I hold a kernel of hope deep in my heart that this pregnancy is going to end in a baby that we get to take home. It seems a bit bold and gutsy to confess to that, but it's true. I am not confident in my ability to carry to term, but I think the odds of me getting to something like 28 weeks are much better with a singleton and I think that each new week that passes by with no bleeding bodes well.
Still, it is hard not to be consumed by my fear. This is a different pregnancy, a new pregnancy, and yet it all feels so familiar. I have done this before, walked many miles in these shoes exactly a year before, and we all know how that turned out. Sometimes I even slip up, forget it's not Aminadav and Naava in my belly, and sometimes friends and family slip up, too, asking a question about 'the babies.' If only we really got a do-over, but Aminadav and Naava are still buried in the ground in Israel and in my belly I carry a brand new little one in Canada - the little sister or brother we haven't met yet.
I suppose it makes perfect sense that this winter feels like an extension of last winter and that my pregnancy with this baby feels like an extension of my pregnancy with the twins. After all, this winter and last winter, those babies and this baby are part of the same story and the same journey.
The memories of the terrifying moments are so visceral, so engrained in who I am, it is hard to not constantly relive the sheer terror of my water breaking (exploding really) way too soon and all of the sensory details of the experience.
I was really nervous during the first trimester about an early miscarriage and then I had a brief respite from anxiety, but now I feel my fear slowly creeping back up as I approach the gestation where I began having complications with Aminadav and Naava.
Every morning I wonder is this the day I will go to work, end up in the hospital, and not come home? Is today the day I'll start bleeding or the day my water will break? Is today the beginning of the end, or just the beginning of the beginning, like it should be?
I exist straddling a weird in-between of hope, excitement, and fear. Just like last time, I want to read reviews of fancy stroller models and daydream about baby-wearing and making my own baby food, but in my sleep, I give birth in tens of bizarre and disturbing ways to a baby that is not yet viable. Sometimes in these nightmares the baby is somewhere on the floor but so small I wonder if I will find him at all.
There are limitless demons that can haunt you once one truly awful thing happens - one of those sort of things that isn't supposed to happen. It opens so many new possibilities and avenues of horror. All of the sudden every freak complication seems equally possible because you are one of those people.
The belief that there are those people and then there's you is what keeps your imagination from plunging too deeply into the menagerie of horrors that could befall you. But once you become one of those people that wall comes down and you skate on thin ice because every manner of disaster could happen to you. Suddenly, the improbable odds and freak statistics feel very personal.
So I carry this kernel of hope deep in my heart; this belief that this time will be different but I have another foot grounded in a land of fear and disaster. Praying that in the right time I will land, two feet on the ground, with a screaming, cooing bundle in the 'normal' world - the land of the lucky.
**In mundane medical news, I had a MFM appointment on Thursday. Cervix is funneling a tiny bit at the top, but with fundal pressure, the cervix doesn't go below 2.8-2.9cm and my baseline measurement at 13 weeks was 3.0cm, so there is very little if any change there. The NT results combined with the first trimester screen gives us a 1:29000 odds of trisomy 21 and the appropriate PAPP-A levels combined with u/s suggest that my placenta is functioning well at this point. I think we will do the quad screen at my appointment this week.
I had a hematologist appointment on Friday. They asked me to enroll in a study following pregnancy and medical outcomes of women with bleeding disorders. There is so much known about the role of thrombophilias (clotting) disorders in pregnancy but much less known about the implications of bleeding disorders in pregnancy. The suggestion that my bleeding disorder may have played a role in my abysmal obstetric history is actually pretty unsettling to me.