Thursday, August 23, 2012

Never Safe

I had a whole different post to put up today but changed my mind.

I have 2 pregnancy apps on my phone and both of them have message boards.  I’ve never posted anything but in the beginning of my pregnancy I was visiting those boards about twice a day.  I wanted to read about other people’s symptoms and was really just excited to be able to visit a due date board.  Every once in a while a woman would post about having a miscarriage.  It was tough to read but I did it anyway…just to keep myself grounded and not let myself get too cocky.  I felt horrible for these women and then hoped that it would not happen to me.   After a while I stopped going to the boards.  I felt more comfortable with what I was feeling (physically) and started reading What to Expect.  As much as the book freaks me out it helps me, too.  I visit the boards maybe once a week or so.

I clicked over there yesterday and read a heartbreaking post about a woman (on the January board so within 4 weeks or so of my due date) that went in for her regular check-up and her son did not have a heartbeat.  I was on the bus when reading this and had to fight the tears from coming.  It was a wake-up call for sure.  I know all that can go wrong; I read enough tragic internet stories not to be na├»ve.  However, reading that post was like a slap in the face.  We are never safe.  There’s no magic that happens at 13 weeks that prevents horrible losses.  A loss can happen any time and without warning.  There’s a blog I read in which a woman went her whole pregnancy with no issues (suffered IF for 10 years and then did IVF) and had to be induced as she was passed her due date.  She had a very tough labor and then upon delivery she had a placental rupture and her dear son did not survive but a few hours after birth.  It’s gut wrenching to read her writing but it’s also very grounding.  We are never safe.

I was bold enough to buy something for the baby this past weekend.  I was at the store and felt this overwhelming urge to do something for my baby…to acknowledge that a baby will be joining our household in January.  I walked the aisles of the store looking for something gender neutral and was feeling disappointed that everything was either pink or blue or just not appropriate.  BJ came across a Redskins bib set and said that I should buy it.  I looked at it and thought it was perfect.  I held it and touched it ever so lightly and decided to buy it.  As we were standing in line I asked BJ if he thought it was too early to buy something and he said that we’ll be buying things in 3 weeks after the anatomy scan anyway so why not start now?  He also said that if it made me too nervous to put it back.  I put the bibs up on the belt and as the cashier scanned them I fought back tears.  They were tears of happiness and trepidation and relief all mixed together.  That night, BJ asked me if I wanted to listen to the baby.  Well duh.  It took him way too long to find the heartbeat but he did at last.  I was about to panic when he finally was able to zero in on the baby.  Both of us were confused as to why it was so hard to find when we had gotten so good at it.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief and I think BJ did, too.  I thought for sure that I had jinxed us by buying the bibs.  I know that’s not how it works but sometimes it’s hard to shake those feelings.  The bibs are sitting on the arm of the loveseat and my heart fills with joy every time I look over at them.  I touch them lightly as I walk by, too.  BJ wanted to hear the heart again on Monday.  I think he was a little shaken by our Saturday night experience and just wanted to check on things.  He said, “I’m going to find him right away this time…he’s not going to hide from me again.”  And wouldn’t you know as soon as the Doppler was placed on my belly we heard the heartbeat.  We were both relieved to say the least.

I thought that I felt a few flutters Friday night and Saturday evening (before the HB detection fiasco) but I haven’t felt anything since then.  I really wish the baby would start kicking with some regularity so that I could stop worrying so much.  I’m 18 weeks today and I’ve read that now is the time when most first timers start feeling those kicks.  After Saturday, I’m a little weary of the Doppler, which is ironic because we rented for peace of mind, not extra anxiety.

I know I have a long way to go and that I’m nowhere near safe from tragedy.  I just have to remind myself that worrying won’t stop anything bad from happening.  Nor will it make something bad more bearable.  I just have to keep hoping and praying that I won’t be one of the tragic stories.  I have to keep praying and hoping that our story will continue to flourish in positive ways.  I need to keep enjoying this pregnancy like I have been because it’s going by so fast for me.  I love this little baby and even though he/she is not here yet, he/she is already a part of our family.  BJ talks to it a couple of times a night and rubs my belly and it’s the best feeling in the world.  Now if we could just coax a few kicks out of our little one that would be icing on the cake.


Alex said...

This is probably the worst thing about infertility and loss. We can't go through our pregnancies feeling blissful and ignorant. We know too well what can happen... I'm sorry you're scared, and I hope that little guy starts kicking you like crazy to give you reassurances! :) Hang in there.

Jenny said...

It's sad that we in the ALI community lose our innocence about pregnancy and childbirth. We know too much. We've read too many tragic stories. We're always on guard. We afraid to do things that are too hopeful or optimistic (like buying baby stuff) out of fear of jinxing things. I wonder, do fertiles ever go through that?

You're right that that worry won't change anything, for better or worse, but it's so hard to let go of, isn't it? I hope you'll be able to find some calm and peace. And I hope Baby starts kicking up a storm for you!

Samantha said...

Try not to let the fear rob you of your joy. You deserve to enjoy every last second of your pregnancy.

Fran said...

Fears will never go away. It's good that you can keep it a bay as much as possible but we don't have the luxury (well, many of us don't!) of a fear-free pregnancy. It took us so so long to get here it just feels so precarious. About the kicks. I think I was almost 19-20 weeks before the flutters started being a bit more regular. It also depends on the position of the placenta. Love, Fran

ebg said...

Oy, the fear. Yes, it's always there - and, in a shocking development for me - it continues (perhaps even gets worse) after they're born. I worry about everything all the time now and I have never been a worrier. I look back on my pregnancy and wish I could have been more carefree, and revelled in the planning/buying part of things. But we don't have the luxury of taking anything for granted. It's a bummer. FWIW, I didn't feel reliable, for-sure, kicking until 21 or 22 weeks (and that was with twins!). I was in a total panic about it but they were fine - just one more unnecessary anxiety. So don't panic if you don't feel sure that you're feeling them for a while yet. The great news is that you're almost halfway there! I had a countdown to 24 weeks, then to 28, then to 30, 32, 36, etc... and each milestone I achieved helped me relax a bit. We know too much in this game, but the overwhelming odds at this point are that you will have a happy, healthy, full-term baby like most of the rest of the world does without even thinking about it. I hope you can continue to find a few moments of excitement and anticipation.

Also - redskins bib?! :-)!!!


Pie said...

Oh honey, we all know exactly what you are feeling. I know I sure do. I think you will always have the fear, but it will get better when you can start feeling the kicks and rolls more often. I will tell you what I did in those early movement weeks - I would sit still for a few minutes, in a quiet room and just focus on my tummy, noticing any little sensation. Then turn on some music or he TV, and see if I felt anything else with the sounds. Then eat something sugary (cookie, juice, fruit even) and sit still, noticing any changes. I really learned what the movement felt like from doing that, so I knew what to feel for in the future. And I also realized I had felt "something" not realizing it was movement for a while before I knew if for sure.

Hang in there.

And how cute must those bibs be!! I love it!

Rebecca said...

Hoping that the NT scan goes well. I'm so glad that you decided to buy the bibs.

HopeBPatient said...

I totally hear you on this. But, you're absolutely right: no amount of worrying will keep something bad from happening.

In retrospect, I think the first movements I 'felt' I thought were a gassy stomach! So, if you've been feeling a little 'bubbly' that might actually be movement!!

Anonymous said...

Just chiming in to say that it is normal to have more difficulty finding the HB at this stage because the uterus is expanding so rapidly but the baby is still pretty tiny. I had the same trouble at home and at the OB's, and they told me that was typical between 16-19 weeks. Baby will start running out of places to hide soon!