Thursday, 3 October 2013

Thankful

Today I am exactly five weeks pregnant.

(That is according to the handy NHS due date calculator, which, once I overcame my initial horror at the thought of having to acknowledge the reality of that first statement, has become as regular a stop on my internet reading as the many blogs I follow. I check it daily, seeking reassurance not so much in the still scary future tense due date attached to this potential for life that grows in me, as its confirmation that yes, one more day has passed, inching me ever further through these uncertain first days; as though this generic online resource is somehow preternaturally connected directly to my specific pregnancy. It comfortingly leaves out details that are included on other, less reassuring sites, such as: There are 245 days left until your due date! Serves me right, for presenting myself to any congregation bearing the moniker 'Just Mommies'. Oh gods, please never...)

Before I'd gathered the courage to venture into those particular waters myself, H sweetly (but also somewhat nauseatingly) announces:  I couldn't resist looking up what the due date would be, [June 5th, for those like H, precipitously keeping count] and they tell me that right now it's the size of a poppy seed.

Truth: I hate fetus/fruit size comparisons. Am I supposed to be gestating a life or preparing a salad? I don't get it. And I don't really do cutesy. But H's enthusiasm was so genuine, and so disarming, that I couldn't help but indulge it. That, plus he's what's keeping me sane right now. I'm so impressed by this optimism he's chosen to embrace. And I crave it.

Five weeks: a drop in the vast ocean of fear that regularly threatens to engulf me. But also a start. 

There are moments of terrifying, but so far I'm managing these complicated emotions better than I thought I might. The physically crappy but psychologically euphoric feeling of being overcome by an awful lot of pregnancy symptoms helps, though when they wane for even a few hours it sends me into a minor panic, such as on Tuesday evening, when a momentary sense of feeling energized and without even the tiniest tinge of nausea compelled me to pee on the remaining stick in the bathroom (it was lying there forlornly, the orphan of the double pack we'd purchased in the event of an unclear result). The fact that the second line, much darker than its predecessor, sprang into visibility almost before the pee hit the stick was just what I needed. (H, with his unaccustomed optimism again surfacing: Wow, you're super pregnant.) 

But largely, I'm allowing myself as many moments of hopeful what if... as I can muster.

We have eleven more days to wait until we find out - at least initially, tentatively - whether this hope is well placed. Our first ultrasound is scheduled for October 14th, when I should be 6 weeks, 4 days pregnant. October 14th is also one of my favourite holidays, though not one that's recognized here in Europe. For us Canadians, Thanksgiving takes place on the second Monday in October; in 2013, October 14th, to be exact. It's a holiday that has the distinct feel of home and gentle nostalgia about it, and one I've managed to keep no matter where we find ourselves (sometimes in the most unlikely conditions, including one such on the margins of the Arabian desert, where lamb and rice and pomegranates had to stand in for turkey with all the trimmings). Wary as I am of 'signs' that invariably turn out to be a whole lot of nothing, I won't go so far as to say this coincidence feels like a good omen. But it did put a smile on my face when I looked at the calendar.

I'm still overwhelmed and scared; scared that there won't be anything to see on the 14th, that all this build up, the finally getting there, will only have been a precursor to another heartbreak, one from which I'm not sure we'd manage to return.

But mostly though, right now, there is possibility. And gratitude. Gratitude that we even get to be in this place, where good things (amazing things!) might be on the way. Where we can hope that an ultrasound will bring us something to see and be thankful for, rather than just another look at the shape of my empty womb, the functioning of ovaries that despite their normalcy, never quite seemed to cut it. So much gratitude for the chance to maybe, hopefully, see new life growing. See our future.



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This week on my usual walk to work, I passed a tableau that was breath-taking in its bucolic simplicity. Our flat is adjacent to a lovely park where the vines that trail along the river are beginning to turn burnished shades of yellow and orange. The mellow autumn sun was shining through their filigree and a small boy was feeding the ducks with his mother, squealing with delight as I crossed the footbridge. I stood for the briefest of moments, relishing the scene, feeling all was right with the world; and as much as I admired the outward beauty, I was focused inward too. I thought to myself: today, right now, I'm pregnant.

Today I'm pregnant.

And for now, it's enough. It's more than we dared hope for.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Hopefully my fruitfulness.



There are 245 days left until your due date.

16 comments:

  1. First of all, what a beautiful photograph.

    Secondly...hahahah - "Wow, you're SUPER pregnant." Love it.

