It is the weirdest thing being pregnant again so soon, and by surprise.
After all the heartache and fear and emotion leading up to Lola, sometimes I almost forget. I am so focused on Lola, her latest developments – Pointing! Waving! Blowing kisses! – that this other pregnancy seems impossible. With Lola, I would not pick up heavy bags or sleep on my right side and I drank fresh vegetable juice every day. This time I lug the pram about, and tuck Lola into my hip. I drink water and take my vitamins but never mess about with juicing. And I hate sleeping on my left, I really do! I try… but then find myself on my back or on my right side.
And I find it very hard to imagine that there really is a little person in there. We had our 19 week scan today and there he, or she, was, bigger than ever, legs tucked up, refusing to reveal his/her gender! We heard the heartbeat, at 138 a little slow, but ok as he/she was sleeping. Because he/she was sleeping there was not much movement and I prodded my belly about, seeking connection. I don’t feel connected. I feel worried that he/she is not healthy, that something is wrong, that this can’t really be happening.
A big part of this is down to the fact I have been in limbo for so long regarding my career. I don’t know which country I will be living in when this baby is due, or if I will have a job, or health insurance, or maternity leave. Having lost my role over my last pregnancy – and my struggles with infertility – I have been very nervous about telling my bosses about this new pregnancy. A lawyer advised me not to, until I had a new offer to come back to staff (am currently on contract). But this is getting to be ridiculous…
My self esteem is pretty low, my motivation to work is even lower, which is not like me. I am now at 19 weeks, and I feel like I just need to know, one way or the other, where I stand. So I think I will talk to my boss in the next fortnight, once I know the upshot of an interview I did with them last night for a new position. Whether they offer it or not, I’ll tell them about the pregnancy and see if there’s some way forward. I can’t believe I used to be a highly valued member of staff there who felt secure in the future. To think that one “bad patch” in 13 years of service – the year we did two rounds of IVF and my mother fell ill with cancer – was enough to see me booted out of my role and left with a very shaky confidence in the future. I feel betrayed, angry and utterly demoralised.
For now, though, I know I must focus on the great gift of Lola and this new mysterious little being. Not so very long ago, I had to imagine life without them and even though I could see the positives in a life with more personal freedom and money and time, career at that time seemed very hollow indeed. You can’t have everything. I just have to have faith that we will work out the practicalities somehow.