Pieces of Me

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This past Wednesday, on my 28th birthday, we had our nuchal translucency scan. I don’t know the results yet, as the ultrasound findings and blood work get sent back to my doctor and she will advise me accordingly, if there is any cause for concern. I am a little worried because the ultrasound tech kept pursing her lips and scrunching her face when she was taking measurements. It could just be that my bladder wasn’t quite full enough (she told me so when we started, so she had to push quite hard on my abdomen), or the fact that the baby was very squirmy and she was having a hard time getting the correct angle (apparently it needs to be very precise). It should really be a prerequisite that ultrasound techs must have suitable poker face for their job.

Obviously I’m hoping that the main takeaway from that scan is that there are no visible anomalies, or abnormalities, but it was also very exciting to see the baby again. The heart rate was around 160 still, and the tech seemed to think everything looked good (on a vague level). It looked like an actual baby this time, instead of a little shrimp, and it was waving its arms and kicking its legs. We could see the mouth opening and closing. It was pretty amazing, and I am still having a hard time getting my brain to understand that it is my baby, in my uterus. Still just, surreal.

Since we had confirmation that there still is, in fact, a growing living baby inside of me, we decided to go ahead with telling our families this past weekend. I had plans for dinner with my mom, aunt and grandma on Saturday (for my birthday) so I gave my mom a bit of a story that J was dropping me off at her place because his vehicle was in the shop (otherwise it would have been weird that he was there). He brought me to my mom’s and came into her place with me, so I told my mom he just came in to say hi. I had printed out a copy of one of the ultrasound pictures and had pinned it to my shirt under my coat.

We came in the front door behind my mom and she went down the hall while we were taking our boots off. She was over by the kitchen with her back to me, when I took my coat off and said “Mom” so she would turn around. She turned to face me, and it took a few beats for her to notice what was on my shirt. When she saw it her eyes got huge, and she hugged me and kept alternating between “Oh my god” and “I’m so happy for your guys”. She is so excited, as I am an only child, and her only possibility for grandchildren. My aunt and grandma arrived shortly thereafter, but were picking us up to go for dinner. My mom text my aunt to tell them to come in, and my aunt text back “Why?” clearly annoyed. My mom told her that I wasn’t ready yet, so in they came, and I was standing in the kitchen partially hidden. When I came around the corner, my aunt noticed the ultrasound pinned to my shirt and started shrieking! It was hilarious and adorable. This particular aunt is like a second mom to me, and I am the daughter she never had (she has two boys) so it was very special that she was there. And my grandma is just, my grandma. You know, grandmas are such special people, and with mine having early stages of Alzheimer’s/dementia I am glad she could be there.

There were lots of questions, and we gave them a pretty thorough rundown of what we had been through and that we eventually turned to IVF, how the transfer kept getting delayed and cancelled and when we finally did it, and when we found out we were pregnant. They were all very excited, and there were only a few obnoxious questions. My mom asked how much it cost, and when I gave her a figure she replied “well that’s not bad, at least it wasn’t thousands and thousands of dollars.” Um, yes, yes it was, as I just told you. Someone also made mention that we could have another one with the remaining embryos, it was sort of like a “when are you going to have another” before the first one even gets here. I got a little snippy with that question and went on a bit of a rant that people feel it’s their business to ask about other people’s reproductive business. My mom told me I am just a private person, and very sensitive about these things. Clearly she still doesn’t get the inappropriateness of these types of questions, and she probably never will. One reason it is hard to want to try to educate the masses.

The next day, we had lunch with my husband’s family, his parents, brothers, his brother’s wife and our nieces. Again, I had the ultrasound photo pinned to my shirt and because J’s parents are never on time I sat in the restaurant in my winter coat for an awkward 15 minutes before they arrived. Once everyone was finally seated and settled, I went to hang my coat on the rack beside our table. From where the coat rack was, and where J’s mom was sitting, I had my back to her as I took off my coat so I told J to get her attention when I turned around. I stood at the end of the table facing my mother in law while she looked at me, and then at J while I stood there just waiting. She didn’t notice the picture for what felt like an eternity and finally when she saw it, the look of shock registered on her face. Hugs and congratulations were given all around, my sister-in-law hugged me fiercely and told me how relieved and happy she was for us.

After also giving J’s family a slight rundown of how we got to this point, one of the first questions out of my MIL’s mouth was “How much did it cost?”. I was talking with someone else when she asked it, and I sort of just shrugged my shoulders and let J deal with it and he just told her we didn’t really know the exact figure (total lie). She has since asked him if we need any help paying for it, and he told her no. As much as the money would be nice, and we could pay it off of our line of credit, for this I don’t want their money. I have a feeling they may buy us more baby things to try to “make up for it”. I know they have the money and would like to help us but it just gives me icky feelings. They’ve offered to buy us a crib and dresser set, as they did for J’s brother when him and his wife were pregnant. My MIL seems to think we are going to go pick it out immediately but I am still (shockingly) in no rush to buy anything.