    Third, what you're feeling is "super normal." Especially how you got to where you are. But that doesn't mean you should deny yourself the cheesy pregnancy-fruit comparisons. I have about 3 apps on my phone (none of which I like) that pop up and tell me what delicious fruit my baby is (currently a "large cantaloupe" - I guess the "large" is important?). My favorite though, is the Fertility Friend updates, because they are more scientific and use less cheesy little sayings.

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    1. Oh, I don't think my aversion to the fruit/fetal comparisons is due to my reproductive history...I'm just not one of *those* pregnant ladies. No matter how much I hope to stay super pregnant for the long haul! I really really hope H is right in his diagnosis ;)

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    2. Ha...no I didn't mean your history would make you dislike cheesy baby apps. I mean, it might make it hard to jump into the whole "weekly updates" and such yet, as you're still feeling hesitant. The cheesy baby apps are cheesy no matter what. What to Expect is the absolute worst!

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  2. Sadie!!!! OMG, I completely missed the previous post! So excited for you (though I completely understand the cautious optimism). One day at a day, lady.

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  3. We are one day apart indeed! Unreal. Let's stick with the plan of enjoying being pregnant today! My ultrasound is not until the 21st! So far away! I am appreciating the sore boobs and exhaustion. I would like some nausea!

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  4. Sadie, this is so beautiful. The picture at the end and your description of it made my heart ache, it was so lovely. I am so very happy for you, my friend! Keep taking it one day at a time. We're here cheering you on!

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  5. What??? I just "stopped by" to catch up with you and you're pregnant! I am so happy for you. Truly. You deserve this and honestly, I'm not surprised. You seemed to find some real peace this summer. What an amazing story--before IVF! You made my day! Enjoy this and trust your gut. Reading between the words, I sense you know it's for real deep down inside, despite your understandable fears. I knew it was going to happen! And then, I read you survived cancer. I am in awe of your grace. Well done, my friend. Well done all around.

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  6. Hoping so much that things go smoothly and are uneventful.

    I always liked the fruit/veggie references because it gave me something for size comparison, just telling me the size made it more abstract for me. However, I did avoid the apps and I loathe the terms preggo and preggers. I have a hard time with the naivety some people get, and their assumption that it's a natural process and nothing bad could happen to *them* For me a lot of that stemmed from my "this is a medical condition, not a magical joyride" attitude though ;) I'm all for enjoying it, and making the best, it just gets hard for me sometimes when people go overboard or get overzealous, because of my own history.

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  7. I don't know if the Thanksgiving u/s is a good omen, but your due date *must* be! It's my birthday, and--not to brag or anything--another IF-er gave birth on that day this year. June 5, 2014 is going to be a good, good day!

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  8. Wow, that's a beautiful photo and a beautiful entry. So glad to hear the good feelings are not being overwhelmed by anxiety!

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  9. Total shock that you are not a loyal member of the Just Mommies congregation .

    Also, so feeling you with the the fetus/fruit comparisons - my husband was really into them during the 1st trimester and would often chime in earnestly with whatever blueberry-grapefruit-melon sized fetus was now growing in my belly. Of course, he meant it sweetly but it always kind of weirded me out.

    Also, holy crap - you're pregnant :)

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  10. Oh I am so so happy for you. Like, really. Those first days are scary. The whole thing is scary. Scary, but so magical, too.
    Aside from exhaustion and my huge full boobs (that did not hurt) I did not really have any symptoms, so you can imagine that had me freaking out during those first 3 months. At least until I talked to enough doctors / and my mom who told me that that could also be normal and that it was not some kind of bad omen.
    Before any ultrasound or midwife appointments we are always nervous... I think it is pretty normal.
    I will be thinking of you, rejoice in this beautiful moment that is here no matter what.
    That is a beautiful picture / scenery. I love feeding ducks and water streams tend to give me peace.

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  11. Oh wow Sadie... I'm so thrilled for you! I hope everything goes smoothly during these next 35 weeks or so. Sending you lots of love and peace!

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  12. Sending you many happy thoughts, lady. :)

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  13. Here from LFCA - that really is a beautiful picture. And very exciting news, although I understand your caution. Personally, I felt it was so hard to wrap my head around the idea of a living thing inside me, the fruit estimates helped me visualize it.

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  14. Wishing you the very best! I wanted to let you know I nominated you for a Sunshine Award. Don't feel obligated to respond-

    http://stupidbrokeneggs.blogspot.com/2013/10/a-sunshine-award-to-start-week.html

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