Stillhopeful hit the nail on the head in her comment to my previous post: at the moment, I feel like an imposter. I have virtually no symptoms, I don't feel pregnant (I am hoping that the "presence" sensation kicks in soon) and all I have are a couple of numbers and several pee sticks to rely upon. I just can't force myself to believe it until I see a baby with a heartbeat on ultrasound. I feel like I'm playing "let's pretend I'm pregnant."
I had a friend Debby who I'd known for 15 years. We were pretty close, and in fact, she and her husband let me stay with them for 3 months before I left the state to be a traveling nurse for 2 years back in 2000. Debby was part of a larger circle of friends. We'd all get together on major holidays, birthdays and frequently just for dinner or to hang out.
For Christmas 2003, we all met at a friend's home for a party, dinner and to exchange gifts. We played the "gift exchange game" where everyone picks a number and then people go in order to either select a wrapped gift from the table, or to steal a gift previously opened by someone else.
We gathered around the table to begin the game. At some point it was Debby's mother in law's turn. She selected a gift from the table and opened it. It was a framed picture, although rather than a nice, elegant frame, the frame was rather juvenile. She squinted at the picture and said, "It's...it's..." Another friend, Julie, who was sitting next to her, grabbed the picture from mo-in-law's hands and shouted, "It's a sonogram....it's Debby's sonogram!" I, sitting next to Julie, grabbed it and looked. Yep, sure enough, it had Debby's name on it and a pretty good image of an 18 week old fetus.
I was shocked, and to be honest, I was hurt and angry (although I kept these thoughts to myself). Debby was my good friend. How could she be pregnant....how could she be trying to get pregnant....and not even tell me?! Last I knew she didn't even want a kid and now...she was due in just 4.5 months! WTF?
Sometime later I learned from her mo-in-law (who has a big mouth) that Debby had had 3 or 4 miscarriages prior to this pregnancy. I obviously didn't know about those either. I was incensed. How could she not share this kind of information with me?
As her pregnancy progressed, we all were supportive and encouraging and of course we threw her a lavish baby shower. The whole time, until the day that kid was born, Debby was a big downer. At 6 or 7 months pg, she would say things like, "Well, nothing is certain until the baby is born." or "Anything can happen and I'm not getting my hopes up until the baby gets here."
I just couldn't understand her doom-and-gloom attitude and chalked it up to attention getting behavior. After all, once a person is out of the first trimester, what can go wrong? Everything would be fine and she was just being a big drama queen. At least this was my belief (thankfully I never let on that this was how I felt).
The baby was born and all was well.
Fast forward to my own miscarriages in 2007. My own infertility struggles. My own unexpected and not-so-welcome early conversations with friends/family about IF and IVF. And the fact that I am now approximately 4 wks 5 days (but who's counting?) pg with a donated embryo. The only people who know are my DH, you all, and one IRL friend.
Now I understand. I understand Debby's reluctance. Her unwillingness to share her plans, m/c's or her pregnancy until she felt absolutely ready to do it. And I also understand her ongoing doubts and fears that clung to her until she was holding that newborn.
I get it at last.
And I know that - presuming all goes well and this baby hangs around - I will have some explaining to do to family and friends about why we didn't tell them sooner. I really want them to understand and not to feel the hurt and dejection that I felt when Debby announced her pregnancy. I want them to know that I couldn't tell because of my own fears, and not because I don't love them.
But once we do tell, hopefully upon successful completion of the first trimester, I want to try to enjoy this pregnancy, revel in it, and feel joyful. I don't want to be a case of walking doom-and-gloom the way Debby was. I know that anything can go wrong, and I know that there will be lingering doubts in the back of my mind. But I hope I can push them aside, seize this great gift, and enjoy it to the fullest.
Now then, I just have to get to the end of that first trimester. Until then I retain in full, without reservation, all rights and entitlements to worry, be paranoid and freak out about every little cramp, twinge and/or absence thereof.
5 weeks ago