Thursday, July 14, 2011

First things first

What a relief.

T, J and I went to Brisbane on Monday for bubbalina’s first scan.

In the days before, I had shut part of myself down a bit, fearing there would be nothing to see.

The more I searched for a symptom, the less pregnant I felt.

The more I worried, the less confident I became.

The more the limbo of waiting progressed, the less deserving I felt of joy, or good news.

The mind can be an awful and shamefully powerful thing.

But then, at 9.30am on Monday, there it was. A perfect, seven week and two day-old foetus. Our little peanut bubbalina.

“Oh gee,” the doctor said as it came into focus.

Good god, I thought. J, the little bugger, was right. He had been predicting twins for the past few weeks, sometimes cheekily and sometimes seriously.

“That’s a large one. That is textbook, actually, I could teach off that.”

Phew. One, he said one, right?


Phew. It’s there, it’s textbook, it’s ok.

Thank every goddamn religious and non-religious entity in the known universe.

I smiled, T grinned, J looked a bit bewildered at the screen.

Poor guy. He is three. He has seen babies in books and in real life. That little 11.2 millimetre blob on a black-and-white TV screen does not look anything like that.

Then a bit more shuffling around and we see the heartbeat. A little flutter, flickering away at 140 beats per minute.


And then, more good news, as T and I mumble words of relief and guarded hope.

The doctor tells us that once a heartbeat is found, the chance of miscarriage drops from 12% to 2%.

It is only until later that day, that I realise how much I have shifted and how differently I view those statistics now.

I remembered similar numbers being thrown at us in the lead-up to the nuchal scan. In those days of bliss and ignorance. The chance of bad stuff always seems so remote, so small and is regularly thrown in as an after-thought when the doctor explains the process.

I remembered not ever conceiving of the possibility that we could fall within the miniscule boundaries of that one, tiny statistic.

And yet we did.

So, 2%. It’s better than 12%, but it’s still 2%.

Sometimes I feel cheated that I cannot truly experience the wonder of this time, that I cannot abandon myself to the joy of it.

But mostly, I feel grateful for being pregnant again less than a year later and grateful for the amazing support around me.

And grateful that all hope has not deserted me, that I still really wish the odds will be with us this time. They’ve got to be, don’t they?

A year ago, I would never have asked that question, or if I did, it would have been a statement (“They’ve got to be – full stop”) with no vulnerable upward inflection tacked on to the end.

But that’s how it’s changed me. And I still grieve that, as much as for everything else, because it has eroded my strength. Maybe one day, it will make me stronger.

In the meantime, the cliche continues and we progress through a one-day-at-a-time effort, daring to lift our gaze slightly to small milestones along future’s way.

But never placing too much importance on them and always imagining the either way.

Always wondering if it will happen again.

Heads up now to our first appointment with our local OB-GYN – on my birthday – in two weeks. And then to the nuchal scan.

First things first.