The first trimester is coming to an end, and I’m finally starting to feel a little more “normal.” Not completely – after all, I’m still pregnant. But daily naps are no longer a necessity, I’m no longer peeing every three hours, and what little nausea I did have is even less frequent.
I’ll be honest: physically, the first trimester wasn’t so bad. I’m pretty fortunate in that I don’t get bad morning sickness. In fact, I didn’t have much of it at all. It was the same with Lauren. The fatigue is really the worst, and that’s easily solved with a nap. It helps that I have a very patient, very attentive husband who is willing to take care of me. But, no, the worst for me is more mental. I had a hard time adjusting to being pregnant with Lauren, and it’s been no different this time around. I feel like my brain is working overtime, and it leaves no room for rational, every day thoughts. It’s hard to focus sometimes, to think about the things that need to get done. I feel distracted.
I think the early part of the second trimester is the worst part. The pregnancy symptoms have started to subside, yes, but at least they were concrete proof that a baby is growing in there. In these weeks before the quickening, that is important. It’s easy to start to wonder, to start imagining the worst. Fourteen weeks is not a “safe point.” I cannot relax and enjoy this lack of symptoms any more than I could relax and enjoy pregnancy with them. I can know that the risk of miscarriage is much lower now, but that doesn’t stop me from knowing that there is no guarantee. Experience has touched me; innocence has no place here any longer.
And yet, I believe that’s something instinctive within us. We know that death comes when it will. Even when we think we are safe.
When I was pregnant with Lauren, there were days, before the quickening, that I would lay on that futon in the apartment in Moriya and place my hand over my abdomen and think, please be alive. And she was. She always was, until the very end. But that would be the far future: there in Moriya, things were always well. But, still, I worried. I knew, even then and even though I didn’t want to believe it, that death could be like a thief in the night, slipping in and stealing away that most precious spark of life. It didn’t happen until I’d let down my guard, until I had begun to believe that she was safe and would be coming home. I had stood all those months in vigilance, and in the end, death came and took her anyway.
I’m trying to stay positive with this pregnancy. But now that I’ve entered into this period of being so unsure about everything, it’s hard. A few days ago, I caught myself with my hand on my abdomen, wondering, are you still there? I hope so. There’s still so much to learn about this baby, and I want to know. I long to know this baby.
This pregnancy is not a joyous, cheerful one. I’m okay with that. I don’t care how challenging it is, mentally or physically. Because, ultimately, it’s still a hopeful pregnancy. Some people don’t get second chances, and I feel blessed that at least have this chance, that I have this small promise for the future.
I haven’t given up on this baby yet. And I won’t. Not ever.