This can apply to many areas of ones life but when you are waiting for a baby the wait seems excruciating. Even being pregnant, and having overcome the challenge of actually getting pregnant, it still throws up these feelings. It’s impossible to believe that after this long a happy ending will actually happen.
Yesterday was a significant day. It was the day we reached 20 weeks, which for many is poignant enough, but for us it also marks the stage we reached in our last pregnancy. It was at 20 weeks we received the earth – shattering news which resulted in us deciding to terminate. Thankfully all seems well so far and we are causiously optimistic about the future. In fact we have disappeared to Israel for some much needed sun, rest and relaxation. I am currently at a spa in a fluffy white robe. Bliss!
In 2 weeks we will have another scan and so that is our next mini milestone to work towards. For now we will just breathe a sigh of relief that we have passed the halfway mark and are, please g-d, in the less risky half of the pregnancy.
The news that Apple and Facebook will pay for the cost of egg freezing for their female employees makes me shudder. Despite claiming that they wish to ’empower women…to do the best work of their lives as they care for loved ones and raise their families’ I believe that enabling women to delay child bearing is extremely risky. The issue for me is that it adds to the illusion that egg freezing creates some sort of guarantee that having a baby can be postponed and planned. Of course many women wish to prioritise their careers ahead of stating a family, and that is a choice women are entitled to. But to perpetuate the myth that women can focus on their careers until 40 and then use their frozen eggs is dangerously naive. Based on my experiences, the journey to motherhood can be unpredictable, cruel and lengthly. There are no certainties. Ladies need to be realistic that having a baby using frozen eggs is extremely unlikely. It has a success rate of only 20 percent—and that’s if you’re able to freeze enough viable eggs, which many women can’t do. Instead of offering egg freezing, which is a PR exercise ludicrously praised as forward-thinking empowerment, they should try to be innovative in their attitudes towards on-site creches, flexible work hours for new parents, extended parental leave and a more balanced culture.
After we lost our baby I did not want to face the world and resume real life for some time. I wanted to hide away and shut out everything that represented normality. That included work. I deliberated about whether it would be best to go back so that I could take my mind off our loss or whether I needed time to return to my usual self. At the time those around me kept insisting I went back. I felt a lot of pressure. It resulted in me going back too soon and having to postpone my return for a while. I learned that you have to trust your own instincts and that other peoples advice, while well-meaning, is not always right. When I did go back I found it to be a very positive distraction, but I had to be strong enough to manage it. I was extremely fortunate as my boss and all my colleagues (many of which I consider friends) were endlessly supportive and understanding. Their kindness made all the difference.
During this pregnancy, which has been fraught with worry, work has been the best thing. The summer break I had from work was awful as I was bored and had too much time to think about everything. Having a busy, productive day is far better than letting the situation consume me. I like to be busy and feel like I have a purpose to my day. Who knew work could be such good therapy!
I really want to feel the baby kicking now. I have had occasional flutters, that I hear are referred to as quickening, but no definite kicks. Each evening I get into bed, lie really still and try to focus on the flutters. Supposedly kicks begin between 16 and 22 weeks. I am 19 weeks tomorrow and fairly small, so come on baby! Get kicking! Once I can feel the movements I think I will be less frightened that something awful has happened. Get moving baby!
Sunday night was a pretty restless one. The scan fears were back. In fact my plan of going into work for an hour before the scan backfired spectacularly when I burst into tears moments before leaving home. I stayed at home instead.
At the hospital we had an agonising wait followed by my standard fear of actually looking at the monitor. Thankfully the scan was a big success. The doctor said that he was confident that the baby was healthy and had not developed the condition our last baby had suffered from. To say we were relieved was an understatement. The baby appears to be totally normal. We are thrilled.
Now while that eliminates one fear I entirely expect some more panics along the way. Certainly until I can feel the baby move. Another milestone down though. Now I am focusing on getting to 20 weeks. Phew!
It’s been an eventful week. Last Thursday the anticipation of Monday’s scan became unbearable and I decided to visit the hospital. I just wanted to check the heartbeat and ensure all was well. The midwife was wonderful and so understanding of my lunacy. She told me plenty of women who have lost babies have similar moments and that I am welcome to visit whenever I need to. She said she will happily do Doppler checks whenever I need. Most importantly she understood why I am still expecting something to go wrong.
All the midwives I have encountered have been, without exception, outstanding. Kind and compassionate women who have really given the best care I could imagine. From the women on the labour ward during the horrendous ordeal of losing our baby, to the ladies who take bloods and accompany us to scans, we have been in the best hands.
On Monday health professionals, including midwives went on strike over the governments refusal to give staff a 1% pay rise. I support them and value their hard work, commitment and compassion. Do you?
Today is a big day. It is the scan which should allow the consultant to confirm the health of the baby. Obviously that means I am riddled with panic and anxiety.
Exacerbating that is the fact that two people I know have just announced their pregnancies. It made me fearful that, like last time, friends or people I know, will go on to have their babies while I once again will not get mine. It’s been an emotional few days!
Let’s hope today is a step in the right direction. I have a horrible feeling our current happiness may come to a sudden end once again.
What a miserable autumnal week. Grey and wet. If your life seems to reflect the sombre weather and everything about your journey to motherhood seems to be falling apart remember these things. The sun will shine again soon.
If you were to see the things I have typed into Google you would refer me for psychological help. Often a specific worry will pop into my head and I will have to Google it immediately. I am clearly not the only lunatic out there though because all my searches generate a multitude of search results from other equally neurotic women.
At the moment my concern is due to the fact that it has been 3 weeks since I have had a scan and now I am anxious that I have had a missed miscarriage during that time. Each day I tell my husband that the baby is dead. Aren’t I fun to be around?! I think in the next month, when I start to feel the baby moving, I will take comfort in that. Until then I am trying not to interpret, or misinterpret, certain feelings and movements. At the moment I worry that my bump is shrinking and my boobs have stopped aching and that this indicates a pregnancy loss. Grrrrrr….
Luckily I have a scan in 7 days. Not that I am counting!
I’ve seen many references to rainbow babies and it appears that we are due to have one. Rainbow babies are babies born to families after the loss of a previous baby. Rainbow Babies represent the idea that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides new life, energy and hope. What a lovely metaphor for the feelings expectant parents, who lost a previous baby, feel for the contrasting sadness due to loss, and hope for the future.