Friday, May 3, 2013

seventh week stretch

Just a note: this is, unabashedly, a post about pregnancy. Yes, it’s also about infertility and fear of loss and the anxiety, creeping like vines, up my back, and threatening to eat me whole, and also the moments of joy that punctuate, on occasion, that anxiety. I know there are intrepid readers who are still trying and if today is not a day you can muster the wherewithal to read about pregnancy – and not that I fault you, oh boy do I not fault you; I too had my days and may well again – then please, let me encourage you stop here and proceed to this very special video. You’re welcome.

You guys, why didn’t anyone prepare me? The first ultrasound is like… it’s like… tripping on acid in the middle of a rainbow. It’s bananas. Over breakfast this morning – plain oatmeal for her, greek yogurt, fruit and granola for him, becauseblandohsobland – C turned to me and stated plainly, we’re going to cry today. Hrmph! Speak for yourself buddy. Is what I was thinking. The truth is that I hadn’t really thought about how I would react today – my only thoughts had been about actually getting here. It was about this arbitrary milestone in a series of (seemingly arbitrary) milestones, each with their own baggage and expectation and apprehension and, fine, potential for ahem, joy. Of course, when C said we were going to cry, he meant for good – for seeing a yolk sac, for hearing a heartbeat, for acknowledging that holyshitthisisreallyhappening. So, readers on the edge of your seats, waiting with bated breath – we I transvaginal ultrasounded, we saw, we cried[1], we got a due date that wasn’t generated by web-bots, we brought home pictures. One heartbeat, strong and steady, sounding like galoshes in the spring rain. Baby galoshes.

It was incredible; it made it more real; it validated the persistent nausea and my absolutely disgusting diet of late. But <drumroll please> infertility changes you. So when we left the exam room and returned to the waiting area and C was joyously ogling our scroll of yolk-sac-headshots[2], I admonished him to put them away already – there were other women in the waiting room, other women who were there in year 4 of their baby-quest, other women who had recently miscarried, other women who might not share in our (seemingly) unfettered joy.

Infertility has changed the equation. It doesn’t mean today wasn’t amazing and it doesn’t mean I’m not happy – for the love of all things good I HUGGED, LIKE REALLY HUGGED the ultrasound tech, you know, the really enthusiastic one who sounds like her thickly accented Bahston drawl is being bled through a radiator. We told our parents and I sent a text to a couple close friends – something along the lines of “heartbeat/shit just got real[3].” But I am also cautious, remaining tempered and C-says-negative-but-I-say-objective. (Potato, Potahtoe, right?) It’s just that I don’t believe that nothing bad can happen to me; that loss can only happen to other women. I’m an only child – my mother miscarried, twice, at around 10 weeks, after having me. Boom. Another (arbitrary but not so arbitrary) milestone to contend with.

Speaking of arbitrary milestones, I ate a baked potato today, thus adding a COMPLETELY NEW food group to my exceptionally diverse and exciting diet. Huzzah!

p.s. We’re leaving tomorrow for about 12 days of vacation. Because, you know, hiking, camping and long stretches of travel by plane, car and boat seem especially appropriate at this juncture. Posting from the proverbial road may be sporadic. See you guys soon.

[1] Okay, mostly me. Because: obviously someone had to prove C right. Etc.
[2] Probably already a thing for crazy pregnant ladies. That or else I just struck gold.
[3] Because apparently that is the most effective shorthand way by which to both capture and convey my joy?


  1. I'm so touched that you tried to temper your joy at the u/s clinic (because waiting to have it confirmed that your baby has no heartbeat in a room full of over-the-moon parents is horrible. Just, the worst). But also sad, because I hate that it even occurs to you to think like that; I hate how thieving IF/loss are.

    But never mind that, because moreso I am delighted to hear your happy news! Yes, that first u/s is an amazing trip. So, so excited for you my friend. Oh, and have a great actual trip too!

  2. I agree with Sadie, it's so kind of you to think of us in that moment in the waiting room, but sad at the same time that we are forever changed by infertility.

    When my sister in law got pregnant (on her first try!) they posted the news on facebook right away. My Mom and I were horrified they wouldn't wait to get out of the first trimester, but they were blissfully unaware of all the things that could go wrong. I envy that a little bit.

    Have a wonderful vacation, I'm so happy for you :)

  3. Very glad you had your bliss moment and let the tears of happiness happen! have a wonderful trip with hopefully few worries!

  4. Awww, so happy for you and your little nugget. And I echo what the other ladies have said about how sad it is that infertility makes us all like, "Must not be too happy or sure of anything!" Ugh.

  5. Sarah, I am JUST catching up you blog. Congratulations to the moon!!! I am so happy to hear your news and delighted to keep reading. Hope you + C enjoy this time. Very happy for you both. Lots of love, Meg xoxo

  6. YAYYY!!!! Oh, so happy for you... they look so funny and cute at the 7-week mark, too. Not exactly like babies, but like adorable peanuts or snowmen that you just want to pet. Shit DID just get real, and it's gonna be awesome. Well, 90% awesome, 10% fear.

  7. oh hooray! You saw the little gummy-bear-baby! I've been soooo down lately that my husband was trying to cheer me up and he said, "You've been happy plenty of times..." I said, "such as...?" and he said, "Um, like, during ultrasounds?" Yep, they are like a drug!

  8. first of all, i SWEAR i already commented on this post. i even remember typing it out on my phone while laying in bed. but it ain't here. so, i'm going to do it again. weird!

    i'm sooo happy. the image of baby galoshes makes me feel incredibly warm and lovely. i'm so glad you got to experience this (and that you will continue to get to experience this). thank you for being sensitive in the waiting room of the RE's office. it's funny. i don't think that would bother me at all and here's why. i hate most pregnancy announcements, but i LOVE pregnancy announcements from infertile women. this is our end goal. regular pregnancy announcements make me feel empty and sorry for myself. infertile pregnancy announcements make me feel hope. but i know everyone is different. as we left our last RE appointment there was a tearful, laughing couple being congratulated by the administrative staff, and my husband (who is one of the sweetest people i know and never says anything mean about anyone) called them "a couple of assholes." not to their faces, of course. but yikes.

    anyway. major major congratulations, friend. this is HUGE!

  9. thank you so much everyone for the kind words - my joy remains tempered with GREAT ANXIETY, but the image of baby galoshes still makes me swoon. holding my breath until ultrasound number 2...