When I was finishing my PhD, I got this book called The Academic Job Search Handbook. I skimmed the whole thing, then read the first couple chapters on preparing your materials and so forth. I figured I’d never get past those chapters. (In fact, the first time I opened it, I happened to find myself in the section entitled handling negative feedback, and I expected to spend most of my time right there.) But then I got interviews! So I read the chapter on interviews. And then I got an offer! So I read the chapter on offers! And next year I may get to read the section on changing jobs after you don’t get tenure!
When I became officially infertile, I got Mel’s Book. I skimmed the whole thing, then read the first couple chapters on being diagnosed and the section on IUI and so forth. I figured when the time came, I’d read the section on IVF. And perhaps later the chapter on adoption and the one on living child-free. Unlike the job search book, I expected to have need of most of the sometimes grim territory Mel’s book covers. Except for chapter 12, the chapter on pregnancy. But after my third beta, I had the amazing experience of skipping ahead to that chapter. (And it genuinely felt like skipping ahead, like I might get to read some fun stuff now, but I’ll for sure have to come back and read the chapters on pregnancy loss, IVF, etc…There might be a quiz, you know.) As with the rest of the book, there is some sound advice to be had. The part that struck me the most was this. Mel says that while it’s normal to feel a crapload (paraphrasing…) of anxiety, you don’t want to look back after your pregnancy and think If I’d known it was going to work out fine I’d have spent more time enjoying the experience. And that while it’s normal to feel deeply reluctant to believe it might work out, if you lose your baby, it won’t be the happy memories that hurt you, it will be the loss itself.
I don’t know if the latter is true. It seems like those of you who have had losses suffer extra when you think about those happy moments. So maybe she’s full of shit. But her general suggestion is to live your life as though you’re going to have a healthy baby. It seems like a reasonable approach to take, and I might try it.
Meanwhile, can I just note how totally bizarre it is to have people giving me advice on something pregnancy-related? Really, really, really weird. And, today: no bleeding, no cramping, no reason to think Bun Bun is dead. Long may it remain thus.