Steady As We Go

Pregnancy after infertility. It kind of feels like this.
Pregnancy after infertility? It feels a lot like this.

Late last week we had our first ultrasound with the ob/gyn at exactly 10 1/2 weeks. A few days prior to that we hit a small road bump when Elle received a call that she had tested positive for a UTI and would need to go on antibiotics as the baby was currently in danger. Despite some scary stories of side effects causing problems with fetal growth (leading to loss) and the fact that we are still in those critical early weeks, it became clear to us that the antibiotics would likely be less of a threat to the baby than the infection itself. While most women online were confident that the medication was just about as safe as it gets, I couldn’t help but feel tortured by my own thoughts and fears that perhaps this was the beginning of the end.

Needless to say, I was anxious to get to the ultrasound, and while the minutes counted down ahead of our appointment, my heart pounded in my chest.

And then the image of Sweet Pea popped up on the screen.

As perfect and beautiful as ever, the baby had grown tremendously, measuring right on track at just under 4cm. The relief that flooded through me was instantaneous (in fact, I’d prefer weekly ultrasounds for my own sanity, please). This time my Grandma was able to join us for the Skype session, and the three of us watched in awe as the baby wriggled and danced on screen for several minutes, hardly ever stopping and seemingly attempting to roll over. Even though Sweet Pea is still only about an inch and a half long, all of the major organs have already developed, and we were able to clearly see the arms and legs as well as a defined profile. We were even able to distinguish each tiny finger of the right hand while Sweet Pea moved and stretched, oblivious to his or her captive audience. It was one of the most amazing, humbling experiences of my entire life, and I have played each precious moment over again in my mind dozens of times in hopes of committing all of it to memory.

And yet, the fear is never really gone. Every week I think: Next week will be better. Next week will be easier. And then we reach the next week, the next milestone, and I still don’t feel safe. I worry that at any moment someone will notice that I’ve been given this gift and come to take it away again. It doesn’t take my psych degree to recognize that I’ve developed extremely warped thoughts and feelings regarding fertility and the reproduction process. The fact that there is a sort of PTSD among many of us who have had to battle against our own bodies in order to try to have what comes naturally to everyone else is becoming increasingly clear. My concern is that the constant anxiety which dwells in the pit of my stomach will never go away.

Thankfully, we still have so much to celebrate. I try not to take a single day or even a moment for granted. I never forget that there are so many who would gladly take on my minor problems in order to watch a child of their own grow and develop week by week, even from this distance that often feels so painful to me. Little by little I am slowly starting to let myself imagine us with a baby in January. At 11+ weeks I remain too afraid to visit Pinterest for nursery ideas or to check out baby name books from the library, but I am hoping we can eventually get to that point. Perhaps by the time of our next ultrasound (a full 6 weeks from now), we will be able to relax more. It is then that we will learn the baby’s gender and finally get to attend an appointment in person. If that wasn’t hard enough to wait for as it is, I am going crazy simply at the thought of not knowing what’s happening with the baby until mid-August.

If you’d like to see the latest ultrasound photos of Sweet Pea, click here: https://inpursuitofafamily.wordpress.com/ultrasound-photos

