One Good Egg

Many of you have probably deduced from my vague mentions about health that something is up with me, and it is: I’m pregnant!

The test for which I was not-so-patiently awaiting results was the amniocentesis. At my age there is a 1:23 chance of a chromosomal abnormality that can cause serious birth defects, and even death. Being pregnant hasn’t been the absolute radiantly happy time I wanted. Until now. They called this morning to tell me the tests results are normal, and that my baby is a girl. She’s due to arrive August 27. On Easter Day I’ll be 20 weeks pregnant — halfway through.

Here’s the back story. In mid-November we saw the fertility specialist to discuss our options. Because of my age he strongly encouraged us to consider oocyte donation (getting an egg from a much younger woman), because the chances of my producing enough viable eggs and conceiving in a given month via in vitro were about 10 percent. On our own, the chances of conceiving in a given month were about 2 or 3 percent.

We went home and talked. I made my peace with the idea, because I really want a child, and I really wanted to carry a pregnancy to term. My uber-stressful job was over, so I relaxed and got to working out. (I even lost 12 pounds by mid-December!)

On December 13 (one month after visiting the doc) I noticed I felt puffy, tired, and had an increased need to use the bathroom. The next day I decided to use my one home pregnancy test left over, assuming it would be a waste, but what the heck. Imagine my fragile amazement when the test showed a slightly anemic but positive result. I told Husband and we agreed we shouldn’t tell, that we should just play it down, since I’d never made it past 8 weeks before. (Of course I took another home test, and the results were even stronger the next time. We joked that the fertility specialist must be really good at what he does; all we needed was to talk with him.)

On December 14 we got the news that our landlords were giving the house to their son and were requested to move by mid-February. On December 19 we went to Syracuse for the holidays. We didn’t officially mention it, but you know families; they have radar. They knew something was up, and they inferred what. Mostly I was exhausted, but I had insomnia at my parents’.

On December 29 we returned home, and on the 30th, on schedule, the morning sickness began. Except that mine lasted all day for six weeks. I didn’t vomit often, but I often wished I would; I feel better after. And you might think that feeling nauseous would be a good weight-loss method, that no food would appeal, that you wouldn’t even want to think about food. Not me. In my experience, hunger made the nausea worse, and yet so many odors (including food) also made me feel worse. So for six weeks I thought about food more than ever as I tried to find something I could stand to eat that would nourish my body. Add to that the fact that I slept 12 hours a day, and I was pretty much useless.

Except that’s when we had to find a place to live and pack our home. So we’d go out, me with my ginger beer and Saltines, drive by properties and go in some. I’d go home and collapse into bed. Once we found a rental, the packing began. I could only manage a box or two a day. If our friends M & K had not come three weekends in a row to help, we’d have been in big trouble. All through this time I tried to take it easy on my body and not to stress mentally about the move. I was successful at that, too.

By mid-February that misery abated and I felt like a new woman. We saw the doctor February 1 and had the first ultrasound. There was a heart, beating strongly. We called the baby Little One. Little One was very wiggly. A good sign. At the March visit we heard the heartbeat by Doppler technology. Then came the amnio, which they cannot do until four months into the pregnancy. By four months, I was deeply invested emotionally and physically in this child. It’s a long time to wait for such information. (A different test could be done at 12 weeks but had a higher risk of miscarriage, which we didn’t want to take.)

While I realize there is no absolute certainty or safety, I feel confident enough to share this news with the world. Actually, pregnancy is just the beginning of realizing how vulnerable one is to the world. The gestation and birth might be fine, but there’s a big world of risk out there, and anything can happen to one’s child. As I once heard, “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

Yet I couldn’t be more pleased.

[cross-posted at Knit Together]

Explore posts in the same categories: Journal, Nature, Pregnancy, Quotes, Science, Technology

23 Comments on “One Good Egg”

  1. Diana Says:

    I figured something like this was up and have been anxiously watching Bloglines for your updates. I can’t tell you how happy I am for you at this news!

  2. Jennifer Says:

    Am sending lots of energy your way for a healthy, event-free pregnancy and a happy, healthy Little One.

    Take it easy and enjoy.

    Mazel Tov!

