How do you like to take a swim? Do you run through the surf and dive into a wave? Jump off a jetty?
Or, perhaps you’re like me, bit by bit edging deeper, pausing to let your body adjust as the cold water hits fresh skin. Then occasionally a wave rises further than your tiptoes can stretch and the rush of cold takes your breath away for a moment.
Sooner or later you’ll have to start swimming.
This pregnancy journey keeps taking me deeper and deeper. Sometimes I feel okay, adjusted – I’ve got this. Then a scan, a doctor appointment, a kind word from a friend or nurse reminds me of what’s coming and the reality takes my breath away and suddenly I’m struggling to keep going.
But when I look back I can see how far I’ve come. My past unpublished writing demonstrates this, with thoughts and struggles that seem inconsequential to me now…
25th February – Learning to deal with exposure
I need to come to terms now with what was my knowledge, my reality becoming information traded by others. If I begin to question intentions behind the whispers then I get stressed about how my knowledge is being traded between people.
Is it a hushed “poor thing!” Whispered judgements? Maybe pure concern and care for my well being. Or are people sharing as a form of “look what I know.”
For a while I controlled the context our diagnosis was spoken in. For a time I managed the safe environments to reveal what felt so vulnerable.
It was never going to stay that way. It never could. This child will be born!
4th March – Learning to deal with flippant comments
“Oh we never bothered with the twelve week ultrasound.”
Well congratulations to you chilled out mother – here’s your trophy!
I’ve come across a perception out there that if you choose to have a twelve week scan you’re either a worry wort or embarking on some morally unethical journey towards abortion.
I found myself wanting to justify the scans and tests we’ve done. And believe me, we had good reason – past miscarriages, twins, cramping, congenital heart disease. TWINS. But mostly – I just wanted to see those two jumping beans with tiny beating hearts.
I walk the path of trying to stay focused on what I know…not what I can imagine. If I let it, my mind will conjure up an entire five act play of scenarios. All fiction. Maybe/maybe not. But what good does conjecture do but strip me of peace.
We were told recently our boy has a turned in foot, but no AVSD (atrioventricular septal defect) a major heart condition that would require giving birth in Perth. He is also showing the soft markers for Down’s syndrome (expected, but still hard to hear), a thin nasal bone and femur bones growing in the lower percentile. Facts, figures that carry such weight emotionally and yet these babies still seem so abstract.
In the immediate aftermath of life changing news, we grieve deeply. But there’s some comfort in meeting everyone’s expectations here. No one denies that outpouring of confusion and sadness. it’s expected, almost welcomed. But as time moves on so do others, and in that space I realise sooner or later I will have to start swimming.