life…and birth…after miscarriage

September 14, 2010 at 10:42 am (Thoughts)

On Wednesday, August 25th, we welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world. After 8 hours of labor, she was born at 4:30PM, weighing in at 6 pounds and 8 ounces, and 18.5 inches long.

To put the beauty of her life into perspective, I look back at what we went through to get to where we are today. Of course, every parent cherishes their child, but for us it feels different. It’s like all that terrible suffering because of our miscarriage was channeled into the joy of our baby’s birth. She is beloved!

The night before she was born, I woke up multiple times to go to the bathroom (as usual!) The contractions felt sort of crampy, like menstrual cramps, and were a bit different than what I had felt before. I knew they were different, but kept telling myself that maybe I was just excited and didn’t want to make too much of it. The next morning at 9:45, I sent M a text at work, letting him know that I was still having contractions.

I am still having crampy contractions…

Hmmm. Are they sporadic or consistent?

I haven’t really timed them.

Start.

Ok. I’ll time the next few that I have.

411 is the magic #. 4 mins apart, 1 min each for 1 hour. Then we have baby.

I kept delaying M, telling him that I wanted to wait and see, but he insisted on coming home from work. He was home before noon, and was trying to get me to go to the hospital. I had it in my head that we should wait as long as possible, though, since everything I had read and researched advised to stay at home for as long as you could, especially if you wanted to avoid taking any medications. So I kept trying to push it off until finally M said, that’s it, we have to go.

The drive was torturous, as we had to go over the bridge to get to the hospital, and even though it was midday, there was still traffic slowing things down. M had been keeping track of my contractions, which were now only 3-4 minutes apart, but since he was driving, I had to try to quickly jot down the start and stop times before my contraction was in full gear! While still at home, I found the most comfortable position to deal with my contractions was to stand and lean over, with my hands on the arm of the couch. Now that we were driving, I was stuck in a reclined, seated position, and the pain was much harder to handle.

Upon arrival at the hospital, I refused M’s offer for a wheelchair – I wanted to walk. It’s a good thing, too, as it turned out there were no wheelchairs available anyway. We made our way up to Labor and Delivery after checking in, and as soon as I was in the door, I was having another contraction. We were ushered into the examination room so that I could be checked. It seemed like we had to wait forever until finally someone came in to see how far along I had progressed. I was 2-3 cm dialated at 2:30PM. OK, I thought to myself, I guess we have about 8-12 hours to go then!

Turns out I was way off!!

We got to our room and the nurses left us to our own. They checked in on us once, and reviewed our birth plan. (Side note – they didn`t really seem too pleased or receptive about it, but they did address each of our wishes. Maybe it was just that nurse who wasn`t very friendly.) The contractions were getting pretty intense, and I was getting to the point where I was thinking about asking for some of the laughing gas. The pauses in between contractions were too short, though, and I was busy trying to recover my breath to tell M that I wanted the gas. I was doing my best to deal with the pain using my yoga breathing techniques, but suddenly I was yelling ÒWWWWW at the peaks of the contractions. I couldn`t help it! Then that feeling came – the baby was dropping down. I yelled at M that it felt like it was coming down, and I guess I started making some grunting sounds.

Right away, a nurse and doctor rushed in and instructed me not to push. (Are you kidding me!) They frantically got the room prepped, but I still had to deal with two heavy contractions without pushing, and it was nearly impossible. The doctor checked me and announced: You`re fully dialated – it`s ok to push on your next contraction!

I was in shock. It seemed too fast. But there was no time to dwell on that. The nurse and doctor coached me through each contraction, with M at my side, encouraging me. Between contractions, the pain was completely gone and I could catch my breath. I was so focused on getting the baby out that I was actually disappointed when the painful contractions ended because it meant I couldn`t keep pushing. Then the burning came, and M reminded me that I had to push past that so I could get the baby out. It was tough, but I kept thinking about that goal. Soon, they said the baby was almost out and to look down so I could see it coming. I didn`t want to look, but M said – You have to look. It`s incredible. I looked down to see the head and I guess with that, the rest of the body came out!

