While I’m obviously writing and posting these posts many months on, at the time, I scribbled notes on my phone about my feelings. At night when I couldn’t sleep and B was asleep beside me, I typed my hopes, fears and dreams into that little illuminated screen. Some of those notes have made it into these posts. Here are two, in their unedited entirety…
Thinking about when to get a scan feels like a tightrope walk. I didn’t want to go “too early” – seeing something would just make it feel all the more tangible if something happened. But equally if there’s an issue, I want to know sooner rather than later. Getting to ten weeks seemed like a sensible balance. At 10 weeks you can get a viability scan and, if it looks viable, take the Harmony blood tests that looks at various genetic issues. But for now, like I was all the way back then, I’m just trying to take it all a day at a time…
I’ve been doing the grim hierarchy of the worst ways for it to be over. Deciding that a bleeding miscarriage would probably be better than getting to the point of a scan where they found nothing, where they somehow confirmed my fears that I’m a fantasist who’s deluded herself that she’s pregnant. But I think worst of all would be having to have a termination for medical reasons. Discovering that the embryo was so genetically flawed it could have no possibility of a meaningful life, and having to make the decision not to be pregnant. That would be the worst.
For a while I didn’t even dare to write these things down. It felt like tempting fate, as if by merely thinking them and articulating them I could will them into happening. But then as these were the things that were keeping me awake at night, the reasons that I couldn’t get back to sleep after getting up to go to the loo at 3.30am, I wondered if maybe writing them down would get them out of my head and give me some peace.
It’s weird, I expected to feel more positive the longer time went on, but as the 8-week mark dawned, and it was “only” two weeks I had to get through before I could have a scan, before I could consider that blood test, I just started to worry about what they might tell if we got to that point. I looked online at pictures of empty embryo sacs and just felt deep dread that that was going to be on my horizon. I convinced myself that whatever scant symptoms I had had disappeared entirely, prodding my boobs to see if they were still tender, trying to work out if that stomach ache or ovarian twinge was real or imagined.
Because I couldn’t ever allow myself to believe that I could be this lucky. That after everything I — we — had been through, I’d be blessed with a healthy, symptom-free pregnancy. It felt too neat, too pat, too ribbons tied up. It’s the ending I’d have written to my story if it were a Hollywood movie. But if I’ve learned anything from all I’ve been through, it’s that life isn’t a Hollywood movie, you don’t get something just because you think you deserve it, because you’ve put the effort in.
And I’m 43, I know too many people who’ve had miscarriages, too many women who’ve had to have terminations for medical reasons, I know the percentages don’t seem to be stacked in my favour (although every time that little voice tells me that 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, another little voice retorts “yes, but 75% don’t.” Of course there’s always the first voice to remind me that age is a factor — and not on my side, but I’ve deliberately not delved into that.)
Anyway, here it is, down on paper, well screen, for the first time since I found out, and I don’t know if I feel better or worse for the unburdening, for seeing it in black and white.