Pregnancy Panic

We (Myself, my husband, and all of our family and friends) released a collective sigh of relief once we made it past the terrifying first trimester of pregnancy. I naively expected to be able to sit back, relax and watch my belly grow…

If I had truly thought long and hard about it I would have realized that conforming your body to hold a whole new person inside an already pretty cramped space wouldn’t be easy or comfortable. But I was so relived that our baby lived through the first trimester I hadn’t thought about anything else. We had learned to protect ourselves after the first loss, by the second and third we almost expected the losses when they came. So this baby was no different. We couldn’t allow ourselves to get excited, to get attached to something we couldn’t keep. We did everything we could to give this baby a fighting chance but we never let ourselves believe that it would be ok. Then, all of a sudden we were at twelve weeks. Our high risk doctor cleared us to be transferred to a regular OBGYN and assured us that our baby was still doing great…

The first few weeks of the second trimester were spent trying to wrap our heads around the idea that our baby was healthy and strong. The excitement and sudden reality of the future overwhelmed us. We are going to be parents… Our baby is going to live…

Then the sharp pains in my lower abdomen started… We panicked, my husband was suggesting the emergency room but I decided to wait it out and call the doctor in the morning. My thoughts were consumed with “It’s happening again”, “we got excited too soon”, and “please survive baby”.  I called the advice line at my doctors office. I explained in great detail to the nurse what was happening. She asked me a thousand questions and told me she would talk to my doctor and call me back. That had to be the longest two hours of my life…

I got the call back and was immediately concerned by the chipper note in her voice. How could she dare be peppy while my baby dies inside me… Then she said the words I hadn’t even dared to hope for, “What you are feeling is perfectly normal”. She went on to explain “round ligament pain” and gave some suggestions of how to calm it. Stretching regularly, warm baths, plenty of rest. I was flabbergasted, could it really be that simple?

Once I got off the phone I researched round ligament pain and started laughing uncontrollably at my own fearful overreaction. The description of round ligament pain was almost word for word what I had described to the nurse. My symptoms were textbook second trimester ailments. “Round ligament pain is a sharp pain or jabbing feeling often felt in the lower belly or groin area on one or both sides. It is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy and is considered a normal part of pregnancy. It is most often felt during the second trimester”. It went on to describe what can bring it on, detailing the exact situations during which I had felt my own pain. I felt elated and like an idiot at the same time. My baby was fine! Still healthy, strong and growing. I couldn’t believe I had jumped to the worst possible scenario, I felt very foolish.

This experience opened my eyes to the reality I face for the next six months. Of course it will be painful and difficult to expand my body to make room for this whole other person. There will be a million new feelings and sensations I will be experiencing as my entire body changes. There is no good in jumping to the worst case scenario, though I will admit I will still probably call my doctor far more often than is truly needed. Better safe than sorry.

Pregnancy is hard. It should be, I’m making a person from scratch after all.

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