The doctor said, ok , Dad, what is it! And M cheered, with both arms in the air, proclaiming: It`s a girl!!!

There is no way to describe the feeling of having her tiny warm, wet body placed on my chest. Before she was born, I used to think about that moment and tears would come flowing from the emotions. I thought for sure I would cry when the moment finally came, but surprisingly, I didn`t. I was just so amazed and joyful that there were no tears. The three of us just held each other, reveling in the moment.

There she was, the little being that I have grown and loved inside of me for 39 weeks, in my arms at last. We`re a family now.

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final countdown

August 3, 2010 at 9:15 pm (pregnancy after miscarriage, Third Trimester, Thoughts) (, , , )

I can barely believe it… Only ONE MONTH to go until I’m due!!! Looking back at everything we’ve been through since we first conceived in September and lost the baby in October… dealing with the miscarriage through November… getting our lives sort of back on track when I got my period again…. then that wonderful Christmas Day when we found out I was pregnant again…sitting on pins and needles through the first trimester… continued anxiety through my second trimester as I couldn’t shake that nagging worry…. dealing with sleepless nights due to this watermelon where my stomach used to be…. and now – at nearly 36 weeks!

September 2nd is oh-so-close!! I can’t wait to meet you, baby!

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career girl

July 13, 2010 at 6:03 pm (Pregnancy at Work, Third Trimester, Thoughts) ()

I have a job that I love at a great company. I’m not a high powered executive, but I am proud of my career at a fairly young age. I’m especially proud that I’ve accomplished what I have without having completed a degree, although I did attend a few years of university. I’ve achieved what I have because the CEO of my company recognized my natural talent and drive, and gave me the opportunity to take on more responsibility. From there, I’ve taken on a lot on my own, and have continued to progress in my role within the organization. I love that I’ve got a corner office with a nice view. I take pride in my work and my achievements. So – it was a bit disturbing when I saw the job postings for people to take over for while I am on mat leave. Two positions are being filled to cover for me while I’m gone.

I know there will be work for me when I come off maternity leave. Legally, of course, I am entitled to my job (or something similar) with the same level of seniority and pay. I get a year of maternity leave, plus I still accrue vacation time while I’m off, so I will actually have a year and 5 weeks before I go back to work. That takes me to the end of September, 2011. With the way my company is growing, it’s very unlikely that things will be the same when I come back at that time, so it was decided that I would discuss what opportunities exist and what I would be interested in so that we could decide what my job will entail. I am satisfied with that arrangement and have no real worries that I’ll be able to take on a role that I’ll be happy with. But still – seeing my job being posted on job sites, being talked about on Twitter and on LinkedIn – it’s strange and unsettling. I feel oddly protective of my job, like I don’t want anyone else to have it because I like what I do. What if they don’t do it as well as I did, or even just the way that I think it should be done? I am definitely the type of person who likes things to be in order, to be done in a particular way. It bothers me when things are unorganized, if items are missed because they weren’t thought through, and I especially hate it when things fail or need additional work or re-work. Sometimes I can’t help but wish that I had been consulted so that my feedback could have been considered and maybe some of those missed items would have been planned for and avoided.

We have now hired for both positions that will be covering my areas. It might sound impressive that we’ve hired two people to do one person’s job, but it’s not really like that. The two areas I manage are very different from each other, and honestly it’s not something one person would usually do. We’re taking each half of what I do an expanding each to cover more. It makes sense to split them up. I’ve been training one person for a few weeks now, and will start training the other person next week. Looking at my work calendar, I don’t have a lot of time left to make sure they are both ready. I plan on starting maternity leave in 5 to 6 weeks, but I want to fully hand off all of my duties to these new people in 3 weeks. This will allow them time to have full ownership while I am still available to consult and help with any issues that arise when they really sink their teeth into things. Plus, who knows how I will feel as I approach my due date.

