it’s more complicated than that

I find myself completely unable to parse my feelings in relation to this pregnancy. It continues, seemingly without my really having to do anything, and I watch my belly* with awe and amazement, and I faithfully read my weekly updates in my Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, and my house is full of things that shock me every time I see them — a car seat, a changing table, a freaking crib — and I am still, incredibly, unable to believe it is actually happening. I must be pretty dense.

In a way I guess I can’t believe my luck.

I really didn’t believe the IVF was going to work. I did it because I didn’t want to be 80 years old and regretting not having tried; I did it because my husband had hope; I did it because it was finally possible, and I’m not getting any younger, and why wait any longer?

But it did work, and this is happening, and I haven’t fucked it up yet, and I’m at 23 weeks, which means that I may be more than halfway to an actual, live baby.

And this post … this is why I haven’t been blogging. Because I don’t want anyone to think I’m not happy about this. I am over the freaking moon. I am weeping at sappy commercials and smugly rubbing my belly and melting over tiny socks and totally rocking my maternity pants (dude, why does the panel go all the way up to my armpits? Why?). I have a short list of names. My husband has rigged up a transducer mic for my belly to try to record the heartbeat. Let me say it again: I am over the freaking moon. So no, I’m not trying to say I’m not happy or excited, and I’m afraid that’s how it’s coming off. It’s just … more complicated than that.

It’s a mistrust of my body, after four years of failing. I have no faith that any part of me is going to do what it’s supposed to do. I’m secretly grateful for the scheduled C-section that is part and parcel of having had a myomectomy because I know I could never deliver a baby. Breastfeeding? Well, of course I’m planning to try, but I’m reading up on formula, because my body? It doesn’t work.

So, to no one’s surprise, I’m sure, I am a mess. I am thrilled every day to wake up still pregnant, and I am overjoyed every time he kicks me, because there is a part of me that can’t stop thinking it’s all going to go to hell.

* Like, literally watch it. The other night I SAW Cayenne** kicking me. Why did no one tell me this was a thing?

** I’ve resisted giving the fetus a blog nickname, but I’ve been secretly calling him Cayenne for months, so I’m going with that, especially since he kicks the crap out of me when I eat spicy food (which is all the time). I figure that means he either likes it or hates it; I’m going with “likes it.” And yes, I just footnoted a footnote. My name is gingerandlime, and I have a problem.

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12 responses to “it’s more complicated than that

  1. I get this. totally. and also 23 weeks this week! not sure when it’s going to all seem real though

  2. Why did no one tell me this was a thing?

    It’s the most bizarre (and wonderful) thing.

    Yesterday I dug out an oversized, comfy sweater that I’d bought when all my other sweaters no longer fit but it didn’t seem worth buying a maternity one, and it’s the sweater I wore when I took a bunch of self-portraits of myself and my cat trying to get comfy on my “lap” and continually getting kicked for her pains. Putting it on again for the first time since then brought back lots of memories, but it still seems so unreal, especially now that she’s born! Did I really do that?

    Best of luck to you, and good wishes for another ~15-17 weeks of amazement and unbelief.

  3. I missed you G&L! Thanks for posting, even with qualms about posting. I feel I can relate to so much of what you wrote here. It’s unfreakinbelievable, isn’t it? And because of its unbelievableness, it feels like one is walking on wooden planks over water. It’s really wobbly, and uncertain, and what to make of this body that couldn’t be trusted but now is growing a baby? I don’t know. I wish I knew, because it would make me feel better, and I could tell you and make you feel better. But I’ve go nothing here, on the eve of full term.
    But if we just for a moment believe that there is firm land beyond those wobbly planks, then we can assert (even with minimal confidence) that you and I are about to be mothers. I’m so happy for you, dear woman.

