This past Thursday Red was officially six weeks pregnant. As I said in my previous post, at eight weeks we go for the first ultrasound. (Well, the first since the one they used to implant the embryos.) If that goes well, Red and I think we'll be able to relax a little bit. We decided a while ago to wait for eight weeks to start using the B word (and the accompanying mindset), and I'm trying to stick to that plan, but Red is already there. She frequently talks to the embryos in her belly, and I have to confess, I may have said a few encouraging words in that general direction.
A more significant milestone, at least for us, was passed last Tuesday. On that day in our last cycle, Red had the miscarriage. Getting past that point was a big psychological comfort for Red, even though we knew based on her levels that things were much better this time around. And symptomatically they are better as well, in that Red feels worse.
Red's very tired, her breasts are sore (and bigger), she's occasionally nauseous, and her food tastes have changed. She used to be very much a salad girl, and bread was causing her stomach trouble. Now the thought of a salad makes her ill, and she's craving bread. So not much fun for Red these days, but as she says when she catches herself complaining, the worse she feels, the better it is for our embryos. There are some benefits for me though. Aside from the obvious, one of my favourite pregnancy symptoms is the fatigue. I love naps, and since Red is all about the naps these days, I just tag along and nap supportively. If my wife needs me to nap with her (even if she doesn't sat that at all), then damnit, the household tasks I'm avoiding are just going to have to wait.
After the ultrasound we're planning to buy our own copy of "What to Expect..."; my sister has kindly been lending us hers, and we felt weird about buying our own copy until we were more sure. In a similar vein, at eight weeks, I'll feel like it's OK to start making changes to the house... finally putting in a pet door in the door to the basement so we can move the cat litter downstairs, giving a good cleaning to one of the bedrooms, starting to gather some of the baby stuff that's been offered to us by people who no longer need it. Everything's probably fine now, and we take comfort in the symptoms that we've been told signify a healthy pregnancy, but we're really holding up that ultrasound as the milestone we need to get through to go into the next stage.
On the other side of that milestone, in that next stage, that's when the reality will set in. As Mark said this week, you (mostly) stop worrying about staying pregnant, and start worrying about having a child, and all that that brings with it.
Red got her flu shot this week, and was at a clinic with a lot of screaming kids (kids under 5 and pregnant women are in the same risk group). Later that night she recounted the environment and wondered if we knew what we were doing. But we both do... at least, we both know that we want kids, the good and the bad of them. As for knowing what to do when raising them... well that's a whole other worry, for another time.
Mark and I had a long talk this week, and since Amynah's due in five weeks, and he's a thinker, he's thought a lot about becoming a father. One of the things he told me (and I hope I get it right) was that as he's been gathering stuff for his kid-to-be, he's felt a little more secure about being a Dad, but still not ready. But the thing that really brought it close for him was getting books from our mutual friend Carol. Mark has a strong memory of his Dad reading to him as a child, and said that getting these books, books he could read to his kid, really made him feel that he could be a father to his kid in the way his Dad had been to him.
Many of my close friends now have kids, and up until the last while, all of those conversations have been at least partially coloured by the difficulties Red and I have had in getting pregnant. And I really enjoy hanging out with our friends and their children, but there's always been a tinge of sadness present, selfish thoughts wondering why we couldn't have the same. I brought a sense of hope for our little project into my conversation with Mark this week, and I caught a glimpse of what it will be like when I'm able, without the slightest bit of regret or self-pity, to celebrate the tiny ones that people I love have brought into this world. I can't wait.
Alright then... that's enough of my little pity party for one week. I'm going to try to post once a week from here on in. Keep those good thoughts, and prayers and other fine mojo coming people... something's working. And despite the non-scientific nature of "mojo", I'm still generally a scientific-minded person, so I think we need to make sure we control as many variables as we can in this little experiment. Keep it up people... we can do this!