Although I’ve felt really good, things may change, I may be too tired or too uncomfortable to work. Maybe the heat will get to me. Maybe I’ll be at risk for preterm delivery and I’ll need to go on bedrest. I do hope to have at least a couple of weeks off before the baby comes to relax and have some time to myself. I plan to work until either August 13 or 19, and I’m due September 2nd. That leaves me with 2-3 weeks off before the baby, assuming baby is on time. I hope to stretch it to the 19th, as I’d much rather have the time off afterwards than before. Besides, I have a feeling baby may be late anyway.

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the end of an era

July 11, 2010 at 12:33 pm (pregnancy after miscarriage, Pregnant body, Third Trimester, Thoughts) (, , , )

I’ve had a belly ring since I was 19. Not a barbell, like most people have, but old school, an actual ring. I used to change the bead on it all the time, going from bright blue to plain silver to red, and sometimes even hanging various trinkets off it like oval crystals. In my twenties, I would often wear cropped shirts or sweaters because I wanted to show it, and my toned stomach, off. For a long time now, though, it’s been completely covered, unless of course, we were on a beach or in our hot tub, or some other bikini type of situation. Most of the time, I even forgot that I had one at all.

I have been wondering for some time now how long I would be able to keep my belly ring since I was pregnant. I even asked my doctor about it a couple of visits ago, and his response was most unhelpful: “They don’t teach us that in medical school.” I wasn’t exactly impressed, and went to the internet for answers instead. Unfortunately, answers from women who also had belly rings while they were pregnant ranged from them taking it out in the 2nd trimester, to leaving it in the whole time. I also read a variety of experiences from women who’s piercings closed up during the time the ring was out to people who were able to put them back in afterwards with no issues at all.

Over the last several weeks, my belly has remained in that threatening-to-pop stage. I don’t think it’s getting any closer to popping out now than it was before we went on our “babymoon” to Hawaii almost a month ago. Who knows if it ever will or not, but I still have my fingers crossed that I’ll get to keep my innie over the last few weeks. My navel ring, though, had adopted a permanently crooked position, always leaning over to the right, with the bead leaving a small, round, painless dent in my very round belly. I contemplated taking it out, but worried about what would happen to the piercing.  Would it close up? Would the hole get stretched out due to my growing belly? I had heard about those special pregnancy navel rings that are designed to be longer and flexible so that you can keep them in during your entire pregnancy. They can be quite inexpensive, and are available at most piercing places.

The other thing I struggled with was whether I would just take it out permanently. I’ll be 33 this year, and I certainly don’t show it off anymore. On the other hand, though – I still like my piercing. I find it cute and sexy and fun. (Well, maybe not so sexy with my huge belly, but pre-pregnancy, I think it still looked great.)

In the end, I decided it was time to just take it out and I can decide after I have the baby if I’ll put it back in or not. If it does close up in that time, then so be it. It’s highly unlikely that I’ll bother getting it re-pierced. But if I can put my ring back in, then maybe I will wear it again. I just hope that the hole doesn’t do any strange stretching over the last few weeks of my pregnancy and leave me with a weird scar. I guess we’ll just wait and see!

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you have your daddy’s chin

May 4, 2010 at 6:42 pm (Second Trimester, Thoughts) (, , )

Technology is a wonderful thing. Back in my grandmother’s day, they didn’t even do ultrasounds. At around the 5 month mark, you could start to hear baby with a regular stethoscope, so you would get a listen then, but otherwise you didn’t get a peek at baby until the big day. So, she was blown away when my uncle showed her a recording of our 3D ultrasound.

I had heard of 3D ultrasounds before, and a couple of people I know had gotten them done during their pregnancies, but the images were always a bit fuzzy, and it was a little creepy to be honest. However, during one of my many routine blood tests (not fun for someone who is scared of needles), the lab tech told me how she and a friend had bought a 3D ultrasound for someone’s shower gift. The mother-to-be absolutely loved it. So, it got me thinking about them again and we decided that we would go ahead and book one. We were especially looking forward to the “heartbeat bear” that we would get as a keepsake. The clinic would take a recording of baby’s heartbeat and then put it into a teddy bear, so we could squeeze the bear and hear baby’s heart whenever we wanted! It has quickly become my most favorite sound in the world! We could also have a few people in the room with us, so we could all see baby on the big screen TV. They include a free web broadcast as well, so that my out of town family could log in and watch the ultrasound live with us.

