I am alive. I am still pregnant.
We went forward with telling my immediate family during the break between the wedding and reception. Our daughter changed into "nap" clothes from the dress she was wearing in the hopes she would nap during the break. Her nap clothes consisted of a shirt that said "Big Sister, Est. 2017". She walked out proudly, with no real idea what message she was delivering, and the family quickly caught on. They were excited. My mom expressed concern that "she's so young", being all of 2.5 years when the new baby will arrive, compared with the 4 year age gap between me and my next youngest sister. I made multiple comments that it was extremely early and we were still guarded.
The morning of my second blood test, I bled again for the last time. The test came back high and with a good doubling time.
Two weeks after this, at approximately 7 weeks gestation, I had my last ultrasound with the RE. One healthy heartbeat. I could feel C's relief. My own disappointment felt selfish and unnatural. They offered no explanation and no real concern for the bleeding.
I put off the first OB appointment because of my experience last time. Then I panicked because I wanted to have the nuchal translucency scan completed and we were approaching the deadline for scheduling this and would be out of town one the weeks in the acceptable window. My daughter came to the appointment did very well "reading books" during the PAP test and full exam. No confirmation of life was completed, but I was okay with this because I knew what to expect this time.
Instead I scheduled the nuchal translucency scan as soon as possible to confirm life. I think I was secretly and partially hoping that they missed something during the first ultrasound. That the second embryo implanted and was growing secretly this whole time. That the bleeding was not a miscarriage.
The scan went well. All is normal with minimal risk for the screened genetic conditions. Still one baby, now the size of a strawberry.
I have been feeling a near-constant combination of nausea and heartburn. It almost feels like constant car-sickness. All topped off with overwhelming fatigue. Sometimes the nausea is worse and sometimes the heartburn is the dominant symptom, but I am rarely getting full relief.
I debate with myself if I feel worse then last time or if it just seems worse because I am now juggling pregnancy with mothering a toddler and home-ownership, in addition to the full time job I managed last time. Either way, it has not been pleasant.
I feel guilty for being a "lazy" parent. I feel apathetic towards my work. I often feel disengaged with this pregnancy, despite my tightening waistband. I have been obsessed with trying to guess the gender, both hoping this well help me to feel more connected and also anxious that my daughter may never get to experience sisterhood.
Officially beginning the 13th week, I am hopeful the second trimester will bring more enthusiasm and less negativity.