The other day I was in one of my prenatal exercise classes and I met a woman who was due the day after me. We got to chatting, and it turns out that not only has she chosen her stroller, she’s already bought it, and it’s currently sitting in a box in her basement.
I think I smiled and said something along the lines, “Wow, I wish I could figure out what stroller I want!”, but internally my response went something like this: “Are you crazy? What are you doing buying a stroller so early? We’re nowhere near viability and we haven’t even had the big ultrasound yet!”
So it turns out that even though you can sometimes get the infertile girl pregnant, getting rid of the infertility mindset isn’t as easy. Although I have tried to embrace this pregnancy, and have happily blogged about how I am feeling each and every week, the truth is, I still think I’m existing in this weird pregnancy purgatory, and I just can’t let myself out.
Case in point:
I have maternity clothes in my closet, but I won’t wear them (even though I think the belly is finally big enough to warrant a wardrobe change).
On my walk down to my most recent midwife appointment, I spent a good portion of the walk thinking through what I would do when (note that it was when, not if) she couldn’t find a heartbeat. First I would demand an ultrasound. And then, when that revealed the baby had died, I would try to figure out a way to lie to Q. when I talked to him that evening as he was going to be home in two days, and I didn’t want to tell him that the baby was dead over the phone. Yep. I had it all figured out. All except for the part where the baby turned out to be FINE.
I don’t talk to the baby. Sometimes I remember to rub my belly and chat to it a little bit, but for the most part I feel like I’m somehow ignoring the poor thing. I know not feeling movement yet plays a role in this, but I thought that I would be better about bonding by now.
I can’t bring myself to buy anything for the baby, or even make decisions about what we should buy at some future point.
I worry more about me (am I eating too much? exercising enough?) than I do about the baby.
And while I would love to say that all of this is related to anxiety over that 19w ultrasound, I think I know myself well enough to recognize that a good report isn’t going to change anything, any more than the good report at our 12w ultrasound did. Or the 14w ultrasound. Or the 17w midwife appointment. Because after the 19w ultrasound, you still have to reach viability. And then you have to reach term. And then you have to give birth and, you know, actually end up with a LIVE baby.
I’m not helping myself by staying in limbo. Let’s face it: if we did lose this pregnancy now, for whatever reason, I would be beyond devastated. I’m not protecting myself with this behaviour. There is clearly some part of me that is desperately, hopelessly, wildly attached to the IDEA of this baby.
But the REALITY?
Apparently that’s still a bit too much for me to handle.
And in some ways, that’s really disappointing. Because while I can’t complain that I’m having such an easy time right now that I actually do sometimes forget that I’m pregnant, at the same time I’m aware that I am going to be half-way through this pregnancy in two and bit weeks, and in a lot of ways I still haven’t even started to enjoy it.
And that, my friends, is just plain sad.