Thursday, November 7, 2013

Full term

Last Saturday was my due date. November 2nd. The girls are officially full term now.

Now I can finally stop obsessing everyday how I should still be pregnant.

Obviously, I never expected to make it to 40 weeks. I did, however, assume I would make it anywhere from 36 to 38 weeks.  I was having such a complication-free pregnancy that it didn't really occur to me that these babies would be born before October. I mean, it occured to me, but I thought I was in the clear. With both girls being head down I was actually and unbelievably on my way to a vaginal birth with twins who wouldn't need to be in the NICU.

So naive.

I have to be honest. I was aware of preeclampsia as something bad that could happen in pregnancy. I didn't really know details or how bad it could be or that I was at high risk for it. I certainly didn't know what symptoms to look out for. I think after all the trips to Dr. Google during IVF I just couldn't do it anymore. I skimmed pregnancy books and read up on symptoms of pregnancy, but didn't really get into possible complications. I was already in so much disbelief that I was pregnant and I think I didn't want to live in constant fear. This wasn't a conscious decision. That's just sort of how it went. I left it up to my OB to let me know if something was wrong instead of anticipating the worst the whole time.  Knowing what to look for wouldn't have made a difference anyway. I was in the hospital 3 days before this all went down and my blood pressure was normal. No real signs of preeclampsia. Or at least nothing that couldn't be considered a normal 3rd trimester symptom. It seems like overnight I went from ok to severe.

I was really sad and angry about my pregnancy ending so early and abruptly. Then I felt guilty because Paige and Riley were here and healthy, so why was I sad? I just wasn't ready for them to be here. I was supppsed to have October babies not September babies. I was still in that place where I was nesting and anticipating. I was enjoying feeling them move and wondering what they were going to look like. I was really physically uncomfortable, but I didn't want them out yet. This was probably my only pregnancy (I am 39 and it took me 3 rounds of IVF so unless some miracle happens this was it for me) and I felt cheated, once again, out of the normal experience. I didn't get to go into labor. I didn't get to hold my babies in the moments after they were 
born. I had to set an alarm to wake up in the middle of the night to pump instead of being woken up by baby cries. I didn't get the obligatory picture of me holding them in my hospital bed to text out to all my friends to announce their arrival. In fact, it took me about a week to tell most people they were born because it was such a crazy time. It just all felt so unfair. Once again, the universe was pissing all over my parade.

I cried a lot during those first few weeks.  I mean, A LOT. So much that I started googling post partum depression. Thankfully, it seemed that I was still within the normal range of post partum emotions. I started getting jealous of pregnant women again. Not because they were pregnant and I wasn't, but because they would probably have the "normal" birth experience I had wanted. I was jealous of them getting to their due date and and getting to wait anxiously to go into labor. Then I was reading a book about preemie babies and it described that most mothers feel exactly how I was feeling when they have preemies. I was so happy to realize I wasn't crazy. I had to mourn the loss of my pregnancy and all those things that come with a normal delivery. It's a grieving process. It made perfect sense. I am gradually getting better. By the time I got to what would have been 38 weeks, I stopped obsessing over what it would be like if I were still pregnant and the fact that I should be pregnant. I stopped crying every day. Now that I am past my due date I can go days without thinking about it. But, it's still there and probably always will be. Just like infertility. 

Now I look at my beautiful girls and remind myself that it doesn't matter how they got here. All that matters is that they are finally here. 


  1. I could have written this post. I can definitely relate to all of those emotions. At my 6 week follow up at my ob I had pregnant belly envy. Thankfully most of those feelings have passed finally. Glad to hear they are passing some for you too.

  2. I'm so thankful for you, and others, that write about this. It makes me feel more prepared should the same thing happen to me. I have no pre- conceived notions about going full term, just hopeful, and your testimony helps me to keep that in perspective. I am so glad your girls are doing well, and you are doing better!!

  3. I can't even imagine what's it's like to go through a traumatic birth after all the crap that we have to go through with infertility. It's not surprising that it would hit you so hard. Glad the worst has passed, but remember to be kind to yourself (when you can find the time!)

  4. It's only fair to want to have a normal birth experience after all you've been through to get that point in time. You're entitled to feel cheated a bit.

  5. Oh Jenn. It sucks that the complications and sadness often don't end once we infertiles get pregnant. There are so many more opportunities for things to go "not according to plan". I'm glad you're feeling better and focusing on the gift that is Paige and Riley.

  6. I just found your blog via Bits and Peaces, and I feel like I have to leave a comment to sympathize. My baby was full term but ended up in the NICU because she needed to have surgery right away. Even though I knew she'd be alright in the end, having her taken away (and then having to leave her at the end of each day) was absolutely terrible. And I was surprised by how much my postnatal experience colored my view of my pregnancy (which was wonderful, but it felt like a lie afterwards) and the way I felt about friends with healthy babies. There's definitely a mourning period for what you imagined your first weeks would be like, and it's reassuring to hear that others have had similar experiences.