This is me. I am PGaL, or pregnant after a loss.
I would guess that, for a lot of people, being pregnant is a time of joy, happiness and carefree ignorance. For someone who is pregnant after a previous miscarriage, pregnancy is scary, uncertain, nerve-racking and just plain un-fun. Not all the time, of course, but some to most of the time.
When I was pregnant last time, I had no idea what to expect or what any statistics about pregnancy are. I didn’t know that at least 25% of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage. I didn’t know that after seeing and hearing your babys heart, you could still lose them. I didn’t know that your baby could stop growing, and your body would have no idea, so it would continue on like s/he was still alive.
This time around, I do know all of that. I know it all too well. And it is frightening. And un-fun. I am worried every single day about how our LO is doing. Is s/he still wiggling, growing, beating? Sitting in the waiting room before ultrasounds is hard. I get so nervous that it throws off my blood pressure readings. Sometimes I have to do them twice. I can’t help it. I remember what was supposed to be our final RE visit, and not seeing the flickering on the screen that was supposed to be there. I can’t help but worry that we’ll see that again.
I have had 7 ultrasounds this pregnancy. Yes, 7! And before each appointment at least one of the thoughts in my head was “I’ve definitely lost this one”. Even when I had just seen LO wiggling like crazy the day before. Because it never goes away. I will worry about this baby until the day I die. Even though I am fast approaching the second trimester, when most people feel it is safe to tell others because your miscarriage risk goes way down, I will still worry. Even when I get to the first viability milestone, I will still worry. Even when I get to the point where baby can survive with little to no machines outside my body, I will still worry. Nothing is guaranteed in life, and especially not in pregnancy. I have been taught this lesson, and I will not take a single day for granted.
On to happier things. We went in yesterday to try and do an NT scan, which measures fluid at the base of the neck and can help determine the risk of downs. Alas, baby was measuring a bit too small to do a proper scan, though the ultrasound tech said that it didn’t look like it was going to be too big. David did say that s/he was wiggling around a lot, only I didn’t get to see because the screen was facing away from me. 😦 I got to see at the very end, but was more focused on seeing that heart than watching him/her move around. I’ll go back in a few weeks to try again. I will now begin a normal person appointment schedule of going in once every four weeks until around the 6 month mark. It’ll be weird having such a long time in between appointments, but I can’t be pampered the whole time!