This whole Pregnant-After-A-Loss thing is so tricky.
Half the time — oh who am I kidding? — ALL the time, I never quite know how to feel.
Regardless, Passenger #2 keeps growing. Keeps kicking. Keeps making him/herself known in various ways throughout the day. I am happy and thankful for that.
Still doesn’t make the emotional side of everything easier, however.
I am rapidly coming up on the “big” ultrasound — the 20 week appointment where the medical professionals make sure everything looks like it’s developing okay, but where all parents-to-be are eager to see the “big gender reveal.” I’m kind of OCD about it, in that I feel massive pressure to have a name Picked and Ready before we walk into the exam room.
At first, I Dreaded It. I didn’t even really want to schedule the appointment. How on earth could we come up with another name — especially a boy’s name? How could I walk fearlessly, let alone hopefully, into that room knowing all the problems they might find, just in case Fate has it Out For Us, just in case we aren’t supposed to bring this one home, either? Each day is an exercise in endurance — not the anticipation, not the excitement a pregnant woman should be experiencing. So many hours of so many days spent walking on proverbial eggshells, stressing about the last thing I ate, the weight of the box I just lifted, the wood smoke I just inhaled from a neighbor’s bonfire, whether I should have done X, Y, or Z, and if my worries are all in my head or if they are valid… The minefield that is Pregnancy-After-A-Loss stretches for what feels like forever in front of me. Some days it’s paralyzing, realizing I’m carrying something so entirely precious, so entirely wanted… and knowing it can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Knowing I could “pay my dues,” put in my time, and still — STILL! — walk away with nothing to show for it. (I wouldn’t be the first woman that has happened to, and it is my greatest fear.)
I didn’t even want to look at names. It felt futile, so wrong. Almost like accepting ‘congratulations’ before we actually have a living child in our arms.
But slowly, I came around.
And now, there are two names posted up on my mirror and I’m kind of looking forward to the appointment. It’s almost an alien feeling. I have forgotten how to anticipate, so focused have I been on avoiding the pitfalls.
But here, at two weeks away from halfway there, I am finding a tiny seed of hope growing tenderly. The baby kicks and rolls around in my belly with vigor… and I find myself wanting to know who the Passenger is. Even if it hurts in the long run.
And that’s a start. 🙂