Monday, October 31, 2011
In early August, I had a dream. In the dream, a friend told me not to be scared, that I would have "a September baby." When I had that dream I realized that even though I'd been hoping and praying each month to be pregnant again, part of me also drew a sigh of relief when it didn't happen. No pregnancy meant no risk of miscarriage. I began to work through that fear in the month that followed.
On September 4 a few days before I was expecting my period, I had a little spotting that seemed to taper off. Implantation bleeding? I wondered. After three negative home pregnancy tests, my period started full force on September 7.
I shared this story with my therapist. She encouraged me that in order to get pregnant I would have to work on letting go of my anxiety around getting pregnant. By hoping too much, anxiously worrying and fretting over every twinge and sign my body gave me, I actually created stress that made the environment of my body less hospitable to life.
My hyper-focus on getting pregnant ironically made getting pregnant less likely.
She advised me to shift my focus to simply enjoying spending time with my husband and let things happen more naturally. I took what she said to heart.
Toward the end of September, I noticed some changes in my body. I was getting up to pee in the middle of the night. My breasts were getting bigger and my nipples were a darker pink. Based on the 9/7 date for the start of my last cycle, I wasn't expecting my period until October 2, but based on how I felt I decided to test on September 29. (9/29 was the day my period would have been due based on the 9/4 start date, and looking back, I think I should have counted 9/4 as the first day of my last menstrual period all along).
While I was performing the test, C walked in to the bathroom.
"Is God sending our baby back?" she asked.
I said that I didn't know yet.
C sat down on the bathroom floor and started mumbling to herself. I didn't realize she was praying until she stood up and said "Amen."
"God said yes!" she announced.
I looked down at the test.
I could barely see a second pink line. Was I imagining it? Was it wishful thinking?
A test later that day showed a darker second line and I dared to believe that yes, I am pregnant.
In the weeks since then, I've swung between confidence that I will certainly meet this baby in June and a sense of doom that another miscarriage is inevitable.
I held my breath as I passed the 5 week mark where I lost Audrey Hope last year. When that day came and went, I went to a clinic to have the pregnancy confirmed and the doctor said she wanted to schedule a pap smear and an ultrasound "to confirm viability and dates." She told me to come back in two weeks.
The days leading up to the appointment were the most stressful yet. I imagined worst case scenarios. Maybe the ultrasound would show an ectopic pregnancy. Maybe the baby had stopped growing but my body didn't know it yet.
I'd shared the news of my pregnancy with friends and family early on to get prayer support. I'd asked everyone I could think of for prayer for this ultrasound and my own peace.
By the Thursday morning of the appointment, the prayers for peace had done their work. My anxieties and fears had (mostly) melted away and I felt excited to see the little heartbeat.
When we were called back, a nurse took my blood pressure and weight and had me pee in a cup. Then she led us to an office. She said she had some questions before we saw the doctor. One of her first questions was, "Do you have an appointment for a pap and dating ultrasound?"
I was confused. Wasn't that what I was there for? No; that day's appointment was an intake interview and blood tests. Apparently there had been some miscommunication with the original doctor. The pap is now scheduled for November 11, and there may or may not be an ultrasound at that point.
After the initial disappointment of not getting to see the baby as I had hoped dissipated, I began to wonder why God had answered the prayers this way.
The clear answer was a simple: "Trust Me."
So as of today, October 31, I'm exhausted all the time. I pee all the time. I'm frequently hungry but get full after just a few bites. I'm experiencing food aversions and nausea and heartburn more intense than I remember from my pregnancy with C.
I'm eight weeks and one day pregnant and grateful for every day.