Bangalore to London was uneventful though a little hectic with Big N (then just past three years old) and two large suitcases and a carry on.

Once on the flight, things progressed smoothly. Big N walked over to the young, newly-married woman who was sitting behind us and was being his usual chatterbox (on every single flight, he ditches me at the first opportunity and goes off to find someone else to talk to and play with). I smiled apologetically at her, letting her know she could send him back if she had had enough. She said, no, she was having a good time. I was happy to let them both be, seizing the opportunity to visit the restroom.

I came out shaken. I sat in my seat, Big N came over to see where I'd been. I pulled him over, hugged him and willed the tears to stop. They did not. The sobs came out unbidden and the two mothers who were sitting to my left, both with small babies on their laps turned to me. Are you ok, they asked? I explained to them, between sobs and wiping my tears, what was wrong. Their expressions of concern relaxed somewhat. One of them told me she had bled as well when she was pregnant with her daughter but everything had turned out fine. There's nothing to worry about, they said.

By then Big N was getting anxious. He did not know why I was crying and was wiping my face with his forearm. One of the air hostesses (I named her Big Bertha) walked over and I repeated my story, feeling better somewhat and beginning to think once again that it was no big deal. But Big Bertha thought otherwise. She went on a war footing. She brought over the head steward who went around the plane looking for a doctor. He finally found one in First Class who advised that I should lay flat on my back and rest completely until we reached Washington. "We're flying over the Atlantic," the head steward said, "so we cannot land the plane anywhere soon." "Land the plane?" I thought. "It's not really that bad, is it?"

Apparently it was or they thought I would sue them or something if my condition got worse. Big Bertha decided it would be better if I went to First Class and lay down flat and she also decided that Big N should not be with me. I decided she was off her rocker. She had no clue how to handle a young child and was convinced that keeping him from me for the rest of the flight was the right thing to do ("he will have to deal with it" was her tone). I put my foot down and took him with me to First Class.

Big N had no place to sit on that one seat if I lay flat on it. After a few minutes of squirming around, we decided to head back to our original seats. At least he had his own space. Big N went back to his friend. "Take rest," she whispered. "I'll look after Big N." I pulled the hand rest between our two seats back, stretched my legs onto his and lay down.

Once we got home from the airport, I called my Ob/Gyn (the practice I go to has five doctors, each of whom I had to see when I was pregnant with Big N, the thought behind this being that each of them would know me and I would know them so there would be no surprises when I went into labor; it wouldn't matter which doctor was on call that day) who said to go get an ultrasound first thing in the morning. The ultrasound confirmed the three diagnoses I had received in Bangalore. By then, I had rationalized my reaction to the whole situation. The pregnancy was not too far along, I thought. If it weren't for those ultra sensitive pregnancy tests, I would not even have found out that early that I was pregnant, I thought. I called V, told him the result. I was calm. He was calm. I drove home and as we were driving, told Big N that the baby was not growing well. I wanted to get it over with, finish talking about it.

In the evening, we visited my Ob/Gyn who recommended that I not do anything but just to let the miscarriage take its course. I had no clue what she meant, but was happy not to take any medication since I'm not a big fan of medical interventions when there are natural alternatives. She told me to call if my bleeding or pain got so heavy that I could not manage it.

I only remembered days later that the ultrasound technician had said that my Ob/Gyn would probably not let me go through the miscarriage but would do some kind of a procedure. I did not make the connection between those two statements then. We just went home, Big N and I went to bed to sleep off the jet lag. V went to work the next day and Big N and I unpacked and got ready to leave for Chicago in a couple of days for a family get together.

Towards the afternoon jet lag had caught up with Big N and he was already in bed. I lay down, exhausted from the journey, the emotions, the unpacking, the repacking. Suddenly my stomach started cramping in waves, from left to right, from front to back. I instantly recognized what they were - labor pains. I was thoroughly confused. I had no clue why, if everyone said I had miscarried, I was going through labor pains.

