The one about being 57% there

I realized that I hadn't written about my current pregnancy much lately. I don't know if it is a 4th child thing or an I'm too busy to sit down and write thing or an I'm too tired to think about it thing or what...but words cannot express how excited I am to meet this little guy.

I am over half-way there. In fact, I am 57% there. For those not willing to calculate, that means I am 23 weeks and some change. I am slightly defensive this pregnancy and don't talk much about how many weeks I am because I have been crushed before by a well-meaning person who, upon learning how far along I am, says, "Wow! You're so big already!" or "You look like you're about to pop!"For a person who really isn't about to pop, that's pretty disheartening and hurts your already sensitive pregnancy psyche. So, I have decided to be vague. Protective. It's for the best, as no one gets hurt that way (me or you).

If you have read this blog for a while, you know my pregnancy with Shiloh was slightly tumultuous. At 25 weeks, my cervix was measuring at about a centimeter long and got as short as almost half a centimeter. This is what you want to happen during labor, but it is not what you want to happen when you are just past the viability stage in pregnancy. I immediately began progesterone injections in my butt, daily oral medication, and weekly monitoring via cervical ultrasounds (as exciting as they sound) and non-stress tests. I also developed gestational diabetes (which I never had with my first two pregnancies), was placed on bed-rest-ish, and I wrecked my van at 30 weeks pregnant. It was all good times.

Shiloh came at 37 weeks, and I could not have been more relieved that everything turned out OK.

As a result of all of that crazy, I have been monitored weekly for the past several weeks with more cervical ultrasounds, more progesterone shots in my butt, and more daily oral medication. I also have had several instances of hours of contractions that seem to come out of nowhere and disappear when I am on the brink of driving myself to the hospital because I can't take it anymore.

To put it bluntly, I am scared. This pregnancy has not been overly enjoyable, and saying that makes me feel like a horrible person. I personally know so many friends now who have experienced pregnancy loss in some way -- either early pregnancy loss, middle of pregnancy loss, or stillbirth, and I feel incredibly guilty to be complaining. Hell, even I know the grief that is losing a pregnancy early on as I have done it twice. I swore to myself and pleaded with God that if He would let me carry another child, that I would relish every single second.

But when I am afraid every week that the threat of preterm labor will become more imminent...when I have contractions that won't stop for hours...when I stress and fret about what the next ultrasound will show or when the shit will all hit the fan...it is difficult to let myself become too excited.

He kicks me all the time, which is a happy reminder that he is fine. He is perfect. He is healthy and doing what he should be doing. I just hope my body can continue to provide for him and that my mind allows me to enjoy these moments as this could be the last pregnancy.

It's not something I like to think about...this being my last pregnancy. People like to tease with, "Are you crazy?" or "You can't possibly want more kids!?" But...I sometimes want to scream, "MAYBE I DO!?" We aren't all built the same way. Some people know after one or two children they are "done." Other people are forced into being "done" through infertility or complications. Others have no problem raising 4-5-6 children and embracing the chaos that it is. I just don't know how I feel yet. I thought for sure I would know. I thought I would feel a sense of "completion" this time around, and I would be able to be at peace with this being the last one for us...but I am not ready to say that yet. I need him to be here first. I need to look into his eyes and see how I feel. Even with all the doctor's appointments that cause me worry and stress...and all the pills that make me feel yucky inside...and all the fear that this set of contractions could be the real thing.... I still find myself unable to say, "I'm done."

We take things one day at a time. Each week is a victory for my own mental health. 43% to go.


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