The second ultrasound of my pregnancy (!) was almost two weeks after the first one. This time I dragged my husband out of work to see what I had seen. I thought it would help us come to terms with where we were at, and to have him by my side and understanding just how surreal it is to see a little black and white blur on the screen that’s somehow yours. (During the ultrasound for my miscarriage the technician had remarked, “All by yourself today?” as if it was strange that a woman would have an ultrasound without moral support. I guess I’m made from harder stuff than most.) In this ultrasound, the physician assistant bumped up the due date by a few days and proclaimed that I was actually 8 weeks pregnant (not 7 weeks and 5 days). Either that or my little bean was growing very fast (in a very tiny space)!
The PA suggested that I meet with a Maternal Fetal Medicine group at one of the local hospitals for consultation about my unicornuate condition. She stressed that the hardest part will be being able to sustain the pregnancy in the later term – that I had at the very least to get to the 30th week, and from there as late as possible.
I asked if exercise was still a viable option for me. “Yes,” she said, “Do what you would normally do. You can’t shake the baby out. Be active now. You may not be active later.”
My husband asked if it was safe to start spreading the news, at least to very close family. The PA explained that technology nowadays makes it easier to tell people earlier. “We saw a heartbeat. There’s no doubt you’re pregnant. And 95% of pregnancies that make it through week 7 go on to become viable pregnancies.” And I know from the Yahoo UUSisterhood group that there are many women out there with UU that have full-term babies, and many who have pre-term babies, and many who have miscarriages even into their second trimesters. So though we did start telling people the news, we add the asterisk – “there are complications, anything could happen, we’re hoping for the best.”
Now being on the other side of infertility there is so much more that I appreciate and consider that I probably would have never thought about had it only taken a year to get pregnant. This includes thinking about how another infertilite in the family might take the news, and being sensitive to her feelings; and how family, though they mean every good intention, sometimes rely on the standard but insensitive responses; and just how much of my infertility story is everyone privy to?
My husband and I had a long discussion about exactly how much to tell people when giving them the news. It felt a little embarrassing to give people details of my unicornuate uterus. I thought it was unnecessary to have them all picture my uterus as being half of what they remember it should look like from their sex ed classes. But how could I challenge others to talk about their infertility – and to give it a name and a face in public – here on this blog if I didn’t do it myself in real life? It turns out that’s much easier said than done. Oh yes, I’ve told them all that I essentially have half a uterus (though technically it’s more like a third, but that’s splitting hairs) – not without feeling really, really silly and wondering if this is TMI. I reserve the details for the ladies to let them make their own decisions about their fertility. And no matter what it’s got to be better than my husband’s suggested method: “You’ve got a unicorn in your belly.”
If you consider a unicorn a miracle, then yes, yes, I do.