A guest post from a patient 💛
It feels like... a little pulse that you can feel in your womb but could just be your own heart beat. You know it can’t be a heartbeat yet, but you believe your baby could be so magical it might already have one. It feels like bubbles, but that could just be yet another gaseous puff brewing, thanks to the Cyclogest you’re pumping into you to keep the little thing inside. The side effects of the mix of HRT and progesterone are never talked about. One makes you feel young, happy and glowing; the other gives you the black dog at times.It feels like a real little being, one that you talk to when you’re in the shower, when you’re getting into bed, terrified of twisting your body as you turn the duvet for fear of somehow dislodging something that is smaller than a millimetre. A full body stretch? Forget it. Surely it would make it snap off? Eye roll emoji. I find myself talking to it a lot.
You pray to it, even though you’re not religious, having dragged your mum to Evensong, where you bask in the peace it brings, clinging onto every word you hear from a dusty old tome it’s just not cool to admit you love listening to. (In my case we had Psalm 84...about a sparrow finding its nest. Surely it was a sign? No?) I sat in my pew and tenderly stroked my bloated tum...or just rubbed a tum with nothing in it except food - and a lot of hope. Cannot. Stop. Eating. The wait is tense, stressful, all consuming. You tell yourself you are not supposed to be stressed because it might harm the baby. You frantically search Google at 2 in the morning because your left leg is twitching and you scour the forums searching for equally mad mothers-who-want-to-be who are also reading everything into every tiny movement their body makes. What’s that? Ah. The taste of metal in my mouth as I wake up from my usual three hours’ of sleep. Sleep has evaded me these past ten days, a mix of heeby-jeebies and yet again the progesterone, which stops all fun but hopefully creates comfort for this little living thing. Metal? Omg! It must have worked. Or has it? Is it just the painful side effect of the detox, working through your body as you don’t remember the last time you enjoyed a drink. But that’s ok, I don’t fancy a drink. I fancy having a baby. You want so much to believe you are housing something magical. You dream of seeing the double line on the pregnancy test. You dread the thought of doing the pregnancy test. I am currently living in terrible fear of the test telling me no, it’s not worked again, fooled you!! You tell yourself you will be ok, you will have a couple of rough days then you can try again in a couple of months. Oh well actually, I will have a little holiday first with friends, booked last year because you refused to stop your life for a baby that may or may not come, and now you don’t want to go away because what if you are pregnant? But I don’t want to go away if I am not pregnant! How could I laugh and drink and have a good time when inside I will be so gutted and sad and possibly quite homesick for your bed and your home and the man who helped you get you here in the first place. The man who doesn’t love you in that way, but loves you enough to have wanted to make a baby with you because he too, like me, knows a baby will being so much love, and peace, and happiness, and hope, to everything.