I’ve reached that magical stage: twelve weeks. The point where all the proffesionals agree that the morning sickness subsides and the first scan takes place. The time when most expectant women start to emerge from their self imposed exiles and begin to bloom. But I’m not most women.
For me, twelve weeks has a different significance.
It was at twelve weeks when I first saw my son’s grainy image on the screen at Bolton Hospital. The first time I met him and felt for sure I would love him as soon as I held him. For those few moments, the intense nausea I had been suffering (and would go on to suffer for another few months) was forgotten. For those few moments, all I could think about was that little wriggling, squirming baby inside of me. I remember that he kept leaping and jumping, like he was on a water slide. The sonographer joked that we would have our hands full with this one. How right she was.
I remember the second scan. We found out he was a boy. I can’t describe the elation, the spring to our footsteps as we rushed out to buy some blue Adidas. A boy! A boy! We were so happy.
The happiness of those moments make the sadness of his birth even more striking for me. Each tear I shed feels like a waterfall. Each flip of my stomach feels like I’m on a water slide myself. Each time I think back to what happened and what those early days were like, I feel so angry.
My son’s first days in life were supposed to be happy. WE were supposed to be happy. We were robbed of that.
So at twelve weeks this time, things are starting to feel a little familiar. I’ve done as much as I can to make sure that this time will be different, but my body and my mind can’t help doing what they do. Each wave of nausea that crashes over me takes me back to my last pregnancy. Each time I think Wait! I’m sure that was the baby moving… each time I collapse into bed so tired I can barely muster the energy to turn off the light… I think, I’ve been here before.
Today we have our twelve week scan. At a different hospital. Will it be happy? Will I feel that same sense of determination that the little life inside of me is going to make me happy? Will that grainy image put everything else to rest, give me something new to focus on? I hope so.