Thursday, October 16, 2008

pro-choice

I decided this cycle not to POAS before the big test, so I knew I would be truly surprised by the outcome of my beta, whatever way it went. I imagined that driving to my RE on Monday morning I would be an absolute wreck. I imagined I wouldn't be able to sleep the night before, tossing and turning with nerves and fears. And I expected the wait, once blood had been drawn, to be excruciating.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up Monday morning, fully rested after a night of unbroken sleep. And as I headed 40 minutes to my test I listened to music, sung along and generally relaxed. Coming home I found that I was anxious to hear the results, but not pacing, as I'd expected, like a lion in a cage.

I have had 3 days to absorb the news now (and another lovely beta of 367 - doubling in 49.35 hours). The excitement hasn't entirely set in, although I'm obviously thrilled. But that's not surprising to me - I've spent most of the past 2 1/2 years being decidedly NOT pregnant. I wouldn't expect to adjust to this new reality so quickly. What is surprising is that the fear hasn't set in yet either.

I won't pretend that I am 100% without concerns: that waiting for that second beta I didn't worry about the results, that I don't check and double-check the toilet paper every time, looking for the blood that had become synonymous with pregnancy in my experience. But my fears appear to be that of a normal, average pregnant woman. Not someone with my history (or my astounding ability to panic).

My mother believes that this lack of fear is a "good sign". That is means it was "meant to be". I wish she was right, I wish I believed that good feelings meant good endings. But regardless of the strength of optimism there is no guarantee that the next time I check the T.P. I won't get a nasty surprise. I don't believe my absence of terror, my Zen, is due to an greater understanding of the future. I believe it's due to a choice.

Upon scheduling my first (and exceedingly early) ultrasound, my husband asked how far along I'd be then. And then asked how far along I was when we lost the twins. Cogs were visibly turning in his head, doing the math, trying to find the "safe time". My mother came right out and asked when we'd be "safe", expecting, I think, to hear "at the end of the first trimester" or some other similar cliche. But instead I told her of the girls I know who lost babies at 16, 17 weeks. At 23 weeks. Immediately after a full-term delivery. I told her that there is no such thing as safe, in any part of life. Tragedies occur at every stage of the game, and it doesn't stop upon giving birth. Babies die of SIDS, toddlers die in hot cars, children are run over in their own driveways by their own parents. Devastation is always lurking around the corner and can never be outrun. But what life is lived if it that life is spent waiting for your worst fears to be confirmed?

And so I will not hold my breath, waiting to know that everything is good, that we are "safe".

I have made a choice not to put a timestamp on my happiness. Not to delay my excitement, waiting for the devastation. I know at this point that this is likely the only pregnancy I will ever experience. (Something tells me that $20k isn't going to be any easier to come by when a little one is sucking down the savings.) I've wanted for so long to be pregnant, to experience a life inside my own - how could I pass on that experience, choosing to experience fear instead? I refuse to miss this opportunity and find in 9 months that it passed me by in a terrified haze.

And if in a day or a week or a month the devastation finds me, I will feel it then. But I won't regret this optimism, this hope, this joy that I choose to feel today. I won't regret experiencing my pregnancy over my fear. I won't regret living this life. Not for a moment.

20 comments:

Meghan said...

Congrats! And I agree about experiencing each and every moment...as hard as that is

Sarah said...

Very well said. Congratulations again!

Lisa said...

Yes!!! I am so happy to hear about your beta - I am happier to hear that you are enjoying every minute of it. That in itself gives me hope.

Emily said...

Crying again...

I big, puffy heart your blog even when it makes me cry.

You said that so eloquently, so beautifully and so truthfully.

Enjoy every moment.

Jennifer said...

Another beautiful post, Amber. I've been through but a fraction of what you have and I'm having a hard time letting go of the fear and enjoying my pregnancy. Live in the moment — much easier said than done. I'm so impressed by your attitude. You're my hero. :)

womb for improvement said...

Fantastic attitude! Enjoy it.

Jessatsea said...

I believe that your hope, you optimism and your treasuring each second is EXACTLY what YOU and your babies need.
:)
auntie Jess

SAHW said...

Congratulations, and what a wonderful way to approach this pregnancy. I hope you enjoy every moment fully. :)

Tab said...

I love it! Congradulations, you deserve this blessing!

musicmakermomma said...

I am so happy for you! I loved how you said you wouldn't put a timestamp on your happiness - I do that all the time. Just wait until x happens, THEN I'll be happy, and of course after x happens, then I have to wait for y to happen, etc. You are an inspiration. Thank you for posting.

Tiffany said...

Conrats, I am so very happy for you. You bring so much hope this Friday afternoon. I love you attitude. Bring on those doubling betas.

Jill said...

Congrats Amber! I do hope you continue to rejoice in each little moment.

Jill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mylifechronicles said...

Yay for the doubling! And WOW... you have an amazing attitude.
After all that you have been through, you have earned your moments of happiness. Grab it and live it with all your heart.
Congrats again!

Leslie Laine said...

Just had a chance to get caught up on your blog. Congratulations! What wonderful news.

I hope that your reservations decrease with each passing day and that you can enjoy your pregnancy, which sounds like it's going along nicely.

Thanks for your encouraging comment on my post Friday. I appreciate it.

Bean said...

Congratulations. I'm so glad you are choosing to enjoy this time. It can be so hard sometime, but you seem to have a great attitude. Congrats again!

Pepper said...

Oh, Amber! I am so very thrilled for you, I don't even have the words! Such wonderful, wonderful news. I love your frame of mind and I as I read your post I could feel your sense of peace. Absolutely beautiful stuff.

Many congratulations!

xo

Busted said...

You are a great role model - I really admire your ability to live in the present and enjoy what you have.

Yet another reason I awarded you the "I Heart Your Blog" award - see my digs for details.

Kymberli said...

I totally thought I responded to this? I can read blogs from work but the filter blocks out my access to commenting. I must have read this from work last week, couldn't comment, and then forgot to later. I've added this post to my favorites tab. I'm going to read this post each time I get scared and feel myself watching the clock.

noswimmers said...

Congratulations. I'm so sorry that you're one of the many who can't "relax" and enjoy your pregnancy. *HUGS*