When I was pregnant with Autumn, I had a hospital bag packed. It wasn’t the typical “If I go into labor early, this is what I will grab as we rush out the door” bag. It was the “If the doctor tells me that my baby has no heartbeat, this is what I will tell Ger to grab for my stay at the hospital” bag. Continue reading
Several years ago, Ger and I sat down and did some planning for the future. Separately, we wrote out our various short- and long-term goals and then compared our lists. I don’t have a hard copy of what I wrote down, but I am fairly certain that one of my goals for our family was “have another baby.” Continue reading
There are days
There are days when your life clouds over
And the world gets so dark that all at once
You can’t tell night from day
There are still days when I cannot control the anxiety. I try so hard, but I freeze up. My first instinct is to crawl into bed and use sleep as an escape, but that has proven ineffective lately. All I can do while lying down is listen to my own pounding heart. Listening to the baby’s heartbeat does nothing to calm me either. I listen when I cannot feel enough movement over a few hours’ time.
I’ve managed to tell myself that there won’t be a day when I just don’t hear a heartbeat. It will be there. Now I fear my appointments and finding something in an ultrasound or checkup. It is just a question of when. 26 of 39 weeks. Will the problem be soon? Scary but feasible? Or at the end, when we think we are in the clear?
After my last routine OBGYN appointment, which I went to alone, I went to Ger, to tell him how I was feeling. He was taking a nap. I could not get him out of a groggy state. I asked if he would go for a walk with me, and he said no. He was too tired. I sat in silence for a minute. I needed to get out of the house, but didn’t want to beg him to go with me. I drove around in the afternoon sunshine. Went and got a snack at Trader Joe’s. Tried to take deep breaths.
Then I made a list. I took a small notebook and listed out every event from now until August. Every doctor’s appointment. Every Maternal Fetal medicine appointment. Every non-stress test. Every support group meeting. Every milestone. I filled in the moments in between with other activities that we have planned. It resulted in a long list of dates, something to check off every few days. Maybe that will make the time go faster.
Another “routine” appointment tomorrow. Will I react the same way this time that I did a month ago, go into a temporary abyss? The difference between 22 and 26 weeks is huge. I went in for my glucose tolerance screening today. Another item checked off the list. Another appointment tomorrow to check off the list. 90 days to go.
The truth is, most of us discover where we are headed when we arrive.
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. Continue reading