Why do I feel that way? Perhaps it's because I know that parts of my body (my pancreas; my thyroid) are already faulty and I wonder, in an unjustified way, if that condition is shared elsewhere. Perhaps it's because it took longer than we had hoped to become pregnant, and so the whole thing feels a little fragile. Perhaps it's because I know so many who have had miscarriages, and I wonder if that will be my experience, too.
It's part of why I was so strict about what I ate, drank, and did for the first six weeks after I knew I was pregnant - lots of restrictions, and I stuck to them faithfully.
But right around the beginning of week 15, I felt something that I regard as welcome relief from my worry. I felt a kick.
Well, maybe not a kick so much as a nudge. A drumming. The feeling of popcorn popping in my stomach. (The first time I read that description on a pregnancy site, I thought, "What? That's a horrible description. I can't even imagine what that would feel like. How will I know?" Well, Whitney, you just will.) Whatever it was, it was movement, and proof that Baby V is alive and well (and perhaps Riverdancing) in there.
I had my 18-week check-up yesterday, and while we skipped the ultrasound, we did hear a heartbeat. In the past two appointments we had no trouble locating it - a few swipes across my belly, and there it was, loud and clear. This time, however, it seemed that the kid had thrown the placenta between it and us, so much of what we heard for the first few minutes was my heartbeat, not the baby's.
I tried to tell myself that it can't be an easy find each time, and I reminded myself of the movement I'd felt. I held my breath, and desperately wished and wished. And, minutes later, the technician and I both grinned and sighed simultaneously as we finally heard it.
148 bpm. Perfect.
That sound is something I long to hear more often than every four weeks, but in between, I'll settle for getting kicked.
And the worry? It's fading with each bit of weight gained, each week elapsed, and each nudge felt. Now that I have a constant reminder that things are okay, I can start to release the worry that they're not.