Since we don’t want to know the sex of the baby, it was recommended that we book the ultrasound for somewhere between 20-25 weeks. We booked ours for the weekend after our regular ultrasound which was scheduled at 21 weeks. Part of me still had that bit of fear, which I believe will never go away until I am holding my precious baby in my arms, that we would go to that diagnostic ultrasound and find out that something was wrong. It didn’t matter that I could feel baby moving and kicking most days, and usually on quite a set schedule, I still had those terrible thoughts that once again they might not find a heartbeat. Having the 3D ultrasound done AFTER that was important to me because if something had gone wrong, at least then it would have been possible to cancel. I couldn’t bear the thought of having our entire family on hand to discover the tragedy.

As it was, though, it turned out to be a wonderful experience. Our parents and M’s siblings were on hand, and we all settled into the very comfortable room to do the ultrasound. It was a bit odd to lie down and lift up my shirt so that everyone could see my belly, but I got over it pretty quickly. Baby definitely put on a show for us! I was thrilled to see how active baby was, moving it’s arms around and opening and closing it’s mouth. We all giggled when it looked like baby was flexing it’s muscles, giving us a gun show and kissing it’s bicep. Already, everyone is in love!

Baby was very flexible and was being a bit stubborn, though – it’s legs were folded up in front of it’s face the whole time, making it a bit harder for the tech to get a clear image of the face. We did get some fantastic photos, though (more than 150 of them!) and in some of them baby’s face is amazingly detailed. I can tell baby has daddy’s chin, and it looks like it’s got my nose. I love looking at the pictures because it makes it so much more real! Every time baby kicks, I can vividly see that little body in there, that little face and precious hands and feet.

It’s really happening this time.

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my, how you’ve grown!

April 23, 2010 at 8:59 pm (Second Trimester, Thoughts) (, , , )

We had our ultrasound yesterday. It has been 12 weeks since our last one and it was in one word: incredible!

At our 9 week ultrasound, baby was 1 inch long and looked just like a gummy bear, complete with the little arm and leg buds. But now! We could see baby’s head in profile, with it’s little nose and mouth! We got a lovely picture of the bottom of baby’s foot, so it looks just like a little footprint. And we also got a picture of baby’s spine, with each and every vertebrae clearly in view. It was so wonderful to see how much baby has grown these past several weeks. The technician also measured baby’s heartbeat at 148, very nice and healthy, to my relief.

I must say, though, there are a couple of things about ultrasounds that I don’t like. One, that M is not allowed to come in the room with me at first. He has to wait outside for about 10 minutes while the tech checks things out, then they let me know that I can get up and tell him to come in. Why is that? I should have asked, I know, but it must be torture for him to sit out there wondering if everything is OK. With every minute that he has to wait longer, I think he must worry that something is wrong and that’s why he hasn’t been summoned in yet. Two, I hate the way the techs look at the screen for so long before they say anything to you. I was laying there for several minutes before she said a word. For the first while, I just looked up at the ceiling, but after awhile I stole a look over at her and watched her changing expressions: frowning, satisfied, curious, frustrated, inquisitive…. I was torturing myself wondering if that meant she saw something she didn’t like or if she just needed a new pair of glasses or a better angle to see what she was looking for. After just a few moments, I decided I shouldn’t drive myself crazy with the guessing and just go back to looking at the ceiling. It was definitely the more sane choice, and I’m glad I forced myself to do it.

She said that baby looked a little bit smaller than expected, which wasn’t a huge surprise to me as that’s what they told us at the first ultrasound. I let her know that my cycles are a bit long, more like 31-33 days instead of 28, so she said that likely explained it and that if the due date is off by up to as much as 6 days, they usually didn’t bother to change it. I may be called back for another ultrasound in 4 weeks if they decide to check on the growth rate, just to make sure that it’s the date that’s off and not that baby isn’t growing fast enough. However, she said that everything looked good and that there were no concerns. Baby was also a bit uncooperative at first, deciding to stay in a curled up position. After I emptied my bladder and came back, I guess baby woke up or maybe had more room in there, and agreed to stretch out a bit for some of the other checks and measurements.

