Wednesday 21 March 2012

Early days

I was looking through some files of my creative writing over the weekend, when I came across some notes I made when I first found out I had fallen pregnant again. At the time I wasn't ready to share the news on here, but I still needed to process it and take some time. I've posted my thoughts below - I'd like to remember what those early days were like. They already seem such a long time ago...

Wednesday 25 January
And so it is. Here we are again. The day I dreamed about during the dark months when I was struggling to cope with everything last year threw at us – but that I almost believed would never happen – has arrived. I’m pregnant.
The news crept up on me by surprise. We’d had a bit of a break at the end of last year to indulge ourselves in new hobbies – including scuba diving and my writing – and to have some quality time together out and about in London, and we planned to start ‘trying’ again in January. But it was such early days and I’d been so convinced nothing would happen this month that I’d only just stockpiled my ‘feminine hygiene’ products – they were on 2 for 1 in Boots so I have even more supplies in the bathroom cupboard than I normally would!
The day my period was due came and went, and another day passed, and then another. I still didn’t register and thought perhaps I was off-kilter following the festive excesses and the subsequent January health kick. I was wrapped up in being healthy, spending time with the Boy and writing the novel. Five days after I was due on – on Tuesday 17 January – the penny finally dropped that something else may be going on, and I took a test. I had to go out and buy one as I didn’t have any in at home, I was that laid back about it. And then the test came back positive. I couldn’t believe it.
I’ve often wondered how I might feel if this day came around again. I imagined I’d be happy but fearful. And I was nervous taking the test – my hands were shaking as I checked the result. But it was clear as day and the result came through very fast. I looked at it and I felt a real surge of joy – but I also felt calm, which surprised me. What will be will be, and perhaps I finally understand and accept that. The Boy and I know that a positive test doesn’t always result in a baby after nine months, but I feel relaxed. I can’t control what will pan out in time, that is in the hands of fate and in the lap of the gods. I can just be thankful that for today, I am pregnant, and enjoy that happiness in the here and now. That is enough.
I showed the Boy the test and he was thrilled – like me he wasn’t expecting happy news so early on in the year. We’d thought if we stuck to the healthy lifestyle perhaps we’d see results later into the Spring – we’re both caught by surprise. Last time round while I definitely wanted the baby, in honesty my first reaction was panic. Were we ready to be parents? What did this mean? How would our lives change? This time it’s different. Our experiences in the last 11 months have shaped us permanently, and I know we can cope. My first reaction is pure joy. I don’t feel the anxiety or tension I expected to – perhaps that will come in time. If we make it to a first scan I’m sure that will be a difficult moment. But generally I feel relaxed and well.
Part of this comes from a relief on my part that we evidently can conceive. I’d wondered in some of the bleaker moments last year if falling pregnant was a one off for us – and if somehow we or I had blown our chance. I realised even then that was very paranoid thinking, but I understand that is quite normal for someone who has experienced loss. Now I know we can certainly make a baby – I’ve fallen pregnant twice in less than a year even though for a good quarter of last year physically my body wasn’t playing the game. So if something goes wrong this time, while it will break our hearts again – I will take strength from the fact we can, as they blithely say, try again.
I have been quite stable and not too emotional so far, although I woke up early on Sunday (22 January) and slipped into the lounge so I didn’t disturb the Boy. I’d planned to relax on the sofa and watch a film, but I was drawn to our memory box of baby Beans. I opened it slowly, and spent some time looking at the photos and mementos we have from our last pregnancy. I shed a few tears – a mixture of sadness for what was lost, with happiness of what is to come. I hope our tiny baby knows it will never be replaced or loved any the less if we are blessed enough to have this baby – or a future one. I so hope that we will be.
So, for now, it is about one little pigeon step at a time – a day at a time. I can’t lie and say the thought of losing this baby hasn’t crossed my mind, but I am thinking positive and I know the chances are all will go well. I’ve decided to make a note of how I feel here, because I don’t want to share this news on my blog yet. It’s a different medium now than it was a year ago, and due to the expansion of my writing many friends, family and colleagues have come across my blog. So it’s not right to talk about this there – yet. I hope in time I will be able to write about the happy news.
I’ve got a doctor’s appointment on Friday (27 January) to confirm the news. And then we have booked an early scan – a viability scan at a private medical practice (not expensive, but on Harley Street of all places!) on Saturday 25 February, when I imagine I will be about 8-9 weeks pregnant. If we get that far, it will either let us know something has gone wrong sooner rather than later, or may help reassure us that everything is as it should be. Only time will tell. And today I smile. Because today I am pregnant.
Friday 27 January
This morning I had an appointment at the doctors surgery to confirm my pregnancy. I felt nervous as I sat in the waiting room. I’ve been in good health since the miscarriage and the last time I was at my GPs was back in March almost a year ago at my first – and only – appointment with the midwife last time around. There were three other people waiting with me, all women with young children. I dared to hope one day that might be me.
My GP saw me promptly and was fantastic – the Boy and I are so lucky that in our Dr, we have the kindest, more understanding and most supportive doctor I have ever encountered. I began seeing him when he was still a student, and I find his youth and energy a blessing. He still has the conviction that patients matter and that he can make a difference, and he is keen to refer his patients to other services that he feels may help them. He has knowledge as well as enthusiasm, and what he lacks in experience he makes up for in empathy. He acknowledged this must be an exciting but a difficult time for me, given what happened last time, and he patiently answered my questions and told me to come straight back if I had any more, and to try not to worry and to take care of myself. I feel very cared for and safe in his hands. And if things are not to go out way again, I can take heart that as well as the support of the Boy, I have a gentle and professional GP behind me.
He confirmed I am pregnant – about six weeks by his calculations, about four by mine. And he has requested a booking in appointment for me with the midwife, as before at about 8-10 weeks which will be in 2-4 weeks, and a scan at St Thomas’s hospital in 6-8 weeks, when I should be over 12 weeks. I don’t like to think just yet about going back to that hospital. The staff were beyond amazing with us through our loss there, but the hospital doesn’t hold happy memories for me. I am aware I will find it hard returning.
Lately the pregnancy has begun to slip into my dream life. Last time around almost every dream I had about the pregnancy was that the baby was a boy. The dreams were often garish, colourful and anxiety driven. So far, I am pleased to say, my dreams have been gentle and secure. And last night I dreamt that I had a girl. I’m sure it’s all nonsense, but for now I’m relieved everything feels relaxed and calm in reality, and in my sleep. Long may it continue. Fingers and toes crossed, lucky rabbit’s foot stroked, and no new shoes anywhere near the table...

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