Before we told everyone, I was feeling really nervous, which I thought was weird because we knew everyone would be ecstatic. After we told, I was happy and excited but, not like I thought I would be. As I always seem to relate life back to Sex and the City, it reminds me of when Miranda had an ultrasound when she found out her baby was a boy and had a non reaction to the news while everyone else showed great excitement in knowing the gender (as will I). That’s how I felt, as though I should have been outwardly exuding this immense excitement, but I was just sort of meh. Not that I’m not thrilled, but I’m just more of a quiet reserved person, in all types of situtations.

I felt like it was the right time to tell everyone, yet I sort of didn’t want to. It would have been nice to have the NT results back first, to know the gender first, to reach viability first, to have a healthy baby first. Is that unreasonable? I still have this horrible way of dealing with this pregnancy, I just keep expecting the worst, that there will be something terribly wrong, that one day we will go for an appointment and the heart won’t be beating anymore. It’s the reason I don’t want to buy anything too early, or get ahead of myself in any way but we’re going to have to prepare eventually. And for the longest time I’ve been looking forward to this stage, planning for baby. I still am, but it is tinged with this fear that I’ll get ahead of myself, and jinx everything. There’s that unreasonable, superstitious side of me coming out again.

This whole process we have closed ourselves off from involving other people, so it felt almost wrong letting them into our bubble. I wish I could keep this pregnancy just for us, because things get messy when other people get involved. I have complicated feelings on the issue, and how a baby in our lives is going to change the dynamic with our families and it makes me nervous. It may make me sound selfish, but as much as I know this pregnancy makes our families so happy, it feels like by letting them in I am giving a piece of it away.

For now I am trying to take it all in stride, everyone is overjoyed for us, so far things are looking good. We will know the gender hopefully today, eventually we will pick a crib and a stroller, decorate the nursery and continue to prepare our lives for baby, I will try just to enjoy the ride that so many are still struggling for.

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24 thoughts on “Pieces of Me

  1. I love the way you chose to tell your families, that’s awesome! I experienced similar feelings when I told people. I appreciated how excited everyone was and was so happy to finally be able to give them news that I knew would make them happy, but I felt like they were more excited than me. I, too, was so grateful to be pregnant, but I just couldn’t fully embrace it because infertility made me feel like I couldn’t count on anything. I also felt anxious after I started looking at nursery items, when I first bought clothes for the baby, etc. Like I could somehow jinx the pregnancy by letting myself plan for a take home baby. Just know that it’s normal, even though it sucks. And it will get easier as time goes on. Best wishes to you!

  2. nonsequiturchica

    I felt the same way when we told the rest of the family our news- I wasn’t out of the first trimester yet and it just felt so wrong. We waited until I was 16 or 17 weeks to tell other people. We didn’t start looking at nursery stuff until pushed by my friend that was throwing me a shower but I think we waited until after viability. Like the previous poster said, it will get easier as the pregnancy progresses.

    • Yeah, I think that’s really the only thing, just time. My mom keeps talking about changing diapers and breastfeeding, and mat. leave and I’m like holy slow down. She thinks that because I’ve had more time to digest everything that I’ll be more forward thinking but her talking about the “far” future is freaking me out.

  3. That’s disappointing they don’t tell you ore at the NT scan. I have mine in two weeks and now I won’t be disappointed because I thought you find out right there what’s going on.

    I do not want to tell any more people in person because it frankly gives me anxiety. Like you said you are nervous, need to slowly get into the idea of getting things for the baby, and people don’t understand it. They think you have conquered infertility shouldn’t you be more excited than the average person? And, no, we just know all too well how our bodies don’t always work like other people’s.

    Just do what you feel comfortable with, and hopefully you can use some nice layering pieces to hide things until you’re more ready to share.

    • Well I’m in Canada so it may be totally different but it does suck to wait. They do use combined bloodwork and ultrasound results, so I guess that’s another reason they don’t give any info right away. It totally gives me anxiety to think of telling people. I haven’t actually said the words “I’m pregnant” out loud very many times. It still just sounds wrong coming out of my mouth. I was thinking of telling some of my friends this week but I don’t think I’m quite ready yet. Trying to hide the bump is going to get tricky!