The only other thing is that apparently my placenta is on the front wall of my uterus. This is also called an anterior placenta. It’s not a big deal, even though most of the time, the placenta will be at the top of the uterus. Basically, it just means that baby’s movements may not feel as distinct as they would have if the placenta was not in the way. Think of it as if baby was kicking me through a pillow instead of directly in the gut, which i think is probably a good thing! Luckily, the placenta is pretty tough and won’t be damaged at all, even if baby is using it as a bit of a punching bag or dance floor. I also read that an anterior placenta can sometimes make it a bit more difficult for the doc to hear the baby’s heartbeat with the doppler, but we had no problem at all. As soon as the doctor placed it on my belly, there was the heartbeat, loud and strong, even bigger than last time. We also heard a few swishing sounds, which was baby moving around in there!

I think things are starting to feel more real for me now, as well as more safe. Every time I get to see baby or hear it’s heartbeat, it reassures me. We’re one step closer to meeting in September.

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drums in the deep

February 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm (First Trimester, pregnancy after miscarriage, Thoughts) (, , )

Yesterday was Judgement Day. That’s what I’ve been calling it – the day that we would go in for our first “real” prenatal appointment. It was a day that I both looked forward to and dreaded, just like my first ultrasound. It’s scary to know going into something that it’s either going to be a wonderful experience or a devastating one. There could be no in between. Either we would get to hear baby’s heartbeat for the first time or we would be told that there was nothing to hear, that we had lost the baby, that I was about to have another miscarriage.

Upon arrival, I had to fill out a bunch of paperwork and go pee on a stick. Thankfully, M was with me to help me answer some of the questions. I have a terrible memory, and I think it’s even worse with baby brain. Honestly, sometimes I’m amazed I don’t forget my own head lately. A ton of the questions were around drug and alcohol use, and some were even about our financial situation. I can imagine that this would be an important one for the government, as they want to know whether they’ll have to be supporting this new family. I’m so thankful that we are in a solid situation with our house and our jobs and no debt. When I came back with the pee stick, the receptionist took one look at it and asked if I had any sweets that morning. I thought about it for a second, then remembered what I had for breakfast… “Um, I had Pop Tarts…” I answered guiltily. She said “OK, then, that explains it. It’s fine then.” I felt the need to tell her that Pop Tarts are not my usual breakfast – that I usually have Multigrain cereal and fruit. Oops.

The doctor seemed nice enough. Very open to questions, I noticed, and he even stopped whatever he was doing to fully give me his attention whenever I did ask something. Sometimes, my family doctor will continue writing as she answers, but not this doctor. I really appreciated that. He started with some of the basics, checking my breathing and that sort of thing, until he finally said it was time to listen for the heartbeat. He said that it could still be very faint as I was only 13 weeks and my uterus was still sitting back in my body, but that we could give it a try.

I think I held my breath and looked anxiously but excitedly at M as he pulled out the listening device. He began to move it around my belly, and we could hear the whooshing as he tried to locate the heartbeat. Then suddenly, faintly, I heard something…. ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum…. then it was gone, then back again. Our baby’s heartbeat!!!! I thought for sure that I would cry when I heard it, but I was nowhere close to tears. I think I was just concentrating so much on listening for it, and watching M’s face as he listened intently as well. I think because I had no reaction, the doctor asked “Do you hear it?” and I breathed out a yes. He searched for it some more and there it was again: ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum…. like a drum hidden deep in a cave.

We asked if it was safe to start telling people now. The doctor said everything looked great, and that the chance of miscarriage is now very low.

Our baby is in there, it’s real, it’s heart is beating, and I’m finally starting to feel like it’s safe.

