Today I am 7 weeks, 5 days pregnant. And today I want to talk about the fear that comes along with being pregnant (especially when you’ve miscarried in the past) and how that fear doesn’t really go away.
This time, the stick lit up like a firecracker when I peed on it and there was no waiting or faded positive line, not like last time, but a sure, distinct positive. Because I’ve miscarried before, they did blood work to test my HCG Levels at 4 weeks, and this time my levels were high, really high, and tripling every 48 hours. (They were low when I miscarried and fell even lower after 48 hours.) My husband and I were ecstatic. He kicked right into work mode and purged his closet, something I’ve been asking him to do for a year, and then went around the house making a list of things to do and checking them off. I was loving this – my husband, nesting.
A week later I began spotting, brown blood, and for anyone who has miscarried before (and I’m sure those that haven’t miscarried before), any sight of blood is unnerving. No, petrifying. This pit in my stomach deep, cavernous, filling with fear. What could we do? More blood work. So in I went again to get poked, wait 48 hours and get poked again, and this blood work looked amazing, fantastic, super high, tripling again, into the thousands.
My hormones were off to the races.
But I’ve been cramping. Horrible cramping since conception. Cramps so bad that I wake three times a night to wander the house and stretch. This is scary, too: the changes happening to your body. And how those changes can mimic miscarriage, but turn out just fine – be absolutely normal.
So we waited and we watched and I began spotting again, pink blood this time, and so they hurried me in for an early ultrasound at 5 weeks, 6 days (this is where they placed me, conception on February 8th), and they found a heartbeat – a heartbeat! – but that heartbeat was low so they scheduled another ultrasound for 6 weeks, 6 days.
I can’t explain to you the trepidation, the balancing act of excitement and fear – I saw a heartbeat, but that heartbeat was low – and how to contain all of that inside of me, and to cope – how do you cope? Well, I became a bit guarded. I also began meditating – A LOT! – acknowledging my fear and then releasing my fear (as best as I can).
I continued to spot throughout the week, but didn’t call my doctor – what was the point? I’d be doing an ultrasound in a week – they would just tell me to wait and watch. And a week later my husband came with me to this ultrasound and there it was – the heartbeat, strong, 131 beats per minute – and there was the baby, tripled in size in one week.
My guard dropped and things became real. That I’m pregnant. That the baby is strong. That things are looking good. That all of the fear, that toxic fear that I can’t keep at bay still didn’t touch that little fetus. Little baby Tereshko chugging along.
This has been my mantra while I meditate: My body is strong; my baby is strong.
But now, this morning, I woke and immediately used the bathroom and there is bright red blood, more of it than I’ve seen this entire pregnancy, and my breasts are still sore, but not as sore as they usually are, and I’m no longer as nauseous as I was (you tally up these things when you’re pregnant, you take note) – so say hello to my old friend, fear.
Crushed, fearful, I called the doctor. Began writing this blog while waiting for the doctor to call back. And they did. And this is what they said: wait and watch, and bed rest.
We have another ultrasound scheduled for next week so we wait. And I sit here on bed rest grappling with the fear, letting out the tears because they’re toxic when they’re stuck inside, trying to remain positive and hopeful, but hopeful is a dangerous feeling, especially with pregnancy, and I don’t believe I will be truly at ease, that I will truly allow myself to be hopeful and excited until I am clear of the first trimester. But even then, my dear friend told me, you still have fear – you will still look at the tissue paper each time you wipe when you go to the bathroom, and when the child is born, you will still be fearful then, fearful that you will fail or hurt the child in some way – the fear doesn’t go away.
So I’m learning to live with it. Not to allow it to govern my life. But I’m not going to lie, not right now, not as I sit here fearful – I am afraid – and that is OK. That is honest, that is real. And I’m going to try and lose myself in my novel, and when that doesn’t work anymore, I’ll lose myself in someone else’s words.
I’m tired. I’m emotionally and physically drained. And I’m trying to be kind to myself, to my body, to my husband. But right now, it’s a little hard.
And my husband is in London. Which is hard. To have these conversations via the telephone. And like he said today, “This has been a rollercoaster.”
But we will have answers, more answers in one week. And until then: we wait, and we watch.