Two Months and Counting
A year ago, I thought my main concerns with my unborn child would be the gender, name and room color. Now, married for just over a year and pregnant with our very first child, these concerns have been taken over by matters of life and death.
Will I lose my baby during the first trimester?
This question surfaced in different forms at various situations. When the taxi driver was speeding, I imagined getting into an accident. Whenever I walk down the stairs, I wonder if I would just miss a step and fall. Is the baby’s heart still beating? Is she getting enough nutrients? Will the uncooked ham I just ate hurt my child? I just helped moved some tables, I feel fine but is the baby all right?
So I spent 60% of my time worrying and the remaining 40% trying to get as much rest as possible. Then, I read what Lorilee Craker wrote in her book, When the Belly Button Pops, the Baby’s Done:
“… Don’t let the fear of what might happen dampen the joy and the love and the fabulousness of these early weeks. And don’t hold back your love in an effort to protect your own heart. Even if the worst should happen and you do lose your baby, you will know that you loved that child with all your heart. The reward of that experience should last for all time. And imagine that grand and beautiful day in heaven when you hold your child in your arms.”
This has given me perspective – I still worry but I have decided to stop fearing death and simply love the life given.
Then, we were asked the question, Would we like to do the OSCAR screening?
In brief, this is a combination test done in the first trimester to screen for risk of fetal anomalies, in particular Down syndrome. The screening will help us find out if our baby has a high risk of chromosomal defects, following which I can opt for a diagnostics test to ascertain the present anomalies.
Simply put by my consulting gynecologist, if we have already decided to keep the baby regardless, we need not consider the risk assessment in the first place. But if we do want to take the screening, we must be prepared to take the invasive diagnostic test which carries a small risk of miscarriage.
Again, I didn’t think I would battle with “would I keep my baby regardless?” but I did! As we walked out of the clinic, my mind was full of “what if” and “but”. Thankfully, my husband’s reassuring voice cut through my racing thoughts, “We’ll keep the baby even if she has down’s.” He said it with such certainty and strength that his courage and faith was imparted to me and my fear was dispelled.
So, they were right – your husband needs to share the same value and faith as you. In my moments of emotional upheaval during this first trimester, he has remained the steady anchor.
The husband and I still hold differing views on preferred gender and the need for middle name. He doesn’t think it’s endearing that I want to call our child Kathleen Kelly or Joe Fox, following our favorite movie, You’ve Got Mail. And he may not take well to my insistence of having lace on my baby sling even if we have a baby boy. Well, these smaller battles are left for another day. For now, we are just enjoying the journey of becoming mum and dad.
Note from Editor-Our guest blogger this week is Vicky. She currently serves with FOTFS by overseeing corporate partnerships and work-life programs. She is an accredited facilitator for No Apologies, a character-based abstinence youth program and The Heart of Success, a personal work-life effectiveness program. As a wife and mother-to-be, she continues to challenge young adults toward meaningful work and lifelong relationships while advocating for strong foundations in the early years of marriage. Although enthusiastic and spirited by nature, she promotes unhurried family time and enjoys chilling out in cafés – if she isn’t already spending her leisure time exploring a thrift store!