At this point in my pregnancy, I’m still popping by my OB’s office every four weeks to make sure Birdie and I are A-OK. Most of the time I try to avoid doctor visits, but from the moment my appointment ends, I look forward to my next one. It’s not that peeing in a cup and having my blood drawn are my idea of fun, but those tiny exam rooms are the only place I get to see my little one wiggle around on the ultrasound screen or hear the whoosh whoosh of that tiny heart beat.
Appointment days are the best.
But they’re also kind of the worst … at least right up until we hear the doctor say those three magical words: Everything looks good.
You see, before this pregnancy, I had two miscarriages. The first was a chemical pregnancy that ended just days after I held a positive test in my hands. The second time I made it to my eight-week appointment, but when the doctor started the ultrasound, there was no baby. Things had stopped developing about two weeks prior. Those back-to-back losses were tough to recover from, so my husband and I decided to take a break from trying. We planned to revisit the topic again in a few months when our fears of another miscarriage had quieted.
But we didn’t have a chance to discuss anything because I got pregnant right away. We were stunned, a bit wary of celebrating the good news, and yet we couldn’t help but be happy. There was a baby. Our baby. Those early weeks we walked on eggshells. At my eight-week appointment I held my breath as the ultrasound began, but everything was OK. More than OK. Everything was perfect.
I kept telling myself that I’d feel confident once I made it past the first trimester and the risk of miscarriage fell, but this anxiety is a tough thing to shake. My husband and I go through the same cycle of emotions leading up to each OB appointment: joy, doubt, worry, fear and then relief. We get the reassurance we need from our OB, and that sense of happiness and peace lasts several days. But as the weeks creep by we begin to wonder and waver. In the days just before an appointment—which is where I am right now with my next check-up scheduled for Friday—and even as I sit in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, I’m a ball of nerves. (Last time, the nurse took my blood pressure three times because it was elevated. She asked if I was nervous. I smiled softly and said a little. Eventually she left the room to give me a few minutes to lie back and relax before returning to try again. Thankfully, it was normal that time.)
I guess this has been on mind lately because I am closing in on the third trimester. Only one more four-week stretch to go, and then I’ll be stopping by every other week. I cannot wait. I’m sure I’ll still find a way to worry in the interim, but the good news is these frequent kicks and flips I’ve been feeling more and more of have given my husband and me some extra reassurance. Every day this week he’s come home and asked how my day was—shortly followed by, “Did you feel any kicks today?” It’s basically the sweetest thing ever.