Imposter

Today, I am 16 weeks and 4 days pregnant. And as I type that I feel like a liar, like I am posing as somebody I could not possibly be. It’s as if I am wearing a costume of a pregnant woman with a small baby bump and will need to take it off and return it to its rightful owner soon. In a month? A week? A few days maybe?

Who knows, because despite getting this far, I still feel like a ticking time bomb. I thought the feeling would go away at 12 weeks. Then at 16. But it’s still there, stronger than ever. It doesn’t help that I am now on my third subchorionic hematoma of this pregnancy and have had bleeding and spotting off and on for the last 3 weeks.

Nobody seems to be too concerned though. Baby is looking good, they say. HE is growing and kicking and squirming and showing us his little man parts on each weekly ultrasound. Dr. Kwak-Kim has taken me off lovenox because of the bleeds. And this has me more freaked out than anything. I’ve begged her nurse practitioner to keep me on it, but she has assured me that I’ll be fine without it – that she may not put me back on it, even when the bleeding resolves. So I cannot shake the worry that a blood clot is forming, getting ready to take all of this away from me.

So each time I say I’m pregnant, I feel like an imposter.

At 12 weeks, we told our families the news. Since they know parts of what we’ve been through, they were overjoyed, yet still cautious for us.

Telling other people has been harder for some reason. For so long, I’ve held this image in my mind of what it would be like to finally be able to say “I’m pregnant!” Yet each time I say it, it doesn’t come out how I imagined. It’s missing the exclamation mark on the end.

The recipient of my news always fills it in though. With excitement and questions about gender and the nursery and maternity leave. And sometimes, even, with happy tears. They don’t know any better than to assume what they would ordinarily assume: that I’m getting a baby at the end of all of this.

And I know far better than to assume that.

Every time I call a daycare provider and say I have a baby due in March, I feel like I am saying something terribly untruthful. And yesterday, my 5-year-old niece, all too familiar with the look of her mom’s pregnant belly, spotted my growing stomach and asked “Is there a baby in your belly?” I told her yes and that she was going to have another cousin soon. And immediately, I felt terrible. Like I had told her a lie bigger than Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy combined.

I know I need to crush those thoughts. After all, there’s daycare to be arranged. There’s furniture to be bought. There’s pediatricians to be decided on. And this is when most pregnant women do all that. Most normal pregnant women at least.

As everyone says, this is the time to be happy and register and spread the news and show off my bump. And I know, lord do I know, that I am one of the lucky ones. So I will. I will be happy and register and spread the news and show off my bump. And all the while, I will try my best to ignore the sound that’s resonating in the back of my mind. Tick, tick, tick, tick.

 

10 thoughts on “Imposter

  1. First off, congrats on getting to almost 17 weeks!
    I feel like I could have written this myself, so much resonated with me. As I think I said in a previous comment, my deadline for getting more comfortable keeps getting pushed back. Now I’m 18 and a half weeks, and thinking, “maybe after the anatomy scan” (I haven’t had a scan since 11 weeks). I got together with a friend at 17 weeks and thought I was going to share the news, but then clammed up. I told someone else a week later, and there was a discrepancy in excitement level between us. I also feel like an imposter doing pregnancy-related things, though still haven’t done too much of that yet. I hope we can both relax and enjoy a little more going forward.

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  2. I understand this completely. I’m coming up to 31 weeks and still feel like an imposter. I’ve been telling clients that I’m “planning” to take maternity leave in November, rather than saying I will be going on maternity leave in November. Because it just doesn’t feel like a sure thing.
    I am noticeably less anxious after passing 24 weeks though. That did help somewhat for me.

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  3. Oh I just want to give you a big hug. I know this feeling. It does lessen as the pregnancy progresses – it helps when you feel baby more and reach viability and then the 3rd trimester etc. but a small amount of it stays with you, even once the baby is in your arms. Now whenever my baby is slightly sick I get totally freaked out that something terrible will happen to take her away from me. And then I take a deep breath and realise it probably isn’t really the case and calm down for a second or two. I think any of us who have dealt with infertility or loss carry it with us. It is so normal.

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  4. Happy for you! Dr KK took me off on lovenox for a month due to 2-3 sch near my baby. I started it again after one month once they confirmed that the bleed is stable. Now on 32nd week, i am still on lovenox once every other day. Take care and don’t worry😊👍

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    1. This is so comforting to hear. I’ve been looking for success stories for people who have been completely taken off lovenox for a long period of time, and so far all I’ve seen are horror stories. Which means I need to stop the googling. You are almost there!!! so happy for you!

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