Sometimes I re-read these posts and I feel a little dishonest. Not that they’re not true; they’re a snapshot of that moment. But they’re so mostly positive. So “it’s not so bad.” And that’s true, but it’s also not. I’m trying to think positively, to feel positively, to BE positive, because when I’m not, I end up thinking of this new baby, this new tiny son, and remembering how it felt to hold his tiny sister, looking at her perfect face – dead. If I think about it too much, I don’t know how to get through the day, so I just Focus On The Positive.
It’s not dishonest, it’s just not the whole story.
What’s the whole story? Well, for one thing, pregnancy kind of sucks. In general, but for me especially. And I hear so often how I handle it with things like “grace” or “strength,” and I want to say no, no, I DON’T. I just have to. I have to tell myself it doesn’t totally suck because otherwise how do I wake up tomorrow and do this all again? Daily injections. Weekly injections. Feeling bruised and sore and battered, anxious about every twinge or cramp or what’s on the toilet paper. Wanting to have a full-on tantrum every time the doctor wants to take blood for something. I go to the doctor every.single.week. The most annoying commute, the parking garage fee, the tedious hour long wait (because it is apparently impossible for my OB practice to be anything resembling on-time). And the worry. Every time they take a cervical measurement, check for a heartbeat, every time, I can’t breathe again until they say it looks okay. Looks good.
And the second trimester is not a kind place for me. Oh, you worry in the first, most people do, but it’s nothing compared to the second. Not for me. I feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. Every day that goes by is agonizingly slow. I want to go to sleep and wake up on March 1st, with a 24 week old baby. Still on the inside.
I worried, last time. I had the 24 week mark in my mind. But then I got to 20 weeks, and I felt great, and the baby looked great, and the weeks began to pass, and soon it was 22 weeks, and soon it was like, gee, I’m practically there! Look how well this is going! I’m practically to 24 weeks! Why keep worrying? And then the world came crashing down, 6 days shy of 24 weeks. Our daughter, dead, 2 days shy of 24 weeks. And a sheet full of statistics suggesting that those 2 extra days might not have meant as much as I was led to believe, anyway.
So now, no week is safe. 23 weeks and 6 days, not close enough. 24 weeks isn’t even really viability, not to me, not anymore. To me viability is, the doctors stop asking you if you want them to try to save the baby. The doctors stop assuming something will be horribly wrong. 28 weeks. I’ll accept nothing less. And how I feel, lately, is that I have already been at this for so many days, and it’s still SO many more days until any of this even matters. I can keep going every day for the next 7 weeks and 2 days, and it won’t matter. 28 weeks is still so far away. I’m exhausted and kind of worn down, probably more by the thought of having been here before and failing so colossally than from any of the actual medical stuff.
And most of the time, I think, of course this baby will live. OF COURSE he will. Babies aren’t supposed to die, and one should far exceed one couple’s quota for a lifetime. Doesn’t always, though. And I know it. In the back of my head, I know that losing Amy doesn’t protect me from losing this new baby, but most of the time I just pretend that’s not true, because otherwise you can’t do it. You can’t try again, you can’t get pregnant again, you can’t get up every morning and be pregnant again, if you don’t honestly believe that one way or another you are bringing this one home. I really need this baby to live, so I tell myself he will. And I make baby registries and make plans for next year with a baby and buy onesies and name the baby and all the while all I’m really trying to do is ignore the thoughts in the back of my head, the horrible what-ifs. I can’t what-if this. I can’t even acknowledge that a what-if exists.
So I guess, if we’re telling the whole story, right now I’m surviving more than anything else, and faking it ’till we make it. Or at least until we get to 28 weeks, when I’ll feel like I can breathe again, maybe. Maybe just a little.