I gingerly rolled over to my left side. The pain subsided. I relaxed and started breathing freely again. Two minutes later, the pain was back. This went on for a good fifteen minutes before it stopped. I was completely shaken out of my sleep by then. Perhaps this was what my doctor meant by pain. It was gone before I could take any medication. I got up and walked over to the closet. I might as well pack, I thought. I sat down on my haunches to get to a chudidhar that I wanted to take.

It was then that the worst imaginable thing happened.

Whatever it was that had grown in my body for six weeks into the size of two palms held together, that thing that was going to be my baby, that thing that would have fed my baby for the next nine months, came out in a rush. I don't know why I thought of this, but I wanted to save it. I grabbed a big wad of napkins and mechanically rolled the bloody mess in it. Other than cleaning myself up and saving that thing, there was no thought in my head.

I went down to the kitchen, got a paper bag and put the napkin wad in the paper bag and called the on-call doctor. She came on the line. I got my name out. That was all.

I held the phone and bawled.

I did not know why I was crying. I thought I had felt perfectly all right until then. But I could not bring myself to explain to the doctor what had happened. The doctor's kind voice did not make it any better. I was suddenly filled with sorrow. Sorrow for the baby that was not to be, sorrow for the placenta that had grown, so full of expectation that it would feed my baby but now was lying waste in the paper bag, sorrow for all the anticipation for the following nine months that had been laid bare, sorrow for the emptiness I felt in the middle of my stomach.

A while later during which the doctor patiently held on to the phone, all cried out, I asked what to do with the paper bag. She gently said to bring it to the clinic the following day and set up an appointment to see the head Ob/Gyn. They might have to do a D&C she said.

Two days later, we scheduled a D&C. They put me under and my doctor scraped out whatever residue was left. As we were driving home, V said the doctor told him I kept saying "home" over and over during the procedure.

They say in the stock markets that past performance is no guarantee of future results. That is a great life lesson.

P.S.: I never got to see the young woman who sat behind us on the London-Washington, D.C. flight when we got off the plane. I wanted to thank her for her kindness and for her help. I did not feel alone on that flight.

And thank you to my doctor who just listened to me cry over the telephone.


I wanted to draw your attention to an amazing but thrilling story. A friend of mine who was pregnant about three months ago started bleeding profusely. She went to her doctor who advised her to get a D&C done. Well, a few days ago she thought she had become pregnant again, visited another gynec and discovered that her previous pregnancy had not in fact ended in miscarriage and that she was 15 weeks pregnant!

This probably happens in the rarest of cases, but the lesson in this is to get a second opinion. I don't want to raise false hopes through this story, but do want to alert you to the need to be deeply involved in the medical procedures that are carried out and the medical advice that is given to you.


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry. Being pregnant and surrounded by such cases makes this even more terrifying for me. I am so sorry for your loss.

May God grant you peace.


M (tread softly upon) said...

I am sorry. I really am. And I know it is sickening to have people all around you saying the same thing "I'm sorry". When only you can feel the pain of having had and lost. I just wanted you to know that this post had me in tears. And God bless you for sharing this with us. Take care.

gawker said...

Thank you for sharing such an incredibly personal experience. My sister had a miscarriage and I didn't even know until a couple of months later. And even then I couldn't bring myself to talk to her about it.

Anonymous said...

I really don't know what to say, but I hope that you felt better after sharing this experience.


Anonymous said...

Suj, you are brave to write about such a traumatic experience... nothing really makes it go away, does it? take care... *hugss*

The Marauder's Map said...

Hi Sujatha,

I had a miscarriage around two months back, I think from similar reasons. I had only known a week, just been to see the doctor. That same night, I started bleeding heavily. Somehow, I just knew at that moment that it was over. I have never thought of myself as especially sentimental, but I just cried and cried through the night and most of the following day, when I went to the hospital and had a D&C. It was my first time, and I'm really worried though I've been told it doesn't mean this will happen again.

