Saturday, December 7, 2013

new life

We found out in a Walmart bathroom in the middle of Iowa. 

There had been months of ovulation tests, then only one line. Frustration that things just wouldn't get back to normal. And then suddenly, the two lines (and a digital test thrown in for confirmation) we'd been praying for since January.

9/17/13, Four weeks 1 day
"Less than 5 percent of women have two consecutive miscarriages (Mayo Clinic).

This is the statistic I am clinging to with an anxious heart.

I can't remember what it was like to go into this pregnancy thing with blind faith. Worrying about how many cloth diapers I would need, which crib was safest and which birthing method was best for my baby. Instead I am tiptoeing through the fear of losing another baby and navigating that ocean of grief. I'm trying to do the normal things like look up pregnancy announcements, the milestone dates we'll reach but really all I am doing is praying the days, weeks and months go fast. I have zero fear of another rapid birth, or if this baby will scream for five hours a night. I just want that sweet, healthy baby."

The next two weeks were the longest. Waiting for the point when a heartbeat could be detected. I took no less than 20 pregnancy tests, just confirmation that indeed the lines were getting darker. It was too early for symptoms but their absence made me sick with worry.

10/2/13, 6 weeks 3 days - Heartbeat appointment
"I cried when I climbed on the table. Cried harder when she showed me the flickering light of life. We did a transvaginal and could see it even better. The sac looks great, and baby was measuring a day ahead of what I thought. Heartbeat was 130/beats per min which is strong. She turned on the ultrasound wand for a second so I could hear five strong beats booming in the room. It was a miracle when I heard it with Henry but I can't tell you how much more of a miracle it seems this time, knowing how vulnerable life really is."

We've had three ultrasounds, each one as perfect as the last. Shea got me a fetal doppler at home to ease my anxiety. My midwife held my hand, answering every crazy question and indulging in my need for reassurance.

At 16 weeks now, I worry less about baby's health and more about the fact I am packing on the pounds and wearing maternity clothes six to eight weeks earlier than I had to with Henry. But the awe of a healthy pregnancy is not lost in our house.