I am nearing 32 weeks. At 32 weeks, in this sadly small town, I am to be transferred to the nearest town, from my current doctor, a general practitioner to a down-right baby doc. 32 weeks seems so very late for such a thing, but I”m still here and baby is still kicking and growing away, so fingers stay crossed and my heart lives in my throat as I hope and hope and hope for the smoothest remaining handful of weeks and delivery possible.
So much can happen, still, between now and then.
And so much could happen so soon.
Nearly four years ago, my sister was 32 weeks pregnant with twins. At that time, only days after my wedding (which she was understandably unable to attend), she was taken in abruptly for a c-section. Both twins were tiny and had to fight, struggling to breathe and survive in a world they just weren’t quite ready to meet. My sister and brother in law spent months in the NICU, living in hotels and having to leave their tiny babies at the hospital in someone else’s care.
I cannot even fathom the strength that it took my sister and her husband to survive this time, alongside their girls who were striving to literally do the same. There was happiness, there was celebration, but certainly tentative and fearful joy, not the unabashed excitement that this family deserved after a long awaited arrival.
There was never a baby shower.
There were anxious tears and nervous smiles and hearts clinging to happy moments and the light at the end of the tunnel: bringing the babies home.
The twins did get to go home, and though they struggled for months (many months) with eating routines and weight gain (a tough enough feat with one, let alone two) they are now nearly four years old. They are sparkling and happy, full of life and imagination. They are hilarious and smart, they are wonderful kids, and their parents (and aunts and uncles and grandparents) are truly proud of and enamored by them.
As I’ve said, I am in awe of the strength it must have taken to survive such a frightening time, watching your babies fight so hard to breathe and grow and live. There were certainly days of agonizing fear, wondering would it all be ok?
My sister was 32 weeks.
I am nearly 32 weeks.
I am trying to be prepared. We’ve purchased all the essentials for baby. The room is basically ready, we have diapers, we have a car seat (which we’ve wiggled in and out and in and out of our vehicle, doing our best to figure out it’s mechanics). I’m reading about breast feeding and labour, learning what I can about anything that I can feasibly control. Researching cloth diapers, scouring the internet for first time mom tips, and trying my best to enjoy the calm and quiet evenings after work, as my abdomen wiggles and jiggles and stretches further.
I currently have no indication that this baby is on her way out into the world just yet, all is looking well and I’m waddling through my days at school, amazed at how unobservant five year olds can be, still not seeming to notice my ever growing belly.
She seems content in there.
But, things don’t always go as planned, do they?
I hope things go as they should, that baby stays put, stays comfortable, even if that means I must grow increasingly less so. I’m more than willing to sacrifice sleep and deep breaths and the ability to eat spicy food. Just stay put, baby, until you’re really, truly ready for the world.
This is a whole new phase of ‘what can go wrong’-ness. I expected the early pregnancy fears, the desperation, the anxiety, the panic attacks that came with each twinge and tug and pull. The deeply rooted fear of loss, of miscarriage, of losing another little precious life. I never allowed myself to look this far ahead, into a new world, into a new sort of anxiety. I am not allowing myself, now, to focus on the negative, to research all the possible problems that can arise and would be, ultimately, out of my control.
For now, I’ve got to stay happy and hang on.
And, baby, you keep on trucking too, ok?
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
― Corrie ten Boom
On a side note, I am not sure what to do with this blog. I keep posting, though far less regularly than I once did. It seems that the anguish I poured out onto this page was a tad more compelling than the updates of pregnancy after miscarriage, the fear, the anxiety, but also, luckily the happiness and miracle of what I am experiencing now. My readers have begun to wane, comments are few and far between. It seems the need is less for this topic than that urgent need for solace after loss.
So what do I do with this blog that began with a life changing loss?
I cannot forever post and link back to miscarriage and loss with any sense of honesty. Will I find the time and feel the need to write in the remaining weeks of pregnancy? Post pregnancy? If all goes well, will I even have the time.
I follow with great interest the stories of those I met while starting on my journey after loss. I still remaining invested in those individuals I connected to then, and I hope some of you are still interested in where this story goes.
This blog may transform into one that depicts the struggles of first time motherhood.
It may portray a woman and mother trying to figure out the next steps.
It may stumble into silence for a while and return with posts about my attempts to maintain the time to pursue my art.
I do not know where this is all headed.
When the need to write arises, this blog will be here.
Maybe some of you followers will be too.