My due date is
Today I am
I'm not weighing myself anymore -- it's just easier on my mental state that way.
Boy or girl?
Tally thus far:
I went through years of infertility before achieving this pregnancy. Over four years, to be precise. And although the experience was surely the most frustrating, painful, stressful period of my life, my memory of that time is already fading. Now that I'm finally pregnant those years of struggle are becoming more distant and the pain becomes less real every day.
I remember last year's Thanksgiving and the days after, though; I don't think I'll ever forget the time I truly hit rock bottom.
I think what started it was the Clomid (which is a low-level fertility drug, for those of you who wonder what the heck I'm talking about). Some people have no major side effects when they're on Clomid, but I'm not a member of that lucky club. I got headaches and hot flashes while I was on it. But the worst was the depression; those little white pills were anti-Prozac for me -- halfway through my cycle I'd start thinking about blowing out the pilot light and making a wish.
So I was already depressed to begin with, last Thanksgiving. I was in the middle of my third cycle of fertility treatment, a simple combination of Clomid and intrauterine insemination that promised only a 15% chance of pregnancy. I'd been sure when we started, though, that I'd get pregnant right away. It didn't happen, of course, and every passing unsuccessful month left me feeling smaller and smaller inside. I couldn't do anything right, it was all futile. I didn't even know why I bothered with the continuining charade of going to the clinic and taking my meds and praying that maybe this time it would work. I knew it wasn't going to. I knew it was my fate to be childless forever, that my husband would be better off leaving me and finding a woman who could give him a child. I felt.... defective. Worthless.
I spent Thanksgiving with my family, my husband and my parents and my brother, but I wasn't really there. I was thinking about the next day, when we were to go in for another insemination. I was dreading it. But I made it to Friday, and I made it through the procedure.
Inseminations were always physically painful for me, but the emotional pain was worse than the discomfort. So much hope focused on one little syringe, so many dreams. I would try not to think about the 85% chance that this would be a failure. I would try to focus on my husband's smile as he squeezed my hand and told me that this was it, this was the time it would work. But I couldn't focus on the hope of maybe-this-time. I left the doctor's office in tears and I could not stop crying, not in the car and not once I got home. My husband went to work while I sat in our empty apartment and sobbed, full of self-pity. We were never going to be parents and it was, somehow, all my fault. Either I wasn't pretty enough or I wasn't nice enough or I wasn't smart enough to deserve a child. I didn't know what it was, but I knew there was something fundamentally wrong with me that was keeping us childless. If I were only a better person, I'd have a baby.
A little bit of that has stuck with me; now that I am going to have a child, I still feel like I don't deserve it. Someone made a mistake, obviously. Either that, or I'm dreaming (and I still kind of think that I am; I still don't think this pregnancy is really real).
I'm glad all that angst of the infertility years is dissipating, but I don't want to go away completely. I need to always remember what it felt like to want so badly. I don't ever want to take this child or anything good in my life for granted. I want to always be thankful.