But I keep thinking that I'll never be able to relax a minute the next time. Don't know, sometimes I wonder if it's worth the risk?

Thanks for writing about this. It helped me a lot. Take care,


Anonymous said...

Aww, Suj I really dont know what to say except that I wish someone... anyone was with you at the time.

shub said...

really dunno what to say....nothing will make any difference I guess...*hugs*

Hawkeye said...

i dont consider myself to be an amotional person. But this was really moving. I really dont know what to say. I hope you just feel allright.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. Hope it helped in some way.

Anonymous said...


You are one heck of a brave and strong person for sharing your private story.

Here is wishing you and V a wonderful life with your double bundle of joys: N&N :-)

Take care,


Abi said...

So sorry to hear this sad, sad story, Sujatha. Echoing Confused, I too hope recounting it helps you in some way.

Anonymous said...

Being a man, and that too unmarried, I am not aware of all these things. But ur story did make me und tht wht mothers do for kids, fathers can't do even 10% of it.
I'll not empathize with u like others, thus weakening u.
But wud like to applaud u for facing this all too bravely, and now coming out to write this story in the blog.
One of my close friend always told me " whatever happens, happens for the good"
Though u may not b able to find any good in this, but time will lead you to better dayz surely, and that will wipe out whtever memories u'll hv of this ugly incident.

May God be with you.


RPM said...

I got tears in my eyes reading your post. The best thing you could do at this point is try to give all your love to Big N and get your mind off this experience.

As you said, if not for the super-good pregnancy detection kits you may not even have realized you were pregnant.

Just try to be around friends and family and do all the normal routine stuff you do. Do not treat the next few weeks/months as anything special.

Alok said...

I really admire the truthful way in which you have recounted your traumatic experience. Hope things are better now...

pavan kumar said...

sorry to hear that.. you are brave! and now I know what it is to be a female..

Anonymous said...

Take care Sujatha..

Terri the terrific said...

This is what makes you such an excellent writer, Sujatha - I felt your cramps and labor pains and bawled along with you.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Thank you all for your comments. I couldn't bring myself to read this for a while after I finished typing.


**Michelle, thanks and best wishes for your pregnancy. I'm sorry this scared you but I do hope you won't let this sit in your head for long. Take care.

**M, thanks.

**G, I hope your sister's feeling better now.

**Ash, Charu, I was crying as I was writing, hopefully I'm all done with this experience, but not really sure... Thankfully good things have finally happened on that front, we have little n now. I think that was one of the reasons I could bring myself to write this. The pain has certainly been blunted somewhat.

**Shrabonti, I know exactly how you feel. Believe it or not, six months later, I went through another miscarriage. I was not any better for having gone through it once. My doctor said there are women who've gone through 5 miscarriages before going on to have perfectly healthy babies. I know it takes a heavy toll. After the second one we just couldn't bring ourselves to try again for a while. It's amazing how attached you grow to something that does not even have any shape or form you can identify.

I spoke to many friends who'd had miscarriages. It certaintly helped and I'm glad you feel that this post helped you.

But if there is anything to learn from my experience, it is that there is hope. It is worth it. Two months ago we had a baby girl.

One thing I would urge you to do before moving ahead is to get all your blood work done including checking thyroid levels. In my case that was the culprit. Just to think that we could have saved so much heartache by getting my thyroid levels checked gives me the shivers. How atrociously simple is that.

Sujatha Bagal said...

**Dee, all I could think was, thank God the one person who was with me was asleep.

**Shub, Hawkeye, thank you. That counts for a lot.

**Patrix, thanks. Better days have followed. Or else I would never have had the emotional wherewithal to write this.

**Confused, Kamla, Abi, thanks.

**Anshul, I believe in that too - whatever happens happens for good. It's a fantastic defense mechanism. But I can tell you that V went through hell too in a different way perhaps, but he did too.

