I remember so clearly how desperately I wanted to show during my first pregnancy. I was 20+ weeks before I had any kind of bump to speak of and waiting those 4-5 months for visual confirmation of my pregnancy was agonizing. I was so impatient to sport a lovely baby bump, to have some tangible proof of my joy for the world to see.
This time I’m having the opposite problem. Certainly I don’t have a real bump to speak of at 10 weeks, but my uterus is definitely bigger and it’s quickly pushing up all that (significant) stomach pudge, which rounds into a pretty convincingly looking… something. I’m sure no one else notices but me, and yet I am acutely aware of how different my body looks and feels.
These quick and early changes are thrilling and help–along with the frequent, but now mostly manageable nausea–to make this pregnancy seem more real. And yet, the very realness that I find so thrilling also terrifies me. To lose this pregnancy now, after my body has changed so much, will be so much more devastating than it would have been before my body registered all these changes.
The idea that I might lose this baby and spend weeks waiting for my uterus to shrink back down to size, drains the color from my face. I just don’t know how I would handle it.
I know I’m close to the famed 12 weeks–and according to the research website I mentioned before (the one I’m choosing to believe), if I hear a heartbeat this afternoon, at 10 weeks, my chances of miscarriage will have dropped as far as they ever will–to a reasonable 0.5%–so I have no REASON to believe the something might go awry. And yet, I do worry. Because I’ve read so many horrible stories of women losing babies so much later than 12 weeks. And I know there is never a truly safe time, that something bad can always happen. Honestly I don’t spend all my time revisiting all that could go wrong, but sometimes those fears and worries creep up on me, and I wonder how I would handle the devastation of loss.
The big difference between this pregnancy and my last pregnancy is that I DO believe I could survive a loss. My daughter gives me the strength I didn’t have before and I know I could endure the heartbreak, even if it terrifies me. That simple yet profound difference gives me the strength to quiet my fears and accept the uncertainty. So I repeat my mantras, over and over again, because even if I already feel the constant reminders of this baby’s presence in my life, it doesn’t change the fact that this is truly a gift, and worrying won’t keep the bad at bay, and I CAN get through this, no matter what “this” might be.