It’s amazing the range of emotions you can feel when you find out that you’re going to have a baby. It can be the best news or the scariest, depending on where you are in your life.
I can still remember my reaction four years ago when the nurse called me at work to say my test was positive. Somewhere between dropping the phone and telling my boss, who said I looked green, it hit me – oh my God, it finally worked! After years of fertility treatments and agonizing monthly tests to see if the stick turned blue, my miracle had happened.
But as any mom (or soon-to-be one) will tell you, getting pregnant sends you on a rollercoaster of emotions. For me, my hormone count was low from the get-go, so I had to get blood tests every week to see if the baby was OK. This added to my already constant fear that I would lose the baby. Several fibroid tumors were fighting for space in my uterus too, so reaching that magic 12-week mark was constantly on my mind.
At week 10 it was time to hear the baby’s heartbeat, and I knew that would be the moment – the moment when I could breathe again and believe that this dream came true. But instead I was hit with the news, “I’m afraid we have a problem.”
I stared up at the butterfly mobile that hung over my tear-filled eyes and mumbled, “Here we go.”
Two days and five fancy ultrasounds later, the doctor told me that I did not have a viable pregnancy. They figured I lost the baby around eight weeks. It took another three weeks to miscarry. I guess neither one of us were ready to give up on our miracle.
I’ve thought about these moments more lately, as two of my friends learned they are pregnant. I’ve always prided myself in not allowing my experience affect my excitement for others. But I know it also can be down right frightening.
Such is the case with my friend Tiffany, whose unplanned pregnancy came as a shock. The first thing she said was “I hate to not sound that happy to someone who’s tried so hard to get pregnant.”
I told her our situations were different and to not be so hard on herself. I also told her we had some things in common – I was scared to death too when I got the news and probably felt many of the same doubts she has now. She said, “Really? Well, you couldn’t have called at a better time because I need to vent.”
She told me that she’s not ready to give up her life for someone else yet. She’s worried that the problems she and her boyfriend have only will increase after the baby comes. She fears she won’t be any good at it. She’s scared.
“Do you know how many women feel just like you but don’t have the guts to say it out loud?! You’ve never said once that you didn’t want this baby. You just said out loud that you weren’t ready. That’s about as brave as it gets.”
Are we ever ready for a life-changing event that lasts for the rest of our lives? Are we ever ready to hear the news that this was not the right time for our miracle?
In a whisper, she asked me what she could offer this baby. I told her she can offer her strength and her honesty. Because when we admit things out loud, we’re not only acknowledging our fears, we’re saying, “This may be bigger than me, but I’m not going to run away from the challenge.”
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