Already a Love I Have Not Known: Honest Thoughts as I Reach the Halfway Point of Pregnancy
I’ve wanted a baby just about as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl, my favorite toys were the baby dolls and my favorite game was “playing house” with my little sister. We each had our own set of kids, were apparently single moms and neighbors and our families always ate dinner together. As I got a little older I remember thinking that I was too old to play with dolls and that I better mature to more age-appropriate playtime like “Bank” or “School.” When she was willing to play along, my little sister either became the teller bringing back clients to discuss “deals” or the “student” in my classroom. The thing is, I always longed to go back to those days of playing house, even though playing bank seemed much more respectable for some reason.
So here I am, 20 weeks pregnant and I have been doing a lot of reflection on the person that I have become throughout the years and what I will be able to offer our child. I’m somewhere in between the adult version of the little girl playing house and the one playing bank. I don’t pretend to know all of the answers in life anymore and that has had such an important impact on me and something I am now realizing will be significant for my child. I think that is what has been most surprising to me during pregnancy; I’ve thought endlessly about the worth of myself and what I can bring to the table for this baby who will be here sooner than I can blink.
I think that as parents, we want our children to have as much as we can provide for them and as little difficulty as possible. I feel that a lot of my accomplishments were achieved because there was something in me that made me need to prove something to myself, and I hope that my experiences can help me help my child avoid that. Achieve because you want to achieve. This is a lesson I can surely share.
What else? I’ve just been plain and simple abundantly grateful to be pregnant these past weeks, to the point that I feel like I need to pinch myself constantly. While it hasn’t been physically a cake walk because I’ve been exhausted a lot due to the amount of stuff I put on my plate, I really am glowing with the joy of knowing I am so blessed to be carrying this little one.
Here is the bad part. Scary and stressful. Being pregnant has been scary. As a control freak, I want to fast forward to the delivery room when we hear the baby cry and I can hold him and not worry about every little tinge in my body anymore. We’ve been told by both physicians and the midwife in our practice along with multiple ultrasound technicians that everything looks perfect but for some reason it is a surprise every time that we are told that. I am shocked every time that they put the doppler on my abdomen and we hear a heartbeat. I do not take a single moment of this pregnancy or that baby inside of me for granted.
At the end of our first trimester, George and I decided to decline the quad screen where they look for certain chromosomal abnormalities to determine if our baby may have Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18 or Spina Bifida. We knew that any results we received would not impact our decision to carry this baby to full term and decided that any questionable results would just stress us out. So, we’ve chugged along, being grateful for our blessing and imagining ourselves talking him to hockey games and camping someday soon.
We had our fetal anatomy scan a few days ago and we learned two things: 1.) we are going to be blessed with a little baby boy and 2.) everything looks normal. Both of these things were surprises to me. First thing first, I for some reason, was 100% incorrectly positive we were having a girl. Secondly, I think that some people (maybe most people) would walk away from an ultrasound and assume everything is okay, not me – I was scared. I deeply believe that my worries are a way of coping with the possible realities of heartbreak. I literally got the call from the doctor’s office just moments ago telling me that everything looked normal, but in between the ultrasound and that phone call, I’ve imagined nightmare scenarios. After the ultrasound, I came home, basked in the glory of being able to assign a gender to this mysterious little one that we will meet in a few short months, and then picked up the ultrasound pictures the next morning to analyze them. I have a problem. I looked up images on the internet of 20 week ultrasounds and was comparing our photos to what I saw online. Was there any discernible abnormality that I could spot? I nervously typed things into the computer like “spina bifida 20 week ultrasound,” “heart defect 20 week ultrasound” and then tried to compare those images to the ones that I held in my hand.
Thank goodness my husband has some sense. George woke up the morning after the ultrasound as I was becoming a self-proclaimed medical physician and saw me sitting under the dim light of our bedroom window examining ultrasound photos and he promptly asked me what I was doing. I told him that I was nervous about a few of the things that I saw on the scan so I was trying to compare them to images online and that I was worried. He said “put those away right NOW, you are not a doctor.” I knew he was right so I slid the images back into their envelope and set them down.
I think because I have had so many unpredictable variables occur in my life that I am always in constant fear of the worst. The lowest common denominator. We’ve now made it halfway and our baby boy is, despite my worst fears, absolutely, perfectly normal and swimming away like a banana-sized fishy in my belly. I’m going to try to stop being scared now. I’m going to try to enjoy the second half of this pregnancy more than I did the first half because we have made it past a lot of significant milestones and I feel like maybe I can finally breathe. I just want this baby so badly.
I’m going to betray my strongest personality trait of worrying about everything for the benefit of our little baby boy and my relationship with him. I was stressing the other day about what I can do as a mother to ensure my son will still want to be around me when he is older (I am not kidding) and the wise one George said that all I need to do is “not be crazy.” Easier said than done, my friend. Easier said than done. The thing is, all of the fretting is only because I love him oh so much, and I haven’t even held him in my arms yet.
Thanks so much for listening to me ramble. Remember to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on all of the baby nursery fun and that you can read me in the Apple News format. Until the next time!
P.S. We ordered the crib after the ultrasound and it should be here by tomorrow afternoon. Time to rearrange our bedroom and style things. The fun part is here.