Knit Together

Let one who wants to move and convince others, first be convinced and moved themselves. If a person speaks with genuine earnestness the thoughts, the emotion and the actual condition of their own heart, others will listen because we all are knit together.
--Thomas Carlyle

Friday, March 30, 2007

My Latest Creation

Many of you have probably deduced from my vague mentions about health that something is up with me, and it is: I'm pregnant!

The test for which I was not-so-patiently awaiting results was the amniocentesis. At my age there is a 1:23 chance of a chromosomal abnormality that can cause serious birth defects, and even death. Being pregnant hasn't been the absolute radiantly happy time I wanted. Until now. They called this morning to tell me the tests results are normal, and that my baby is a girl. She's due to arrive August 27. On Easter Day I'll be 20 weeks pregnant -- halfway through.

Here's the back story. In mid-November we saw the fertility specialist to discuss our options. Because of my age he strongly encouraged us to think of oocyte donation (getting an egg from a much younger woman), because the chances of my producing enough viable eggs and conceiving in a given month via in vitro were about 10 percent. On our own, the chances of conceiving in a given month were about 2 or 3 percent.

We went home and talked. I made my peace with the idea, because I really want a child, and I really wanted to carry a pregnancy to term. My uber-stressful job was over, so I relaxed and got to working out. (I even lost 12 pounds by mid-December!)

On December 13 (one month after visiting the doc) I noticed I felt puffy, tired, and had an increased need to use the bathroom. The next day I decided to use my one home pregnancy test left over, assuming it would be a waste, but what the heck. Imagine my fragile amazement when the test showed a slightly anemic but positive result. I told Husband and we agreed we shouldn't tell, that we should just play it down, since I'd never made it past 8 weeks before. (Of course I took another home test, and the results were even stronger the next time. We joked that the fertility specialist must be really good at what he does; all we needed was to talk with him.)

On December 14 we got the news that our landlords were giving the house to their son and were requested to move by mid-February. On December 19 we went to Syracuse for the holidays. We didn't officially mention it, but you know families; they have radar. They knew something was up, and they inferred what. Mostly I was exhausted, but I had insomnia at my parents'.

On December 29 we returned home, and on the 30th, on schedule, the morning sickness began. Except that mine lasted all day for six weeks. I didn't vomit often, but I often wished I would; I feel better after. And you might think that feeling nauseous would be a good weight-loss method, that no food would appeal, that you wouldn't even want to think about food. Not me. In my experience, hunger made the nausea worse, and yet so many odors (including food) also made me feel worse. So for six weeks I thought about food more than ever as I tried to find something I could stand to eat that would nourish my body. Add to that the fact that I slept 12 hours a day, and I was pretty much useless.

Except that's when we had to find a place to live and pack our home. So we'd go out, me with my ginger beer and Saltines, drive by properties and go in some. I'd go home and collapse into bed. Once we found a rental, the packing began. I could only manage a box or two a day. If our friends M & K had not come three weekends in a row to help, we'd have been in big trouble. All through this time I tried to take it easy on my body and not to stress mentally about the move. I was successful at that, too.

By mid-February that misery abated and I felt like a new woman. We saw the doctor February 1 and had the first ultrasound. There was a heart, beating strongly. We called the baby Little One. Little One was very wiggly. A good sign. At the March visit we heard the heartbeat by Dopper technology. Then came the amnio, which they cannot do until four months into the pregnancy. By four months, I was deeply invested emotionally and physically in this child. It's a long time to wait for such information. (A different test could be done at 12 weeks but had a higher risk of miscarriage, which we didn't want to take.)

While I realize there is no absolute certainty or safety, I feel confident enough to share this news with the world. Actually, pregnancy is just the beginning of realizing how vulnerable one is to the world. The gestation and birth might be fine, but there's a big world of risk out there, and anything can happen to one's child. As I once heard, "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."

Yet I couldn't be more pleased.

[cross-posted at A Mindful Life]

4 Comments:

  • At 2:23 PM, Anonymous cicada said…

    Congratulations! I am so happy for the three of you. You will make a wonderful family. Love to you all.

     
  • At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Kim said…

    I had a feeling. :)

    I'm so happy for you, Kathryn. Congratulations to you and your husband!

     
  • At 11:20 AM, Blogger Twisted Stitches said…

    YEAAAAA!!!!!!!
    I am sooo happy for you, congratulations to you and your husband. Makes me feel like I still might have a chance! See you soon at Purlescense.

     
  • At 3:50 PM, Blogger Songbird said…

    Kathryn, how wonderful! Blessings to you, your husband, and the Little One.

     

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