Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Swings and round-abouts

I have to talk sternly to myself this week. There's no point talking myself into the worst case scenario waiting for me at my Ob's office next Monday. What will be will be. I have been working hard at expecting the best and walking with hope each day. It's becoming a drain and I am SO close to getting more answers. When three days ago, I was so quietly sure I was in tune enough with my body that I could tell things were "trucking along well" in there, now I am just so not sure.

See, this is what my mind does. It gives me the breaks I need to get by, by offering me logical rational facts: my boobs are the size of melons and it hurts to even walk fast unless I clutch them to my chest, I can feel the blooming bulge of my uterus (no easy feat, given that I have to feel past the flab left from the LGBB, and thank ewe very much for THAT, dear precious), I am still having bouts of mild nausea and the tiredness is chronic - something new and very different for me. A first! Surely that counts towards being a good sign too.

And then, once I've had that break and ridden the crest for a day or three, I hang on tight and head into the trough. All these positive pregnancy signs actually mean zilch. I am pregnant, that's not in question though. The health of the baby is. My doubt then starts to inch its way to the top, niggling, whispering in my ear. "It's coming, you know this can't possibly work, look at your history, look at those odds, there's no way it's still even alive in there, let alone growing normally." I allow myself to believe this then, after just falling for being convinced that it's all alright. I have to do it. If I don't, the absolute shock and devastation would be far too much to have to deal with. I could never again allow myself to think I was invincible. I did that for the last time in December 2004, when I lay there looking at the slow heartbeat of that baby girl who would never make it. I'd been so certain it would be fine, after all it was only the third time I had ever made it that far into a pregnancy (I was 10 weeks at the time) and I thought that I'd be paid a break, given the loss of Ellanor earlier that year. Someone would surely cut that break for us.

There was no break. No deal. No mercy. I had no choice but to end that life, in order to save myself the agony of delivering after she passed. What is more horrific, I ask you?

So I wait. All I can do is wonder between now and next week. Let myself alternately think I will actually meet this baby when it is full term and healthy, and know it will meet its abrupt end next Monday. It's all a guessing game, even for me, and I have always felt I should be the first and foremost to know what's going on in my own life. In my own body. Not so, apparently.

But as Dr Unflappable said last week, even a heartbeat doesn't really seal the deal. Not with us. It was strangely comforting to have that acknowledged by him. And I am quite certain he would be relieved he can talk straight to me like that. He is exceedingly caring and kind, which makes it easier to listen to. Funny thing is, I'm not as sensitive as I used to (or could) be about pregnancy loss. Someone talking this frank to me about my losses used to really raise my ire. But, perhaps because he is one of the few who truly understands where we've been and what we're faced with whenever we are pregnant, I can hear it from him and feel looked after and neither slapped in the face nor condescended or misunderstood. It's a relief in some respects to realise that I've become partially desensitised, otherwise I would really not be living life right this moment. You can't let these things bring you down, yet it's a fine balance to meet them squarely and not pretend they aren't there.

Oh yes, I have taken out that box of darkness from the top shelf of my subconscious many a time. I know its contents well, scoured and hunted and challenged each thing in that box. They don't scare me anymore. I'm not surprised or shocked or repelled by anything in it anymore. Let's just hope there's no more room in it to squeeze another deep, dark loss.

So here I am. How many sleeps? *counts fingers* Seven. Just seven. Why, that's practically tomorrow! I can do this.

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