Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Anniversaries and Pregnancy

It's been a while. I'm still here and still pregnant. These are both good things, though the holidays and today specifically have been tougher than I would like to admit.

Balancing grief due to pregnancy loss and excitement from a pregnancy that seems to be working out is challenging. The holidays hit me hard as I thought about the two babies who did not make it to see Christmas 2022 with us. Someone encouraged me not to think about the babies that didn't make it but to look forward to the sweet one on the way. Even with such early losses, I never want to forget; it does not seem fair to them or to me. 

Fortunately (at times anyway), I rarely forget something that feels important to me. As long as I can remember, I have always been good at keeping track of dates. Weirdly, I was not a superstar history student, but I can recall dates from my personal life well. This is a double-edged sword on days like today. January 10, 2022 was my first ultrasound appointment that wasn't checking for follicles or looking at the thickness of my uterine lining. (There were so many of those!) After several positive but slow-growing betas following our fresh embryo transfer in December 2021, we had an early OB appointment to check on our embryos. While I was nervous that slow-rising betas could mean an ectopic pregnancy, I was hopeful for good news.

I thought we were in the clear as long as the embryo had implanted in my uterus and not my fallopian tubes, but I learned that morning that a blighted ovum (anembryonic pregnancy) was not only a thing that could happen but a thing that was happening to me. I will never forget my doctor repeating, "I don't like what I'm seeing." Those words still haunt me; I hear them in my doctor's voice because that's how they're cemented in my memory.

A year later, I am 22 weeks and 5 days pregnant with what we hope will be the first child we get to meet in person. But also a year later, I find it difficult to be truly excited about an ultrasound. 

I haven not posted many pregnancy updates for several reasons. One is that I find baby bump shots kind of triggering, though I did totally buy into the silly trend to take a picture with Ben and Jerry's Half Baked ice cream when I hit 20 weeks pregnant (halfway). Another reason is that I have not been able to shake the feeling that the other shoe is about to drop. Pregnancy after infertility is a wild ride, even if the pregnancy itself is relatively uneventful (which mine has been so far, thankfully). It's difficult for others who have not walked this road to understand why I often feel that healthy babies happen to other people, not to me. 

I ran across my letter board in my closet today, and I have not redone it in a year. It still has the same vocabulary-themed message I wrote last January, even though I could have been using it over the past few months to share updates or write about how the baby is the size of various foods or 80's and 90's nostalgia items--I think Furby week is next week!--as reported in the pregnancy apps. Overall, though, we are doing well and hopeful that our estimated due date of May 11 (or somewhere around there because babies seem to do what they want) will be the day we have dreamed about and waited for. Please remember us over the next few months; perhaps I will update again, but I'm always happy to talk outside of the blog about the candy I am eating, how many naps I have taken lately, or what my latest maternity clothing purchase has been (lately it's running clothes!)

Special jewelry my friends have sent to help me remember the journey, our babies, and our incredible support network.

Something that made today great: I checked several tasks off of my mounting to-do list at work! 

Time I woke up: 8:55 am

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