The World’s Saddest Joke

I am 20 weeks pregnant today. Halfway. More than halfway, because a successful pregnancy ending would be a scheduled c-section at 39 weeks. Or less than halfway in the knowledge of being pregnant, if you consider that a positive pregnancy test does not show up until four weeks.  Regardless, a milestone.

I have begun waiting for every tiny movement. Every sign of life. Someone who should have known better, a labor and delivery nurse recently said “If you ever feel that something isn’t right, come in and we will check you out. But the women who aren’t feeling movement, often it’s because they haven’t bonded with their babies.” Ouch. To imply that lack of feeling movement had anything to do with bonding was cruel and insensitive. It made me focus on movements more, but instead of bonding, it has only added to my anxiety. I don’t need any more, but now I have spent many moments of my day trying to gauge if I should be feeling more movement, or trying to compare to what I remember having felt in previous pregnancies.  On top of driving myself insane wondering if every little twinge or cramp is normal, even though I know better.

I have been thinking a lot about the number three. Three children. Three living children? Or three lost children. I do not yet know on which side this baby will fall.

Threes seem to be everywhere. A pair of earrings I received, in the shape of triangles. Three sides. We just finished the third month of the year.  Theo talked about triangles today.  Any mysteriously, my boppy pillow appeared in the kids’ room tonight.  I have no idea where they found it, but there it was.  A reminder of breastfeeding, with three elephants stamped into the cloth.

Another birthdate added to the tattoo on my back.

When I spoke with one of my doctors in a pre-conception consult, after waiting the prescribed six months, he said “Are you sure you are able to do this again, emotionally?” I smiled back wryly and said “Third time’s a charm, right?” What an awful, heartbreaking joke.

We have a name picked out for the baby, but a secret. When I was pregnant with Quentin, I referred to him as Baby 2.0. So I have started calling this one Three. Our last attempt at a third child. A third in this trilogy of pregnancies that started with Nelle, continued with Iris, and has lead here.