It is hard to celebrate a life when you are mourning a death. For the first bit of time after finding out my mom was sick and her death I would almost forget that I am pregnant. I felt nauseated from grief, so it wasn’t like the barfing was any strong indication. I felt tired from the lack of sleep, so exhaustion was not an unusual feeling either. I just went through the motions of my day. Then my handy little iPhone App. “Baby Bump” pinged a little alert… You have started a new week in your pregnancy, it said, you are now in Week Ten. Week Ten. Wow. How did this happen? I realize that 10 weeks isn’t very far into a pregnancy, it’s still quite early, but it feels like an eternity to me sometimes. The past 10 days feel like a year to me.
I was worried that the baby wouldn’t make it through this. You always hear terrible stories about women in situations such as this and they always loose their babies. I guess the stories where the baby survives are just as likely but people don’t spread them because they aren’t as dramatic, you have got to love human nature. I tried really hard to keep as calm and in control as I could in those really hard moments. I reminded myself to breathe, the baby doesn’t get air if I don’t. I knew that if anything did happen to go wrong there would be nothing that I could do to stop it. I was already feeling powerless and out of control, I really, really didn’t want to compound it.
My midwife’s office offered to send in a requisition for me to have an ultrasound for maternal concern. Island Ultrasound rejected their requisition. It’s sure nice to know that my MSP payment goes towards me receiving services, isn’t that lovely? Who died and made Island Ultrasound God? I have some serious beef with Island Ultrasound. I was “thisclose” to calling them up and giving them a piece of my mind. I decided to save it for when I arrive in person for my 18 week scan. If I am still angry about it then, I will complain about it to a real live body who is there to see the grief and sadness in my remaining eye. I plan to make that person feel like shit. I know that is slightly immature, but right now it makes me feel better. My midwife’s office was sincerely apologetic and the receptionist said that she felt terrible and that she wasn’t a fan of Island Ultrasound and their Nazi ultrasound regime. Okay she might not have said that last bit, that might be me… might be… I will let you wonder.
When I arrived in the office for my appointment I was met with hugs, tissues, well wishes and kind faces. It felt good and I immediately felt taken care of. My midwife said that we could try to hear the baby’s heartbeat, but she warned me to not get my hopes up as it is extremely unlikely to hear a baby’s heartbeat with a Doppler before 12 weeks (I was 10 weeks, 3 days). I said that I was prepared to not hear anything. Part of my was convinced that there wasn’t a real live baby in there anymore anyway. I am not sure why, maybe it’s self protection. If I halfway saw it coming it couldn’t knock me on my ass completely right. So much for being a relentless optimist. I wasn’t gaining weight, I wasn’t showing and everyone else I knew showed heaps earlier with their second. My pants still fit great, nothing is uncomfortable. Even the stupid book said that my pants should start to get uncomfortable. I was like this with Everly and of course it wasn’t a cause for concern then, but with her I was sure she was in there. I had seen her 3 times and felt her move by the time I started to show. She hadn’t had to live in my body as her grandmother died.
I lay down on the recliner and the midwife felt where my uterus was. She looked at me and said wow, it’s way up here already, so technically you ARE showing. She said that being slender means that I might not show as quickly, I guess there isn’t as much pudding to push when the uterus makes it’s way up. Okay, this looks good. She said being that you are this high already and slim we just might have a chance of hearing it. She pulls out the Doppler and squirts the jelly on the want. She puts the wand to the middle of my lower belly, it’s cold and squishy. Thump-thump… thump-thump, we hear my heartbeat. She moves it a little to the left, twists her wrist and thumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthump a tiny little heartbeat comes out loud and clear. She says that’s it and we both look at each other in shock/amazement. I realize by the look on her face that she really, really wasn’t expecting to hear this baby! We listen as I feel those sneaky tears come, the kind I couldn’t hold back if I tried. But these are happy tears and I am so relived. She hands me a tissue and I hesitate. I want those happy tears on my face a little bit longer. It is the fourth time I have cried today, I want these ones to sink in, these happy ones to stick and remind my body of how good life can be to us too.
I go in again in 2 weeks and I can’t wait to hear those galloping horses again. Will have to bring in the handy iPhone and record it so that I can share it with baby one day. I have so many videos of Everly in utero and I know that one day she is going to get such a kick out of them and this baby will too.