*RPM, thank you for your kind comments. Things have gotten much much better. As I mentioned in my comment to Shrabonti, we went on to have a baby two months back. Finally, that episode (and the second miscarriage I had) I can chalk up to mere experiences that lead up to two months ago. I can't tell you how nervous I was during the entire nine months. We did not breathe a word to anyone for 3 months and then I was walking around like on egg shells for the entire duration of the pregnancy. I'm thankful and happy that I can put this behind me. But I do hope that for parents who are struggling this post shows that one can go through these experiences and come out ok on the other end.

Sujatha Bagal said...

**Alok, thanks, the are.

**Pavan, Pratyush, Nandu, thanks.

**Terri, thanks.

Unknown said...

i laud your courage in writing this up and posting it. and i don't know what else to say.
sorry for the clumsy comment. :(

hugs..and take care of yourself.

Unknown said...

i just read the bit about your two month old baby girl. finally i could stop my tears. :(
i'm even more awed by your courage now. wish you the best ahead.

Shruthi said...

Thank you, Sujatha. It must have been extremely traumatic, but thanks a ton for sharing it with us. The info in the comments, about checking for thyroid imbalance - thanks for that too.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Ipanema girl, thanks.

Shruti, you're welcome.

remainconnected said...


Nice post.. Goes on to show that the world is still a nice place and people are ready to help you anywhere you are..I mean whether you are on earth or miles above it. Humanity,tenderness and care for others is ubiquitous.

I applaud you for your courage during the moments you have been thru in the long flight.Cheers to the people who were on board and helped you.

Sujatha, finally alls well ends well and now that both big N and small N are there, I wish you are the NICEST,HAPPIEST and BESTEST person both of them can ever get in life.

Would love to meet both big N and small N some day. Both big N and small N deserve loads of hugs daily.Hope both of them are mischievous and naughty as I like that lot.

The Marauder's Map said...

Thanks for the tip Sujatha. I'll definitely move ahead much more cautiously this time, though in my case I was told this happened spontaneously because of a genetic abnormality (it's a medical situation called 'blighted ovum').

All the best with Little N :) Now you have the perfect family and I'm so glad you could put this behind you.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Tanay, thank you.

Shrabonti, the very best to you. That is the fist thing my docs said to me too - blighted ovum - before a routine physical identified the thyroid problem. Apparently some women who've had a child develop the thyroid imabalance during labor of their previous childbirth.

jhantu said...

Wonderful and touching story. My sincerest best wishes for you.

temporal said...


am sure writing this was very cathartic

am glad that you guys had another beautiful child…here is to health and peace in the family!

*cyber hugs*

Taz Snow said...

**HUG** I couldn't help but cry as I read what you went through. I don't know that I would have had the courage to share...

For what it is worth, all I can say is that sometimes senseless things happen to us, only to pave the way for better things and better times.

Sin said...

I couldn't help but cry. I'm really sorry for your loss. Looks like you were very brave and handled Big N beautifully. I'm glad your recent pregnancy gave you everything you wanted.

Chin up my friend! :)

Sujatha Bagal said...

**Jhantu, thanks.

Kau, thank you for visiting.

Thanks t.

Mallika, thank you for your wishes and I do agree with you last sentence.

TF, thank you.

Minal said...

Sujatha you are a brave woman. I've seen my only aunt(masi) go through one and it was a very traumatic time at home. I was very young then but I do remember it.

With little N now with you all, I wish it helps lessen all those traumatic memories.

Its not yet a baby but its still a part of you isn't it?

I pray god bestows all the happiness on you now.

Take care

Anonymous said...

Hi Sujatha-

Your story struck a chord.. I went through the exact same thing 4 months ago but am pregnant again.. however really really cautious and concerned. While past predicts no future, it's dark clouds never really leave you till the bundle of joy is in your hands..


Sujatha Bagal said...

Minal, thanks.

Priya, the very best to you. Congratulations on your pregnancy. Best wishes for a smooth 9 months. Take care of yourself. Please do let me know when you have your baby.

Anonymous said...

