14 weeks

I’ve been meaning to write a post for weeks now, but somehow the process of sitting down and actually writing it never seems to happen. It’s been an enormous few weeks, weeks that I’ll never forget.

First, we entered the second trimester! It was a huge day in my mind, quite an ‘accomplishment’. I don’t think I need to say just how unlikely I thought it was that I would ever see that day. With this pregnancy or any other. I am now a person who can carry a pregnancy to the second trimester. Unbelievable. I’m not going to pretend I’ve been just handling it calmly and easily though. I’ve been mostly getting by, but I have moments of terror. Moments where I’m sure the baby’s not alive in there anymore. Moments where I can visualize all too easily what it would feel like to get the news that it’s over. Those feelings are always there, but I decided that all I could do was give myself permission to try to let them go. My instinct is to try to protect myself by not allowing myself to be happy. But, I know that realistically it’s too late to protect myself. If this goes badly, I will be devastated, whether I try to protect myself or not. And if it does, miraculously, work out, I will be angry with myself for not enjoying and appreciating it while I could. So, I’m allowing myself to let go of the fears (as much as it’s a choice), and enjoy it.

And when that doesn’t work, I use the doppler. We first got it to work about 2 weeks ago, right after our last ultrasound. I figured that was a good time to try it again because we were still coming off the confidence of seeing the baby looking so healthy on ultrasound. I figured if we didn’t find the heartbeat at that time, it would be less terrifying than waiting another week, during which anything could have happened. And we got lucky! It worked, and we heard her little heart beating away. I’ve done it just a few times since then, but on a day when I can’t stop the worries it’s a lifesaver.

The other thing that has helped me with the fears is that our MaterniT21 results came back. Totally normal. Let me repeat that, TOTALLY NORMAL!!!! I can’t tell you the level of relief I felt hearing the geneticist’s voice on the phone, clearly upbeat and chipper. I knew she wouldn’t have that tone of voice if it was bad news. She asked how I was doing, and I said, “you tell me??”. All good, our baby has the right number of chromosomes, at least for the 5 sets they look at.

As soon as the reality that the baby is most likely totally normal set in, I immediately wanted to know the sex (the X and Y chromosomes are one of the sets they look for the number of). Ready for it?? We’re having a girl. I can’t even beleive it. I KNOW I would have been overjoyed to hear the word boy too, but a girl is what I’ve always dreamed about. I’ve dreamed about tiny lace dresses and frills. Pink and purple. I would adore a son, but a girl will fulfill all the dreams I’ve had of being a mother my whole life.

G is unbelievably excited about a girl too. I always assumed he would rather have a boy if he could choose. He’s a sports guy, so I figured he’d been dreaming about coaching sports teams and watching games together (not that he can’t do those things with a girl). I’m sure he would still love to have a son one day, but he’s SO glad this baby is a girl. There’s just something about a little girl with her daddy that melts my heart. I can already picture him holding her while she sleeps.

We also have her name picked out already. Since I’ve always dreamed about a girl, I’ve had a girl’s name in mind for years. Since college, or maybe high school. I’d told G about the name years ago, and he never seemed to have much of an opinion on it. But as soon as we found out it’s a girl, he started calling her the name. He’ll ask, how’s L today (we’ll be keeping the name a secret, so I’m just sharing the initial here)? Or ask me if L wants some dessert. It’s adorable, but it also has me a little nervous. I love the name, but we hardly gave it any thought with respect to this baby. I’m afraid he didn’t actually consider if he likes the name, he just grasped on to it because he thinks if he lets me pick the first name he can have freedom to pick the middle name. This is most definitely not true. I want the decisions we make to be joint decisions, and either way I will definitely not give him free reign to pick a middle name. His family has a Finnish background, and he’s always talked about giving our kids Finnish names. I think he has in his head that he’s going to give this baby some insane Finnish middle name, and it just isn’t going to happen. Either way, the longer we think of this baby as L, the more attached I’m getting to it as her name. If we don’t figure this out soon, it’ll be too late and I’ll be hooked.

The other huge thing that happened in the last few weeks is that we announced the pregnancy to family and on facebook. I really struggled with it at first, because it felt like an enormous step. It felt like a complete change of my identity. It felt like I was going from a secret infertile to a pregnant lady overnight. Obviously it wasn’t overnight, but there’s something about everyone in the world knowing about it that makes it very permanent and irreversible. I was also superstitiously terrified that as soon as we made an announcement everything would go wrong. Making an announcement is kind of like advertising to the world that you’re happy and expect this to work, which to me sounds like a big flashing light asking for trouble. If this is some sort of mistake (because good things don’t actually happen to me), this will surely get the universe’s attention. This all goes back to giving myself permission to be happy though. I’m 14 weeks, it was time to make an announcement. I had to just take the leap and go with it. We thought a lot about how to do it, and this is what we came up with….

