Sunday, November 01, 2009

Movin' Right Along

So I'm back and still pregnant – undeniably so. Sometimes I see my reflection in a mirror or a window and I can't believe it's really me.

When you're in the thick of infertility treatments, as I was mere months ago, you think that once you're pregnant, you'll have crossed some sort of invisible line – that (at least once you see a heartbeat) you'll be somehow home free. You think that those who have crossed that line must feel a smug satisfaction, a sense that they have beaten infertility. That they must now be in a state of constant maternal bliss as they shop for baby clothes and choose nursery paint.

The reality, at least for me, has been much more complicated. Yes, there have been many, many moments of sheer joy and optimism as I look forward to the arrival of this long-pined-for child. But there have also been an equal number of moments of real fear, of obsessive worry.

The first trimester is about blind faith. You're told you're pregnant, but while you don't feel all that great, there's no physical sign that tells you, definitively, that you are. You count the hours until your next ultrasound, and for a moment while you look at that pulsating speck on the screen you feel at peace. But then you leave the doctor's office and there's nothing to do but wonder it's still alive. You recognize how fleeting it all can be, remembering what happened to you and so many others you know. You obsess about the symptoms you may or may not have, deluding yourself into thinking that they mean anything at all. You count the weeks until the next milestone, telling yourself that once you pass it you will allow yourself to relax.

In the second trimester, you reach some of those milestones. You've passed 12 weeks, you hear the heartbeat. You have two ultrasounds during which you see a real baby frolicking around inside of you. You may or may not call the nurse more than once, in a panic, begging her for an extra heartbeat check. That moment in which you exhale and feel that overwhelming sense of calm never comes, but you do feel a vague shift and a sense of growing confidence. You begin to expect that your regularly scheduled OB appointment might just be routine – you don't even play out the worst-case scenarios that used to seize your mind as you sat in that pregnant-lady waiting room. And then you feel bubbles inside that are definitely not the rumblings of your own stomach. And you forget yourself for a moment, you let yourself just be inside the awe-inspiring moment that that really is.

As I move into the third trimester (28 weeks on Tuesday), no longer fumbling, perhaps, but still a little uncertain, I am not yet sure what to expect. I am learning to trust more in medical science than the constant voice of rumination in my head. I am learning to trust in this baby, who so often seems like a force of nature that is happening to me rather than the other way around. I still feel so, so vulnerable at times, and terribly frightened of this love I feel – like it or not – for this child. But I'm moving right along in spite of it.

8 comments:

PJ said...

Lovely post!

sprogblogger said...

So glad that everything's going well. You may not post often, but I love it when you do! Thanks for the update!

anofferingoflove said...

this is such a great post summarizing pregnancy after IF.

its so hard to let go of that uncertianty and those voices in your head...

kirke said...

I love that you said, "...learning to trust in this baby." That's what I find myself doing as I near the end. This post really captures how I've felt this pregnancy. I still feel nervous buying baby gear :)

Ashley said...

Missed you!!! Love the post...so perfect!! We need to see some belly pics;)

Michelle said...

I am so happy to hear from and that things are going well. Congrats on 28 weeks!

birdsandsquirrels said...

I'm so glad to hear from you! This is such a great post about pregnancy after infertility. I totally understand feeling vulnerable and frightened by the love for your baby.
Yay for the 3rd trimester!

JamieD said...

The amount of love you feel ~is~ shocking. Wait until you hold him for the first tme - you'll feel like your heart is about to explode.

It is good to hear from you! I'm glad everything is moving along . . .