I wonder what it would be like to be in ignorant bliss when you find out you're pregnant; to just assume with your whole heart and mind that two pink lines will equal a baby in about nine months. Of course I'll never know, because I've known the heartbreak of loss. I have friends who've experienced heartbreak in ways I hope I can never truly comprehend and come through the other side (with happy, healthy babies now in their arms, or on the way); they've served as such wonderful support throughout this journey, but knowing the tragic things that happened to them, far along in their pregnancies, is sobering to say the least. I take nothing for granted.
As I was journaling in those first few days, three words kept popping up so I made them my mantra... "Be positive, calm, and hopeful." Some days I think I said it a thousand times. My mind would drift and I'd pull it back to where I knew it should be, where and how I should be for both myself and the baby; positive, calm, and hopeful.
Still, as joyful as I was, it felt like I was waiting for things to come crashing down around me (again). I went to the bathroom many more times a day than I needed to, just to check that I wasn't bleeding. Every twinge made me stop in my tracks, waiting to see if it would turn into cramps, as I willed my abdominal muscles to relax and concentrated on providing a safe and welcoming place for our baby to be and grow.
Every day that things stayed the same felt like a tiny step taken.
Because of our history of loss & infertility, I had early ultrasounds. At six weeks we saw that the baby was implanted where it was supposed to be, and I breathed a little sigh of relief. Another step closer.
At seven weeks, we saw a tiny flicker-flicker-flicker and heard the whoosh-whoosh-whoosh of a heartbeat. Amazing, and another big step closer.
At nine weeks, the baby was continuing to grow as he/she should and my blood tests were a-okay and I was put on the normal pregnant lady schedule for appointments, as opposed to the "we'd better keep an eye on this one" schedule. One more step.
At thirteen weeks I had my first trimester screening, where they do a more advanced ultrasound to measure certain things and gauge the risk for chromosomal abnormalities. Bebe got rave reviews and was determined very low risk; my blood test came back the following week and moved Bebe's risk down to very, very low risk. Two more steps!
Gradually, I'm feeling more and more like things will actually work out and we'll have a baby in October; it almost feels too good to be true. I'm finding that less and less I'm qualifying things with, "assuming everything continues to go well," and instead I'm just assuming that everything will continue to go well. It's a peaceful feeling.
And now. Now, I'm 20 weeks. Halfway there. The bun in the oven is half-baked. There's still a long way to go (which will fly by), and every once in a while I still need to remind myself to be positive, calm, and hopeful. But 20 weeks feels like a big step closer.
It's definitely a big something, anyway. :)
Does this mean I'm "carrying high"? It certainly doesn't feel like it could get any higher.
Look, I managed to take a full-length photo of myself with my DSLR! (Here's an out-take from this photo session that shows how awful I am at this game. And is kind of hilarious. Maybe just to me.)
I realize that it kind of looks like I'm arching my lower back to push out my butt and belly, but I assure you, that's my actual ass. And belly for that matter.
We have our second trimester screening on June 14th, and I am so excited to see Bebe again on the fancy ultrasound. Hopefully, in addition to being healthy and passing all the tests, so to speak, he or she will feel like sharing and we'll get to find out whether Bebe is a he or a she. I'm excited to share that moment with Jason, to experience the wave of emotions that will come with either answer, and to maybe be surprised by what I/we feel. I'm excited to be able to use a single pronoun when referring to Bebe! There's so much I'm excited for. :)
Thank you for all the support here and on Twitter and Facebook and by e-mail; I can't tell you what it's meant to me. Now, let's have 20 more weeks or so, shall we?