Big N and Little N have an abolutely wonderful, strong and brave mother. Huggggggg.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sujatha--

I just found your blog; and I 'm so glad I did. I had a miscarriage this morning and no one really knows what to say to me. And I don't know what I want them to say, anyway.

They say, your son F is so young (7 months), you'll be grateful in a way that this happened one day. It was too soon. Your body wasn't ready. There's still time to have plenty of healthy babies. They say these things. And I smile the smile of a woman who suffers the compassion and concern of her well-intentioned loved ones.

This morning when I "delivered" the placenta/sac, I had the same urge to wrap it up and save it or bury it, or something besides flushing it away. Yesterday, I saw its tiny heart beating on a screen. I felt so alone this morning cupping that purplish tangerine in my hands. When I read your post, I didn't feel quite so alone.

Thank you for being so honest and taking such a risk.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Alli, I'm really glad you found this post helpful to you. I'm so sorry you had to go through what you did this morning. I teared up as I was reading your comment, remembering just how it felt. Take care of yourself. Hugs.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Alli, when you go back to the doctor, please do have your thyroid hormone levels checked. Some women develop a thyroid imbalance during their previous childbirth and that contributes to miscarriages.

Bombay Addict said...

Your blog feed (to which I've been subscribed to only for the last few months, i.e. much after you posted this) flashed this as a new post. Thank God for that.

And thank you for this. As Gawker said, this was indeed a very personal experience and thank you for sharing this. Heart-rending.

For whatever it's worth, and even though its old - *bear hug*.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Hi Bombay Addict. Thanks for stopping by and thank you for your comment.

What happened to your blog? I could have sworn you had one up and running.

Kusum Rohra said...

I don't know what to say. Just that I feel I a little terrified now. Hope things are better with you now.

Bombay Addict said...

Hi Sujatha - Thanks. Both my blogs are very much alive, but still on old blogger, which is probably why the link to my profile isn't working here. Hopefully this link should work. Really like your blog.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Kusum, thanks for visiting and commenting. Yes, things are definitely much better. We had a daughter, our second child, seven months ago.

BA, thanks for the links. Found your blog again. :) Glad you like my blog. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. For giving the hope..

I went through this recently and still grieving..

dipti said...

The honesty and depth in all that you have shared inspire so much compassion and grief, not just towards you but for every woman who has had to go through the heart break of losing an unborn child. You've managed to sensitise several men who read your blog to this very painful aspect of being a woman. Thanks.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Anon, thank you for reading this at what must be a difficult time for you. My very best wishes to you for the future.

Dipti, thank you for your lovely comment and for reading my blog.

wanderlust said...

Hi Sujatha.
The doctor confirmed this morning that I am going through a miscarriage. This was our first try and I cant stop my tears from pouring out. Its difficult explaining to yourself that you're crying for someone you havent met and for imagining how much worse a mother who loses her baby much further along in her pregnancy would feel.
I guess I'm mourning for what was to be, for the past 2 months of eating right and taking care, for starting my pregnancy journal, for imagining my husband as a father.
Thank you for sharing your experience. Love and peace, Suita

Sujatha Bagal said...

Hi Suita, I'm so sorry. I know how crushingly disappointed you and your husband must feel and how you must be trying to understand what you are feeling. If I may say it, it's OK to cry and feel sad. Hugs. Take care. Best wishes for the future. Love, S.

Anonymous said...

Hi wanderlust,

How are you doing now? I lost my first baby at 8 months in February. We've been trying to fall pregnant for more than three years now.

My friends who fell pregnant round-about the same time as us all have babies now. I know our time will come and we have faith that God will provide, but this was the toughest thing I ever had to go through.

I will pray for you.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Mom-to-be, I'm so sorry for your loss. Take care and the very best for the future.

Anonymous said...

I too went thru this excruciating experience..In my case i had concieved twins i already have 2 teenagers my husband thought we could nt handle it financially though i wanted to keep the twins...well...went against my wishes and did the unthinkable ...still havnt got over the loss i think i never will..i think he lost his wife too in the whole process..have been crying over the loss fr last 2 yrs secretly..do nt want my kids to see me so weak..i think this is one loss only a mother can empthaise with...

