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So, I’m 16 weeks (4 months!) pregnant on Monday. That feels really official. I still don’t believe it, and I’ll have moments when I glimpse myself in the mirror and am momentarily confused by my thickened waist. What!? Have I really been indulging in the occasional french toast and crepes THAT much? Then I remember – I’m actually pregnant. It’s a crazy thing, and I’m not sure when I’ll really believe in the reality. I actually already made the appointment for our anatomy scan. On May 14th we find out what gender our baby is – and I’ll be almost halfway to meeting him or her! That’s truly unbelievable. Luckily, I’ve been pretty anxiety free most of the time. Being pregnant through DE helps a lot with this. I know I’d be much less certain with my own weathered, crotchety eggs doing the job. Part of my brain is aware that anything can still happen, of course, but mostly I just feel secure (knock on wood), happy, and incredibly, immeasurably thankful.
Last night J and I were catching up on “Mad Men”. We’re behind because I was traveling for work. He’s a good husband, so he waited to watch them with me. Hopefully, most of you who watch the show have seen this old episode already, but I’ll keep my description vague just in case. Betty Draper is waiting at home for a really important phone call. Tensions are high. The phone rings and she reluctantly but valiantly goes to answer it. It’s a pretty simple scene. I don’t even LIKE Betty Draper much, but I’m immediately in tears. They’re not just trickling down my cheeks. I’m choked with sobs and can’t catch my breath. I was immediacy plunged back, waiting for those horrific calls from the clinic – when I’d find out that only one or two eggs fertilized or that I wasn’t pregnant – yet again. It was frightening how immediate it all felt, how all that is still stored inside me, not very far from the surface. I guess it’s not too surprising. We all talk about how you never “get over” IF, but it still was incredibly upsetting to feel how much it could hurt me. It made me feel vulnerable, scarred, and exhausted.
Other than that incident – and the crazy spring allergies that are plaguing me these days – things have been really good. I’m finally back home after being away for a month – for work and then a much-needed trip to Hawaii. I finished my last, horrific freelance job, which may actually be the last job I ever take in that career. The day it ended, I felt like running down the street crying, “I’m free!, I’m free!”. I’ve been a little (serious understatement) burnt out on that whole line of work. I’m transitioning to the job of mommy and then hopefully, when the time is right, will find my way to teaching. Mostly now, I’m just getting into the groove of being back home after being away for so long. Exercising, eating well, and beginning the herculean task of transforming my studio into the nursery.
Hawaii was really wonderful. I have to say, though, that my favorite thing about the trip was being able to spend a lot of time with our friends’ adorable year-old son. Being able to pick him up, snuggle him, and squeeze his chubby legs was priceless. That joke about a baby being “baby TV” is so true. I – and J – couldn’t take our eyes off him. Luckily, the friends we stayed with knew about our years of struggles and the DEIVF, and they were very supportive and kind. They know how hard and long we worked for this pregnancy. Very sweetly, they made a point of taking us to an ancient birthing place on Oahu. Women used to make a pilgrimage to this beautiful site to give birth, because it supposedly would auger an auspicious life for their child. We arrived there at sunset, and you could see that people still left flowers and leis on the birthing stones as offerings. It was a really wonderful way to transition into my life as a (maybe not so regular) pregnant lady. I figure, between it being a dragon baby and having paid a visit to that site, I’ve got a pretty formidable baby on board.