This is the tenth post in a special bi-weekly series. It's a sequel to The Longest Weekend of My Life series. Please check back next Saturday for Part 11.
Part 10: Shift
Over time my confusion and frustration seemed to gradually ease. I noticed more pronounced symptoms, as the mood swings intensified along with my exhaustion and increased appetite. Even my husband started making little comments about my strange food choices, and how the baby must have been dictating what I should eat. We even started to refer to the growing fetus by the name we'd chosen years ago for our expected little girl. We were starting to believe again that I was, in fact, still pregnant.
Around 9 weeks gestation, I asked my midwife about some of the options I'd been considering. She was suggesting that I could schedule an ultrasound at the birth suites the next week. I asked her about the risk of ultrasound. She felt that if we were to keep the ultrasound as brief as possible, maybe 5 minutes, just long enough to identify a viable fetus and hear a heartbeat, that we could minimize the risks. She told me that in this case the benefits could outweigh the risks. Looking back on the conversation now, I think she was saying that to reassure me because I was still feeling very conflicted about what to do. My midwife felt the ultrasound would give us the best idea of the state of the pregnancy at that stage. She felt a pregnancy test could be questionable because even after a miscarriage there was a possibility the hcg hormone could still be present enough in my body to give a positive result. She gave me the phone number for the ultrasound technician so I could schedule an appointment.
I wasn't sure what would be best. I wanted to know ASAP what was going on with my body, but I also didn't want to choose a potentially dangerous method of doing that. I had always had one ultrasound with each pregnancy without considering any potential risks, and we had never had any problems or obvious complications from them. However, armed with more knowledge, I felt I now bore a heavier burden of making an informed choice based on my current understanding. Just as I had discovered the safety and viability of home birth after having given birth to 4 babies in the hospital, I was now faced with a decision I had never considered in the past.
"For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required" - Luke 12:48
I guess my impatience took over, because the next day I called the ultrasound technician recommended by my midwife. I explained the situation to her, and she told me that even though I'd taken the steps to secure my insurance coverage for the pregnancy, my insurance provider would not cover the cost of an ultrasound prior to 14 weeks. She said she would contact my midwife to discuss options with her, but without the funds to pay out of pocket, I had little hope that I would have an ultrasound the next week. I felt my hopes for pregnancy confirmation slipping away.
I was upset at first, and I told my husband about the situation. His response was “Well, we've already waited this long. What's another few weeks?”
That was just what I needed to hear. I realized in that moment that we both had come to accept the situation and also to embrace the idea that I could still be pregnant, instead of being constantly fearful of what could have gone wrong. I was also reminded of the symptoms I'd been having. Having the confirmation from my husband that he felt I was pregnant as well was exactly what I needed at that moment. I had a renewed sense of faith, patience, and peace. Maybe this was a blessing in disguise? I decided I might just forego the ultrasound altogether and wait until we could use the fetoscope or stethoscope, but I decided to wait and see. In the meantime I would take care of myself and do my best to embrace pregnancy and enjoy every moment.