Monday, September 15, 2008

This Time Around

I worry more with this pregnancy than I ever did with Zoe.

I think it has a lot to do with us doing this on our own. There were no medications, no injections, or special treatment. We didn’t have a fertility doctor holding our hands and watching my eggs closely making sure they developed on track and became our Zoe.

This time we had fate or luck or something special on our side. There was no intervention, no medical procedures. We talked about our desires to have our family grow. I stopped birth control. And then three months later we found out I was pregnant. That morning still sticks out in my head as one of the biggest surprises I’ve ever had. I was so excited and happy for our family.

But with that excitement came fear. What if this wasn’t meant to be? What if we really needed that extra support we got from the fertility doc? This time around I would not be monitored so closely, I would not have as many appointments or ultrasounds. We would be on our own for the most part and that seemed… scary.

With Zoe, I went into every appointment with hope and excitement. When we got into the second trimester with her, it felt like smooth sailing for the rest of our time. I felt secure and knew that we had taken all the measures we could for her to be healthy.

With Finn, I worry. I brace myself until I hear his heartbeat and the doc assures me we're doing well. I feel myself stressing over every twinge, every muscle ache or cramp. I’ve been feeling Braxton Hicks for about a month now, but yesterday they felt different – worse. They were still sporadic, but more frequent and more painful than I had ever felt with Zoe. They made me feel nauseated and weak and I felt anxious. Luckily we had a prescheduled prenatal appointment this morning. As Daniel and I sat in the room waiting for our doc to come in, I could feel my heart race. What if Finn wasn’t ok? What if my body wasn’t taking care of him because it hadn’t been ready for him yet? What if I can’t have a healthy baby without that extra assistance and care? I sat there thinking about all the things I’d read on the internet about preterm labor. I thought about my friends and family who have had to deal with difficult circumstances. I closed my eyes and leaned against Daniel and tried to focus on what a special gift Finn is to us. And when our doc walked in and hugged me, I started crying. We quickly told him about yesterday, about the pain, and he was calm and kind. He had me lay back so he could measure my belly quickly and then he got the Doppler out so we could hear our son’s heartbeat. At first it sounded muted to me and I felt tense, but then there were strong kicks and we could hear quite clearly the strong, steady beating of Finn’s heart. “Sounds good.” Relief washed over me and made the rest of the exam more bearable. Daniel held my hand as our doctor checked my cervix – still closed, and verified that I was neither dilated nor effaced. Everything is ok. Finn and I are fine. We’ll go back Friday morning for another check up just to keep my mind at ease.

I’m trying to relax. I’m trying not to worry. I’m trying to focus on the assurances that Daniel and my doctor keep giving me. I keep reminding myself that Finn is supposed to be here with us; that he came along sooner than we ever imagined he would and that there has to be a reason for that. For some reason I thought that each subsequent pregnancy would get easier for me physically and emotionally - that with experience I would gain confidence. What I’ve come to realize is that every pregnancy is different. I’ve also discovered that now that I have Zoe here with me, I know first hand what it means to love your children unconditionally. Before we had Zoe I could only imagine what it must feel like to be a mother. Now that we have her and Finn on the way, I feel fiercely protective of them and our family and I find myself bracing myself for a shoe to drop. It can be exhausting. I'm lucky that Daniel is so supportive, so positive. He is the optimist in our family and he keeps me strong - puts up with my freak outs.

Anyway. I stress too much. Everything is going to be fine… better than fine. I have strong son - he is/will be healthy just like his sister. Right this moment, Finn is kicking me now with all his might; I think he’s requesting a snack. I’m off to grab something to eat and then possibly take a nap.

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