Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Muted

I'm pregnant.

Seems like there a lot of BLMs making this announcement right now. I know for others who are waiting or wishing it's gotta hurt to hear all these announcements. I also know that some mamas have been hit by the Super Suck Lightning Bolt twice recently, and my heart aches for them.

I know some of you already know my news and it's not that I've been hiding it so much as I've just been unable to write about it.

It doesn't feel real, not at all.

For those wondering the nitty gritty details:

I am 6 weeks and a few days. I found out the day after we returned from Maui. The dates are sketchy (I had like five days of positive ovulation sticks) but it is quite possible/highly probable this little one was "Made on Maui" - just like it said on the onesie we saw in a shop there and were so tempted to buy, purely as an act of wishful thinking at that point. (I told E today that if this baby gets to come home with us, then I will have that onesie mailed here for us to dress him/her in. Note that this was one of the first times in the last two and a half weeks that I've even ventured into statements that are slightly hopeful that we might get to bring a baby home.)

I ate lots of sushi while I was in Maui and I got in a jacuzzi (it wasn't hot-hot, thank goodness). I had taken 2 pregnancy tests while we were there but they were almost invisibly positive and E convinced me I was seeing things, so I decided he was right and stopped testing*, until we returned and I realized I still hadn't gotten my period. (*NOTE: Ovulation predictors DO NOT WORK as pregnancy tests, despite rumors on the internet to the contrary. It worked when I was pregnant with Otis, so I assumed it would again. I didn't want to buy new pregnancy tests so I just peed on the opks, they were negative, I assumed I wasn't pregnant...hence the sushi and the jacuzzi. Big oops.)

But my numbers have been doing what they are supposed to be doing, doubling and tripling in these early days, and today we went in for an ultrasound. We got to see the heartbeat flickering away on the screen.

Yes, I started crying.

But it still doesn't feel real.

We have told a few close friends and some family, with the thought being that we will want them to know if we lose the pregnancy so we want them to know now as well. The doctor today said, "Don't start telling until 8 weeks, that is really a safer time," but, as we all know, there really isn't going to be a "safer" time for us this time around...I mean, yes, sure, I know about statistics and all that...but really...as I've heard so many mamas say, "When you're on the wrong side of the statistics, when you are that 1 in 10,000, the rest of the statistics are no longer very comforting." I agree that getting to 8 weeks may feel like I've gotten to a milestone of sorts. Seeing the heartbeat today felt like a huge milestone. But there are so many of them, my head hurts just thinking about it.

All my emotions lately have felt like they are seriously muted. I can't really be happy about this pregnancy, not yet, as much as I want to be. It's so strange, for as much as I wanted to see a BFP...I guess hearing this from another newly pregnant BLM kind of sums it up: "I hadn't really thought about the space between the BFP and delivery." I also feel like I can't access the depths of grief that I had felt last month or the month before. I haven't been in the fetal position crying on my closet floor for at least a month. (Though I did assume that position once or twice while in Maui.) But everything just feels very muted. Maybe it's the fatigue. I am so damn exhausted, and so damn queasy, it's amazing how quickly I forgot about the first trimester. But being muted like this actually doesn't feel like a relief right now. I miss the technicolor. My therapist reminded me that while I am IN the technicolor of grief there is nothing I want more than to be out of it. But I miss it, I miss feeling that raw, that fragile, that open and vulnerable.

This is not to say that I think I'm "done" with the technicolor. I am sure it will return, and I will be as uncomfortable with it when it returns as I was when it was here before.

In the meantime, I just am trodding along, best I can, while eating saltines and taking frequent naps. I keep telling myself that I have to be 6 weeks pregnant in order to be 7 weeks pregnant. I have to be 7 weeks pregnant in order to be 8 weeks pregnant, and so on, and so on. There is no shortcut on this path.

So now the trick is to figure out a way to continue on a path, a path of healing, of learning, of growing, of LIVING IN THIS MOMENT - without getting ahead of myself. Today I am six and a half weeks pregnant. I cannot continue to spend my time googling and obsessing because that will make for a very, very, very long set of months ahead. I must continue to search out ways to live in this moment, to love the life that is here in front of me now - not a life of "when the baby comes" or even "if the baby comes" - because neither of those options are right here, right now.

My therapist keeps saying, "So the information you have right now says that everything in this pregnancy is going optimally," and I keep trying to remember this. I say it to myself about twelve times an hour, I'm pretty sure. Maybe at some point I'll start believing it.

(Probably goes without saying, but please don't mention anything on facebook.)

24 comments:

Maddie said...

SO much of this sounds familiar. My head hurt thinking about all the milestones we had to get through. My pysc used to say similar things and I used to say 'Most babies are OK'. Sometimes it helped.

Maddie x

Tiffany said...

congrats, wonderful news! ♥

Sherri said...

I'm really very happy for you, and wish you an easy pregnancy with a sweet healthy little baby at the end!

æ said...

i hope you remember how much i care about you.

the in-the-moment stuff is tricky for me. for a lot of reasons, hey why don't i list some of my own...well for one thing, anything you know in a given moment expires in the next moment. i know i felt that way with ultrasounds and heartbeats. I am kind of afraid I'm the doomsayer giving you bad ideas here, but I know you well enough to know you have already questioned this morning's good news. (kicking self if not, wouldn't be the first time i've had to kick myself...today)

for whatever reason pregnancy felt very tentative to me, and so more "in this moment" is "I'm pregnant" not "I'm having a baby." I find that very helpful. It's so realistic. Concrete. True.

i'm really a negative nancy, I do see that, sorry sarah!

but there is one last piece, something that I have read here on your blog a few times, about how you've wished you could just go back to your time with otis and be with him again. so here's what i'll say about "in this moment:" in this moment you get to be with this new little life. right now. you are together. that's really special. no matter what. and this is the only time you'll be 6.5 weeks pregnant with this little life. here it is. today. tell the little bean i say hello.

lots of love to you, your husband, and your children.

ae

ania said...

