Q: When does the fear subside?
I'm a devotee of milestones; a follower of "just get to point A" then, B, then C; a staunch believer in "just make it to X, then worry about Y." I haven't abandoned my cartography tendencies this pregnancy (yes, this, my only sustaining pregnancy). At first, it was the peesticks. Let them stay positive, double pink lines, a flashing "pregnant." Check. Then the beta. Let it be high. High and strong. Higher than my first failed pregnancy. Ok, next the ultrasound. Before December 2008, I'd never been invited to an ultrasound (my own, that is) which featured more than follicles, lining checks and ovaries. Let this one have, oh I dunno, a sac? Fetal pole? A beating heart. Oh please, a heartbeat. Two? Bliss.
Setback one. Only one beating heart at 7 weeks five days. It's ok. Little A is still strong. It's not unusual to lose a twin early on. I have my Little A. Now I need to get past that most magical of all pregnancy milestones...the first trimester. Much hand wringing. Multiple ultrasounds. And, on a wing and a prayer, we make it to 13 weeks. Whew. Next up: level one ultrasound, first sequential, triple screen, second sequential, quad screen, level two ultrasound. Movement, please give me fetal movement. Ah, movement. And then we got here...almost 22 weeks.
So at what point do I get to relax? When do I get to settle in with the certainty that this little life is going to keep on living? Will I be peeing on sticks as we drive to the hospital? Last night for example, my Little A was kicking up a storm. This morning, I've felt a few little nudges but no fetal gymnastics. Am I worried? Do I find myself poking my stomach and searching out month old chocolate to prod the child into action? Hell yes. Do I drive to the ob's office to have a visit with the doppler? Hell to the yes to that too. And what does my Little A do when I get in the car to go back to work...kicks up a storm. Sort of a "I am the boss of you, mortal" gesture.
On another note, I had a funny conversation with someone at work the other day. She said to me "so have you told your husband what present you'd like for giving birth?" I was stunned into silence. Not because the woman had asked something inappropriate, but because of the utter absurdity of the thought as it applied to my life. A present for giving birth? If I make it to birth, I will have been given the most astoundingly miraculous, magical bestowal of my existence. A bestowal that was over two years in the making and sheathed in tears and sadness and uncertainty and finally, unimaginable joy. And though it pains my soul to say this (as a girl who's inordinately fond of things that sparkle) no material object in the world is suitable to commemorate the, please oh please, birth of my Little A. Present, indeed. (I guess I need not point out that it cost a Mercedes to even get to this point.)