All the evidence I have tells me I am pregnant, but it is not enough. After two losses where my body continued to keep calm and carry on as if all was well while the pregnancy went awry, I don’t trust the signals my body is giving me. My first loss was a missed miscarriage that took at least two weeks for my body to take action on, and my second loss was anembryonic. So until I see an embryo, on a subconscious level I think this is all just a weird game my body is playing.
Lucky for me, my doctor understands this. She also looks a lot like “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” which helps build my trust immensely. I had my first appointment last week and she did a transvaginal ultrasound, assuring me we won’t see much and not to worry about that. I knew this going in, but I just needed to see some kind of visual confirmation that my body wasn’t playing an elaborate prank on me. She spoke all the way through the process, giving me a play by play and not leaving any silence for me to instantly misinterpret as bad news. As soon as she announced she saw a yolk sac I calmed down and was ready to see for myself. It was amazing and reassuring, and I carried that feeling with me for about two days.
But now many more days have passed, and all the pregnancy sites have told me all the vital and amazing changes the embryo goes through during these days. All of those vital and amazing changes are just potential moments for the worst thing to happen. So now I am back to uncertainty. Back to not trusting that the way my body feels is indicative of what is actually happening, back to fearing the worst possible outcome.
In addition to all that, I am off my antidepressants during this pregnancy – a really tough choice to make, a lot of thought went into it. It all adds up to a very fragile sense of calm. My therapist and I have been doing a specific therapy for trauma-induced social anxiety, and a theme that comes up frequently is navigating the world as a mother of loss. It is a lot to manage, and I find it harder to do when people around me don’t know what is up. At the same time, I am not ready to deal with other people’s anxiety about my pregnancy yet, so I have been keeping it a secret. I have told a very small group of people in my life that I am pregnant, but not all the people I deal with on a daily basis.
I was not raised in an organized religion, and I work in a science-adjacent field, I am not in the habit of using the word “faith” casually. In this case, for these weeks, I have grown to understand that word in a new way. I have to trust and believe in something I have little or no evidence of, something I can’t see. And it takes work. I try to understand why the skepticism takes over, and I think it is driven by the fear of loss, of being wrong or feeling tricked. What I know for a fact, through evidence of repeated loss, is that nothing I do now can make a loss hurt any less. So I continue to build my faith. This pregnancy deserves my faith.