I have been struggling all week to figure out what to write this week. There just really is not much to report on. We are moving along with life, adjusting to our new normal for the time being. It is a calm time for us, one in which we have adopted this new routine, new way of life where we are home, wearing masks when we do go out, and otherwise adapting. The pregnancy is going well. G is loving being home with her own small children and says the baby moves a lot. I am sad that we are not seeing G and spending time with her so we could feel baby moving, see her bump growing, and otherwise participate in the pregnancy, but if she and baby stay healthy, then I will focus on the end goal of a baby healthy enough to come home with us, healthy enough to thrive.
So what do I talk about at this point in our lives and in our pregnancy?
I have struggled with this so many times over the last week because honestly there is nothing new to report. As I started to say and type those words, I realized that this should be a time where I am relaxed and happy, just riding out the time to the next milestones and focusing on what I can get done before LL Cool T arrives. Instead, I find myself very confused and uncertain. In a normal pregnancy, there are plans to be made, excitement and joy, because we are conditioned to believe that every pregnancy turns out well. I remember first being pregnant with Sweet Pea and being so excited that I was ordering baby things, figuring out Mark’s first Father’s Day gift, and so on and so on. That high, that feeling of euphoria, the plans of excitement and planning, went out the window just a couple of weeks later.
Our pregnancy with Colette was not the same immediate high. Yes, we were so thrilled to be pregnant, yes, we wanted to plan, but first we had to get past the beginning “scary” part. It was a little like holding your breath for 12 weeks, letting it out ever so slightly with each ultrasound, each marker reached and passed. Then we got to the second trimester and planning started anew. We talked about what it would be like to have a baby at home, we planned, we celebrated. And then, our world turned upside down.
This time around, things seemed to be going really well, G was healthy, LL Cool T was healthy. There were no apparent issues, we moved past our personal scary time with Colette, and things were good. Then, the dreaded other shoe dropped and we found ourselves pregnant in the midst of a global health crisis.
While the rest of the world recently has had to adapt to a new normal, we know what it is like to continually adjust.
I remember being in the hospital with Colette and the doctors wanting to know the sex of the baby because that would affect the numbers and data they could provide us with. We did not know the sex of the baby and after an ultrasound, the doctor said, okay, so tell me. I said, no, go outside, talk to the tech, and then give us the data without telling us the sex. The doctor (Dr. McScary, as I have referred to him earlier) was confused and did not know what to do and my response was, “Look, ideal is out the window, so let’s get close to ideal.”
That has been our new normal. In an ideal world, we would have two children at home by now, if not more if we had not struggled with conceiving naturally. In an ideal world, I would be the one pregnant and could even think about being pregnant without complete terror. In an ideal world, Mark and I would not be worried about whether both of us would be allowed to be in the delivery room. We continue to readjust and pivot to create a world in which we have a healthy baby who comes home.
This is the critical problem with pregnancy after loss—we know and have lived the absolute worst outcome. We know that the best-laid plans do not always come to fruition, that despite all of our best intentions, despite doing everything by the book, following all the rules, sometimes things just happen and those things cannot be explained, much like the rest of the world is realizing with this COVID-19 crisis. It is extremely difficult to think that we live in a world where babies do not always come home, but we are experts in that truth.
I have found myself strangely calm about everything over the last few weeks. But, even that feeling of calm creates a sense of panic. Why am I so calm? Should I be more worried, more panicked?
The other day, we got a text message from G where she said she was healthy, baby was moving regularly, and everything was good. She also reported that her partner had been sick, but was on the mend and she had exercised caution so there should be no concerns. Mark showed me the text, with clear concern that I would see that and start down the vicious anxious spiral that I am famous for, but I just shrugged and said, okay. I continued to feel calm about it, I trusted G to be protecting herself and LL Cool T as much as possible.
But, as the time went on, I started to find myself anxious and nearing panic levels over why I was so calm. I turned to Mark and said, “Okay, now I’m having anxiety over not having anxiety.” He laughed, but that is the world I now navigate where I try to just go with the flow, struggle with being able to do so, and then struggle with remaining calm once I’m there.
Once again, it becomes about pivoting to the new normal, to a world where knowledge informs our decisions, scaring us and also releasing us from some of the petty concerns, while also giving us anxiety about not worrying.