Dear Sarah,

Congratulations, my dear.

I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers, only with a few additions now.

I am redundant in these comments, but I think it's okay, as I am also sincere.

My New Normal said...

I'm so happy for you.

Missy said...

Mama I am so happy for you! And your words of feeling muted ring so true for me as how I feel for myself now and in the future when that elusive bfp arrives. I wish you the best and will be right here rooting for you. All my love!

Angela said...

So happy for you, mama! I'm nearly twelve weeks and muted is the best way to describe how I'm feeling. Either that or bipolar - my emotions shift so often. It's not easy, but you're not alone. Thinking of you and your new little one.

Brooke said...

I'm seriously in a super intense but also totally abusive relationship with grief. When I'm there in the thick of it, I totally want out and there's no way I can take another moment of it and I hate its guts. And then when it fades away, and I have a couple of days without its white-hot intensity, I start missing it and thinking maybe we need to give things another try... And so we get back together. And then it beats the shit out of me and leaves me sobbing in the fetal position. And the cycle begins again...

I think living in the moment is the only way through grief or pregnancy after loss. It's too bad that living in the moment is actually completely unsatisfying. I say that everyday you don't google yourself crazy is a victory.

Hope's Mama said...

Even at two and a half years out, I miss the technicolour. And yes, I still visit that space from time to time. But sometimes I miss the ferocity of the grief and the way it totally consumed me in those early days. Life seemed more simple then.
As for the BIG news in this post, well you know how much I am thinking about you. And this post, as with everything else you write, rings so true for me. I wish I had advice that might be helpful. I don't. I just have love and support.
xo

kate said...

i'm thinking of that precious little heart beating and i have tears in my eyes.

i am loving you so much in this moment - now and forever.

kate xxx

Hanen said...

Oh Sarah! wow. So happy to hear this! Trying to be in this moment is hard, but definitely a good approach. It is so tricky not falling forward into hope (for you, and for me, and for these tiny sparks of potential). But what is here now is so precious. Take care & don't be afraid to feel the muted days as well as the technicolour ones. xxxh

katherine said...

Dear Sarah,

I cannot even begin to express how happy I am for this news. I was constantly thinking about you while you were away (in a friendly, non-stalkerish way, of course :) ), sending all positive thoughts your way (I, too was on a "ttc trip" that partly overlapped with yours, and, strangely, was thinking about your outcome more than my own! I found out your BFP news through Glow, and I was literally as giddy as I would have been if it were me with the positive.)

I know how very very excruciatingly long a pregnancy can feel when you've already been through it before and nightmare scenarios have played out. I know how numb you can be when you're sitting there, at the edge of a new pregnancy and looking at the road ahead; what it's like to know deep in your bones that there is no point in time that is "safe", besides the one where you're holding a healthy, screaming baby (and I am sure others will chime in and tell me that that, too, is an illusion.)

But ae (and you too, in your post) said it so wisely: One has to live in the moment. One has to enjoy whatever joy the present grants us, whatever (little) time we have with our loved ones. Though I knew this intellectually, I was very bad at implementing it during a subsequent pregnancy. I was so cautious, so bad at letting myself feel happy, at acknowledging my little girl's presence. When I lost her in the second trimester (the same weekend Otis was born) I was just torn to pieces by the guilt, by how little I made her a part of my reality, how little I honored her. (I have since had my happy moments, my BFPs and very early victories, and have tried to dive into them full force and celebrate them with every fiber of my being. It hurt, when things crashed, but I didn't regret a single moment of them...)

I am so very glad you are wiser than me...

still life angie said...

Sending you so much love. Beautiful news. I know what you mean by numb. We are here. You are not going through this alone. Just remember that. xo

brianna said...

Congratulations, Sarah. I am very happy for you. Sending you lots of love.

Tess said...

Dear Sarah, I'm so unbelievably happy for you!

What a joke to say there is a 'safe' time to a BLM who has gone to term with a healthy pregnancy! Ha! As if a positive mantle attitude will help our babies come home with us - did we not want that the last time too?

All that aside (because I'd rather not think about that right now), I do love your 'I have to be 6 weeks pregnant, in order to be 7 weeks pregnant' and so on; a great way of keeping things present, along with the wise words from your therapist - thank you for sharing those.

Looking forward to seeing how this chapter unfolds for you too
Always here for you and wishing you well

Sarah said...

Dearest Sarah,

I am so happy for you I am bursting with it. I love you so much. You are in my thoughts and prayers so often and you and your beautiful family -- all of you -- will continue to be.

xoxo
Rodeo

Jenn said...

What lovely news, Sarah. Yes, yes, yes on the muted part - that is what I felt last time around and feel this time, too. Thinking of you and praying for you and this new little life journeying with you. All my love, mama. xx

roark said...

Footprints, today, too. Loving, quiet footprints from me.

zubeldia said...

sweet lu, such lovely news, and with that the knowledge that this is also impossibly hard. So much love. xx

fia said...

love, love, love to you, sweet friend.

my heart is so full.

Monique said...

Very good news. You can do this, just put one foot in front of the other. Sending much love.

roark said...

Here's some more love.

hayley said...

hey you, I don't know what happened to my first comment but I trust you know that I'm here loving and hoping along side you. this is good news and I think you will never regret your love and hope for this new pregnancy.

all my love

h.x