Image

I had to acknowledge the struggle it took to get here, but I didn’t want that to be the focus of the announcement either. I also hate funny announcements (which is unfair, but it’s all just too important for me to appreciate anyone who’s so casual about the whole thing as to make a joke about it). I thought this was a perfect symbol of us together, still holding hands at the end of it all, waiting for our little girl.

In know a lot of you out there are still in the midst of enormous struggles. I hesitate to say this, because when I was in the midst of it all, I hated when people would tell me I should be hopeful because of someone else’s experiences. What does their success have to do with me? So, what I’m NOT saying is that you should all have hope because this seems to be happening for me. What I do want to say though, is that I used to feel like hope was completely impossible. I honestly truly felt that I could not, would not, be one of the people to end up with a successful pregnancy. And it looks like I was (hopefully, please please please) wrong. So, I guess my point is that just because you might feel hopeless doesn’t mean there is no hope. Our feelings of hope or hopelessness are just that, feelings. Not premonitions. If I was wrong, you could be too. I know that might feel like meager help when you’re feeling the lowest, but I wanted to try. If my optimism annoys the hell out of you (as it probably would have done for me), I won’t blame you if you ignore me and stop reading (or stop reading for other reasons for that matter). I will be thinking of and hoping for each of you either way.

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48 thoughts on “14 weeks

  1. Thank you so for this update; I often wonder about you. Your post brought me to tears.. I know how defeated you felt, I know how you felt that it would never happen for you. I guess that’s what does give me hope. YOU give me hope! I love that “Just because you feel hopeless doesn’t mean there is no hope” you’re right- there is hope. I absolutely adore your pregnancy announcement and often imagine something similar. Your little girl is so lucky to have you two as parents. So, so lucky she has such a strong mommy to not give up the fight. Hugs friend. šŸ™‚ You gave me hope today. Thank you for that.

    • Your comment means a lot to me, thank you. You’re right I was so defeated and if I can be wrong so can others. I wish I could do more, but if I can at least be a sign that there’s hope than that’s better than nothing. One day you’ll be writing a post like this too.

  2. I’m so thrilled that it is still going well! And I love the announcement. It is really lovely and it speaks the truth for you two which is important. My girl’s name is also one that I’ve had since high school, and hubby only had to OK it. He’s better at coming up with all the nicknames our child might be called. Since we aren’t finding out the gender, we have two names picked out and we’ll decide when baby arrives.

    I so look forward to following the rest of your journey!

  3. Congratulations!!!!! I am rooting for your little family-to-be, and so happy things are working out for you. šŸ™‚ And thank you for the words of encouragement, I’m sure many people will appreciate them (me included).

  4. This is the best news ever, I was thinking about you, hoping all was okay—and it is! Good things are happening, it seems like a trend. I was talking about you and other bloggers yesterday to my (flesh-and-blood) friend and laughing about how I know so much about, and think so much about, your stories, and yet I don’t know your names or faces. Such a strange thing. But thank god for this community. I can only imagine how crazy it is to reach the second trimester after all you’ve been through, how harrowing, but it sounds like hope is peeking its tenacious tendrils through…xo

    • I know exactly what you mean, I talk about you guys to my husband all the time. I’m constantly starting sentences with ‘so, remember the blog-friend I told you about who…’. Yes, there is definitely hope in there now. It’s mostly winning over the anxiety, but it takes a little work to keep it that way.

  5. Ahhhhhhhhh! OMG I’m so excited to read this post. Hun I’ve been thinking soooo much about you. I’m elated you’re having a perfect little girl, that is just too exciting. I love your announcement too, it’s so sweet. We’re having our test on Tuesday so we’ll find out the sex in 2 weeks too! Eek!
    Permission to be happy. Such a good way to look at this. I’m going to follow your lead. We have to try to enjoy this while we can. So pleased for you hun! Long may this last!!! Hugs xxx

    • I’m SO glad to hear you’re doing okay too…I’ve been hoping that no news is good news! Do you have an ultrasound on Tuesday too, or just the blood test? I really really hope you’re feeling some hope too, as hard as it is, I keep thinking our babies deserve us to be fully invested, no matter what happens. It’s hard though, it feels counter-intuitive to be so ‘trusting’. Can’t wait to hear what you’re having too (and that everything is normal of course, but I’m choosing to trust that it will be :))!

    • Yes!! I say go for it, for sure. We went with a rental because you can get a higher quality machine for a similar cost, and the last thing you want is to not find the heartbeat just because you have a crappy machine. We used babybeat.com, but I’m not sure if they ship out of the country.

  6. I too am sometimes terrified that he/she has died. And I’m too terrified to use the Doppler! But I guess I just have to trust rhat everything is ok! Congrats on your healthy little girl!! šŸ™‚

    • Oh my gosh, what great news!!! I’ve been thinking about you, praying and wondering! Such great news! LOVE the announcements! And I think how you ended your post is perfect…always hope, even if it FEELS like there isn’t!!! A girl. So surreal. Love it!!! Now, enjoy it!!

      • Thanks :). I’m glad my message about optimism is helpful instead of hurtful, I was worried it would make people feel worse. But I figured if I could talk to myself when I was so defeated, that’s what I would have wanted to hear.

    • Yep, trust is hard :(. We couldn’t find the heartbeat on the doppler the first few weeks we tried (retroverted uterus :(), which was definitely disconcerting. There was nothing left to do then but trust.

  7. I can completely relate to you. I’m actually 14 weeks as well, but I haven’t allowed myself to be happy. We got the genetic screener, and everything came back positive. Went into the doctor around 11 weeks, and ultrasound looked good. 13 weeks went in and heard heartbeat via doppler, but I just can’t bring myself to announce on FB. Every second I am worried about losing the baby. I wanted to get a doppler, but my therapist thinks it’s a horrible idea, as I have OCD. Your post was quite inspiring. ā¤

    • I totally get it. It would be so easy, and my instinct is, to be terrified and try to protect myself. Allowing myself to be happy is a definite choice, it would be a lot easier to hide. Not that you can control the fear completely by choosing to be happy, but it does help. I just keep coming back to the fact that if it all goes wrong, would I rather have spent this time terrified and hiding, or enjoying it? Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think it would help anything to spend this time in fear.

  8. I’m so happy for you. And the announcement looks great– so cute!!! The Doppler was a lifesaver for me. I swore I wouldn’t buy one, but am so glad I did. Sometimes it took a few (scary) minutes, but it never let me down šŸ™‚

  9. I’m so happy for you hon. This is the best news I’ve had all week! I was waiting anxiously to see how your blood test went, and I’m so relieved to hear all is good! In a week when I’ve lost all hope, this has renewed my faith a little. Sending you so many positive thoughts for you and your little girl!

  10. Congratulations! That is so incredibly exciting!!! It is amazing to see someone who has been through these struggles, with a happy story. I hope and pray that some day I will get to post something similar. šŸ™‚ And amazing news on the test results by the way! I’m sure that was a huge weight lifted for you.

    I hope that you continue to allow yourself to be happy and thoroughly enjoy this pregnancy. You really do deserve it. šŸ™‚

  11. I’m so happy to hear that things are going well with your pregnancy and that you have a healthy little girl on the way!! šŸ™‚ Your journey and success gives me an incredible amount of hope that I will get my own healthy pregnancy and baby. Not to say that I don’t feel hopeless at times, but when I’ve felt down lately I actually remind myself of you and that I really do need to have hope. Thank you for giving hope to someone you have never even met!

    • Aww thanks! No don’t worry, things are good! Just haven’t had much to say really….feels like a million years of limbo/waiting between appointments, but we’ve been using a Doppler every one in a while, so we know she’s still in there:).

      • YAY! I’m so glad to hear from you. I think about you often. A doppler is such a great idea though.. I often wonder how I’ll survive if I make it past the first trimester. It’s scary I’m sure. Thanks for checking in!

      • Yeah, it’s a lifesaver. We make sure not to do it more than once a week, but just that little check in makes a huge difference. After about a week I can feel the anxiety rising and know it’s time to check in :).

    • Thinking about you too!!! Yes, things are still good(as far as I know) on my end, how about you?? The waiting between appts is a bitch, huh? Don’t know what I’d do without Doppler. Have you been using one?

      • So glad to hear that hun. Things are good too it seems over here. Just ordered my Doppler! If I go a week without a scan I freak!! I’m so pleased things are going so well for you guys, it’s music to my ears. Hugs xx

    • Hi!! I’m sorry to be so silent, I’ve been meaning to write an update for weeks and weeks. Yes, no news is still good news, things are going really well :). We had our anatomy scan and everything is looking great. Thanks for checking in :).

  12. Hi there, Iā€™m Judy! I have a question and would love to speak with you more. Please email me when you get a chance, thank you!

  13. I stumbled across your blog today as I was looking to soothe (or aggravate) my own soul following a second loss and couldn’t stop reading. The anxiety, hypothyroidism, low blood pressure, social anxiety and so much of what you’ve written about could have been written about me in the past years. Thank you for telling it like it is, for sharing the struggles, the highs, the lows, the internal thoughts of grief, anger and irrationality, and your joy. I’m learning that however cautious, you’ve got to take the joy when it comes. Congratulations on this milestone and all the amazing ones to come.

  14. I stumbled across your blog today as I was looking to soothe (or aggravate) my own soul following a second loss and couldn’t stop reading. The anxiety, hypothyroidism, low blood pressure, social anxiety and so much of what you’ve written about could have been written about me. Thank you for telling it like it is, for sharing the struggles, the highs, the lows, the internal thoughts of grief, anger and irrationality, and your joy. I’m learning that however cautious, you’ve got to take the joy when it comes. Congratulations on this milestone and all the amazing ones to come.

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