And the past couple of days I woke to the sound of chickadees. The mating song of the chickadee (It is the male who sings "chick-a-dee-dee-dee" as well as the sexy whistle "Heeeeey lay-dee!) always makes me think of spring. It makes my heart jump with an optimism that feels as old as time, because ever since I can remember spring has made me feel like the world is new again and full of surprises to be discovered. I might be three years old again, seeing the tips of tulips poke through the earth in my mother's garden. I believe I will feel this way even as a very old woman, if I am lucky enough to be a very old woman one day. If it happens that I die in the spring time as an old old hag (wearing purple of course), I will still feel young and new inside.
Eleven weeks one day for Ember. Less than a week till my next ultrasound, April 10th. Every day is a surreal leap of faith that moves me a bit closer to that scan. The April U/S is the Nuchal Translucency Scan, where they assess for genetic conditions such as Down's Syndrome. I have also had blood drawn which they will analyze, and we should know the results of those tests by the date of scan. But honestly, I just want to see a live baby next Thursday. Since I work with teens who have developmental disabilities, I am aware of the realities of raising a child with a disability, and I hope Ember does not have to live with a disability. But as the date of the scan gets closer I find no room in my heart to make conditions. Just please please please be alive and growing.
The less objective evidence suggests that Ember is indeed growing. I managed to work all of this week, and even had some quite good days, but I'm still doing a lot of sleeping, any chance I get. The nausea comes and goes, but has been manageable, although my prescription runs out today, so we'll see. I had a close call while teaching last week. If I remember to drink and snack regularly, I'm OK, but I got quite involved a lesson with the students one morning and forgot to do either. We were talking about the digestive system, and farts, and they were really into the topic and so was I. So I didn't have a moment to myself from 10:30 till noon. The students had just left the room heading to the cafeteria, and I suddenly felt like I was going to throw up. Just throw up, out of the blue. I managed to keep things down, but it was close. I was glad I didn't puke in front of the kids; that would have been a far more interactive lesson than anyone wanted.
Yesterday my co-teacher also commented that "your profile has changed." For a moment I was like What? My Facebook profile? the shape of my nose? then she explained that my bust had changed and my mid-section was bulging a bit too. That's the first time someone has commented on it. Of course, she is in the know and has been for quite a few weeks, but it's somehow reassuring to hear someone else's feedback. I've wondered about changes myself but then I think it might just be bloating or the bra I'm wearing, and wishful thinking. I'm pretty sure in the past few days, however, that I can feel a bulge in my belly, and it's a different shape from gas or belly fat.
I have a ton of vaginal discharge. This symptom is really not fun because anytime I feel wetness down there, I think blood. Then I do a couple of quick shoulder checks, dart to a strategic location and stick my hand down my pants to check. You all are lucky you don't have to shake hands with me (seriously, I do wash afterwards...but just as well I don't have to meet new people every day...cause some days there is a lot of checking) But since the episode a week and half ago there has not been blood, just yellowish discharge that is sometimes mixed with light brown. The light brown has been pretty much a constant for a month at least so I'm not freaking out over it too much.
So. Reasons for hope. And I have to hang onto them because I'm the only one who can. I'm hoping that after next Thursday, or maybe Monday because that's when I meet with my doctor, I can enter a new phase in this pregnancy. I would like to reflect on the journey so far and move on, and focus on something besides what is that wet feeling in my crotch and oh God what now. I hope. I have so much baggage that I need to unpack and like our suitcases from San Diego it is all sitting in a pile because I just can't be bothered.
Meanwhile, day by day. Here's 11 to 12 weeks.