My Pregnancy: Week 4

My Pregnancy: Week 4My husband lay on the ground of the living room before the summer dawn. I spilled the news, the test I just took. Positive. And just like that our world was never the same… again. We’ve already got two little ones who will be 2 and barely 4 at the time of our due date. We’ve done this song and dance before. But there in the darkness he put his hand on my foot and squeezed an exuberant vibe my way. I could hear the smile in his voice as he shared in the quiet, relaxing moment of joy with me.

But by sunlight something happened in me that did not with my other pregnancies. There was second-guessing. Oh my, so early! That can’t be right. Is it even possible? There are the pregnancy tests with the pink lines and those with blue lines and then the digital. There are “5 days sooner” and the dollar-store tests and the test with the “gold” seal that can supposedly tell the earliest. I’ve read the directions and the small print and understand the concept of hCG levels.  All that jazz around home pregnancy tests is still a little hazy to me, even though I’m a smart cookie. I fell under the sway of marketing ploys and went for the gold. It did me good. Five full days shy of my period, at barely three-and-a-half weeks pregnant, I got the “Yes +.”

Then I went online and foolishly read reviews, post-test. Of course there were glowing reviews of how the test was accurate and early, but the other half of the reviews were the ones that sunk in—the ones about false negatives and inconsistent results. With the first two pregnancies I found out at a solid 5 weeks pregnant. We weren’t trying but we weren’t NOT trying, In those instances I wasn’t entirely aware of my cycle’s every move, but I also knew when my period didn’t show up I might have reason to invest in a dollar-store test. Here we were trying for numerous months; we had a miscarriage at 6 weeks just a couple of months prior. I was heightened and on alert, hopeful and unsure.

I think most of us know the triumphs and perils of Dr. Google, there for you one moment and leaving you full of anxiety the next (usually in the middle of the night). I found charts of miscarriage rates based by number of days pregnant. I assure you, I’m not nuts. I think if you’ve ever wanted to be pregnant before you were pregnant, you know the sensation I’m describing. Its effect is particularly heightened if, like us, you’ve had something like two successful births but also two early miscarriages in the last four years. I recognize it’s probably nothing like the emotional charge of trying for years to be pregnant; for us it was 6 months. Then add to the equation a little bit of PTSD I acquired by working in emotional support services at a large hospital. I’ve attended my share of “fetal demise” experiences, and among other awful heartbreaks, that make me hesitant to believe in good things sometimes.

So here I am, hesitantly, excitedly, quietly pregnant. I make frequent trips to the bathroom just for the reassurance that comes with visible confirmation of still no period. I’ve never been so aware of my digestive system as I’m nervous that every little movement and bubble could become a cramp, the start of the end. But it’s not all doom and gloom. In the quiet I’ve also shared my first soft hello with the baby, greeting him or her with sweet, warm hospitality. Come along with me if you will. Every day I live a little more into believing it’s true.

Annie is a mom of two toddlers with a kumquat on the way. You’ll find her downing heaps of breakfast foods and nauseous at any sign of a vegetable within ten yards. That’s a real problem when you’re a vegetarian.

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