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….
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.