I have been trying to get pregnant since March of 2011. I know that doesn’t seem like a long time, but I am 40 and the one thing I don’t have is years of fertility ahead of me. Over the last 18 months I have experienced six chemical pregnancies and one miscarriage at seven weeks. I always had faith I would get pregnant again, but I didn’t realize just how much all of these false starts and misplaced hopes left me emotionally scarred. Now that I am pregnant again, instead of feeling the joy, excitement, and optimism I felt the first time around, all I feel is anxious and scared. Because of my previous losses, I find it impossible to live in the moment and appreciate this blessing; I just keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I went to an ultrasound at eight weeks where everything looked normal…but that wasn’t enough. Every morning I wake up dreading I’ve lost the pregnancy and all day long I grasp at any symptom that indicates otherwise. Most women are thrilled when they transition out of the first trimester’s symptoms, but for me, I yearn for the nausea, exhaustion, ravenous appetite, and sore breasts that remind me I’m pregnant.
Several times a day I ask (badger?) my husband if he thinks I’m still pregnant. He always answers yes. But he said the same thing last year and our first ultrasound disagreed. As much as I would like to feel reassured, I’ve experienced too much disappointment to let my guard down.
I survived my second ultrasound appointment last week and felt momentarily relieved to see an incontrovertible sign of life. Still, I don’t think I can stop waiting for disaster to strike. I desperately want to enjoy being pregnant, to be thrilled at this miracle and grateful that we are giving my son a sibling. After the 20-week ultrasound, I might relax and start to believe that this isn’t all just some bittersweet dream. But until then, every second of every day, I don’t know how to escape this paralyzing foreboding and the accompanying guilt that I’m not behaving the way a pregnant woman is supposed to. I waited 18 months for this pregnancy, so I guess another 8 weeks doesn’t seem so bad.
I’m hormonal, sleep-deprived, and paranoid about losing this pregnancy. Throw in the aforementioned nausea and sore breasts, and consider this a warning! So, please excuse me if I’m a nervous wreck: I’m truly not myself any more. And don’t take it personally if there’s nothing you can say to reassure me that everything is going to be OK.