Which is basically how I feel, being pregnant again: full of hope and fear. I have peed on four home test sticks and three of them agree-- the first was a dud. I want to get a clinical test done, to make sure 100% that it actually *is* pregnancy and not remnant hormones from the last go-round. But leftover hormones wouldn't explain the myriad indicators of pregnancy that I'm experiencing, which seem to be coming on sooner this time than last time. Is it because I know what to look for now, or because every pregnancy is different? I just can't feel the unalloyed joy and excitement that I felt in March; I'm too worried, too scared. Too experienced. I think that what I lost with the miscarriage was not just an embryo so much as it was my innocence and naivete.
Before, I was scared of miscarrying in a kind of vague, abstract way; I never really believed that it could happen to me. Who does? Who can? Now I know what can happen, and a successful pregnancy seems like such a theoretical concept. Not so much I'm pregnant-- there will be a baby in November! as, I'm pregnant again, I wonder if this one will pan out. The timing worked out perfectly in that I got to give Don the news on his birthday (I even bought the special tests with the digital readouts: PREGNANT or NOT PREGNANT, because last time he couldn't read the test), but it was a bit of, Honey we're pregnant again, but don't get your hopes up, OK?
One thing I learned afterwards was that everybody and their mama has had miscarriages. Anyone that found out about mine would make a point of telling me how normal it is. Apparently, almost everyone I work with has had one; my friends, even my mom. What seemed like an isolated event suddenly felt like a secret epidemic; I started to feel that miscarriage was at least as common as not. I know the old cliche that misery loves company, and women have told me that after a miscarriage the last thing they wanted to see was a pregnant woman, or a new mother with a tiny baby. For me it was the opposite; I needed to see them, to hear their stories and read their blogs. I didn't and don't want miscarriage stories, I wanted to see, read about, or hear about healthy, normal pregnancy. I want to reassure myself that most of the time, getting pregnant equals having baby. That the system really does work. That women all over the place are staying pregnant without a second thought about it. Tell me that you had a miscarriage, only if you promptly went on to have a baby. Give me hope, not sympathetic company.
Tomorrow I will call the nurse, to find out if there are tests that can be done at this point. I never did get my progesterone levels tested; the honeymoon got in the way. I have no idea if they can still test them in early pregnancy, or if it would even make a difference at that point. Would it be too late? I will leave a long, rambling, panicked voice mail for her, and she will call me back and (I hope) calm me down and straighten me out. She told me that women tend to be especially fertile right after a miscarriage, for the several months or so following. I think I'm proving her right.
Don is telling me, of course, not to worry and panic and obsess over what I can't control. And of course he's right. What am I trying to do with this worrying; prove to the universe how much I want to hang on to this baby? I don't think it works like that. I must borrow a page from AA and steal their Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference.
...and adapt it a bit. I can control my diet, my exercise, how much sleep I get, and my state of mind (to a certain extent). I can take my vitamins; talk to my practitioner; eat the veggies that are overflowing the fridge; fill the freezer with nourishing meals; take Alice on a long, long walk; go cold-turkey on the coffee; make my house a clean and comfortable haven. I cannot control what happens with this pregnancy; I cannot control whether I miscarry again or go on to have a baby. I will focus on what I can do, wait and see on the rest, and stop with the worry and panic. (And if anyone that knows me believes that this is possible: hahahahahaha. But I will try.) And on that note, I should go walk the dog and do a load of laundry.
Oh, and speaking of God:
Haha, you win, Amanda-- I am more pagan than Jewish! What an interesting state of affairs. But I guess that as the product of a Jew-turned-Atheist and a Catholic-turned-Jew it does make sense in a way.
Learned yesterday: If you hike up to a well-known swimming hole in the mountains and discover that you have the place to yourself, it's probably because the water (which is mostly snow run-off) is still icy-cold and will turn you numb in about ten seconds, to the point where even an hour later you are still cold. But it's still a great way to spend someone's birthday.