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if you only knew

February 21, 2010 at 8:28 pm (First Trimester, pregnancy after miscarriage, Thoughts) (, )

I knew it would come up eventually, and now it has. My sister in law and her hubby have been trying to concieve for about a year now. I was concerned about what her reaction would be when we announced that I was pregnant because we never told anyone that we had started trying. I knew that she would be upset, hurt and likely disappointed when she found out that I got pregnant before she did. It’s completely understandable. They really want to start a family, and because they had told people that they were trying, they have had to deal with people always asking “How’s it coming? Are you pregnant yet?” I can imagine how frustrating that could start to become after more and more months passed and you had to keep saying “No, not yet.” It would be difficult enough dealing with the monthly disappointment personally – but having it out there for people to ask you and remind you about it constantly would start to become painful.

When we told our families, the inevitable question did come up: How long have you been trying? That was a tough one to answer, because technically, I got pregnant right away. But we started trying back in August – it just didn’t work out the way we had hoped it would. When we started trying again in November, we thankfully got pregnant right away again.  I don’t think I had prepared myself enough for that question, and so I blurted out “Uh, a couple months”, which is sort of true, I guess.

Yesterday, it came out that my sister in law had made a comment about how it sort of sucked that we got pregnant after just a couple of months, when they had been trying for over a year. I knew that this would be in her head, and I was prepared to get a comment about it at some point, but it still stung. If only she knew…

What would she choose – to be in their situation, where they hadn’t been able to conceive for a year, or to be in ours, where we lost our baby?

I wonder if I will ever tell her, or anyone for that matter, that I had a miscarriage. I still don’t think I could mention it out loud to anyone but M and my doctor without bursting into tears. Maybe in time that will change. Maybe it will be different once our baby is born and I know that it is safe and sound.

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the home stretch

February 18, 2010 at 9:36 pm (Thoughts)

I’m sure most people would expect this title in week 39 instead of week 12, but for me, this is a very important week. One more week to go until I finish my first trimester, which means the chance of miscarriage goes down to less than 1%.

All the signs have been good: exhaustion, nausea, bloating, headaches, swollen breasts, increased urination, insomnia, vivid dreams and did I mention exhaustion?? Most importantly of all: no spotting. I try very hard to not check the tissue every single time I have to go pee, but it’s hard not to and it’s a battle I often don’t win. Sometimes, I am able to force myself not to look, but it’s like the default setting is to always check. Luckily, there has not been a drop of blood to speak of. (Except for another charming pregnancy side-effect: hemorroids, which I covered in a previous post.)

I cannot get over how tired I have been. Normally, I’m a bit of a night owl and I never really go to bed until about 11PM. Now, most nights I’m ready to pack it in by 8:30! I haven’t been much fun on the weekends, since my internal clock doesn’t care that it’s Saturday night. I’m just plain tired out… What’s crazy is, I always wake up and find myself wide awake at some point in the night, and I can’t fall back asleep for what seems like ages. It makes me regret going to bed so early, but I just feel like I can’t stay awake past 9PM most nights.

Next Wednesday is the big day – I go in for my first real prenatal appointment. My family doctor doesn’t deliver babies anymore, so she referred me to another clinic. I’m happy, because it’s right across the street from the hospital where I want to do the delivery, and that’s the hospital they work with. It’s a very good hospital and a good friend of ours is a nurse there. However, there is a more sentimental reason I want to give birth there: It’s the hospital where my dad died. I really think of my dad as my guardian angel, and I want him to be there with us.

I’m both looking forward to and dreading next week, just like when my ultrasound appointment was coming up. It should be a great day, where we finally get to hear the baby’s heartbeat. But there is still that fear inside of me – what if something goes wrong? What if they do the checkup and find out that I had or will have another miscarriage? I don’t know that I could survive that. I’ve now had 12 weeks to connect with and love this little baby. It would destroy me if I lost him again.

It seems like ever since I had my miscarriage back in October that I’ve been wishing for a time machine. I’ve wanted to push time forward, make it move more quickly. Fast forward to get my period. Fast forward to when we could start trying to conceive again. Fast forward to Christmas day so we could take our home pregnancy test. Fast foward to 8 weeks and 1 day, so I could make it further than last time. Fast forward to my ultrasound so we could see the heartbeat. And now, fast forward to next week so I can finally hear that heart beating fast, telling me that you are safe and sound, and that you’ll really make it this time.

