I remember the days before I was pregnant with my first child the time spent longing for a baby. I remember buying pregnancy tests in three packs because I was too impatient to wait the recommended number of days after sex to see if I had conceived. I remember the joy I felt one January day when I tested positive for a baby…only to cry my eyes out when I started my period the very next day. You wouldn’t think it would hurt that much. I had only been knowingly “pregnant” for 24 hours, but after two years of trying it was like a knife through the heart all the same.
That day was the day I said out loud, “I give up!” I was done trying to get pregnant. It was just too painful to fail month after month, year after year. Who knew the secret to getting pregnant was to stop trying to get pregnant? Seriously! I conceived my son the very next month. No counting days, no plotting of ovulation times, not even the routine purchasing of a pregnancy test. Before I knew it, January was mid March and it dawned on me one day that I couldn’t remember having a period in February. I doubled checked the calendar and saw the date circled for January, but no circle for February, and now it was March.
A quick trip to Rite Aid and one bathroom use later and there it was. Two blue lines. Not one, but two. I was scared to be excited. After all, I had two blue lines in January and that ended in the blink of an eye. I kept the knowledge of my condition to myself for a couple of days. I was afraid to jinx it. It was like if I actually spoke the words, “I’m pregnant,” out loud then it would suddenly go away. After a week of it not going away I finally told my husband.
Every mom-to-be hears over and over that the first three months are the most risky. Most miscarriages will happen during the first trimester. What I didn’t know, though, was that during the first trimester your uterus is building up lining and preparing to grow a baby, so you feel a lot of cramping. For a woman scared to death of a miscarriage cramping and that “feeling of starting” a period makes for a living hell.
It is no exaggeration to say that every day for the entire first trimester I would go to the bathroom constantly to check my undies for any signs of blood. I tried not to focus on it. I really did. I knew the fear and stress and I was putting on myself was no good for me, and probably not for my baby, but trying to tell yourself to not to be afraid of your worst fear when you body constantly feels like your worst fear is in process of happening is like telling a fish not to breathe water. It can’t be done.
Finally the days passed on the calendar and I entered that oh so much safer second trimester. Yes, women could still lose a baby even at this point, but somehow the pregnancy felt so much more real to me now. I was in my fourth month and I had heard the heart beat at the doctor’s office. There was a heart beating inside my belly and it was magical and my own heart was filled with joy.
Everyone would always ask, do you want a girl or a boy, and my answer was always the same. “I’m pregnant! Finally! I don’t care what it is! It’s a baby and its mine. As long as it’s healthy I am the happiest mom in the world.”
As much as I would have loved for this to be a magical time to go with the miracle happening in my belly, it wasn’t. My marriage was falling apart. My husband had agreed to a baby, but I am fairly certain now that when he made that agreement he was under the impression that I would never succeed in getting pregnant. Now suddenly I was, and he was not happy about it, and he let me know just how unhappy he was about the situation every chance he got.
Further, my Rheumatoid Arthritis was out of control. By the end of the pregnancy I was no longer worrying about the baby coming out of it alive, his daily kicks let me know he was just fine, but I was seriously worrying about whether or not I would get to the end still alive.
Miraculously, and being induced three weeks early, my sweet little baby boy was born, and my life was for ever changed. I had a new purpose. I was a mommy and this little tiny person needed me.
Today my “baby” is soon to turn 13, and this morning he said some very harsh words to me that left me speechless. The angry thoughts rolling through my head were very different than the ones that came out of my typing fingers today. What started out as a snarky and angry blog somehow became a stroll down memory lane, and the realization that the mouthy teenager insulting me this morning is still my baby boy, still needs me, and hopefully will always need me just a little when he is grown up and living on his own.