Sujatha Bagal said...

Anon, I'm sorry you had to go through that experience. I can understand how terrible you must be feeling. If I may suggest it, please talk with someone about it. I think it helps to get your emotions and feelings out. It might also help you not cry any more, at least not frequently.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

Don't know how I stumbled over here.. but this is so touching a post.. I am crying my heart out and I thought that I am a strong man..
I can't start to imagine the pain and trauma you went through.. my heart goes out to you.. I will pray for you..
I sincerely hope that you get another most adorable baby soon..

Mystic Margarita said...

I went through a similar loss - lost my first pregnancy at 14 weeks - I can feel your pain. Hugs.

mummyjaan said...

Hey Sujatha. Was following the riddle trail and bloghopping around and landed here.

It must have been such a difficult time to go through - God bless you.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Anon, thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment.

Mystic, I'm still in awe of the poem you wrote. Hugs right back.

Mummyjaan, thank you.

Frankie Anon said...

As one who has also experienced such loss, my heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing your beautifully written story. And for the wonderous, miraculous post-script!

Sujatha Bagal said...

Frankie, thank you for this comment. I really appreciate it.

2 Brits, 2 Yanks, 2 Dogs said...

The wonderful world of the blogosphere brings people together who are facing similar experiences. I have been subject to miscarriages and I understand everything you went through. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story with those that may go through it in the future.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Heather, it is amazing, isn't it, how many of us, living in the far corners of the world go through the same things and have similar reactions (am thinkin of your MRI post). Thank you for stopping by on this post and leaving a comment.

Paravi said...

Sujatha, I just stumbled across your blog today, because a canadian blog i read posted a link to Indian Mommies Blog... I was in flight from the US to India when i started spotting and had a miscarriage in india(that would have been my first child) I still dont have the courage to talk about it and i admired you honestly in writing about it...I am sittting here at work in tears.. I have a wonderful toddler now and everytime i look at him i am amazed by the miracle of birth.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Paravi, I'm sorry I'm responding to your comment so late, but I'm so glad things have worked out for you and that you had a baby after your miscarriage. Thank you for reading it and for leaving a comment. I know it's painful even to read after going through something like that. Best wishes to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled on your blog while looking for something. It takes courage to write about a miscarriage. I still have tears in my eyes from reading it. I am really sorry for your loss. When i was pregnant with my first child, the doctors had suggested that they have to terminate the pregnancy at 9 weeks since i had a lump in my breast. I can understand your emotions only too well. Luckily for me the lump was benign....

Viyoma said...

There is a long long gap btwn you posting this entry and my commenting it...
But must salute your might on posting this one!
Having endured so much..you still had the guts to relive the trauma while writing this one?

Today, i lost a business lead, which ws almost close to final till last night. Totally heart broken and filled with rage i was, to see my efforts go waste, despite no fault of mine..

But hearing ur experience, i feel, there is a lot more that ppl lose out, and yet come out strong! Hats off to you lady...

Sujatha Bagal said...


Thank you for your kind comment. In the three years since I wrote it, I'm happy that it has helped at least a few people deal with the losses in their own lives. It was tough to write, but for me it was an important part of moving on. Thank you for reading and for sharing your experiences.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Sujatha. I hope things are better for you. As a male I know how much I cried through our last two miscarriages.
I guess you know Anitha who was in the BS course with me, you should read her account of what she thought was a miscarriage, but ended in a nice baby sister for her 10-year old!
I know it has been a while since this happened to you, but as an old class mate and quizmate I guess I have not been in touch with you for 18 years or so. God Bless and hope you have a nice year and decade!!

Anonymous said...

Sujatha, here is that article (Anitha's experience) I mentioned in my earlier post.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Anon, thank you for the link to Anitha's story. You did not leave a name but your comment suggests that I should know you.