23w4d. I remember that night so clearly, even though it should have been a blur. Coming off of the magnesium, I felt stoned and unhappy and it hurt to look at anything. We tried to watch the season premiere of Bones – which I stupidly forgot was the birth episode – but I was unfocused and out of it.
But I remember it so clearly, the danger lurking in the corner. I was off the magnesium and we would find out if that was all that was between us and labor. I wanted to sleep so we could wake up the next morning and be okay, but something was so obviously off that I couldn’t sleep more than 20 minutes at a time. I dozed, and Dan slept next to me in the hospital-issued pullout chair, and every 30 minutes I woke him up. “I don’t feel right,” I’d say. “I’m scared.” He’d sit with me and tell me it would be okay, until the moment, around 4:30 or 5 in the morning, when it became clear that everything would NOT be okay. And then he told me that. And that – him, us, that was the only part that was even remotely okay. Just after 7 AM, after less than an hour of active labor, our daughter was born. Stillborn. Two days too early for even that sliver of hope. 16 weeks and 2 days too early.
And now here we are again. And things are so different this time. I’m not in the hospital. I’m not in labor. I’m stitched up, medicated, my cervix is not as awesome as I’d like but it’s still plenty long and it’s still closed, and this baby is doing his thing in there, kicking away, practicing breathing, getting bigger every day.
Everything is different this time. But I’m still so afraid to sleep tonight.