I woke up this morning with a sense of absolute dread. I have got so used to these little gentle kicks inside, so quickly, that not feeling them for a while sent me into a spiral.
As I lay there in the dark filled with fear, I thought about two women I know who had stillbirths. One at 22 weeks (where we are at now), the other at full-term. I cannot imagine. I don’t want to imagine.
Rufus, looking for some attention, instead got a paranoid, teary earful.
He sang into my belly button for me, hoping we could make her move. I played some random songs on iTunes (this baby does not seem to go for reggae, 80s rock or Beethoven… I guess I can’t blame her), and I walked around, hoping she would just give me a little tap to let me know she was still hanging on in there.
I returned to the mantra that’s helped me get so far “It works out ok most of the time”, but it didn’t have any effect. I just felt so sad and scared, out of the blue.
Then, after Rufus brought me a cup of jasmine tea (forbidden caffeine, I know!), I felt a nudge, and then a few more, and then a good 10 mins of floorwork. Indescribable happiness and relief.
I have heard that all mothers-to-be worry and have these moments. But I think the infertility journey makes a person hyper-aware of what a miracle new life is, and of all the terrible, inexplicable, unfair things that can go wrong. It’s not good to dwell on them – nothing good can come of that – but the knowledge is there, and every now and then it rises up to the surface.
I just want to send out some love to all the women who are out there trying, and to those who have tried and suffered a tragedy, those who are trying again after a tragedy, those who are looking at different ways to become mothers, or building a life without a badly wanted child. There is so much courage in all of those paths.