Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 • No Comments on Cautiously Optimistic (6w6d)
Two appointments in two days. Yesterday’s appointment was the paperwork, exam and blood work and today was the much awaited ultrasound. Yesterday, I was freaked out and not feeling very optimistic. Today, I’m still freaked out, but there is a sense of cautious optimism.
I started writing a blog post yesterday entitled “Feeling like a fraud” because that’s how I felt yesterday when I left the doctor’s office. I’m starting with a new (civilian) ob/gyn practice and I love them. The quality of care is so much better than my experience with the naval hospital, but it’s also frustrating to think that maybe if I’d been with them last time… I might not be here now.
The problem is, I just don’t feel pregnant. Sure, I’m tired. Sure, I’ve had a few mild symptoms. But I don’t think my mind (or my heart) will let me believe it and feel it. Not yet. So I felt like a fraud as staff member after staff member congratulated me yesterday. “Thanks,” I would respond, with a half-hearted smile. I felt like I needed to tell them it was too soon to congratulate me. Then I went back today and I was okay with being congratulated. Being pregnant is a bizarre experience.
I saw the heartbeat today, fluttering right along in just the right spot. I’m not sure how to describe the feelings that were careening through me at that moment. Imagine looking at your uterus (you know, if you have one) on a giant flat panel television screen, expecting to see… nothing. A blob, a void. And instead, you see a little bright spot pulsing in the center of a lighter bright spot. Wow. Shock and fear and hope and panic and happiness and back to fear. It was there, it’s real. For now, a little voice whispered.
Of course it was real last time, too, even though I didn’t get to see it. And, once again, I was quoted that statistic: “95% of pregnancies go to term once cardiac activity is detected.” Been there, heard that, and here I am again. So. Cautious. Optimistic. Freaked out. Emotional. That’s me. I know some women start falling in love with their child from that very first heartbeat. I can tell you I didn’t. I can’t. I won’t let myself. I saw it and I was happy, but there was no rush of maternal love. Even after seeing it, it’s still hard to believe it’s real.
Yesterday’s appointment was a mixed bag of news. It seems I have another breast lump (I had a biopsy a little over a year ago and it turned out to be a cyst) and my thyroid gland is enlarged. These issues worry me, especially the breast lump. I can no longer think of just my health, I have to think about the pregnancy. I already had other worries related to the pregnancy—the possibility of miscarriage still looms and there are the fibroids to worry about, but now I have additional things stealing my happiness. It’s scary to go from thinking of only myself and being in a rush to do whatever it takes to make myself well to having to slow down and proceed with caution. Of course, the hope is that it’s nothing to worry about and I can focus on being pregnant. That’s the hope. Until I know for sure, I feel torn in different directions. Freaked out. Quietly, under the surface where no one can see. But there is a little voice inside me that is screaming very loudly that I was absolutely crazy to get pregnant at my age.
Melinda, the nurse I saw yesterday and today, said, “You’re very high risk.” No matter how many times I hear that, it never sounds any better. But she also said, “Good for you, getting pregnant on your own at your age! And twice!” That balances out the high risk part, I think. My body is still doing it’s reproductive job—and that has to mean something, right?
It’s going to be a long, stressful road. As the doctor said today when I commented on all the possible complications, “Pregnancy is a dangerous condition, but at the end you get a prize!” I have the two pictures the ultrasound technician gave me to remind me that I really am pregnant, no matter how I feel. The embryo measured exactly 6 weeks and 6 days—right on target. That little blob will become a fetus that will become a baby that will become a child. My child. Our child.
Wow. Happy… and freaked out.