This pregnancy hasn’t been as much fun as I would like it to be. Unexpected, yes, but not as much fun. I am happy about it, but not as excited as I would like to be. I am finding it hard to really get excited, for a bunch of reasons. And I really want that to change.
For one, I don’t think I have entirely grasped the idea that I even AM pregnant. I spent the last several years in such crappy health and having my doctor tell me that it wasn’t even possible. So then, at the ripe old age of 42, finding out that I am pregnant was a bit of a shock. And with that comes the constant worry about the health of this baby. There are risks when one is the age that I am and I worry about that constantly. The stress is almost overwhelming sometimes. We go for genetic counseling (more on that in a moment) on 15 April in Tuscon to see about various tests available to me to check on the baby. The fact is that I am a high risk pregnancy, partially due to my age and partially due to my weight. My health has caused me to put on weight over the last several years, although it has gotten progressively better since moving to Arizona. In fact, that improved health is probably exactly why I was able to get pregnant at all. But it is what it is. I have more weight on me than is ideal, although I have lost a lot since being here. My OB/GYN wants me on a 1500 calorie-a-day diet, so that I add no more weight during my pregnancy but get sufficient nutrition for Baby Zoe (named in the tradition of all my embryos after Sesame Street characters). This doesn’t sound like a lot, and I thought it was going to be hard to do. I was right, but not for the reasons I thought. For the last several years, despite the weight gain, I have not been eating like I should. It isn’t that I have been eating crap and ballooning. Actually, the weight is a side effect of the health issues, NOT food. I have been so sick that keeping much of anything down has been sort of “hit and miss”. Corey is always on me that I haven’t eaten enough, which I pushed off. While I knew in my head that he was right, the size of my ass argued with me. I always joke that if I am going to have a fat ass, I ought to have the appetite to go with it. So, when the doctor told me this, I downloaded an excellent calorie counter app to my phone and I religiously record everything I eat. The astounding thing for me was how hard it was to keep to this. I didn’t realize just how little I eat until I started tracking it. My first day, I made about 900+ calories by 2200 and had to push myself to get to 1300. My second day was worse, just over 1100 calories. Today, even counting in my dinner for tonight, lunch, breakfast, and a snack, I am just over 900 calories. I need more than that for this baby. I feel like I am stuffing myself, even though it is healthy food I am eating. I had no idea how stressful this could be!
But the hardest part to get past is the sheer amount of judgment that is being cast my way from unexpected places. It isn’t about my age and pregnancy, but about being pregnant at all and my own personal choices. I feel like I have to justify my pregnancy, and that just shouldn’t be. There are those who are acting as if I did this on purpose, simply to offend them. Which is insane, since I didn’t even think it was possible to even get pregnant. The passive-aggressive, snarky comments behind my back… they don’t escape my notice and they hurt. My being pregnant is no reflection on anyone else and my choices are my own. So the comments about mothers with multiple children having more children being irresponsible… not your judgment to make. If I can afford them and can love them, then that is what counts. I don’t deserve to be judged simply because I am fertile. Nature ran its course, end of story. And yet, with this post, I have justified my pregnancy. Not right.
I made a comment recently on my Facebook page about the fact that we were going to genetic counseling. That was all I said, that we had an appointment for it. I ended up taking it down because, within seconds, I was attacked by several people. The fact that I am going for counseling is nobody’s decision or business but mine and Corey’s. The fact is that my age is a factor in the health of my baby. Genetic counseling and testing is a tool. Counseling is an information gathering appointment, plain and simple. It educates us on risks, possible tests, and what they mean for us. That is it. I believe in being prepared for anything I can be. That’s what genetic counseling and testing is. It is not a statement on any potential choices I make, although those, too, are my right and my business. I was called all kinds of names by several people who thought they had the right to tell me what my choices should or shouldn’t be. This is my pregnancy, my family, my body, my choices, my business. The fact is that when Tyler was born with his cleft lip and palate, I wasn’t prepared. The special tests I had had done prior to birth when there was a suspicion of it were never read, so I was blindsided when he was born. I was a basket case with guilt and fear. I don’t ever want to go through that again. Hence, being prepared. And, once again, I have justified my choices, which truly pisses me off.
It makes it hard to get excited when I am in a constant state of stress. Between the worry and the hurt from those who are supposed to be my friends, it puts a damper on it all. And it doesn’t help that Corey has something inexplicable going on with his left arm that worries the hell out of me. It started out with some numbing on the pads of a few fingers and a random area on his left area. He went to the doctor who couldn’t find anything obvious, but ruled out pinched nerves and felt it would go away in a week or two. It’s been a week and now he has discovered that there is a definitive loss of strength in that arm. This scares the hell out of me.
All in all, it has been kind of rough going emotionally, and that doesn’t really help. I need support, not judgment.