Now I actually feel pregnant like I should. Feeling huge and exhausted and uncomfortable - please forgive me for bragging but its kind of awesome. No longer stressing out about dropping this baby in the middle of a bout of contractions because I am down to a few an hour. (my body is odd - but I knew that already)
Up until this point I haven't been too obvious about the pregnancy and white coats can hide a lot - but now . . . there is no doubt to anyone I walk by . . . and no doubt to my patients. And there is where the guilt starts. Sure I feel like I deserve this opportunity, but out of everyone who deserves - not everyone gets to be in my shoes. I just hate having to take care of patients that are struggling with their own devastating reproductive challenges and seeing the point where their eyes glance from my face to my belly. It makes my heart sink.
Don't get me wrong - these are the women I love to take care of - the ones that I can actually try to help and when I do it makes me feel better than anything because I know how much it means. Some of the time I have been there - other times nowhere close, but I can relate. However, its not my place to interject my story into their care. They have only so much time for an appointment to be heard- and that appointment is certainly not about me at all. But I remember the feeling well that "everyone is pregnant" and I remember the anxiety of feeling like I was around a bunch of bellies and infants. Now I am on the other side adding fuel to the fire.
I am sorry.
Sometimes I try to make a subtle acknowledgment when they recognize that I am pregnant that it wasn't exactly easy as a way to try to make them feel better, Most of the time though I am just trying to be subtle in what I wear and how I stand as to not to rub it in. I try to make sure the jacket is on and there are no inadvertent touches of my hand when she kicks or I contract. I tell people I will be on "leave" for a few months but don't want to mention the reason. But they always know.
Sure most people don't care because they are there for other reasons and they have never struggled, but for the few that could be hurt - I promise I am trying.
But in the end I am excited inside. I know the blessing I have and I am thankful. And I promise to everyone that I will do the best job I know how to make sure I raise her well. I hope that counts for something.