Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Pregnancy Story

This post is not just an update but a story about my pregnancy.  It's kind of a long story.

Anniversary Selfie

So, it's been a bit since my last post. I've had a hard time writing for a while. First, I found out at the end of February that I was pregnant. Great news! But I felt that I couldn't be my true, honest self if I were blogging but not yet revealing the pregnancy. Then in March I found out my mom was sick. The next couple of months I focused on her and her care. I was so distracted most of the time that I barely remembered I was pregnant. We lost my mom at the beginning of May.  Since then I've been grieving and trying to get back into my life. It has been really hard. 

I think writing might be a bit of getting back to my life. A bit I can do safely from my couch. So here's the story:

Thursday June 5, in a session with my therapist we are discussing my upcoming 20 week ultrasound. I had been terrified of this appointment. The consensus I got from everyone else was that the normal feeling should have been to be excited.   My therapist responded, "Mariah, I think you feel so guilty that you think you don't deserve a healthy baby".  And though I had not ever been conscious of it, I knew immediately she was correct. I didn't think I could get pregnant. I had no reason to believe this.  And now I realize I didn't think I deserved to get pregnant. Then I was terrified I'd loose the baby, then terrified the baby would not be healthy. All along not believing I deserved a healthy baby. I know logically we all deserve healthy babies, b
ut I didn't feel worthy.   (I hope that I don't come off as not grateful or hurtful to those amazing women that are struggling with fertility and health issues.)

In addition to these feelings, I've developed some negative associations with doctors. Every single appointment for my mom was more heartbreaking and devastating than the last.  I think it's hard now to believe that good news can come from a doctor. 

Monday June  9, my anniversary with Nick. 7 am, I woke up, stood up and doubled over in excruciating pain. I couldn't stand or really walk.  Nick decided to work from home to take care of me and I tried to rest. 9 am, I called the doctor. 930 am, they call back. I'm still in terrible pain when I stand and sometimes when sitting. No other symptoms. They can't do anything for me. I have a 20 week ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow and an appointment with my doctor. Can it wait? If not, if it gets worse, or will not go away, I should go to labor and delivery where they can monitor me.  I don't know what is the right decision, and I'm scared. But 
I don't want to be that pregnant girl. I wait. 230 pm, it's not any better. I still can't stand for long. I tell Nick that I think I need to go to the hospital. We go. The labor and delivery staff are kind and reassuring. Nick is silly. He plays with every gadget he can get his hands on and jokes with the nurses. They monitor me for contractions. I'm not having them. They check the baby's heart rate, it's normal. They run blood and urine tests. An ultrasound gives us a glimpse of the baby. The doctor says that the baby looks good, no concerns. She thinks it might be a boy, but the legs are crossed, so she's not sure. My vitals are normal. The blood work and urine sample are normal. I'm still terrified. They take me down to have a different ultrasound to look at my appendix and ovaries. I'm told that my ovaries look good but the baby's in the way of the appendix. Nick, despite protest, makes my wheel chair do a wheelie. Nick makes me laugh. It hurts. Doctor comes back, she thinks my pain is normal ligament stretching but is concerned it's lasted all day.  They can't find anything wrong with me. They want to keep me over night. I decline. 9 pm, we go home. 

Hospital anniversary, Nick is showing off my arm band. 

Tuesday June  10, we head into our scheduled level 2 ultrasound. The pain is less today, I can stand and walk with only a bit of discomfort. The ultrasound tech is kind and upbeat. The baby's legs are still crossed, she thinks it's a girl, but she's not sure. The doctor comes in and continues the thorough ultrasound, pointing to every organ, the spine, the brain. The baby looks healthy. She has no concerns. We are told the ultrasound does not detect everything. But the baby looks good. After a few questions and brief exam she is also not concerned about my pain. 

I can't describe how my energy changed with this news. The weight in my body from months of fear melted down. I feel more connected to the ground below me. I love Nick so much for his unwavering support. I feel hope.  Hope is scary, but less scary than hopelessness. And I am grateful.