This post was originally written on June 26, 2009, shortly after I had my first child, Paige.

I've been meaning to write about my thoughts on my pregnancy now that I am looking at it in a metaphorical rear-view mirror. When people asked me "are you enjoying your pregnancy?" I found it so hard to answer! I guess that's because my situation was so complicated. The short answer was always "oh yes! I am so blessed and lucky and am thrilled to be on this ride."

The truth is, the first trimester was horrible. I couldn't help it -- I'd put my excitement on the backburner since I'd had 4 pregnancy losses before. No reason to get excited, right? I wanted so badly to let go and let myself feel the joy. But all I felt was terror. Gripping terror. I was so scared of losing this pregnancy too.

I barely slept at night. Fear gripped my body all day long and it was all I could think about. With each passing day I felt a little better, but also deeper in fear. I wouldn't wish that stress on anyone. I literally ate, slept, and breathed terror. My chest was tight and it was always hard to breathe. Of course, no matter how hard I tried I couldn't relax, which made me worry about the wee one inside of me... was I making her sick? UGH. It was a vicious cycle. It didn't help that I had a lot of spotting and a hematoma that threatened the embryo.

The second trimester saw me with a little less fear, but dealing with discovering her 2-vessel umbilical cord and her sketchy 1st-trimester screen results. We were worried about her heart and kidney development. I was worried she'd run out of room in my T-shaped uterus and be born viciously early. It was always something! But I truly loved the third trimester. I relaxed and knew that every week meant I had a "more viable" baby than the week before. The odds improved so much with each day that I finally relaxed and let myself enjoy being pregnant without so much fear. It was a short but wonderful time.

Sometimes I find myself jealous of others who had easy pregnancies, or who never have had to go through so much loss. I'm happy for them, but jealous and wish those great things for myself. I will never have a terror-free pregnancy. I will never have that naive joy from day one. I'm not complaining though; I was finally able to experience it and that is the bottom line. How it happened turns out to be irrelevant. There is no room to envy others when I have been given this gift myself.

Someday, perhaps in a few years, we will try again for another child. And frankly, I don't know how I will go through it all again. But I know that I will try. I don't know if it will work, but I am hoping!

The joy we feel on the other side, now that Paige is here, is so worth it. Mothering doesn't start when the baby is born. It starts at the moment of conception as you go about doing whatever it takes mentally and physically to keep that baby safe even when it is out of your hands. It starts with the dream of having a child and all you do to make it happen along the way... whether with help from doctors, no help at all, or through adoption. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't marvel at my little girl and feel so appreciative. It came with a heavy price...but I would pay that price every single day forever and ever as long as I can have Paige here in my life.

Hellobee Series: Mrs. Hide & Seek’s TTC Journey part 9 of 9

1. Flashback: Loss One by Mrs. Hide and Seek
2. Flashback: Loss Number One Part Two by Mrs. Hide and Seek
3. Flashback: Loss Number Two by Mrs. Hide and Seek
4. Flashback: Losses Number 3 and 4 by Mrs. Hide and Seek
5. The Soothsayer by Mrs. Hide and Seek
6. Thoughts on Miscarriage by Mrs. Hide and Seek
7. MTHFR C667T by Mrs. Hide and Seek
8. A T-Shaped Uterus by Mrs. Hide and Seek
9. Flashback: Reflecting by Mrs. Hide and Seek