The first couple of weeks after I got the positive test, it felt as if I had time traveled and the previous terminated pregnancy had simply revived itself and I was back on the same road again. Except I wasn’t, and I had to remind myself that this was a different baby, and a different time. Being pregnant for a few months and then not pregnant for a few months and then pregnant again swiftly after makes me feel like I’ve been pedaling around in first trimester limbo for a long time.
I think it was only when I was lying on the bench at the first ultrasound this week, that it sank in that this was a different baby, and that we were here, together, at week 7. It was a frightening moment, watching the black and white shapes move around on the screen, waiting for life or death to be pronounced. Everything hinged on a binary result – beating, or not beating. Flicker of the chambers, or nothing. I’m not sure I said anything in response other than a soft “Oh,” when my doctor told me that we had a good heartbeat. Unlike my first carefree pregnancy and my second devastating one, there was no joy or sorrow. Just a buzzing tension and then a cautious relief, as if I’d been yanked away from the edge of a cliff but was left looking down at the rocks below.
But over the past few days, I’ve been teaching myself to celebrate, despite the possibility of loss. The joy uncurls itself in moments when I am praying, or talking to him/her. Stay. I can’t wait to meet you. You have my whole heart. I won’t let you go.
I have never been inclined to not acknowledge my own baby for my own protection. To hold my developing child at arm’s length, until things “stabilize”, is not something I’ve ever attempted and I’m not sure I would succeed in any case. It is also the reason why I have never hesitated to share news about my pregnancy before the end of the first trimester. My child is here: fact. There will be no secret squirreling away of bad news. A miscarriage is not an embarrassing back-pedaling. And it is not something I would ever want to bear alone, in silence, holding my grief to myself. To spare myself (or others) awkwardness or sorrow is an inadequate reason for me to envision my child as a senseless ball of tissue. I can’t. And so I will not.
I am this baby’s mother, and the only thing I’m actively working to brush off is my fear.
You are unstoppable. Keep growing and I will see you soon.