Sunday, December 29, 2013
Pregnancy milestones are major events that occur during the 40 long weeks of gestation and help expectant parents get through the agony of time that seems to drag on and on until they actually get to meet their little bundle of love. I've found that "my" pregnancy this time seems much longer than when I was carrying Dylan and Justin so many years ago. Maybe it's because Baby A is not actually growing inside of me or maybe it's because we found out Lyndsay was pregnant within days of the embryo transfer instead of the normal 6 or 8 weeks after conception but, whatever the reason for time standing still, I'm grateful for each milestone we've hit.
After losing the twins, Baby B and Baby C, so early on in this journey, my anxiety level has been understandably high. I'd had two normal pregnancies in 2000 and 2003, so the thought of a miscarriage with the triplets hadn't really crossed my mind. The range of emotions I felt during the 8-week ultrasound, which revealed three babies but only one beating heart, was almost indescribable. The only thing that kept me from having a total meltdown was the fact that Baby A's heart was still pumping away and she needed my strength. She needed me to be her mommy.
When Lyndsay reached her twelfth week of pregnancy I thought I'd relax a bit. Getting through the first trimester is a huge milestone because the risk of miscarriage drops tremendously. But my brain was still on overdrive after finding out that the second trimester doesn't officially start until week 14. And then we hit that mark! The second trimester began and I forced myself to chill out a bit, not only for my own sanity, but for Jimmi's as well. Everything seemed to be moving along as planned and there wasn't much to do but wait for our next pre-natal visit at almost 19 weeks.
But I had to do something!
As I've mentioned before, it's very hard to be pregnant when you're not actually pregnant. I needed it to feel real. What could I do to get excited about this baby who, for now, is only in my head and heart but not actually in my body?
We could register!
So, for the last few months, Jimmi and I have been back and forth to Babies R Us, adding items, little by little, with the magical scanner. Find, want, scan, beep, done! But it's not an entirely painless process. When we go there I purposely dress in baggy sweatshirts and keep my jacket zipped to avoid questions or looks of confusion as to why an obviously not pregnant woman needs a baby registry. I know I'm not the only one who's been in this position and I'm sure the employees are used to working with adoptive parents and possibly others who are using a gestational carrier, but I just want to feel like a "normal" expectant mom for the hour or so we'll spend in the store each week. And, yes, I'm still parking in the Expectant Mother parking spots because, well, I think I qualify!
So now what?
The registry is basically finished. We're in the process of getting her room in order. I've gone through and hung up all of the beautiful baby clothes that have been given to us by friends and family members, not to mention the ones I've bought myself! Lyndsay tells me that Baby A is kicking up a storm every day and, while it makes my heart melt to hear it, I can't actually feel those signs of life. What else will make me feel like I'm actually having a baby?
"20 week bump" was the caption on the photo Lyndsay sent to me this morning. And there, in plain view, was a gloriously protruding belly, full of MY baby! She must've been reading my mind because I was just reading about our newest milestone on Baby Center.
"Congratulations!" read the headline, "You're Halfway There!"
We've made it to the midway mark! Twenty weeks down and 20 weeks to go! Well, if this is anything like Lyndsay's last two pregnancies, we might actually have 21 weeks to go, but we'll cross that bridge in May. I guess now is the time to start really preparing. We can sign up for infant CPR and infant care classes. We can really start getting her room decorated. We can almost see the light at the end of this long and winding tunnel.
We will accomplish our next major milestone in a month and it's probably the biggest one yet. At 24 weeks Baby A will be viable outside the womb. Believe me, I'm hoping she stays in there where she belongs until May but, if for some reason, she decides to push her way out of there at 24 weeks, her chances of survival with a TON of medical intervention and a very long stay in the NICU are good. But an even better milestone happens at 28 weeks. At that point, if Baby A is impatient like her mommy and needs to come out and greet her awaiting public, her chances of survival with minimal lasting health issues are even greater. When we were pregnant with triplets the doctor kept telling us that, once the pregnancy reaches 28 weeks, everyone breathes a little sigh of relief. That number has stuck in my mind. But, obviously, having a baby that early is not ideal.
Here's to hoping Baby A makes it safely to each major milestone over the next 20 weeks and stays put until she's a pudgie, pink, perfect princess ready to make her red carpet debut in May of 2014.
Happy New Year!