The truth is, most of us discover where we are headed when we arrive. – Bill Watterson
I do not know what path I’m on, and lately I forget the armor I’ve created for myself.
I promised myself that I wouldn’t allow hope. I would prepare for another loss. That I wouldn’t allow myself to look ahead to August. And I have been doing those things… while simultaneously doing the opposite. In the same shaky breath, I tell myself that this time is different, for an unknown, intangible, illogical reason.
Maybe it is because I feel those first, faint suggestions of movement.
Maybe my two losses were unrelated, and in allowing myself to wonder. We don’t know one way or the other. I know enough tragedies of families to know that they are not limited to one circumstance. And perhaps this is our redemption.
I also hate looking ahead, planning ahead. I cannot buy a dress for my sister’s wedding in April, because I’m not sure if I will still be pregnant. I cannot make travel arrangements for May, not knowing the place that I will be in. I struggle with work project plans throughout the summer, circling around the great unknown. I avoid all of these, yet they stare me in the face.
I think that Maternal Fetal Medicine gave me the push forward that allowed me to hope: “If we can just get to 24 weeks…” He let the sentence dangle, but I knew what he meant. At 24 weeks and beyond, there is more they can do. Not much can be done before that. Ten weeks from now. Ten long weeks or ten short weeks.
And yet, in two weeks will be the point at which I lost Iris. I need to get past that point first, and keep telling myself that. The appointment terrifies me, where nightmares have flooded my sleep again. Where every time I shift in bed or stretch, I fear that I will cut off blood flow and cause this baby to be lost also.
16 weeks is the first milestone. When I was pregnant with Iris, 21 weeks was the milestone, the point at which I lost Nelle, but I never made it there. I need to get past 16 weeks. Then we’ll see what’s beyond that. But I don’t know why I expect it to be any different.