Wednesday, 13 November 2013

For really real

Today I am 11 weeks pregnant. Not so far along in the larger scheme of things, I suppose, but oh so much farther than I ever imagined we would get, in those scary, tentative first days. In the last little while, this has all begun to feel real. Like, really real; this might actually happen. I don't mean the reality of a baby joining us in 6.5 months. Shut your face! That's still crazy talk!

What I mean is that for many weeks I couldn't even grasp the reality of my, uh...delicate condition. Being pregnant. Knocked up. I'm not sure I actually fully believed there was a bun in this here oven. <Any other grating cliches we can trot out here?> But the fact is, we'll soon be rounding the bend on the second trimester.

My confidence is currently on an upswing though may swing down without warning; I still reserve the right to panic at any given moment after another breathtaking peek at the little seedling during our 'graduation' from the fertility clinic this week. And graduate we did, with flying colours. Such agony! Such relief! S/he was in there, still measuring slightly ahead with a crown-rump length of 11 weeks 2 days for an ultrasound done at 10 weeks 5 days. That was very reassuring. But best of all, we got to see little seedling fist pumping away in there, either annoyed or delighted with the extra attention (who could say which?) and making its feelings emphatically known as we gazed in reverent silence at the screen lighting the dim sanctity of that room shared with three radiology students in that amazing moment. Before now, there was the little heart beat, but really, somehow I didn't have quite such a sense of the...alive-ness of our baby. Until now.

And so when I say things are getting real, I mean that now, I kind of accept the fact that there is an actual human being growing somewhere in the vicinity of my lower pelvis as I type this. My baby. It's crazy and amazing. And also, I must confess, not something I was able to truly absorb before this week. I think in my first pregnancy, I personified S from the very beginning, felt maternal love for another human being from the very beginning. Putting aside for the moment my sense of guilt at not having been able to do that for this baby...well, it was just too terrifying to invest that much. Until now.

And it only got more real from there, though more on the basis of social cues than of biological evidence. After our discharge from the clinic, we were sent for an intake appointment with the community midwives team. We've only ever gotten that far once before. Typically here in the UK, prenatal care and births are handled by midwives, with OBs or specialists stepping in only when a woman is referred as high risk. I do fall into that category (for many reasons, my age and medical history and recurrent losses being chief among them), but our initial assessment was carried out by a midwife who will follow us alongside Dr. B. We liked her very much; she was knowledgeable and understanding and sensitive but also very practical. Meetings with the community midwives tend to be less rushed and more focused on parental feelings and adjustments than hospital appointments do. We spent more than an hour, and at the end were rewarded with a bag full of goodies aimed at consume!consume!consume! expectant parents and...wait for it...a maternity book for which to record a progressing pregnancy, all the way up to a birth plan. Holy shit. For reals.

More disorienting delightful still, our appointment took place not in the clinical, high risky environment of the hospital, but in a local children's centre, complete with diaper caddies and tiny person furniture and adorable toys like these two:

Wizards and witches and babies, oh my!


The atmosphere was so warm and so... familial, oozing such an aura of parental ease, of children-as-a-natural-part-of-life, that it caught us off guard. In the past, such spaces were clearly demarcated as being out of our reach; cruel reminders of what we couldn't do and didn't have.


I felt like an interloper at first. Did we really belong there? This place with the built-in changing tables and nursing pillows and leaflets for mother-baby yoga? The fact is, I don't know if I'll ever truly feel a part of the 'club' (or, in many ways, if I want to) but for perhaps the first time, I allowed myself to feel embraced and lulled by the warmth of such an environment, which for so long felt beyond our grasp. For however long this pregnancy lasts (even though I still can't mentally grasp the whole living-baby-in-6.5-months thing, I am hoping for it with all my heart), I want to bask in it. Feel every second of it, as completely as possible skipping the terror of course pleaseandthankyou.


No, we didn't take a wrong turn. Yes, we are really supposed to be there. We have the paperwork - oh ok, and the little burgeoning human - to attest to that. And if my renewed nausea and fatigue in the last days are anything to go by (this is supposed to abate in the second trimester, right?), then - staying with my confident, hopeful vibe - the tiny human is going through another growth spurt.


The stuff that dreams are made of

11 comments:

  1. Rainbow pregnancies are definitely a lesson in surrealism, that's for sure. So glad that you're up right now, that your appointment went well and that you are enjoying this moment in time.

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  2. Love this! May you continue to feel the realness of it all.

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  3. It's definitely disorienting and strange! I felt all that with V... like holy cow, there's a kid, and they're shuffling us off to this weird place that we don't belong. But you do :) So glad things look good, and still sending positive thoughts and hoping all continues well!

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  4. great post. you really put what i have been feeling into words. i cant quite grasp that i might actually get two babies at the end of this. but i am starting to grasp that i am really truly pregnant. with twins. and they are growing well. and i am growing too! i just never thought i would get here - so it is pretty hard to wrap my mind around! thanks for putting your thoughts and feelings out there so well!

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  5. Love this! That waiting room looks so cozy and inviting, and like just the kind of place you want to spend the rest of this pregnancy! I'm so glad things are going well and that you're starting to connect more with the seedling!

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  6. That's wonderful. So glad to hear you are able to bask in the happiness of this pregnancy. :-)

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  7. I am so, so, so happy for you.

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  8. Congratulations, happy graduate! This is, indeed, the stuff dreams are made of. Enjoy it - and no need to excuse yourself for future bouts of uncertainty, pessimism, and so on, it happens to the best of us. For now, so happy that you're so joyful!

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  9. Every post of yours is so relatable for me right now! I know I keep saying that, but it's so true.

    It's really real. Congrats, graduate.

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  10. HUGE congratulations! We graduate from the RE next Wednesday, and I'm equal parts terrified and ecstatic. There's not an emotion you expressed above that I haven't felt about twenty times already today!

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