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Steady As We Go

  1. Oh honey I feel your pain as well you know! Let me tell you this at 20w4d I still have nigh on daily anxiety but it is better and it is less and I am learning to enjoy it day by day. I have heard it ramps up again massively towards the end, lots of my fellow MRKH sisters have been signed off work towards the end of their surro’s pregnancies! EEK…
    I think it feels like we are cheating fate: Fate intended us not to be mothers and we have snuck around behind her back and are getting there…(not that I really believe in Fate but you know what I mean!)
    I believe come 2016 that you and I will both have our babies in our arms. xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for understanding, friend. It is nice to know someone who gets all the layers that surrogacy adds to this process. It has been such a help to me to be able to follow your journey and I completely agree with your analogy on fate. It does sort of feel like I am cheating somehow. I am looking forward to this anxiety abating a bit and I can’t wait for 2016! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. To the Anderson family,
    I stumbled upon your blog while catching up on a friends. I seen your link on her page and the title of your blog caught my attention, I couldn’t help but peak! Your story melts my heart in so many ways. I want to say that the courage and dedication you have to actually “blog” amazes me. I tried, on several occasions and could never get past developing the look of my page, let alone organize my thoughts clearly enough for others to understand.
    We all have our own unique roller coaster circling about in the backyard but I believe there is a common theme amongst all the rides. I know nothing of scar tissue, endometriosis or surrogacy, but the life changing state of affairs that surrounds infertility is very much a part of who I am. My own journey started 8 years ago and we are finally having our first baby in December. From one expecting mom to another, the stress and worry of that growing little baby will never go away. I don’t mean that in a negative perspective but from the up most positive spectrum of light . Be proud, very proud! You have earned the privilege to own those feelings. It takes becoming a parent to truly feel what it is to care for something so much and how that little something is all that matters today, tomorrow and for the rest of your life. You need to embrace this phase and hang on to it. Mother nature has a very interesting way of preparing each of us for the future. Hold out your arms and let every ounce of this fill your soul.

    I forgive you if you’re screwing up your face right now and thinking that I’m simply full of it! I don’t blame you if you do…it’s near impossible to understand how one can embrace such constant worry. I have worked as a labor and delivery nurse for many years. Please trust me when I tell you, everything will make sense when they place that little bundle of joy into your arms. It’s a moment like no other. I promise it’s worth all the angst.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me that you would stop by and share your thoughts & a little bit of your story too. It has been a very long and rough road, as you well know from your own experience. But, I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to fulfill a dream I’ve had all my life. I think that you and I, after having fought SO hard to have our miracles, will appreciate them that much more. They certainly have not come easily, and it has taken such a toll to get here… but that is a price I would gladly pay to hold my child in my arms someday. I’m so glad to know that you are expecting in December! We actually aren’t too far behind you and are due in late January. I hope everything goes smoothly for you throughout the remainder of your pregnancy! And as far as the blogging goes, it is certainly a “labor” of love sometimes! 😉 But it has really emphasized for me how far we have come as I have looked back over the last year of the surrogacy process.

      Thanks again! xx

      Like

  3. Sweet Pea is beautiful! It is so normal to feel how you do, when you have been through so much. At 32 weeks, I am still a nervous wreck, and panic over little things. Remember the fight we have had to get to this point. But… miracles happen, and there is no reason why you wont get to meet yours in a few months time xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I happen to think Sweet Pea is pretty beautiful also. 🙂 It is wonderful to watch him/her grow each week/month/stage. I truly have such an awe and appreciation for the reproduction process. Sometimes I’m even struck by the strangeness of being so caught up by each tiny detail that goes relatively unnoticed by everyone else!

      I’m sorry to hear that things are still tough for you as far as anxiety goes, but hang in there– you are getting so close! Wishing you a happy & healthy remaining 2-ish months. 🙂

      Like

      1. Thank you. It is such an amazing miracle that I think is often taken for granted because it comes so easily for others. I am glad in a way that I can appreciate how amazing reproduction is. I hope all goes well for you. xx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hope Elle is all better soon. UTIs can be miserable.

    Yay for another great appointment and ultrasound. 🙂 I don’t think the anxiety ever really goes away until your precious baby is in your arms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! She is doing better– actually, she didn’t even know she had a UTI and was surprised to get the call. Now that she has finished the antibiotics, she has noticed a lessening of pressure and will be checked at the next appointment. I had no idea that UTIs were so dangerous during pregnancy and holy crap there are scary stories all over the internet!

      How far along are you? I was thinking about you the other day and thought you must be getting really close! How does it feel to know that you are carrying around a little French “bébé”? 😉 I would imagine it is a kind of fun to think of him growing up with such different experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad to hear she’s doing better. I’ve known a few surrogates who has UTIs, so I’ve heard they can be bad. All of the ones I know worked out just fine though. 🙂

        I’m 37+5 today! Eeeks! I dont know how that’s even possible. It’s very neat to think about carrying this little person who is destined for a life in France. That was one reason I loved visiting France so much… Getting a chance to see where he would grow up. IPs will be here Monday at the latest.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s