I waited until the day before my blood test, knowing that the trigger shot I had taken to help me ovulate at exactly the right time could still be in my system and could give a false positive on the home pregnancy test. By then it was nearly two weeks since the shot. All traces of the artificial hormones should have been out of my system, yet I stood there staring at the faint pink line unconvinced I was pregnant. “Don’t get your hopes up,” I told myself.
The next day the first blood test results came back, low but promising. Promising. That was how I referred to it in my head. Not positive, not definite. Hey, even the nurse told me we needed another test to be sure, so it wasn’t just me being nervous.
Three days (and three more positive at-home pee tests) later the results of the second blood test were great; my hormone levels had tripled. I was pregnant—for now. Because things happen sometimes, I mean, everyone knows that.
And things did happen. Just days after my first ultrasound, after seeing the reassuring flicker of an early heartbeat, there was a scare. I had bleeding, a completely normal, fairly common, but absolutely terrifying first trimester occurrence that no one, not even Dr. Google, had warned me about. The fears and doubts I’d tried to ignore flooded me in a gush of tears and panic. So I had ultrasound number two. All was still well. Beanie was growing stronger, just as he or she should. So I could finally relax, and enjoy, and stop touching my boobs every hour to be sure they still hurt, right?
Well, two further ultrasounds, multiple mornings of nausea, a new bra size, and countless naps later, I have to admit, the disbelief over this pregnancy is only marginally better, and I really don’t know why.
Maybe it’s because I’ve wanted this for so long that I can’t believe it’s finally happening. Or perhaps after the months of trying to conceive, where not getting my hopes up was the best means of survival, disbelief has become a bad habit. Or maybe it’s just the normal fear and worry any parent feels, in which case I better get used to it, because it’s likely to stick around for . . . well, forever.
I never thought the first trimester would be a piece of cake. But I expected the physical symptoms, not the fear and anxiety, to be the biggest hassle. Instead, I find myself almost relieved when a wave of nausea hits—at least that means the hormones are still doing their job in there! And this from the woman who has an actual fear of vomiting.
In less than two weeks I’ll know my baby’s gender, which may help me picture this little Beanie better than the alien-like images from the ultrasounds. A relatively short time after that I’ll start looking more pregnant. And then I’ll finally be able to feel the miracle growing inside me; actually, at 5’1″ and ridiculously short-waisted, I’ll probably be feeling more than I want.
Hopefully then it will all feel more real, more permanent. Hopefully soon it will sink in that my dream really is a reality—growing bigger and more present every day!
So when did your pregnancies begin to feel real?
Photo credit: Monkeybusiness