  4. Appendicitis Rex

    I totally understand and sympathize with your feelings. I, too, at 19w had convinced myself that the baby wasn’t growing/developing properly (probably due to the fact that I’m not showing much or feeling tons of movement). Even this morning, before our level 2 ultrasound appt, I was trying to prepare myself for the possible news that the baby no longer had evidence of a heartbeat. But of course all my worrying was for naught. We do this horrible thing to ourselves as a means of self-preservation and to protect our own feelings. Infertility is a cruel and humbling diagnosis. Though I sure do feel blessed to be carrying this baby girl today! I’m just trying to enjoy every day of this pregnancy… and I hope you can, too! 🙂
    Hugs!

    • Yup, definitely a terrible form of self preservation. Though I have ultrasound photos and I mostly “feel” pregnant it is still intangible to me. Maybe I won’t really believe it until I’m holding a real live baby and then everything will come flooding forward in a “holy-shit” moment ha ha. Try to follow my apps and read my books to make it seem more real. My favorite thing is the ultrasounds when I can actually see it!

  5. “This whole process we have closed ourselves off from involving other people, so it felt almost wrong letting them into our bubble.” That was it exactly! My husband wanted to tell everyone instantly, but it took me a long time. We’d been secretly trying to get pregnant for 2 years…it was hard to let everyone else in to our private world. This is also probably the reason that we still haven’t purchased much baby stuff…and I’m 32 weeks.

    • Though the bubble was isolating, I only had to worry about hubby and I. Now there are a whole hoard of other people involved and it freaks me out. Hubby is still having a hard time too. Just before we got our positive test I think he was convinced it didn’t work so we’re both grappling with it. I think I will be very slow to buy baby stuff. We’ve looked but it gives me anxiety (the price and the commitment ha ha).

  6. It’s no wonder you feel the way you do – be gentle with yourself. If everyone wants to know the details of how this pregnancy came to be, just tell them it’s a long story and you’ll tell them later, way later. Even with adoption, I could not wrap my head around it actually happening for me after so many disappointments – a friend gave us their cradle the day before we came home.

    • I’d been managing ok until we let other people into our world and now it feels like I have less control. I am ok with people knowing how the pregnancy came about (in fact I would like people to know, so our struggle will finally be acknowledged) but first I have to tell people we’re pregnant and that is tricky for me. I think other people will end up pushing us along by giving us their old baby stuff, and buying us things. My mom is already into the phase of thinking of the baby born, and in our lives and I need that to slow down. Pregnancy first, then physical baby.

      • Can you guys get away for a long weekend soon, just the two of you? Trust me, when your child arrives (and even before) everybody and their dog has an opinion…. I had no idea that having a kid would invite so much unwanted assvice from complete strangers.

  7. So much of this. All day.

    Every time I have an ultrasound or heart-rate check, there is a part of me that’s surprised that it is all still in there. Like at some point some is going to discover that I’ve actually been faking it the whole time.

    I also totally sympathize with having complex feelings about pregnancy, i.e. it isn’t all rainbows and kittens emanating from my eyeballs all the time. There are so many assumptions about what you “should” be feeling, which is why I’m even more upfront about the fact that, Yes! I do have whole ranges of emotion! We don’t have to be demonically chipper all the time because we’re pregnant, nor is our inability to do so an indication that we are deranged or will eat our young.

    • Yeah, I sort of feel bad about not being all “glowing and benevolent” but 1) that is not me, pregnant or otherwise and 2) like you say, it’s not reality, especially for someone who conceived with assistance. I’m hoping the at home doppler gives me some peace of mind instead of driving me crazy. I think shit’s going to get really weird when I start obviously showing…

  8. I was in tears reading this – such a sweet way to share your news. Aunties are the best at reactions aren’t they? I hope you are seeing from the comments above that all these feelings are totally normal, and that we all understand – mainly because we have gone or are going through them ourselves! I can’t let you know that there is a point where it gets better… we’re all so very different. I am 17 weeks and only have a chair in the baby’s room. I will believe it only when there is a squawking baby in my arms (and I’ll be standing in the empty nursery wishing I had put the cot together earlier) !!

    • It’s nice to know the feeling is common, I mean you sort of feel guilty for not having this overwhelming happiness 24/7. I have unbelievable relief and joy that we’ve made it to this point, but it’s just that; “unbelieveable”, so hard to wrap my brain around. Hopefully I can get it together and will have somewhere for my baby to sleep when the time comes ha ha.

  9. I can’t wait to hear what you are having! That was a cute way to announce your pregnancy. I’m a less reserved person, but I’m totally feeling the need to protect my privacy this pregnancy. Are you 12 weeks now then?

  10. Awwww, what a cute way to reveal! so glad you could share such a special moment with your family. That’s kind of stressful that they made you wait for the results, but hopefully you see your doctor soon and get all the details!

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