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I spent my first trimester terrified (and trying not to throw up.) I knew of many first-time moms that were nervous during those first twelve weeks. In fact, it's why many don't even reveal they are pregnant until they have surpassed those weeks. After that, so many seem to just relax and be excited. Someone even once said, "Once you get past the first trimester then you're out of the miscarriage zone!"
I wish that was my thinking too. Hit that 12 week mark and ta-da!! You're safe. Maybe you might have some scares, but a miscarriage? That only happens in the first trimester.
I remember hearing years ago that some 50-60% of pregnancies end in a miscarriage. When you think about chemical pregnancies, pregnancies that have ended before a heartbeat can be detected, this statistic is probably pretty accurate. Most women don't even know they've miscarried by the time their period comes. Others have the devastation of hearing a heartbeat, only to endure the loss of their baby days or weeks later. Some are silent about it. Some open up to others about their loss.
Being an infertility blogger, I am no stranger to miscarriages. I know more women in the infertility community that have had losses than haven't. So when I hit that magical 12 weeks, one would think I would have been able to relax and move forward with this pregnancy. And I have been. Kind of. I've bought some baby clothes and some baby gear at various garage sales. But the bigger the purchase, the more I wonder if I am setting myself up for heartbreak.
I had a conversation with my OB several weeks back at my 18 week appointment. I told him how terrified I was of a second trimester loss. He was wonderful and said all the right things. He said that later losses do happen, but they aren't very common. "Only about one percent of pregnancies," he added.
Infertility messes with your head. It's like, because I went through so much to get this baby, I have that much more to lose.
I wonder how that 1% of women feel hearing that. I know so many women that had to endure delivering their baby around 18-20 weeks. It's heartbreaking. Some I know from the blogging community and some I personally know in real life. I saw pictures of their tiny babies. I read the posts where they'd write about the impossible task of trying to heal. And I don't mean to diminish their pain and make it about myself. But as I hit that 18 week mark, I've been wrestling with that fear again. Only this isn't the first trimester. My baby is now fully formed and kicking and even though I am buying these things for him or her, I still wonder if they'll ever be able to use them.
Infertility messes with your head. It's like, because I went through so much to get this baby, I have that much more to lose. That I won't have a "normal" pregnancy because for the past six years my life has been nothing but one set back to another so why should this pregnancy get to happen so easy for me?
I'm working on it. I'm working on not letting that fear steal my joy of this pregnancy. So many others get to plan showers and decorate nurseries, why do I feel that I don't deserve that too? Can I find a balance of supporting those going through losses without feeling like the same thing will happen to me? I hope so.
When you become so invested in something, especially when it's your own child, it's hard to step back and remember that the worst possible scenario will probably not even happen. I don't want to spend the second half of my pregnancy in fear. I want to be joyful. I want to be excited. I want to feel deserving of this baby.