Growing a human being has been an interesting process. It’s now 12 weeks, still super early.
How did I know I might be pregnant? Other than the standard IVF wait – I knew an embryo had been transferred but not if it took until two weeks later – and a dream of our son’s arrival as a presence, it was the gas. Yes, I said it. I was gassy and constipated and my gastrointestinal track was just not happy. I kept feeling for nausea or the myriad symptoms, but it was the increase and decrease of my excretory systems that was the point of wonder, Maybe there might be something different going on here.
Sure, I had the breast tenderness after that for a few weeks, an unceasing thirst (which is ongoing), fatigue (that hit me around week 10 with a sledgehammer), and a slight flutter in my stomach when I needed to eat (immediately!). What most talk about with nausea? I had a wave once in week 11 that lasted about 5 seconds, which prompted, Oh, this is what they are talking about when they talk about nausea. My mother didn’t have any stereotypical pregnancy symptoms, and I suppose I haven’t had much either. Things have been going pretty easily … except for gaining something like 7-10 pounds. I’ll never know how much, though, since I stopped weighing myself months ago, before I started all the shots for IVF. I had no desire for the daily and increasing trauma of shots AND anxiety about my weight increasing.
There have been some oddities about this process. Until about week 10, I was CONVINCED that the fertility clinic had somehow made an error and implanted an embryo with the genetic markers to become a female. I just knew I was carrying a girl and not a boy. We selected embryos based on viability, but because we did genetic testing we also knew sexes. Around week 10 things suddenly changed, and I was like, oh, I think I’m carrying a boy now. Weird. I learned today after watching a little documentary, the 9 months that made you, that about 10 weeks is when the sex organs start to develop. Interesting. I’m going to call that body awareness and sensitivity to this being within me.
I had that sense the other day when I went to the maternity center and they couldn’t find the baby to find a heartbeat with a doppler. It was week 10, we’d already heard the heartbeat at week 7 and week 9. I’m not worried. The baby was just a little low and too cushioned, I supposed, for that doppler to work. They kept feeling around to find the baby, and I wanted to say, he’s not there, he’s over there, though I didn’t. I think we heard some shadow of a heartbeat echo, but nothing was ever clear; part of me thinks I should have trusted my intuition and pointed them to where I thought he was, as my own little body within body divining rod. Next time.
This process has also been revelatory about who are as future parents and who we want to be. Watching that documentary, for example, they talked about transgender children. I found myself tapping my abdomen, saying, Fagiolo (bean in Italian), we will believe you when you tell us who you are. No matter what, we will love you for who you are. I felt confident in that, that if our child identified as a transgender girl early on, we would see her for who she is, call her by the name she would choose, and work to honor, protect, and nurture her life in any way possible. When I looked at my partner, I could see that sentiment in my heart echoed within him and that warmed me, made me excited to welcome this new being who I think may be our son and ultimately is our beloved child, no matter how they walk in the world. The bubbly child who gave me gas to announce their presence … before the angelic light and all.
#36of52, #52essays2017, #whoisthisbeing, #twt