Fast forward to September so I can meet you and hold you in my arms and tell you to your tiny lovely face that I love you.

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inner circle

February 6, 2010 at 9:47 pm (First Trimester, Thoughts) (, )

The plan had been to wait until the end of the first trimester before we told anyone that I was pregnant. However, as the date of our first ultrasound approached, we decided that we would tell our families the weekend after. I approached this with some skepticism and worry, since last time we planned on telling my mom, I miscarried just days before. Funny how your mind plays tricks on you… it’s not as if it would cause a miscarriage again, but I couldn’t help but worry. It’s as if I’m always scared to tempt fate. Like at any time, the fragile little life inside of me could be lost because of a stupid decision I made to repeat something I’ve done in the past.

A lot of my worry faded as soon as I heard the technician say those wonderful words: “I see a heartbeat.”. Even better was the fact that they gave us a printout so we could take home the very first picture of our baby. That was last Thursday. I called my mom to ask if she wanted to meet us for sushi on Friday night. There is a sushi place right by her house that we used to go to all the time when we lived in that area, and I told her that I missed the way they made the food there and that we were going to head out that way. She agreed to meet us there at 7. I carefully packed the picture of the ultrasound in my purse, and we wrote in the card that we had planned on giving her way back on October 27th – my birthday, and the day we were going to tell her I was pregnant the first time. M put the card in his jacket pocket.

We went into her place first instead of meeting at the restaurant. After a bit of small talk at the front door, M said – “Oh, check this out, you’ll think it’s funny.” He pulled the card from his pocket and handed it to my mom. She had no idea what it was. She pulled the card out of the envelope and read it carefully as we watched her. A slow realization crept across her face as she read it silently again.

“Really????” she cried.

I hugged her as I said yes, and both of us teared up with joy. She said she had a funny feeling all week that I was pregnant (she often has little intuitions like this) and she was beaming. She’s been waiting to be a grandma for 7 years now, and now she’s finally getting her wish.

On Saturday, we told M’s mom, who was thrilled as well, of course. M is sure that she’s already planning on what she’s going to need to buy for baby’s first Christmas stocking. On Sunday, we told his dad, who surprised both of us with how excited he was. Apparently, it was their Christmas wish to become grandparents. I told them that we had gotten the positive pregnancy on Christmas Day. It was wonderful to be able to tell our family that we are expecting. It makes it feel more real, and at this point, I just want as many things as possible to add to that feeling.

The only difficult part was seeing the reaction of my sister in law. She and her husband have been trying now for a year, with no luck. I know it’s been hard because they really want to start a family. He let the cat out of the bag around Christmastime last year that they had “pulled the goalie” so to speak. They didn’t keep it quiet that they were starting to try, and so a lot of people always ask them if they’re pregnant yet. I can’t imagine how difficult that would be. Month after month with nothing. M wondered aloud to me whether it was harder for them to not be able to get pregnant or for us to have had to deal with a miscarriage. I don’t think I could say if there’s one that’s harder than the other. I’m sure each of us would argue for our situation because we’re the ones who went through it and all of the pain and frustration that goes along with it. She did congratulate us, of course, and I know she is happy for us, but I was worried about how she would react when we broke the news. We told them that only family knows at this point, and that we are not going to say anything to anyone else until the end of the month.

I am 10 weeks now, so I know that this is one of the big milestones. At this point, the baby goes from being classified as an embryo to being a fetus. More importantly, the risk of miscarriage goes way down to about 5%. The next big milestone is 13 weeks, of course, when it goes down even further to 1%. The date I’ve circled on my calendar is Feb 25, the day I can really start to breathe easier and know that it’s really going to happen for us this time. I’m feeling positive, but there’s always still that bit of fear in the back of my mind. I hope that all the love and good wishes from our inner circle will keep things going along well for the next three weeks.

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