Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Doctor Visit

I don't consider myself a whiner. Or a worrier.
I don't know why my visit to the doctor filled me with worry.
I usually don't dwell too much on the "what ifs." Maybe it's because I know that all of this is not in my control . . . That's it. I'm a control freak, and I don't like not being in charge.
Nothing earth-shattering happened at the doctor. Nothing.

Surprise. I've gained too much weight. Really? Walking 50 steps a day and eating all the time makes you gain weight? I'll remember that in the future.

Surprise. My blood pressure is already up a little. I hope that's due to my lack of activity every day and the exertion needed to get into the doctor's office.

Surprise. As the doctor was preparing to start the ultrasound, I found myself overwhelmed with worry. Is Baby ok? What if something's wrong? Normally I don't feel like that. And then I saw the heartbeat. And the arms moving. And one really strong kick, to which the doctor exclaimed, "That's a beautiful little leg!"

Surprise. Baby measured 11 weeks 2 days, not 12 weeks 1 day. Still within the window of normal. Why was I so concerned?

Surprise. Because Baby did measure small, my cerclage will not be until May 6th, not tomorrow like I was hoping.

Surprise. I'll be 40 at delivery. Then Doctor proceeded to tell me the statistics about birth defects--1 in 104 for Downs'. 1 in 66 for any chromosomal defect. Never have I had the prenatal screenings and tests. But this time, I wonder. Should I do the amnio? Should I be prepared? Why am I worrying so much?

Biggest surprise of all. I just wanted to sit down and cry as I left the office. Why? Nothing really surprising. Nothing extremely unusual. Nothing. What is wrong with me? Why am I acting like this?

Then I figured it out. On Sunday, two of Brad's sisters were here with their families for dinner. One is expecting her second, a little boy, in September, and the other is a well-experienced mom of 6. We were discussing names for Katie's new baby. And they asked me if I had any names picked out. If we were going to find out what it was (we don't, usually). And I couldn't explain to them why I don't like to discuss names or find out the gender of the baby. But this evening's discussion, combined with my doctor's visit, gave me a little insight into myself.

I'm afraid. I'm afraid to become attached. I'm afraid to think it's real. I'm afraid to start planning and hoping and preparing. And I'm afraid to start loving.
Because I know how fragile this is. I know how unpredictable it is. I know how it's possible to have an outcome that leaves you crushed and heartbroken and empty.
And I'm afraid.

Surprise. As soon as I saw that little peanut, I was afraid. Because I've started loving.


  1. I feel your worry...after I miscarried I thought to myself please don't let that happen this time. I want this baby! I go both ways about being attached or not either way it's hard. My first pregnancy I hardly knew I was pregnant when I lost the baby but it was horrible...I thought to myself will this happen again? I had all sorts of worries. I have learned something this pregnancy and that is love my baby, become attached because he needs you to fight with him, he needs your faith, he needs you!!! I have also learned something I am not in control as I LOVE to be!! I also need to STOP worrying because I am kind of bad at that...I try to remember every day that things are in the Lord's hands and thats how I want it!! Hang in there!!

  2. I completely relate to your mindset as you await the surgery, Jen. I could even imagine myself handling this period of waiting for the cerclage in much the same way, doing what I could to prepare/protect myself. (I think it's a family trait, as all of my sisters have a similar process.)

    Having said that, you're still a mom, and an experienced one. Of course you've already started loving!

    And I've already started praying that every single thing goes exactly as planned.


    PS. Hope this week flies by for you.

    PPS. The slightly raised BP could also just be from nerves...every time I'm nervous at the doctor's office, mine goes way up.

    PPPS. As for the amnio, maybe there's no need to even go there. You can still mentally prepare yourself for any issue while peacefully reassuring yourself that the chances of such problems occurring remain extremely small, even at your advanced (haha) age.

  3. Ah, pregnancy is fraught with worry. And I think I got more nervous the older I got. My own experience and that of my friends taught me exactly what you have noted -- the whole process is so fragile, so ripe for catastrophe that it is a miracle whenever a baby is born. But I guess that is the real point: life is always a miracle and it is a privilege to be a small part of it (even if it makes us nervous wrecks). Keep the faith! What a lucky baby to be part of such a loving family.

  4. Oh Jen, this made me cry. I'm so sorry you feel afraid, but in the next moment, I'm not sorry because I'm so happy you're already in love with the little peanut.

    Your thoughts here have made me admire you even more. It has reminded me just how amazing women really are. We are willing to put ourselves on the line, willing to be terrified and excitedly anxious all at the same time, all for the sake of loving these precious little spirits. We are strong beyond comprehension and completely vulnerable at once. It's almost superhuman. You are strong courageous.

    I am thinking of you, and just know that you are in my prayers. I am praying that you can have some peace and be ok with not being in charge (of everything...from your house, to your kids, to the pregnancy).

    I have some thoughts on the amnio, but don't want to share them unless you want an opinion. I know things can quickly become overwhelming when you have different opinions coming at you.

    As for the weight gain...please excuse my language....that is one of the most dumb assed things I've ever heard. Any health care provider actually saying to a pregnant woman (WHO HAS TO STAY IN BED!!!) that she's gained too much weight. Dumb ass. (Not you of course, but whoever told you that you've gained too much weight!)


  5. All I have to say to that post is ditto!! I have felt like a complete crazy person this time around. I think with the last two I was too naive/dumb/young to be scared. But now I know. Being pregnant is hard on so many levels. I'm just hoping the fear will eventually lead me somewhere I've never been. A greater appreciation for the miracle, deeper love for my baby, better understanding of the Lord's plan for our family. Who knows, but it's definitely a crazy ride. Glad to hear everything's going well so far. Thanks for the update.

  6. I felt really old this last time around, that's why I HAD to know. (For the first time.) I knew that anything could happen and I wanted to know this child every second that I could, in case it wasn't for very long. I'm sure everything will be fine. You just have so much time to, well... think (at least:)) Thanks for the info on the countdown clock. K made one quicker than quick and then literally squealed with delight to realize how soon it would be!

  7. I second what Natalie said.

    The doc is just stupid to mention weight gain. I had one doctor do that to me and I cried hysterically!

    You're in my prayers.

  8. I think you are strong, amazing, brave and human.

  9. Never having been in your situation, I still imagine the overwhelming emotions are normal. The delicacy of life and all the uncertainties that come with it force us to recognize that every area of life has it's uncertainties. There's only one place that we can trust, and that is in God.