We are slowly coming down from the high of finding out we are pregnant. We feel so lucky, but scared at the same time. So much can still go wrong. Every time I think about finally being pregnant, I feel my emotions are like a kite and a gust of wind has just blown it higher, twisting and turning in the sky. I'm desperately trying to reel the string back in, because we know the first trimester is a very critical time period, particularly these early weeks.
We had a nice strong beta HCG number, for which I am so thankful. And then we found out there is a pregnancy sac. Once again we are lucky. Maybe the tables have turned and we'll continue to be lucky! Now we have to wait a week for the ultrasound scan to check for the heartbeat. From my online research, chance of miscarriage in the first 4-5 weeks until a gestational sac is confirmed is about 12-15%. Once a heartbeat is detected, the risk of miscarriage goes down to about 9% at 6 weeks, 4% at 7 weeks, 1.5% at 8 weeks, 0.5% at 9 weeks. Those statistics are very specific and compelling; but being a finance and numbers guy, I know statistics are just a way of presenting data based on the story being told. Basically, after the baby passes the first trimester, chances of miscarriage go down dramatically. This is why conventional wisdom is to wait until after the first trimester before letting people know you are pregnant.
It's so hard waiting and not sharing our journey with any close friends or family. We decided not to tell them early on, to spare them the worry with each attempt, the heartbreak of each failure; and to spare ourselves having to tell everyone each time that it didn't work and avoiding their well-meaning but sometimes painful condolences or awkward conversations. Only those who have endured infertility or engaged in surrogacy know what it's truly like.
I want to tell my parents so badly, especially my dad. A week ago Sunday, the whole family (my brother and sister and their families) was at my parents' house for Easter. About an hour after dinner, my dad suddenly became ill. He was pale and cold, trembling and unsteady on his feet. He's 77 and has a history of poor health, exacerbated by not taking the best care of himself, although the rest of the family implores him to do so. My sister-in-law is a nurse and quickly came to his aid. His blood pressure was high, but we couldn't find much else wrong with him. As his condition didn't seem to be improving, we decided to err on the side of caution and take him to the hospital. They ran an EKG and further tests on him; he seemed to improve once they told him the results did not indicate anything serious was wrong. They concluded that he was probably dehydrated and had a panic or anxiety attack when he began to feel out of sorts. It was a very scary episode, but my dad was released, and with some rest and fluids was feeling back to normal a day or so later.
Now, in certain cultures it is bad luck to announce a pregnancy before the first trimester is over. But I really want to tell my dad, to give him something to look forward to, so that possibly, possibly, he will start taking better care of himself to see the birth of another grandchild. Travis is also eager to start spreading the news. I feel like such a jerk and wet blanket, dampening his enthusiasm about the pregnancy because I'm so worried that something could go still go wrong because we were too happy, too soon.
I'm not normally superstitious, but when we have so much riding on this final attempt, why take any chances? I've been checking myself, trying not to plan so that we don't tempt fate, don't jinx or bring bad luck upon ourselves. While we were in India, we met another blogger who gave us an Indian coin for good luck. It was the sweetest gesture, but did it work? Our first four attempts would suggest otherwise, but our fifth attempt worked, so....?
We'll hold on to the Indian coin for sentimental reasons. And who knows, for whatever lucky powers it may still confer.
Are you superstitious? When did (or would) you tell your family and friends?