You know I’m not superstitious. But perhaps inevitably I can’t help being with this. Given everything that’s gone before, I don’t know how I couldn’t be. How I could ever be someone who would assume it would all be fine. Despite all the scans that told me otherwise.
Because we’d had that six week scan, and then our clinic offered us an early scan at eight weeks, and then because we wanted to do the Harmony test (a blood test that looks for three different chromosomal abnormalities and can be done from ten weeks onwards. It’s sometimes offered on the NHS but if it is, it’s usually at a later stage) we booked a private package that combined a 10-week scan, the Harmony test and a 12-week scan. And all of them were fine. In all of them, the measurements were what they should be. The things they were meant to be able to see, they could see. Everything looked normal.
And lying there, in that moment, seeing these images on the screen and recognising limbs and the head and the nose, I absolutely totally believed that I was pregnant and it was all progressing as it should. And that feeling lasted for, oooh, about three or four days maximum, before the doubts started to creep in again. Before the anxieties began to make themselves known. Before I started to feel as if it was all just a stress delusion and I’d imagined it all.
Going cold turkey on all the drugs when I hit 12 weeks was terrifying. No more Clexane to ensure good blood flow, no more progesterone or oestrogen… yes, yes I knew the theory, that the placenta and my body should be producing everything it needed at this point. But what if it wasn’t? It’s very difficult to have faith in your body’s ability to do what it “should” when you’ve had years of doctors telling you that it hasn’t done what was expected of it. What if the cocktail of pharmaceuticals was the only thing keeping this pregnancy viable?
Everything felt like tempting fate. It’s why I didn’t self-refer to a hospital until I was 11.5 weeks pregnant — even though I’d been told I could after my eight-week scan. Why, even after 12 weeks, telling my parents felt risky. (There’s a whole other post to be written about me condensing eight years of egg freezing, fertility treatment and miscarriage into a 30 second explanation for the benefit of my parents who, if you’ve been following this blog from the early days, might remember, knew nothing about any of this.)
“What if the scan next week [our first on the NHS at around 13 weeks] is bad news?” I asked B. “We’ll have to untell them and it will be awful.” He very reasonably told me that if that happened we’d deal with it and that sharing the current good news with them was still a very lovely and happy thing to do.
And of course he’s right. And I’m trying – so hard – not to let everything that has gone before steal away the joy and excitement. For me as well as for him. But it’s HARD. And I have to keep reminding myself that it’s different. It’s not one of my faulty eggs, it’s a shiny new donor one. And that in this particular instance, past performance isn’t an indicator of future performance.
But even though, through the generosity, magic and science of donor eggs and IVF, I’m effectively 10 years younger and having my first pregnancy, with no indicators or reasons that anything should go wrong, there’s just always going to be that shadow, which means that even typing this makes me nervous.