Four months ago today those two little blastocysts were transferred and here I am, 20 weeks / four months later, with an active little girl on board. I can hardly believe it!
I’ve been wrapping my head around the news of my placenta previa and succenturiate lobe, and I’m doing much better than I was. I am still a little upset by the idea that the baby will bleed to death inside me or arrive early and/or that I’ll need a hysterectomy, but I’ve more or less made peace with the idea of a c-section. (Thank you for all your comments and emails. I’ll respond as soon as I can but I’m in the middle of a move — more on that later.)
The day after the ultrasound, I shuffled into the kitchen and when MIL asked how I was I burst into tears. We cried together and hugged each other. She wailed After everything you’ve been through, it’s just not fair! and in that moment I felt my strength return. I smiled wryly and said that the last 16 months have proven to me that life isn’t fair. We just have to muddle along as best we can.
As I ate my cereal, I decided that I wasn’t going to lie down and give up on this pregnancy. I was going to proceed as though Baby V will arrive safely in November! Yep, henceforth she is to be known as Baby V, not Tiny. I told MIL I needed to get out of the house and asked if she wanted to check out strollers. After all, I added, If there’s even a remote chance that I’m going to be on bed rest starting next month, I want to make sure I know which stroller will accommodate my height and my stride! When you’re as tall as I am, it’s not just the height of the handlebar that’s important, but its distance from the wheels — I’ve kicked the axle of every stroller I’ve ever pushed. That gets old real fast… Planning for the worst and hoping for the best seemed to be the way forward, so off we went to look at the three strollers that would accommodate a 6′ tall woman.
Actively doing something to prepare for Baby V’s arrival set me straight. I can either sit in a puddle of despair or channel that nervous energy into something more positive. A few times a day, I place my hands over my belly and will my placenta Up, up, and away from my cervix! And when Baby V kicks closer to my belly button, I praise her and encourage her to move up too.
Since the ultrasound, Baby V kicks all the time. Several times in the morning, on and off all afternoon, then there is a lull until around 10pm. It’s as if to say, Don’t worry, Mama, I’m still here! I felt her head by my belly button the other day, and I grabbed DH’s hand to feel the hard lump, like a small baseball beneath my skin. I can feel her movement beneath my hand, and can sometimes see it — one time I must have been witnessing a somersault, because there was this giant lump that moved from my right hip to my left. I’ve even caught her movements on film a couple of times! I am also learning to distinguish between kicks and jabs, somersaults and hiccups. I am utterly enchanted by this active baby and am loving getting to know her.
At this point, I think I look visibly pregnant to people who don’t know me. Here’s a pic from earlier today (Thursday):
I’ve also put on a ten pounds this pregnancy — three in just the last week! — and have noticed that my centre of gravity has changed, and with it, my gait. I’ve definitely slowed down… IKEA’s stairs Friday evening made me breathless, and the sitting-down-standing-up to test dozens of Macy’s sofas Saturday night was a bit of a workout! As I explained to DH, it’s a bit like giving your car a little extra oomph when driving uphill: you need more energy to maintain the same speed.
I’m normally someone who rushes around doing stuff and wears herself out. I’m finding I can’t do that anymore, at least not now, and am learning how to pace myself. It’s not easy when you’re someone who is fiercely independent and not very good at asking for help… It’s even harder when you’re about to move!
Ah, the move.
After three years and three months of living with DH’s parents, we finally found a place to call our own. It’s a two-storey two-bedroom townhouse nestled between the two neighbourhoods of Ocean Beach and Point Loma in San Diego. (Ocean Beach is open to dogs year-round — Banjo won’t know what’s hit him!) The complex was built in the 1960s and is very green and leafy, and it boasts a large saltwater swimming pool which I plan on taking advantage of this summer!!
The second bedroom will be DH’s office, but he’s also going to be 15 minutes from downtown San Diego, where all the courts are. The master bedroom is big enough to fit all our furniture… and a crib :)
Today, MIL and I took some stuff over and do some cleaning. I felt ridiculous not being able to help a 68-year-old woman carry boxes from our cars to the house; and she lugged and cleaned the bedrooms in the time it took me to clean the kitchen and put things away. Twice I had to sit down and put my feet up, not so much because I was tired (although it did feel good to relax) but because I got a dull ache in my lower belly, like I did when I was pushing a cart around Target the other night. I’ve given up shunting boxes around — DH, his mom, and his dad have all yelled at me when I’ve tried, and sternly remind me when I’m nowhere near assembled cardboard — and am trying to ‘enjoy’ giving orders.
Anyway, I’m in the throes of moving. There are utilities to set up, paperwork to complete, things to buy, all the clobber at my in-laws’ house to pack up (but not lift!) and cross-country move (to get our stuff delivered to San Diego from New York) to coordinate. And I’ve still managed to stay on top of work and design my sister-in-law’s bridal shower and wedding invitations.
Okay, time to pace myself. It’s 11PM and I should wind down for the night. Baby V is on the move again. Time to put my feet up and feel hers kick.