I know I have been so much more silent with this pregnancy than Piper’s. I know many people say they’re busy with their first born when they get pregnant with Baby #2, and while that’s true, it was mainly because of my anxiety.
After having had those two losses (one naturally and one missed miscarriage), I had a hard time believing our baby was going to make it. Even after waiting until 8 weeks to be seen, in hopes there would be something there, I was still anxious. Still waiting for that bad news. When my nuchal scan results came back with a higher odds for Down’s than I had expected, I pulled away from my pregnancy a bit. I refused to get attached, because I feared, fretted, and felt that when the anatomy scan came up, that I’d have to make that tough decision- to keep or not.
God knows I am not the most logical person. Everyone who knows me knows I tend to worry first, and trust all is well later. Far, far later. But I just had this feeling… this intuition that things weren’t going to be okay with us. I just felt that somehow, we weren’t destined to have a happy, healthy baby. I know, totally ridiculous.
So I haven’t been posting because I didn’t want to “jinx” anything. I didn’t want to show how worried I was. I have never in my life spent so much time stressed out about the unknown. It seems that from that positive test, I was afraid. Afraid of a multitude of things, miscarriage, deformities, trisomies, and I let that take over my life. I hid it when dealing with Piper, but I would lie in bed, wide awake, poring over posts on Bump.com, BabyCenter and the like, looking for other people in my position. I felt angry with myself, that we had told Piper she was going to be a big sister, and spent hours agonizing over how we’ll tell her she wouldn’t be a big sister anymore, should something happen. Typing it all out now just sounds crazy. It shows me that I was suffering from something. I’m not sure what. Post traumatic stress from the previous miscarriages? Just general anxiety? Depression? For a long long time, I just felt like I was never really happy. I was always looking around that corner for the anvil that would fall on my head. I hid the news of the odds from our parents, because I felt talking about it would make the bad news come alive, and I would cement this outcome.
Our odds weren’t even terrible, but I felt, as with the miscarriages, that having been on the “wrong” side of the odds twice before, both times dealing with pregnancies, that I was pretty much destined to not have another baby. That I would forever be on the wrong side of the odds. I started characterizing myself as the girl with the bad luck. That’s just who I am now, I figured. Perhaps, I thought, Piper is our good luck. And since she’s so great, maybe that’s all we’re meant to have.
During this whole stressful period, Paul knew what I was feeling, but I don’t think he quite understood how much this encompassed my day to day life. I don’t think he really realized how detached I had become to this baby. As with my last loss, I couldn’t accept that I would get to keep this baby. It didn’t help that I had to go to all my doctor’s appointments alone, all that time to stress silently.
At my first appointment with a new provider, I got a surprise scan. I was 17 weeks and hadn’t seen the baby for 4 weeks. As she showed me the baby, I looked at the tech for signs that something was wrong. I scrutinized the baby’s profile for a nose bone, an odd shape, anything that would appear to be a red-flag. The midwife said nothing about anything being amiss, so I was slightly at ease, but the worries came back full fledged when Paul found out he couldn’t attend our anatomy scan anymore.
As is my (current) nature, I panicked. This means something bad will happen. I steeled myself for bad news. Then I steeled myself to hear bad news at the follow up appointment two days later, since our provider has techs do the scan and sends them to your doctor. During the scan, when my bladder was full or overwhelmingly full, he pressed and shook, trying to get the baby to wake up. Even though I had a gender reveal card all waiting for the tech to mark off so Paul and I could find out together, the tech said, the second after the wand touched my belly, “You know it’s a girl, right? Did they tell you that before? It’s definitely a girl.” Even though I deflated at the thought that Paul and I didn’t get to find out together, I was elated to find out the baby is a girl. After finally coming up with a boy name, of course,
Other than the gender reveal, he was pretty silent. I know this is the norm for techs, that they can’t tell you any good or bad news, but if it’s something extremely worrisome, they’ll call a doctor in there to look at it more closely. He told me to get up to empty my bladder (THANK GOD) and to come back for more scans. When I got on the table, he came by quickly and said, “We just need more leg shots”. Leg shots? Because the bones are short? Is something wrong? As I waited, he was in the office, worriedly looking at a computer screen and smoothing his hair out of his face. I put my hands on my belly and looked around. Hoping for a sign that all would be okay. He came back, and began with more scans. I asked a few times, “Is everything okay?” He said, “We’re going to send the scans to your doctor, and they will discuss their findings.” I figured it wasn’t TOO bad as white-coated doctors with their faces stricken with panic weren’t exactly galloping into the little room where I lay prone on the table. I saw little things he typed, like the scan of the heart, where it said, “Four ch” which I hoped meant chambers. Everything else seemed to be coded, and I couldn’t understand it. I just looked at the screen and took it all in. When I left, he gave me a long strip of images to show Paul, including three crotch shots. Nice.
The next morning, i received an email from my doctor. It was short and read, “Results from your scan came back NORMAL!” I wanted to cry. Things are normal. Thank God. I could relax, we could name her. I can start getting attached.
It’s been hard, these last 23 weeks. But I am trying SO hard to let go of fear and let hope and love and faith in. This baby, Noelle, is our miracle baby. She was the rainbow after the storms.
I can’t wait to meet her.