Early pregnancy is terrifying for me. I always try to relax as my doctors, family, and friends suggest – but I am wracked with terror and terrified of what may happen. My doctor’s office won’t do an ultrasound before the eight-week mark unless you are experiencing complications. I am pretty in-tune with my body and normally find out about my pregnancies a few days before my missed period so I have at least a month of waiting for that ultrasound to tell me if there is – or isn’t – a heartbeat.
Multiple miscarriages before I had my two healthy boys has taught me that a positive pregnancy test doesn’t always lead to a baby. There have been early losses, a loss at thirteen weeks, and a blighted ovum. The first week or so of pregnancy, I generally sail by, not thinking about the bad. I freak out about finances, insist we think about names, then reality sets in and I start remembering the times that pregnancy wasn’t smooth for me. I dig through old fertility charts to see when bleeding started, if there were any other clues. I go through my old Facebook posts to see how I was feeling in my healthy, and not healthy, pregnancies at the same mark. I analyze it all until I am a total sobbing mess. With no cause to be concerned other than my past experiences.
I’ll be six weeks on Thursday and haven’t had any indicators that something is wrong. I have mild pregnancy symptoms, it’s all been pretty normal stuff thus far. Despite no spotting and no cramps, I still check for spotting every single time I go to the restroom. I think, “I’m not nauseous enough, something might be wrong. Wasn’t I more nauseous yesterday? Are my boobs still sore, surely they were more sore before.” I drive my husband crazy with all my doubts, worries, and constant googling of statistics. I sink myself into a depressed state and wish I hadn’t already shared our pregnancy with so many in case I have to ‘unshare’ the news. I seriously just want to sleep until the day of my ultrasound because I am terrified. I am praying for more nausea – who does that?!? I just want reassurance of something even my doctors cannot give. I have to be patient and trust that my body is doing what it is meant to do and my baby is growing as it should.
If you had told me that I would still feel this way, even after delivering two healthy babies, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. I don’t know if I felt this panicked in the beginning with them, I’m sure I did. I’m just angry that those past losses still continue to hurt me and affect me so much so many years later. I want to be a normal pregnant woman who is just normally scared. Who isn’t freaking out about another missed miscarriage or what if, God forbid, everything is fine for now, but I lose another one at thirteen weeks. I don’t want all this panic and fear to affect me so profoundly…and yet it likely always will.
For now, I’m doing my best to distract myself. I’m allowing myself to believe that my baby is truly healthy and that it is all going to go just fine. I’m reassured by symptoms of early pregnancy and honestly welcome any morning sickness that comes my way. I’m counting down the days until that magic ultrasound and begging God for it to bring us happiness and hope.
I will never know what it is like to face early pregnancy with all the excitement a first time mom or any mom without losses does. But, I know what it’s like to have hope and prayers answered – more than once. I know what it’s like to cry tears of sheer joy when a heartbeat flickers across the screen and then a few weeks later to be rewarded with early flutters. I know what it’s like to give birth to a baby I prayed so hard for – one I was told may never come. I know what it’s like to successfully conceive, carry, and deliver his brother without a hitch less than two years later. God willing, I pray that I learn what it is like to experience all this again – for a third time.
With prayers, and hope, I yearn to see my baby’s heart beat across the screen and to relive that happiness that breaks away from a dark place I thought might consume me. I am scared, yet blessed. I am hesitant, yet hopeful. And I’m counting on a healthy baby to complete our little family.