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 naïve. 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.