(Written a while back. I’m now 38 weeks.)
The internal debate–do I write about myself or politics? Neither is easy but the former is more meaningful at the moment. Here we go.
I’m pregnant. We didn’t do any big announcement this time around. Like every other time, we told our immediate family first then a few close friends. The news trickled beyond bit by bit. And the first time many heard of it was when they saw a picture on Facebook that a friend so graciously asked permission to post. After all, her pic would be the first public declaration which was no declaration at all.
Compared to when I was pregnant with our now 22-month-old daughter, we’ve been sort of silent.
But aren’t we happy?
Aside from the day I verified that I was pregnant via a standard prego test, I don’t remember being happy about this pregnancy until this last Monday. I don’t remember where I was or what I was doing. I do remember that the feeling came as a surprise. The words “I’ll be sixteen weeks tomorrow” danced in my head accompanied by internal and external smiles. And then as we went for our regular morning walk the following day, I said to Justin, “Sixteen weeks today.” There was a contentment in those words that I had yet to know this time around.
And since then, I’ve realized that for almost 15 weeks I was very afraid, afraid of losing yet another baby.
This is pregnancy number four. I know women with more losses than me. This is real life. And until you experience it for yourself, chances are high that you’ll never know to think it. And that’s not 100% your fault. Miscarriage has been swept under rugs for years, just ask your parents or aunts and uncles or grandparents. My unscientific guess is that there are at least 6 miscarriages between your birth and your grandparents’ union. At least 6. And there are also stories of trying, trying, trying…no prego. And there may be a still birth. And if not in your family, certainly in a family you know very well.
But that’s enough of that. I’m not here to talk about your reality (even though I do want you to be fully informed…so ask your relatives). I’m here to talk about mine.
On Friday, I had a checkup. The nurse used the doppler. Now, I’ve experienced this simple tool before, twice during this pregnancy. And both times have been a heartbeat finding expedition. It’s been awful. In those moments of uncertainty during the second hunt, I fully mapped out my options: curse God and never try again or “just roll” with it. The former felt more genuine.
But on Friday, there wasn’t even time to process all that. The probe touched my belly and there she was, crisp as ever, 166 bpm, my little girl #2.
It was a good morning.
But pregnancy isn’t always good. I’m grateful to be able to carry this little girl. I’m hopeful that she’ll stay put full term. But pregnancy isn’t always good. And about a month ago, I finally owned up to my unrealistic expectations. I’ve wanted to be one of those happy pregnant women, the kind who glow all 40 weeks long, rub on their bellies like it’s gold, walk around so stately. I actually don’t know of any who are that happy but that’s the video in my head that’s been playing and it needs to stop.
That plus miscarriage fear has kept me quieter than I’d ever imagine. And after I post this, I may go quiet again. I don’t write for sympathy–I write for attention. I want more of you to know this stuff so that you don’t step into parenthood blindly and so that you’re more understanding when someone’s been married for 5 years, no baby. Or when they have a 4yrold with no sibling on the way. Maybe they don’t want children or they’re done (those are options, too). Or maybe they’ve tried. And tried.
I’m honestly not here to make you feel guilty about questions you’ve asked or assumptions you’ve made. That’s wasted energy on my end. We all say things we shouldn’t say and often from an absolutely loving heart. I’m here to inform. Please listen.