“How are you doing/feeling?”
I am asked some version of this question probably 10 times each day. That may be a conservative figure. I honestly love that people care enough to check on me. Upon returning to work after summer vacation, I have been overwhelmed and humbled by how many people have become invested in my story.
I tend to answer the questions with a similar response each time: “Really good. Constantly tired and hungry, but overall, I feel good.” This is true.
There is so much more to the truth though.
It’s been five days since we learned that I miscarried one of the babies. Or perhaps I should say “will miscarry”. I’m still confused by the timeline of this loss as both babies are still inside my belly, but only one is alive. I have not yet learned how to process this piece of information. It is oddly both comforting and gut-wrenching. And no matter how many times and ways I have googled “Can a Vanishing Twin reappear?”, I am repeatedly met with the permanence of what happened. Which leaves me stuck somewhere between grieving and hopeful. However, I no longer cry every time I get in the car alone, and I’ll take that as a step in the right direction.
Before our last appointment, I was finally enjoying my pregnancy without worrying constantly that something would go wrong. The worry is back with a vengeance. I have now lost two babies in 8 months, and I am scared to death of more devastating news. I know that I cannot live in this constant state of fear, but I also don’t know how to shake it.
It took us twelve years, thousands upon thousands of dollars, and more stress and heartache than I thought one could survive to get this baby. I NEED it to be okay.
When I said I was feeling good, it was not a total lie. Somehow I have been lucky enough to dodge intense morning sickness. While I often feel nauseous, I have not thrown up, and I can usually solve it by eating something – anything really. The food aversions have also been few and far between. This should be a good thing, right? It should not be what it has become – another thing to worry about. Shouldn’t I feel sicker? Since I’m not constantly throwing up, is there something wrong with my baby?
I never said these were rational thoughts and fears.
Despite all of these emotions and anxiety, I truly am, little by little, getting excited. I bought a car seat and a baby monitor, as well as a few other odds and ends. I have begun creating Amazon and Target baby registries. I truly never thought I would get to experience this. I never thought I would be researching which bassinet or baby bottles work best. I am in love with everything little. When I start looking at things it becomes clear just how much I have to learn. But, these are the things that are slowly edging out the sadness and worry.
I love that because I started out pregnant with twins, I started showing much sooner than I would have otherwise. Since I can’t feel the baby yet, it’s something that makes it feel more real to me. And while most of my clothes are extremely uncomfortable, I love the maternity shirts that show off something that I never thought my body would be capable of making.
For the first time, I am proud of what my body has done. After more than a decade of infertility, these are words I never thought I would say.
The effects of my infertility still have me feeling half broken. But, the hope of actually holding my baby has me also feeling half whole, and I can only hope that over the next 7 months that half starts edging out the broken parts so that I can truly answer how I’m feeling.
(eight. thirteen. twenty-two)