I have a friend who had her first baby a week before I had my Lily. She announced her pregnancy one week after taking an over-the-counter test. She posted an emotionally ecstatic, over-the-moon announcement on Facebook, posted pictures of her dog with baby shoes on Instagram, and from that day forward used social media daily to share ultrasounds, belly photos, pregnancy workout selfies, baby clothes, and so much more.
My experience was NOTHING like this.
I found out on a Saturday and counted the minutes until I could call my endocrinologist on Monday morning to schedule an appointment. I called at 8AM, spoke with a nurse, had uploaded my pump data for her by 8:10AM, had adjustments from her via email by 8:30AM, and had already scheduled weekly visits and bi-weekly uploads and adjustments for the next 10 months. Next on my list, the OB-GYN. Typically, they don’t see you this early in a pregnancy, but I soon learned that I was the exception to everything. I made an appointment for Tuesday afternoon and continued my Monday, worrying, worrying, and then worrying some more.
I also continued sweating. Never had I kept my blood sugar that low continuously. Ideally my team of doctors (yes, team: endocrinologist, nephrologist, OB-GYN, sonography technician, nutritionist, therapist, retinologist, podiatrist, and primary care physician) wanted me between 70 and 80 at all times, but doing this was not magic. It meant MANY MANY MANY lows over the next 10 months. It meant countless juice boxes (I really should have bought stock). It meant CONSTANT sensor alerts at 11PM, 1AM, 3AM, 5AM…
I watched other pregnant people exercising via social media, keeping as healthy and fit as possible. I watched them do this while I worked in one good walk every day, but dared not chance doing anything more strenuous in fear of dropping too low. I watched other pregnant people go for their few-and-far-between ultrasounds and post the beautiful pictures while I went bi-weekly for an ultrasound, and three times a week for an NST. I watched fellow pregnant women complain about their glucose test while I tested my blood sugar upwards of 15 times a day. I watched other pregnant women post how big their developing child was at each week (“the size of an eggplant today!”) while I waited on the edge of my seat for results to tests that for them were optional, but for me were mandatory. I prayed that my baby would not be too big for me to deliver naturally and safely, and prayed that my blood pressure medication would do its job and keep me from becoming preeclamptic.
To intensify the situation, my younger sister was pregnant at the exact same time with her third child, experiencing a very normal, average, drama-free pregnancy, and I was jealous.
But back to the announcements. We were scared to announce our pregnancy. It felt like at any moment this could all be ripped away from us with one test result, one day of bad blood sugars, one mistake. Now don’t get me wrong, there was pure joy too. It was actually the craziest emotional state I have ever experienced. And although I was quick to blame the pregnancy hormones, I soon realized that wasn’t valid because my husband shared this same emotional jekyll-and-hyde situation. In any given moment, we were the most excited and happy we had ever been, along with being the most excruciatingly frightened.
So this is what we did: At 4 months pregnant, we told our parents, siblings, other close family members, and close friends. I also notified my work administration. This was after our OBGYN encouraged us to do so. Enjoy this, he urged.
At 7 months we announced it to the world via social media. Now, sure, most people had been suspicious before this and assumed that my changing body was not a result of overeating, but, they also hadn’t said anything. Those I worked with and saw relatively regularly knew my chances of having a successful pregnancy were not high, and so they probably talked amongst themselves, but not to me.
My pregnancy was not normal. My pregnancy was not easy, My pregnancy was not stress-free. My pregnancy was not ideal and my pregnancy was not a given, but my pregnancy was MINE. My pregnancy HAPPENED, even though I thought for a long time that it wouldn’t. My pregnancy gave me the MOST BEAUTIFUL gift. My pregnancy was REMARKABLE.