I found out I was pregnant with my third child on Nov. 27, 2012. I was roughly four weeks and scared out of my mind.
We had been trying so I knew pretty quickly. In fact, I think I knew before I actually knew. But whatever. But it’s inhumane to know that early. I was on the edge of my seat for weeks wondering if it would stick, checking for pregnancy symptoms (which don’t always appear as early as the + sign) and waiting for the little clot to fall out of me.
Each day that ticked by put me one step closer to 12 weeks. You know, that magical “Safe Zone.” I had a doctor appointment at 9 weeks (they felt no need to see me earlier) and everything “looked” good. and by looked good, I mean the pregnancy test at the doctor’s office was positive and I hadn’t had any cramping or bleeding. But we hadn’t had an ultrasound, we had no idea if our little bean was really an empty sac or had lost his or her heart beat. My husband wanted to tell his family right then. I wanted to wait until we saw a little flutter on the screen.
In the end, I lost. We told our parents before the ultrasound.
We had the ultrasound a few days later and everything was fine. Baby had arms, legs and a heartbeat. Phew. Sigh of relief.
Except I still had three more weeks until 12 weeks.
Once I hit that milestone, I panicked every time I had a doctor appointment–would the doppler detect the heartbeat?
I started panicking about the 20 week ultrasound. What if the baby’s organs weren’t inside it’s body? What if it was special needs? What if the heartbeat was undetected?
Then that magical day came and we found our our little cupcake is another girl. And a few hours later, I checked Facebook to read this about a friend:
I went into labor on Monday afternoon and headed to the birth center. Things were going well, and I was dilated to 5. Baby’s heartbeat at 3:00 pm was healthy and strong. At 4:00 pm I could feel her kicking after contractions… At 5:00 pm my midwife couldn’t find a heartbeat. We rushed to the hospital and it was confirmed. We lost our baby girl.
There is no “Safe Zone.” Every level of pregnancy is risky and dangerous. Not just the first 12 weeks. Not just labor. Every second in between.
What if we are in a car accident? What if I fall? What if her cord gets a kink? What if my illness this week is causing harm to her?
It probably happens more than we know. It’s incredibly sad. And it’s weighing on me.
Maybe I’ll never know the little girl growing in me. Maybe something will happen to my sibling’s babies and I won’t meet them. But I have to enjoy each kick, each picture, each heartbeat and each Braxton Hicks contractions. I’ve been beating myself up about not connecting with the baby, not journaling, etc. I was beating myself up for the wrong reason. My baby’s life doesn’t begin when she takes her first breath. It’s now.
And we need to enjoy it.