Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: The Pregnancy: The Reprieve

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Pregnancy: The Reprieve

The next seven days are stagnant and misery filled. Surreally, life goes on as before; morning comes, breakfast is eaten (albeit not tasted), work is attended, co-workers’ jokes are laughed at and deadlines are met. All the while I try to ignore the searing pain in my throat, biting back the deluge of tears that threaten to flow.

When we do finally return home at the end of each day it is to an almost palpable sadness. The grief hangs in the air between us and any comforting word or gesture unleashes a further torrent of tears. So we say little. Privately, I alternate between desperate pleas to an unfathomable deity and utter resignation to our wretched fate.

The day arrives for our repeat scan. I am utterly despondent and yet, intensely aware that I no longer feel pregnant. The nausea that had plagued my first twelve weeks seems to have dissipated and my chest is no longer excruciatingly tender. Instead, I feel almost back to my pre- pregnant self but, with no sign of an imminent natural miscarriage, I am consumed with fear of the process that the hospital are undoubtedly going to recommend to put an end to our brief parental journey.

We make our way to the waiting room where prospective parents bubble with nervous excitement at seeing their unborn child on screen for the first time. They eagerly beam at us in a conspiratorial manner as we navigate our way through the labyrinth of legs, acknowledging their welcome with lacklustre smiles. The happy news of Prince George’s birth adorns the front pages which are held aloft in the waiting room; giving the strangers common ground on which to engage their neighbours in jovial conversation.

I close my eyes and pray. I pray for help but also to stop my thoughts and halt my tears. In the space of a week my prayers have evolved from various petitions for a miraculous intervention to a cyclical plead; merely for the strength to cope with what is inevitably to follow.

My name. I stand up. I enter the room. The bench awaits. Paper towel tucked in. Cold jelly. We turn away from the monitor. Silent tears roll. My body shakes uncontrollably. I know I am making her job harder. "Nearly done. OK so this is what is happening. "

The kind lady doctor who broke our hearts one week ago is smiling. It's not a beaming smile but one of fragile optimism. She tells us the fluid level has increased. The baby is moving. The heartbeat appears strong and currently there appears to be no evidence that the pregnancy is imminently about to abort. She'll allow us to go and return in three weeks for another scan but advises us to have our first trimester screening done. This may actually result in an infant.

Edinburgh's Modern Art Gallery: Everything Will Be Alright

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