Sometimes being pregnant is a scary thing. It is always wonderful and exciting, but sometimes at the same time it is completely terrifying. Not because I’m nervous about delivery, or caring for a newborn (although I’m sure those fears will come in due time) but because when you’re infertile you learn to expect the worst. You learn to expect negative pregnancy tests, cancelled cycles, delays and disappointments. That mind-set doesn’t just disappear in a puff of smoke once you’re pregnant.
I’m relieved that the tension-fraught first trimester is over. I spent 3 months knowing, just knowing, that it could all end at any moment. I didn’t let it destroy my pleasure in the experience, but if I’m honest there were moments in which I was simply paralysed by the fear. An afternoon not as plagued by nausea as usual had me obsessing over all my pregnancy symptoms trying to figure out if something was going wrong. When I started spotting a few days after my positive test I remember sitting on the toilet sobbing my heart out, begging for this baby that I already loved so much to stay put safely inside me. And, thankfully, it did.
I still check my underwear for blood every time I go to the toilet. I think that is a habit which will be forever ingrained in my being. I still have moments when the not knowing bothers me. I think we’d all like to have a personalised reality-tv show about our bodies so we could know exactly what was happening at every moment of every day. Now, at more than 15 weeks’ pregnant, I can talk about the pregnancy without feeling like I’m jinxing it. Now I can make plans and have dreams about the future.
But some events make all that fear come racing back. I do not know a word to describe the combination of anticipation and terror that I felt before our all-important 12 week scan. And it is becoming clear that this will be a continuing theme. I can cruise through most of my days and ignore that fear. But the closer I get to an ultrasound or a doctor’s appointment the more nervous I become. And as I approach our 16 week check-up, fewer than 24 hours away, I just can’t ignore the possibility that the doctor might find something wrong. I know that the bulk of the appointment will be taken up by mundane activities like being weighed (a bit scary in itself), having my blood pressure measured, and peeing in a cup; I know that the chances of something catastrophic happening at this stage are low. But a low chance isn’t no chance, and I just don’t think I’ll be able to relax until after the appointment tomorrow morning.
So… here’s hoping that a day of housework can distract me from my anxiety… and I’ll update you all tomorrow.