  3. Brenda Says:

    I’m so extremely overjoyed for you!! Since we both lost babies at roughly the same time almost a few years back, I’ve been hoping for so long that you’d finally be able to realize the joy that I’ve felt since my daughter from a subsequent pregnancy was born. I will send you much love and light for a relaxing pregnancy and healthy baby girl!! 🙂

  4. Emy Says:

    Hooray! *smooch* Best wishes to all of you…I can hardly wait to hear more!

  5. Christine Says:

    Congratulations! I’m assuming your new photo was taken after you found out! You look so genuinely happy and lovely in that picture – the look of someone who has realized their heart’s desire.

  6. leah Says:

    oo, i *did* have a feeling which was so weird because i kept thinking, no, no, she’s not pregnant, why do i keep thinking that? and lo and behold! hooray! i’m SO very happy for you. SO happy!! i feel all teary now. you will be a wonderful mom. my best friend is pregnant (due in june) and she is still dealing with nausea (ugh!), so i’m glad to hear yours has abated. ***much love and hugs and congratulations to you, your hubby and your little girl!***

  7. Paul Sunstone Says:

    I suspected when I read your poem, “A Contemplation”, something might be up.

    Best wishes for an event free pregnancy and a happy, healthy child!

  8. Bill Bradford Says:

    Congratulations and good luck!

  9. gerry rosser Says:

    Caloo, Calay, Oh Happy Day!

    The part about your heart walking around outside your body is true. I have no children, but my little step-granddaughter is carrying my heart around with her.

    I’m so tickled.

  10. Eden Says:

    You’re out! Now we’ll be able to get photos 🙂

    Still haven’t found the other clothing but I found 3 pr of pants in my closet 😉

    Let the name discussion begin!

  11. Laurel Says:

    I’m not a hugger, but I swear, if I were anywhere near you, K, I’d grab hold of you and hug you and not let go for a long, long time.

    Thank you for reminding me what life will give you, what love will give you, if only you’re brave enough to really live, to really love.

    A girl.

    I swear, your great good news will have me smiling for days and days and days.

    Consider yourself hugged, friend.

  12. Michael Says:

    I am pregnant with joy for you.

    Good luck… all the luck the world contains.

  13. donna Says:

    Yeah, I knew you were, but you didn’t want to say anything. So happy for you – take it easy and relax, it seems to be what you and the little one need. ;^)

    Congratulations.

  14. Shirl Says:

    The official announcement! Hurrah!!!!! Much love and congratulations, dear one!!!!

  15. Fran aka Redondowriter Says:

    Big tears in my eyes as I read this, Kathryn. You are right; your fertility specialist is a wonder–can do it with a consult. You’ll make him famous. Sorry to hear you have had such a rough pregnancy so far but hopefully you are feeling better by now. I’m so delighted for you and your husband–and it’s a girl. Hooray!

    I can say with all honesty, when I look back on my life, raising kids and now grandkids has been what it has all been about. Though we adopted, I’m so glad I’ve got the kids I’ve got–kids, 45, 43, 40. Not such kids anymore.

    So, now you start thinking about names? And the nursery?

  16. Winston Says:

    I rejoice with you. Looking forward to hearing of further developments that all is going and has gone well with Little One.

  17. thethinker Says:

    Congratulations, and good luck!

  18. Karen Says:

    How’s about this for some magic to believe in? have to say I told you so. And now it begins. PS Georgia was born on Aug. 12. I remember I got the same call you did–perfectly normal, and a girl!

  19. la peregrina Says:

    What wonderful news! My very heartfelt congratulations. 🙂

  20. acm Says:

    whoot!!
    (I actually saw the post above first, and made a deductive leap as well… )

  21. M Sinclair Stevens Says:

    I’m thrilled for you. Saltines and ginger beer…how well I remember.

  22. Susan Says:

    Super News, Kathryn! Congrats to you and your husband! So glad the morning (all day long) sickness has passed. I’ll be following along with your progress. Just great news.

  23. Liora Says:

    Kathryn,

    I’m so happy for you! I’ve been woefully behind with my blog reading, and to find this—so exciting! Much joy and good wishes for a happy, healthy (and morning-sickness free) pregnancy coming your way.

    Liora