Those who have been following my journey know that I have wanted a third child for years, but the timing never seemed quite right. Eventually, my husband and I came to the realization that the timing may never be right, but that that alone should not stop us. What was perhaps a distant, unrecognized fear that we had not really considered until after it happened was that I would have a chemical pregnancy that would devastate me.
So, I navigated unchartered waters for a while, but as the soul-crushing, devastating wave of grief washed over me, an amazing thing happened. My family, my friends, and the hundreds of others that I told about my experience in a blog post back in December, offered me support and helped me keep my head above the water more days than not. Thanks to endless love and the countless women who shared with me that they had previously navigated these same waters, I did not drown. Instead, I swam. And, apparently, so did my husband’s sperm.
Fast forward a bit and I am pregnant and rounding out the first trimester. This is everything that I had hoped and dreamed for, but I am acutely aware of the fragility and so I am an anxious, terrified, withdrawn mess. With every tug of my growing uterus and wetness of excess discharge, I convince myself that this baby, too, is being taken from me.
And so I struggle to allow myself to be happy and present in this. I am (mostly) sure that I will get there—cue anxious inner voice that makes me wonder if something terrible will happen, or if this is just the start of what will eventually turn to postpartum anxiety as I suffered from with both my other children— eventually, but I am not sure when.
But in the meantime, I am trying to keep my anxiety at bay and just enjoy life. I am just kidding. I am mostly just trying to survive this first trimester. There really is a special place in hell for the first trimester.
The morning sickness.
Between the vomiting, the gagging, the dry-heaving, the nausea, the stomach-turning-at-the-thought-of-eating-but-somehow-an-empty-stomach-feels-worse, I am blown away (again) by all of the awfulness that begins almost immediately after learning that your dreams of beginning or growing your family are coming true.
But, you know what else? I am also in awe of all of the awesomeness. I am growing a little being in my belly. A little, teeny, tiny (soon to be living, breathing baby) that is curiously the same size as a new piece of fruit each week.
So, as difficult as it can be most of the time, I am trying to soak up every minute of this, my last pregnancy (even in all of its “stretching, retching, sciatic pain, sore breasts, acid reflux, can’t sleep, need to pee” glory). Besides, if there is anything that I have learned from my other two children, this is one of the easiest parts of parenthood!