Harder than I expected. Just like the other times, the euphoria lasted for about a day and then worry creeps back in.
I really thought I'd have a longer reprieve. After reassuring myself that measuring behind wasn't a big deal, given that it was within the margin of error and that even a very teeny amount can make a 2-3 difference at this point, and oh yes, several friends were in the same boat and even a friend on a fully medicated iui cycle measured behind. . . right then. I pushed that away successfully.
I spent a long time staring at the pictures we were given. One in particular gives us a view of both the baby (in between markers) and the yolk sac and there is a bright pixel that is clearly the heartbeat caught at that moment. Another is a picture of the yolk sac for reasons I'm unclear on, and the third is a very blurry gray blob in which I can sort of make out what I think is the baby, but it's very grainy and gray and blobby.
I was doing pretty well. And then I had some spotting. Now, at first, I brushed this off, as it's not uncommon to experience light spotting after a vaginal u/s (and there were a couple of points she was pressing pretty hard against my cervix, like when she asked me to take a deep breath and bear down a little because she couldn't locate my left ovary- ouch). And it was a miniscule amount of medium brown. Later in the day it was light brown. When wiping only, no big deal.
But since it's persisted into the evening - albeit in an even lighter, stained cm sort of way, tannish, really and something I might not exactly notice were I not looking for it - it's getting harder and harder to ignore the fear that is niggling. And the cramping doesn't help. It's actually the same cramping I've been experiencing for a couple of weeks. A sort of sharpish pinching/pulling and stretchy feeling, then it goes away. Off and on at random. Mostly pretty mild (despite my description as sharp). I felt it yesterday with no concern, so why I'm worried now . . . bah.
I really thought that seeing the h/b would release a lot of my anxiety - and it did - but it didn't just go away. In some ways, I feel so much more attached and therefore more anxious over losing our little chicken. I'm sure the fact that we plan to tell the families this weekend (and the fact that just grew into the entire families at family barbecues when I'd anticipated it just being us in a casual conversation) is causing some anxiety as well. Much as I'd looked forward to telling them, I do sort of privately fear that it will jinx things. Much as I know that is not the case, it's not exactly a logical sort of feeling, is it?
I also bought some more maternity clothes. Just like the last batch, they were clothes I would totally wear when not pregnant - just the empire tunic style I prefer - and are cute and on sale . . . having done that makes me feel mildly paranoid, as if I am tempting the gods of fate by my actions.
I know the statistics - that the risk of miscarriage drops to about 5% now, and that with each additional week that passes, it is a good thing, a surer thing. But I also know of at least a couple of people who were on the wrong sides of the statistics. Granted, they both had genetic issues that should normally have ended their pregnancies before they saw heartbeats, but it's hard not to think about that. Long as the three and a half weeks to get to this point have been, the remaining 5 and a half weeks or so to get out of first tri (the four to the next appointment, if I get that scheduled and the maybe of hearing the h/b on doppler, when it might yet be too early), are stretching before me like a gaping hole.
I had some friends recently express concern about my mental state, which was best described as fragile before the u/s. I expressed confidence that my intense level of fear would subside, and they expressed that they hoped I would consider finding a therapist to discuss the fears with and possibly learn some better coping techniques if that were not the case. One friend wisely said to me that the fear never goes away, it just changes shape. There is definitely some truth to that; while some fear is removed - the fear we will have a blighted ovum or an ectopic pregnancy - there are new fears just waiting to spring up and attack me - the fear that the heart will stop beating and that this pregnancy is as doomed as the previous pregnancies.
It takes a great amount of effort and concentration to face these fears, and it feels almost like a battle. But I will not let it win if I can help it. I want the rest of this pregnancy to be as happy as possible and as fear-free as possible. I know that only time will make me wholly comfortable. I look forward to the passage of time with eagerness and trepidation and yet again wish I could fall asleep and be awoken in six week's time to be told how it all went. Sadly, I've learned life doesn't work that way, and I'll have to live through those moments of joy and terror to get there and turn the page myself.
Continued prayers and hopes for our little chicken's safety are much appreciated, as always. I know that I again find myself returning to prayer, foreign as it has become to my tongue. I only hope that my prayers for safe-keeping and health continue to be granted out of a graciousness I know I don't deserve.