Monday, June 18, 2012
Random Ramblings on Pregnancy and Miscarriage
If I believed the doctor's in the various hospitals, I wouldn't be pregnant for another four weeks (two weeks after the test came back positive), because they didn't seem to believe that the baby could have been twelve weeks and measuring eight weeks and still have a heartbeat, so my math must have been wrong, and it was clear that I simply didn't understand what my body was telling me. But those two little lines were unmistakable when they appeared two weeks later, as was the follow up test at the local clinic.
Since then I've heard, during the ten hospital trips that followed, that they wished women would just go by the first day of their cycle, without trying to figure these things out on their own (insert eye roll), because it's much easier that way. I didn't point out that that would have put me at 16 weeks during that horrible ultrasound, with a baby measuring eight weeks, and at 8 weeks during the ultrasound for this current pregnancy when it was actually five weeks and still too early to see a heartbeat. During that second ultrasound, had I not had the knowledge I possessed that second time, I would have been completely hysterical.
As many of you know, we lost the baby on the Feast of the Assumption, which also happens to be Paul's birthday (and to top it off, was also his first day of law school). And now this new one year anniversary arrived on Father's Day. I'm glad I didn't realize it until this morning when the date May 17th suddenly stood out, emblazoned in my mind.
I'm not sure this post has a point. It's really just a random rambling stream of consciousness, because there are now these days that stand out to me, that I guess will always stand out to me, the kind that cause you to catch your breath and remember and know that while it gradually easier, it's still hard.
Or those other moments like yesterday morning, when I meet a baby with a sweet, easy smile and the mother tells me the age and I immediately realize that that is how old our baby would be, if what had happened hadn't happened and things had gone differently and there's a dull ache while I wonder if I will always know exactly how old he would have been. And I think how wonderful it would be if our baby and that baby were playing, just like our baby's big sisters were playing with that sweet little baby's big brothers, who also happen to be the same age as our girls.
My first two pregnancies, with all their typically uncomfortable pregnancy moments, were easy, in retrospect, because I trusted my body. I was so confident in my pregnancy-is-natural-and-my-body-knows-what-it-is-doing mentality and even the shock of the emergency c-section the first time around didn't shake that confidence.
Sure things could go wrong, I knew that they sometimes did, but that possibility seemed far off and nebulous, impossible really as the babies grew and I grew, happy and round.
Inevitably, this time has been different. There has been a looming fear that I push aside whenever it rises up, almost afraid to expect a baby as each incidence of spotting (I think there have been three now) sends me reeling, certain that something is wrong. And yet, despite my worries, things have progressed steadily. I can now feel the top of my uterus above my belly button when I'm laying flat (another big baby? I was 19 weeks yesterday!) and the kick, kick, kicks have become increasingly constant and, at long last, reassuring. The reality is beginning to sink in, that this pregnancy might really be like the other two (if you ignore the spotting and month of bed rest) and we might glide smoothly into the third trimester.
I'm more aware of what I eat now. Every time I see coleslaw, I wonder if, had I not eaten that suspicious meal on the Fourth of July which resulted in food poisoning when I was eight weeks pregnant, I would now have a smiling 6 month old (of course I didn't realize that the coleslaw was suspicious until I was nearly done... we were having a pleasant meal laughing and talking with friends... the picture at right shows us about half an hour before that fateful lunch at a fancy restaurant that resulted in my first ever bout of food poisoning...). Sushi and uncooked cold cuts and rare anything are off the list too. I am much more careful... much less trusting than I was a year ago, because the it-won't-happen-to-me mentality has been replaced by the thought that it has happened and I'd give anything to not have it happen again, even if it means giving up a few things here and there for 9 months.
I will be twenty weeks in six days. For some reason I imagine I will breath more easily then, having reached the halfway point. And I imagine I will relax considerably in August when we're home for the 20 week ultrasound (at 24 weeks since we're out of town now!). That in combination with reaching the age of viability might cause me to throw a party.
Except that I've been expecting to relax since 12 weeks and that just hasn't happened. The date, when I'l breath easy, keeps getting pushed back. Maybe I'll just worry until I'm holding our little one in my arms.
I know I'm bound to be told to "trust in God" at some point in response to this post... and I do. This past year has been the sort that forces one to do just that. Yet trusting in God doesn't mean that you don't worry about your children at all, does it? As parents we trust in God and pray... and worry and cry and laugh and love. We pray that we can accept God's will, regardless of what it is, but that doesn't stop us from worrying about what it will be, particularly when it involves our children (maybe if I were a teensy further down the road to sainthood, not worrying would be easier?).
For those of you who have gone through this before, were you able to relax during your next pregnancy? (and the question I'm even more curious about): Were subsequent pregnancies easier than the first?