Most newly- pregnant women relish in the glow of this exciting new time. Most women share their news too soon without worry. They wander down the baby aisle at Target and may even buy an item or two. They talk about baby names. They indulge in a scoop of ice cream they normally wouldn't because they "need the calcium." They bask in the glow. They indulge in the joy. They celebrate this new exciting season of life.
I know this because I was that woman the first time I was pregnant. Now it's all a blur.
After 5 IUIs, 4 IVF cycles and 3 miscarriages, I'm now a different woman. There are occasional spurts of that joy, but my mind is full of worry. I'm cautious, I'm careful, I'm scared. In fact, aside from the given pregnancy rules (i.e.- no alcohol, no deli meats, etc.), I have a long list of additional things I'm not supposed to do:
No lifting over 10 pounds
No going above 5,000 feet elevation
No sex or orgasms
No twisting or engaging my abs
Did I mention no lifting my toddler?
I'm sure there are more but I can't remember them off the top of my head.
Some of you reading this have experienced a miscarriage. You may have never spoken about it, nor should you have to. That's your story to tell, and this is mine. But I would like us to unite and just go ahead and agree what a mind fuck this whole process is. It changes you as a person.
Every time I go to the bathroom I hold my breath, sure that when I wipe I'm going to see blood. There are times when the rules have to be broken. As much as I'd like to be a mother to these two future babes, I have a toddler who sometimes needs his mommy to pick him up, which I do. Then the cramping ensues and I worry I've ruined everything. Pregnancy symptoms come and go, and with them the worry that the pregnancy has done the same weigh heavy on your mind.
Of course, we try to keep an open mind and sense of humor about it all. We are hopeful and excited. But we are also trying to guard our hearts and prepare for all possible outcomes. I think for those who've never gone through infertility and loss, it is hard to understand.
My promise to myself and this blog is to always be honest. So, there it is.
I think my husband put it best when he said "It's like crossing a rickety bridge. We've made it across the first few steps but we've got such a long way to go."
The best we can do is look straight ahead, try not to fall, hold on to our butts and no matter what, don't look down.