It’s been a long hard journey to get to this point, and I genuinely believed that once I entered the elusive second trimester, I’d feel better. I’d feel relieved or encouraged, or maybe even confident. Unfortunately, infertility has left more scarring than I once imagined, and my fears of my body failing me are more deep rooted than can be described.
A few weeks ago we had our 12 week ultrasound. All went very well, baby’s heart was beating away and was measuring “on track” (at least, consistent with being behind in the first place). We were relieved for that moment in time. We made it to 12 weeks! That felt like a huge accomplishment. They drew our blood for NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing) and sent that off and I was feeling pretty sure that all would come back clear for abnormalities and we would celebrate the gender and be well on our way through this pregnancy.
The wait wasn’t as torturous for me as it seemed to be for Eric. While I took reassurance from my gut telling me the results would be clear, he was anxious to hear confirmation and to find out the gender. For whatever reason, I was patient. I was calm. This being out of character for me, caused me to pause and reflect on potential reasons for my lack of urgency. Could I just be a changed woman? Hardly. I think I was ultimately afraid of finding out the gender and becoming even more attached to our precious little baby for fears of potentially experiencing more pain should anything go wrong. The results took longer than they should, but I was not bothered. Eric asked daily so I finally checked in to see if this had come in. They had.
Our results were indeed clear. This was a huge relief and one worth celebrating. But it didn’t give me as much confidence as I had hoped. Although baby is normal, I still am not. I’m still relying on medications to sustain this pregnancy. I still recall the years of my body doing one thing when it should be doing another. The nurse called back to leave the gender on my voicemail but I was in no hurry to listen. Waiting for Eric to come home was easy and I did so with ease.
When he walked in the door he wanted to know instantly. I had always envisioned some grand gender reveal, some unique moment that was captured that would celebrate this baby perfectly. Yet here I was and I no longer really cared. My priorities had shifted. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t going to have a grand get together with family and friends and cut a cake or pop a balloon… what mattered was that there was a baby inside me. A precious life that we had fought so very hard to create. We didn’t care if it was a boy or girl. What mattered was that baby was healthy, and we knew that already! This was just information to us. Strange how infertility changes your perceptions in life.
I was very shocked with the results but also very thrilled and excited… once the shock wore off of course. What’s most exciting is that this meant we could start picking names, and buying clothes and planning the nursery… all things I had been looking forward to for years and years. Yet I still have a hard time buying anything. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve online shopped only to put things in my cart and then close the browser window without following through. The fears are still there. “If I buy things and something goes wrong, I’ll have to return them… or worse… look at them and be reminded.” So I wait.
Waiting for the nursery items is easy to justify as we are moving to our new home in May. It doesn’t very well make sense to buy furniture just to have it moved, so that makes logistical sense regardless of motivation. But as we settle on a name it becomes increasingly more difficult to remain detached. And I don’t want to anymore. I want to embrace this pregnancy. I want to believe and be confident. It’s something I work on each and every day, yet I struggle. I try to not judge myself for that, tell myself it’s understandable, but I continue to work to improve my mindset.
Next week we have our first appointment with a maternal fetal medicine (MFM) doctor who will assess our risk. A week after that is our 16 week appointment with our OB. Although I’d like to hope after those appointments I’ll have the reassurance I need, the truth is, I’m not sure I ever will. And I need to find peace with that.