  4. I also had myomectomies meaning I needed a scheduled c-section & I felt exactly like you. Relieved that my failure of a body didn’t have to bother to fail at l&d. Most people were surprised I was happy about a c-section. I figured the myomectomies were the only way to get & stay pregnant & therefore the c-section was the only way to deliver.
    I was also tentative about my ability to breastfeed. It wasn’t easy. But I’m so so glad I persevered bc now it’s an amazing accomplishment that my body turned the page on failure & succeeded.
    One piece of unsolicited advice: don’t tell people your c-section date. Let it be a surprise just like ‘normal’.

  5. I totally get what you’re saying.
    I did IVF four times and when I finally did get pregnant (during the fourth cycle), I miscarried at 8 weeks and I have to admit, being pregnant was the most emotionally complicated time of my life and not just because of the hormones. I was grateful for every second I was carrying that baby and I wanted (still want) that baby more than anything in the whole world. But you know what? Being pregnant sucked. It was TERRIFYING. I was too scared to do anything. I had a hemorrhage at 6 weeks and I was sick every day. The rare moments I didn’t feel like I was going to puke had me convinced it was all over. I was a basketcase. I felt like I couldn’t complain for even a minute because I’d worked so hard to get there. I’d asked for it.
    Although I wish I were still pregnant (I miscarried 4 weeks ago), I feel sort of free. Mostly I feel free from the IVF experience of appointments and shots every day, but I also feel free from the fear that gripped me for those long, scary weeks. I would have felt the same when the baby was born but I guess I just get to feel it sooner.
    Also, my body is fucked up, too. I’m a gynecological disaster and this was our last chance for a biological baby. I’m surprised I’m not more devastated (I was for two weeks but I feel better now) but honestly, getting a baby someone else carried is ideal. So yeah, it’s definitely complicated.

  6. I completely understand and feel pretty much the same way. I’m between 19 & 20 weeks and am so over the top happy about it, but I also spend a lot of time in disbelief and finding it hard to believe that this is all going to work out.

  7. I’m not pregnant (yet?), but I still kind of get what you mean. I have a hard time believing we’re even going to get as far as maybe being pregnant after a successful transfer because, so far, everything has gone against us. If I ever do get to be officially pregnant, I can’t imagine how I’ll deal with that, what with the anxiety and disbelief I imagine I’ll feel. As far as I’m concerned, everything you’re feeling is completely normal (because, if it’s not, we’re all pretty screwed!). And I am so freaking happy for you!

  8. I’m sure you’ve read enough posts saying similar things to know this is all quite normal, but that doesn’t change the way it feels, does it? I mean, not that I know how it feels to you, but I certainly experienced some of these things. As far as I can tell, the only way to have a relatively uncomplicated experience of pregnancy is to have things go smoothly once, and then accidentally get pregnant a second time. So just do that, mkay? For serious, the glorious thing about gestation is that we can be as unbelieving as we want and it just keeps ticking along. I know, lots of caveats go here, but statistics are super duper on your side. And all the fear and incredulity is a great training process for life with a child. Which is all just to say, you are doing exactly what you should be doing, and doing it brilliantly.

  9. I haven’t been here in a long time, and I’m so very happy that your IVF worked out! After things failing for so long, I can only imagine that it feels incredulous.
    Also: love Cayenne!

  10. Yes, it’s so complicated!!! It really is a relief to have the pregnancy over. Although, on the other hand, I was also a total wreck worrying about not being able to keep my baby alive. Which still persists somewhat– I might be the only mother on the planet who still checks to see if her TWO year old is still breathing. On the other hand, i may not be…

    I really wish I had scheduled a c-section. I considered it because I knew my body wouldn’t work. And then it didn’t, and I had to have a c-section anyway, after hours and hours of labor and pushing and everything. So I’m with you there. And then, lo and behold, breastfeeding was actually easy and efficient– but now my boobs are total shit, so honestly I would count your blessings if this turns out to not work out so well for you guys. Although it must be a pain in the ass to deal with all of those bottles, it’s also a pain in the ass to be the only one who can feed the baby.

  11. Hi, it’s me, your friendly neighborhood doppler, just checking to see if you and your fetus are alive. *dopple dopple dopple…listens….*

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