Tuesday, August 12th, 2014. 20w 5d.
It’s hard not to worry, even now when things seem to be going so well.
This has been an amazing year for our little family. A surprise miracle pregnancy, a raise and promotion for me, and recently, a raise and promotion for the husband, too.
We’ve accomplished so much, and yet it all feels so delicate, so tenuous.
With all of that good in the air, I still worry over this babe every day. I really try to enjoy each new day and what it brings to me as far as life and this pregnancy are concerned, but it’s sometimes hard to escape that dark cloud of worry that follows me at a distance.
At Jelly Bean’s anatomy scan, everything looked great according to the sonographer. She was gracious and talked to me the whole way through, pointing out every part she measured and explaining why that was important. She didn’t talk down to me, and it was nice to just feel like an observer rather than a test subject for a change.
After the ultrasound, I met with one of the doctors in my OB office’s rotation. There are four of them, and this one I like very much. She’s a sweet little lady, but she is very clear in her instructions and explanations. She doesn’t dote, but has a way of making her patients feel special.
I asked about my second trimester screening blood work that I’d had done the week prior, and she said that it had come back totally normal. Based on the first trimester screening labs, the NT scan, and the second trimester labs, she says the risk of this baby having any kind of chromosomal abnormality is very low. That was a relief to hear, as it was yet another thing I’d been worrying about.
The doctor wanted to talk to me about the ultrasound report from my anatomy scan. It looks as though our little Jelly Bean is measuring a bit petite for her age, which I suppose shouldn’t surprise me given that the husband and I were both small babies, and not very large adults, come to that. Of course this is yet another thing that consumes me, however… I’m told that she will likely catch up and that it won’t be a problem, or that she will just be a petite baby, which again, shouldn’t be a problem.
And still. I worry.
The what-if’s are terrible. I try to control the amount of time I spend letting myself go down those roads, but sometimes my mind just gets away from me. I’ve run these finding past my sonographer friend, who assures me that as long as baby girl is growing consistently, there shouldn’t be an issue. She may just be a little peanut.
It’s that gray area that’s implied in the word may that keeps me awake at night, however.
Well, that, and my bladder.
And so, after yet another restless night of worried thoughts and compressed organs keeping me awake between short bouts of fitful sleep, I started this morning a little rough. I was tired and cranky and hungry and I wanted chocolate milk but I’ve consumed the gallon and a half we had in the house in the past three days, so then I was straight-up hangry.
And then something really interesting happened. I turned on Pandora on my phone while I got in the shower, and every song that played throughout my morning ritual was trying to tell me something. Gratitude, optimism, appreciation – surprising lessons from late 90s/early 2000s alt rock, sure, but they were there speaking to me nonetheless.
At some point during Jimmy Eat World’s The Middle, I started to get the picture. I mean, that song was my infertility mainstay, and listening to the lyrics now not only show me how far life has brought me since those days, but also that those lessons are still completely applicable today.
It just takes some time
Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride
Everything, everything will be just fine
Everything, everything will be all right, all right
Just to drive the point home, the last song I heard before I got out of the car at the office this morning was a Matchbox 20 song, Let’s See How Far We’ve Come.
I figured it was time to indulge the Powers That Be and really truly reflect on where I’ve been, and where I am now.
Over five years, three OB doctors, four reproductive specialists, two acupuncturists, four recommendations to move on to IVF, 60 cycle day ones, and countless moments of extreme doubt that we would ever be parents later, we are just a few months from meeting our baby girl.
After months upon months of medications and Western medicine and feeling like a science experiment, I finally found some peace in the process when I gave in and gave acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine a chance.
Despite the lack of hard science behind acupuncture and TCM, it was the one thing that finally made the difference for me.
On what was planned to be my very last cycle of treatment with acupuncture, during a poorly timed encounter at that, and after several days of abusing my body with poor sleep, food, and beverage choices, conception somehow occurred.
Very faint home pregnancy tests led to a very low beta blood draw, which rose slowly as well. An early ultrasound showed a tiny speck with a tiny heartbeat, and we were given hope and cautious optimism, but still I worried… and yet – this baby has grown to the size of a petite banana in the weeks since.
So many times I was given the sad hand-on-shoulder pat, meant to be reassuring while delivering me the hard blows of “maybe it’s time to move on”. On to another treatment, on to another doctor, on to another pursuit in life besides parenthood.
So many times I had hopes that were dashed, and so many times I had to talk myself into optimism when just giving up and crying it out would have been easier.
So many times I worried and stressed and lost sleep over what I thought might never happen, over what I thought might be a figment of my imagination, over what the doctor told me was there but I was afraid wouldn’t stay with me.
So many times I’ve worried, and so many times I’ve been proven wrong.
I may be worried now, and that may never stop, but I do have faith.
I have faith in my body, I have faith that this Christmas will be the best one of my life, and I have faith that the little lady currently delivering me tiny ninja kicks to the abdomen will come on her own time, at just the right size, and in perfect health.
So, let’s see how far we’ve come?
Miles and miles, and a lifetime of needless worry.
I’m sure five years from now, I’ll be saying the same thing while looking back on what’s changed from the time I was expecting, to the time I will be getting Lady Ninja Kicks ready for her first day of school.
We’ve come so far, and we have so far to go.
Faith has carried us to today, and will carry us into tomorrow.
We just have to believe that the impossible can happen, because it can.
And it does.