Monday, November 10, 2008

the golden thread

On August 28th, 2006 I was standing in front of the dry erase board at work, reading patient charts when suddenly I had this overwhelming rush: "what if I really am pregnant this time?" I felt almost as though my life flashed before my eyes, in that moment I pictured making my grandmother a great-grandmother again, connecting generations of my family's women with another branch of the tree. The intense feeling passed fairly quickly but the imprint of it stayed with me and when 3 days later I learned that yes, I really was pregnant, I wasn't surprised. Foolish though it may seem, I still believe that that moment (at 7dpo) was the moment of implantation. The moment my babies became connected to me.

When I lost them I was devastated. Sadness is pervasive, but almost more than anything I felt lonely. I'd been speaking to my babies since that first day, begging them to stay with me through all the scary bleeding. I'd tell them I loved them, of course, but I also had a simple running dialogue with them. We lived my life together in those 9 weeks and when they were gone, when I could no longer share my every experience with them, I felt like a close companion, a confidant had died. The golden thread connecting them to me had snapped.

I've known I was pregnant for a full month today. I've seen this healthy baby on 3 ultrasounds, watched her (his?) heart beating twice. I feel nauseas much of the time, my breasts are tender and the bloat is immense. (Seriously. It's ridiculous.) But regardless of *knowing* what is going on within my own body, I don't feel it. Not like last time. I talk to this baby on occassion, but it feels forced. I rub my belly often, but mainly due to the water retention, not any maternal feelings. I know there is a baby in there, but I do not know this baby. Not like last time. And I feel sad and guilty about it.

I wonder if my twin pregnancy was a bit of a perfect storm, bringing about the intense connection. I bled from day one (well, 2dpo to be specific) so I spent many hours begging those babies to be strong for me, to hold on while my body did what it could to make them let go. My husband was out of town for a month from 3 days after getting that first positive. Spending so much time alone I'm not surprised I made friends wherever friends could be made: in this case, within my own body. The idea of pregnancy was so new to me, as was the idea of trying. It seemed in some ways magical, mystical rather than a scientific process.

In contrast, with this pregnancy I have, for the first time, had not a single scare. I thank god for the lack of blood, but I'm also without reason to suspect that this little squirt is going anywhere and therefore not likely to beg him (her?) to stick around. My husband is very much present, sometimes leaving me wishing I had some time alone, so I talk out loud to him rather than internally to a person I'm not sure has ears. I've had 3 ultrasounds since learning I was pregnant - but hundreds in the past 2 years while attempting to get pregnant. I've looked at them as a science experiment over the course of many treatments - how can I now expect to switch to a mindset focused on the blissful joys of a newly minted mother-to-be?

Knowing the above, I shouldn't be surprised that I feel distance. But I wonder if it's something more.

I wonder. I wonder if although I feel very few bursts of fear, check my pantyliner for spotting rarely, genuinely believe that this time we will have a baby come June...I wonder if the fear I expected to feel is still there. Still lurking and poisoning my pregnancy. I wonder if my unfelt fear is manifesting itself not in incessant worry and panic, but in a disconnect. Preventing my seemingly hopeful heart from being broken once again when the other shoe drops. I wonder if that golden thread is tied not around the beating heart of my baby, but rather the fear that I may never know this one either. And I wonder when *that* thread will snap.


SMK said...


I had to tell you that each day that passes and the baby continues to grow is another day that the thread gets longer and longer... it won't snap it will get longer and wrap itself around the baby and create a nice cocoon for it. You are in my thoughts!

Amy C said...

You are just protecting yourself...completely normal considering what you went through!

Emily said...

I wish I had some wise words for you, but I don't...

You will heal - heart, body & soul and love will grow and grow and fill those empty spaces. The golden thread will strengthen and will join you and this baby for all of your days.

Your twins will always be with you - protecting you and this new life.


Seriously? - Erin said...

As hard as it is to admit, I don't feel as connected to this baby as I did the one I knew about for five days. Maybe because that baby seemed magical (1st month and all) maybe because something felt off from the start. Maybe because my husband worked nights and it was me and the baby.

Lisa said...

A - I can relate and there is nothing wrong with how you feel. Both of my pregnancies were so short - but the since the first day of my first transfer, I was so in love - madly, absolutely, estatically in love with that baby - I called him/her "Baby P, the poppy seed" - all day, every day. I felt the happiest, most amazing feelings I have ever felt. When I started bleeding, I I begged, I cried. That loss was so awful. The second time I got pregnant I felt so distant, so not in touch with the embryos that were transferred. And then I felt guilty - as if I did not have enough to feel crappy about - I did not name the embyros, I did not journal in my journal about them - I did blog a bit and that helped. After that loss, I was numb - almost majorly depressed - but there was still no real connection. It may be that we are protecting our minds and hearts - it is scary to love that much and have it ripped away from you. I am not sure of the reason but I know that it really, really sucks -I am thinking of you.

Genevieve said...

sometimes it's hard to connect with people, even when they are living in your own body. but rest assured, the first day you feel a flutter, a kick, a punch, a prod or a ripple by that little seamonkey in there, a strong thread will show itself and instantly wrap it's threads around your fingers, your head, your heart and your entire being.
and I know, I know, I know as soon as baby shows up in June, there will be no question of threads.
I miss you, and I love love love you.
and give yourself a break. after the 2 years you have been through, you're allowed to be guarded.
it's our first line of defense after all.
but just so you know, I'm already attached to this bundle, with one super duper long golden thread.

womb for improvement said...

I'm sure that you are trying to protect yourself after last time and as the weeks progress you'll start to loose your fear and feel hopeful. i hope so.

Lawfrog said...

Sometimes I find it helpful not to question what I feel, but rather to feel it and let it be what it is. You feel disconnect right now and that's ok. Let that feeling be ok. It will change as your pregnancy progesses and you will have different feelings. But right now, it's ok to feel WHATEVER you feel. Just know that and know that it will change. Do not worry about that.

Jessatsea said...

I think the others said, albeit, much more poignantly, what I am thinking. This is self preservation and I think it's normal. As Genevieve said... that thread will present itself and when it does... it won't be a thin little thread... I promise!

I am still thinking boy!@

Genevieve said...

jess... I'm thinking Girl.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry the distance will shorten with time as your baby grows and before you know it you will connect with this baby too.
Thinking of you!