I’ve never been one to delay telling the world I’m pregnant.
A baby’s a baby no matter how small – and I’m no good at secrets after all.
But after we miscarried in April, life has been hard. We didn’t get pregnant for several cycles (okay, just three – but we’d always gotten pregnant on first try before). We’ve had uncertainties with our foster daughter. We’ve traveled a lot, which kept me off-kilter. And I’ve been depressed – debilitatingly so.
I spent the summer worried we wouldn’t be able to get pregnant again. Worried that Beth-Ellen would be our last biologically. Worried that we’d also lose our foster daughter and that it would tear me apart.
We found out we were pregnant the day Daniel left town to pick up our beef. I started bleeding the next day.
The bleeding stopped, but my worry didn’t. My basal body temperature has never been consistent (probably because I never sleep for 3-4 hours at a stretch), but it bounced up and down instead of staying high like it should for a pregnant woman. I stopped measuring it after a month. It wasn’t serving me – but the worry remained.
My depression deepened. I was grieving I wasn’t sure what. Grieving the baby, certainly. Grieving the closely-spaced family I’d dreamed of. Grieving the difficulties our foster daughter has faced and still may. Grieving saying goodbye to two foster children already. Grieving the things I used to be able to do but couldn’t now.
How could I share the joy of a new baby in the womb when joy wasn’t even half the emotion I was feeling? When I thought of saying something, I contemplated what I might say: “We’re pregnant again and I’m just hoping the baby’s alive. No, I haven’t had any morning sickness, really, I just can’t function after 11 in the morning because I’m too exhausted and everything is overwhelming and all I want to do is cry and scream and cry some more.”
When they offered me an appointment on Daniel’s birthday, I thought “Great. Daniel can get the news that this baby is dead on his birthday.” But I didn’t ask for a different day. I know that only means waiting longer, and I’d much rather know than keep worrying.
I’ve never had an early ultrasound before. I know exactly when I ovulate – no need for an ultrasound to check dates. But this time, I didn’t have any of my normal questions prepared. I had one main question: is our baby alive?
After I knew that, I had decided, I would tell the world. Then they could rejoice with me or grieve with me with some level of surety as to which I ought to be experiencing.
The baby is alive. Moving around enough my OB couldn’t really show us what was what in real time.
A weight off my heart.
But not the whole weight. No, this weight is much heavier than one baby or even two.
And that is why I, so unused to delay, waited so long (okay, nine weeks gestation) to tell you all that we were pregnant.
It was complicated. It still is.