pregnancy

'I'm pregnant again after multiple miscarriages. And it's a constant battle between head and heart.'

This post deals with miscarriage and might be triggering for some readers.

I stare at the tiny window. The same tiny window I’ve been staring at for 18 months. I watch as the liquid slides on through and a pink control line becomes visible.

I know what this test will show me. The same thing it has shown me for the past week that I’ve been testing. The same thing it has shown me for the past nine months. It will tell me one thing. That ONE pink line will tell me I’m an idiot.

READ: “It’s not your fault, but I hated you.” When it feels like everyone’s pregnant, except you.

That one pink line will mock me as I bend the stick back and forth, up and down begging it to tell me something different. But I know it won’t. I don’t know if the disappointment gets easier or worse.

On one hand, the angel on my shoulder tells me, “just one more test closer to a positive”. And the devil laughs a knowing laugh while stating bluntly, “open up a bottle of wine, there’s no baby coming… ever!”

Watch the trailer for Mamamia’s pregnancy podcast, Get Me Pregnant. Post continues below. 

Video via Mamamia

Every month, as I get closer to my period, I become more and more anxious as the likelihood of a positive becomes higher and the lack thereof more definitive.

Bad luck, try again next month.

The last two months I swore I’d give up trying. I’d throw away the ovulation sticks, the pregnancy sticks, delete the app and become an avid wine bottle collector. Maybe grow some plants as they were really the only thing I was capable of keeping alive, apparently. (Actually, that’s not true, I managed to kill my basil pretty quickly).

But one afternoon, as I began to plan my night ahead (red wine and my best friends to comfort me), I leant over and grabbed the stick. It was early so my vision was still adjusting to the harsh light but I swore… wait…. is that… No!

My hand flung to my mouth as a tiny “oh my god” escaped. A second line. I nearly cried, but I didn’t.

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“You’ve been here before Teegan! Remember? Three times! This might not turn out the way you’re imagining.” But I wasn’t imagining anything. The auto-pilot switch of self-preservation had already flicked to ‘On’ status.

As I readied myself for the next three weeks of torturous waiting before the first scan, I walked out of our ensuite to share the news with my husband. He appeared equally as terrified.

Most women who have not suffered a miscarriage, let alone recurrent miscarriages, would be glowing. Ecstatic. Planning names, baby showers, outfits, what the child would look like, whose personality they would inherit. I was squashing all of that.

Every urge to connect, every instinct to hold my flat stomach and speak to it. Any and every thought that could make this baby real. My heart… oh, my poor little heart couldn’t take another hit.

We waited anxiously for our first scan, avoiding conversations about the baby or pregnancy. And yet I wondered: would I be back in eight months or four weeks?

The day of our first scan came. I was told to wait until seven-to-eight weeks but I’m a special kind of impatient and even more so, belligerent.

My husband met me there and we were equally as solemn. Back to the same place where we’d gotten the worst news you could imagine during pregnancy.

A lady walked out and she smiled a warm smile at us. She was so polite and nice, I hate it when they’re nice – it makes me feel sorry for them when they have to give us the bad news. Her name was Faith, which I felt might be a sign.

I stood by the bed, rigid but at peace with what she was most likely going to tell us. I wanted her to know. I blurted, “Just so you know, I’m only six weeks and yes I know I’m not supposed to come yet but this is our fourth pregnancy in two years and there have been no babies… if you know what I mean.”

She smiled that warm smile again and said, “Ok, I understand,” and gestured for me to lie down. And just as a last disclaimer, I added, “So we’re prepared, ok? We know what you’re going to tell us so don’t feel bad, we can handle it.” She smiled again and said, “I know, now why don’t we have a look.”

I lay down on the table and let her apply the cold gel to my stomach. Usually I would have demanded she turn the screen but for some reason, I felt safe with her.

My husband, meanwhile, was gawking at the screen as she pushed the probe further into my full bladder.

After what felt like an eternity, she said, “If you had have come two days earlier, I wouldn’t have been able to confirm viability… today I can… heart is beating at 113.”

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113! I knew anything above 100 was good. My husband sighed out an “oh my god” as I buried my face into my elbow to hide my tears.

We left happy but not elated. Just ready to go through another few weeks until we saw baby again.

I saw baby again at seven weeks two days – heartbeat 154bpm.

My nine week two day scan, I went alone due to coronavirus restrictions. I had Faith again – sorry, no, I demanded to have her do the scan as I had begun to think of her like our little good luck charm and we needed as much luck as we could get.

I walked into her ultrasound room and I gave her the same spiel as I lay down on the bed. “I know what you’re going to tell me, ok? I’m ready.”

She sat down beside me and said, “Is that how you feel every scan?”

I stared up at the white clinical roof and said, “Yeah… every time.” Tears streamed down my face and I looked away as she applied her gel and began probing.

Listen to Mamamia’s pregnancy podcast, Get Me Pregnant. Post continues below.

During the five and a half weeks of knowing about this pregnancy, I hadn’t felt one bit of happiness or excitement. And that made me sad – sad for my baby but mostly, sad for me. This should have been one of the most precious and exciting times of my life, but I had felt nothing but sadness, terror and loneliness.

As I let my tears fall down my face, Faith turned the screen… to show me that our little baby had a strong heartbeat at 175bpm and was waving a tiny little arm.

I said, “That wasn’t what I was expecting,” as I choked in a shaking breath between sobs.

She gently said, “I know it’s not… and that’s good.”

I write this at 11 weeks and two days. Yesterday, we found out the baby is a boy.

teegan-baby
Image: Supplied.
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teegan-husband-and-daughter
Image: Supplied.

I was shocked as we have a little girl and I’m not really sure how to be a boy Mum.

After a day or two, I realised it was more than that. I was excited… but my self-preservation was trying to squander it. Lessen it. Make the happiness stop to prevent further heartbreak.

My mind and heart were at war. I wanted to be happy, I was excited to have a baby boy, my heart was bursting waiting to love this baby.

But as soon as my heart builds a picture of our family of four, my mind smashes it down again.

As my heart says, “This is amazing and wonderful,” my mind screams, “And what if we lose him?! Will it be amazing then?"

I’m trying to listen to my fears and release them. Trying to not let them taint my heart, which has been healed for the most part, and is ready to love again.

I’m trying to stay calm. For him. For me.

We will get there in the end, even if it’s not until he’s out and in my arms, but until then, we just have to have a little Faith.

Feature Image: Supplied.

If this has raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24 hour support line on 1300 072 637.

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