There is so much to communicate in this post. I've anticipated writing this for so long and yet, here I sit, struggling for words.
First off, I guess, for any reader who has lost a baby... I hope that this post doesn't cause you any pain. I hope it brings you hope.
For any reader struggling with infertility, my heart breaks with you, I hope that those around you continue to pray for your miracle when you no longer can.
And to those who've read this blog since back when life was normal and my biggest concern was the endless goading of those infernal rain spiders: thanks for sticking with me :)
Today is a happy day... mostly. There are a bunch of other emotions floating around there too, of course, but high on the list is happiness.
This is a test taken in early December and today, somehow, marks that first major milestone of 12 weeks.
I know I know I know. How could I possibly not have told you about this? I have felt very guilty if it's any consolation!! The Band and I really wanted to keep this on the down low at least until we made it to the 12 week scan. We knew for more than 3 weeks before we even told our parents! (told them at Christmas) so I hope you don't feel too betrayed.
I am very grateful now, that we made that choice. Against all odds the first trimester sped by and I think it's because noone knew and so it was barely spoken of. Once you are showing, people ask you how far you are basically daily so you are constantly aware of time, this way we could almost not think about it and while that may sound awful, it's been a blessing. I am terrified. I have been anticipating this week's scan for so long now that I had completely freaked myself out by the time I got to the doctor. I have had barely any "symptoms", you see - immune system was low and blood pressure was low but that has really been it - and in some ways I was beginning to think the whole thing was in my head. To finally see a little person on the screen almost surprised me. Then I freaked out because it seemed so still, but wonderful New Gynae pointed to the heart galloping along and I could finally breathe again.
Here's what I saw:
So far everything is fine... on monday baby was just over 4cm from head to bum and now the real growth begins.
At this stage we have named him/her The Kernel. This was because baby was heading for the size of a popcorn kernel when we found out, but with time we are hoping baby will graduate to The Colonel and take on The Guv!! (surely a Colonel outranks a Governer??)
So where are we at? I am an emotional basket case mostly. My first emotion when I found out was a massive sense of gratitude. Too many people struggle to fall pregnant and I've read of their pain and feared it. A pregnancy is not something I could ever take for granted. It is not a given, it is an absolute blessing and privilege and not one we take lightly. Pretty soon after we found out we had our first appointment and there was some "free fluid" hanging around. We were told it could mean nothing or it could indicate an ectopic pregnancy. Three endless days of waiting for blood test results. I was already in love with this little one and going through that so early on sucked a lot of the joy out and replaced it with cold dark fear. Finally we heard back that everything was fine, but in a way we felt a bit scarred by that. After that I was scared - any little ache or pain would worry me and I was constantly bracing myself for blood. I think in my mind I set the next scan as a deadline to myself... if everything was fine there then it would be time to suck it up - all the fears and worries (haha.. ok, perhaps that's a bit ambitious) but to make a conscious decision to celebrate this pregnancy and believe that perhaps there might just be a living, breathing baby at the end of it.
The reality is that I am deemed "high risk" now. Placental abruption has a 15% recurrence rate - unless it was caused by a fall, which it may have been, but I will never know. And so there'll be a few precautions - for one I had to take additional folic acid (on top of the preg vits) for the first 12 weeks, from now on I have to have 1/4 aspirin a day... something to do with promoting placental growth. I will have more frequent scans and I will be induced a month early (somewhere around the 9th of July!!). But there are no guarantees, and this is the part that makes my heart pound and my breathing shallow.
Next Thursday we are off to the foetal assessment clinic and we will more than likely find out the gender. Any guesses? The Band and I think it's a boy.
We are starting to tell people now and I am nervous... worried about their reactions. This doesn't solve everything, this doesn't stop us mourning Sophia, everything's not magically fixed now, BUT this baby does bring his/her own joy. This baby does deserve to be celebrated and loved.
Keep me in your prayers guys... it's a terrifying road we're on but we're very grateful to be on it!