Last Saturday, my wife started feeling the light cramping that typically comes a day or two before her period. If her cycle lasted exactly four weeks (which it typically does give or take about two days), she would be in the thick of her period on Tuesday. Her birthday would be the day of six or seven extra-thick pads. That would be the glorious day of cowering in pain and a terrible husband who JUST DOESN’T UNDERSTAND so HAD BETTER SHUTUP AND LEAVE [HER] ALONE.
My wife wasn’t happy about the idea of starting her period during her weekend at work. But it was pretty obvious that was what was going to happen. When she got up for work in the early morning on Sunday, she saw that she had been spotting. It wasn’t a lot of blood. But it was just the right amount to indicate to her that she would probably be starting her period in a few hours or tomorrow at the latest.
Consigned to the sad reality that we had failed once again, she decided to take a pregnancy test that morning. She could see the negative, grieve for a moment and move on with her life.
Except when she peed on the stick, she saw that we hadn’t failed. The test came up positive. And so did the next. And the next. (Has anyone ever taken the word of a single ninety-plus-percent-accurate-pregnancy-test?)
But still, the writing was on the wall. This was going to be worse news than her period. She was already spotting and every single sensation she had was consistent with her monthly experience of not being pregnant and/or her past miscarriages. She didn’t even wake me up to tell me the news. She went to work, just hoping that if she was going to miscarry, she wouldn’t have to do it there again.
Except the intense pains never came. Test after test continued to confirm over the next several days that she was, indeed, still pregnant. Our previous miscarriages came just days after my wife’s first positive pregnancy test. We were and are in a whole new territory.
This time is different. This one might stick. We still haven’t dared to celebrate. Is that weird? We haven’t started discussing baby names. We still haven’t told our families. (This one is admittedly more because we could tell them in person in just a couple weeks than out of a desire for privacy.) The amount that we talk about babies has actually probably decreased by about fifty percent in the past week.
But she’s still pregnant. She has stopped bleeding. We know that with a couple miscarriages under our belts, there’s a good chance she could still lose this one too, so we’re happy but worried to death since losing this one could be the most devastating miscarriage yet.
But it could also be the best thing that’s ever happened to us. We’ve had zygotes before and maybe even an embryo or two. But this one seems to be, pretty legitimately, a fetus.
I’ve been terrified to write about it, even here behind a curtain of anonymity because the vengeful womb deities know all and see all. They could take this baby away as easily as they granted it if I said something wrong here. Putting a comma in the wrong place, or sounding too enthusiastic or too reserved could be the end of this pregnancy, I (let’s say) “reasoned.”
I started this blog just about two weeks ago and now — in that same cycle — my wife’s pregnant. I didn’t want to jinx anything. If my wife gets pregnant when I start to publicly complain about our infertility, what happens when I publicly brag about her pregnancy?
I started this blog, hoping that it would be short-lived, but I expected that I’d be posting my frustrations here for years. (Yeah, that’s how optimistic I am. I assumed that any amount of effort would be insufficient and that I would fail at this the same way that I have assumed I would fail at every other endeavor in my life whether I succeeded or fell flat on my face.)
I started this blog before either my wife or I had a diagnosed disorder that explained our difficulties in conceiving. I hope that my wife’s pregnancy so soon after my entrance into this sphere does not make me any kind of a fake. I feel that I have been upfront and honest about where we are. I hope that — should this little fetus hang on long enough to become our little baby — no one feels that I duped them. I started this blog anticipating the ability to document every little frustration as it unfolded. But also every triumph. I never really thought that I’d have one of those to report so soon.
My heart has broken for so many people whose stories I have just come to learn over the past weeks. I wish you all the best. I will continue to follow your stories and to document our own struggles and triumphs here. I hope that some of you will continue to follow ours, though I will also understand if you choose not to do so.
For the time being though, I’m just hoping that that little fetus can keep it up — growing, that is.