pregnancy after a fertility journey

look at that perfect little nose!

And I thought fertility drugs made me anxious and emotional! Then I got pregnant…and then I stayed pregnant. I don’t think I ever fully grasped the complex variety of emotions that lived inside me until now. For the past five months, my emotions have been about as predictable as our beloved Calgary weather. I have literally experienced complete elation, crippling fear, immeasurable sadness, hormonal rage and intense irritability all within a 10 minute span of time; only to come back to the beginning and start the cycle all over again. It’s spring time in YYC up in here!

I brought him coffee at work and passed him his stir stick ;).
I brought him coffee at work and passed him his stir stick ;).

To say that I had high expectations for this pregnancy would be the understatement of the century. There is no denying that I saw pregnancy as the almighty goal and that all would be right with the world once we were pregnant. In most ways, it absolutely is. This is a total dream come true; but, I think I was a bit naive as to what emotions would come along with said dream come true. Specifically, the fear that at any moment, it could all be taken away.

My naivety came from thinking that once I saw that little plus sign, I would be able to move forward from the past two years with nothing but excitement and optimism. In actuality, that just wasn’t very realistic. Though I certainly felt an overwhelming joy when I saw that plus sign at about four weeks along, I immediately and easily drifted into the very real fear of loss. We miscarried our first pregnancy at eight and a half weeks (we thought we were 10 weeks at the time) and so I knew all too well how quickly that joy could be taken away. As a result, I tried to guard my emotions and I tried really hard not to let myself get too excited. It’s very true that once you’ve lost, you will never again know that pure elation that a new pregnancy brings. Thankfully though, modern medicine gives us a few little tools to ease our worried minds. My doctor understood our fears in light of my history and sent us for a viability ultrasound at eight weeks, just to make sure everything was progressing as it should. At eight weeks, Jamie and I walked into a dark little room, terrified but hopeful, and saw our little bean’s heart beating for the first time. It was strong, it was there and it was beautiful.

The most challenging moment came about two short weeks later when I woke up to realize that all of my pregnancy symptoms were gone. My boobs weren’t sore, I didn’t feel nauseous and that little weight in my belly felt lighter, as if something had left me. I got out of bed and collapsed into a puddle of tears and heartbreak thinking it was all over. I called my cousin, my sister and my mom, all who offered comfort and also implored me to just hang in there and be hopeful. Over the next couple of days, the sensations of pregnancy slowly started to return and in another two weeks, in that little dark room, we saw our little babe again. Same strong heartbeat and this time, a bout of hiccups!

little titty at 12 weeks - heartbeat was 160bpm
little titty at 12 weeks – heartbeat was 160bpm

Every moment of proof gave me about 24 glorious hours of comfort and then I dove right back into fear and worry. I was living appointment to appointment, heartbeat to heartbeat. Then one day, around 15 weeks, I felt it…a flutter. Was I gassy? Maybe…probably…but maybe, just maybe, it was something else. Those flutters came and went until about week 17 and then the flutter turned into popcorn and I felt what could only be described as a kick. My belly was growing and I could feel my baby moving…I no longer had to take it on faith…I was pregnant! It took 17 weeks, but I finally believed it. Seriously though, I would routinely have thoughts of going to my doctor’s appointment only to be told that they’d made a mistake, that I wasn’t really pregnant…just really bloated. Seems ridiculous to admit, but in spite of the proof, I just couldn’t believe it until that moment.

Week 19 brought us our detailed ultrasound and we got to see our little boy for the very first time…and Jamie will be the first to say “and what a boy!” The ultrasound tech found that little winky in the first 30 seconds and left little doubt that she got it wrong. I’d show you the picture, but I’m not quite ready to publicly embarrass my kid…yet.

Despite all of this glorious evidence, I still live in a pretty constant state of paranoia. A couple of weeks ago I had some cramps and hadn’t felt him move for most of the day…I’ve never been so thankful to have Canadian health care. We drove straight to labour and delivery at the Rockeyview, where we got checked out, heard that beautiful heartbeat once again, received some lovely information about when to worry and when not to, and were sent on our way. Our wonderful doctor was also a mother of a four year old daughter and she joked, “you think you’re worried now…wait till they’re here.” Haha! Ha…ha…oh shit. She’s right…

feeling a little bit silly, but mostly just thankful to live in Canada
feeling a little bit silly, but mostly just thankful to live in Canada

And because nothing for us could just be “easy”, I’ve been diagnosed with complete placenta previa…yay! Basically, that means that my placenta, which is normally tucked up high on the side, is sitting low and is almost completely covering my cervix. This popped us into the “high-risk pregnancy” category because the placenta is at high-risk for rupturing when it’s sitting so low. Placenta’s can migrate as baby grows, so they’ll take another look in six weeks, but if it doesn’t move it’ll be full bed rest (to prevent a rupture and a premie) and a c-section for us. Though it is definitely a disappointing diagnosis and treatment plan, I’ll do whatever I have to do to bring a happy, healthy baby boy into this world. This is clearly his first step towards declaring, “I am the captain now.”

Despite the glass cage of emotion that I am currently trapped in, I also have these insanely beautiful moments of total bliss. Like those times that I’ll sneak into his nursery, sit on the glider, rub my Buddha belly and tell him all about the world that he gets to come into. Or when I’m making dinner with the music cranked and I can swear that he’s dancing to the beat…he loves Drake by the way. My favourite moments though, come in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep and neither can he. He’s bouncing away in my belly and though a part of me would rather be sleeping, I’m in heaven knowing he’s happy and healthy and is making his presence known. It’s in those moments that the fear falls away and I realize that from now on, whatever comes our way, we are in this together. You, me and daddy…partners for life little buddy.


love, lust and baby dust,

4 thoughts on “pregnancy after a fertility journey

  1. Totally cried reading this Nicole. You’ve completely captured women’s fear and anxiety. I remember many nights just laying on the floor in my first little girls nursery praying to God that I would get to be a mother to an earth side baby! And you’ve been well informed…you go from thinking the positive sign is the end of worry, to thinking the first 12 weeks is the end, to the pregnancy ending….and then finally…when you hear that joyous first cry…to realizing that you had no idea what fear and worry was until that first moment lol. It’s such a journey filled with ups and downs…but man is it with every second of it! Take it easy…rest, rest and rest some more…for life as you know it is about to be over and you’re about to embark on the most remarkable part of life! XO. Thanks for sharing and for capturing this so beautifully.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *