Throughout the first few days after receiving our good news, my heart missed a beat every time the phone rang with results from another blood test. There was still a part of me that expected to hear that it was all a terrible mistake, we were given the wrong results, someone else is expecting a child. Even now it seems surreal that this is happening to me. Being able to have a child is something that happens to other people, not to me. Yet somehow as each test came back, I was the one receiving the call. I am the mother-to-be this time. And last week, after receiving our third strong beta number, we were able to schedule an appointment for a 6-week ultrasound.
Since the getting pregnant part has generally eluded us, we are now focused for the first time on the other side of the coin: staying pregnant. Treatment does not end with a positive test and so we have simply exchanged one battle for another. For now the pregnancy is considered high risk and will be much more closely monitored than normal. During the next several weeks Elle’s ultrasounds will be performed by a specialist until we are cleared for release to a regular obstetrician. She will also continue injecting herself with progesterone and estrogen throughout the rest of the first trimester in order to help her body sustain the pregnancy.
Following our initial elation, we quickly became conscious of the next mountain we are preparing to climb. At only 6 weeks and 4 days, our baby is smaller than a half inch and still so fragile. Our fear of losing this precious life grows greater each day as we become increasingly aware of the love and attachment we already feel so strongly. In this new stage of the journey, just the sound of an incoming text message or call is enough to induce a momentary feeling of terror. Each time I am afraid that it will be bad news, that something has gone terribly wrong. Being completely reliant on someone else to tell me that my baby is okay at any given moment has added to the loss of control I am experiencing in an already precarious situation.
Needless to say, each Saturday comes as a huge relief. It means that we’ve all reached another milestone. It means we are another step closer to having the family we’ve wanted for so long. Every hurdle we overcome allows us to breathe a little easier.
Unfortunately, the feelings of confidence and peace that carried me through the difficult two week wait and test day have evaporated almost entirely. I want to be excited during this time (and I am), but as our old fears shift into new ones, doubt has begun to eat away at me in my weak moments. Why should it work now if it never has before? The darkness of living with infertility has impacted even this happy time because we had grown so used to having our hope cruelly ripped away.
Tomorrow our lives will change again: we hope it is the day we will hear our baby’s heartbeat for the very first time. Because of the distance, neither of us will be able to be there in person, and even though that does not come as a surprise, it still hurts to miss it. Elle has already arranged for us to Skype with her during the appointment, so we will thankfully get to experience a bit of it. I am looking forward to seeing and hearing the evidence of our baby’s existence and can’t even begin to imagine how it will feel, but more than anything else, I just want to hear that everything is okay!