I keep putting off this post. I'm pregnant—16 weeks, 3 days. And so far, things are good. So far everything seems normal. So far I'm not an emotional wreck. So far.
I do better when I stay in the present.
In just over two weeks, I'll have my level 2 ultrasound. It makes me anxious, as all my appointments due. So I will sit in the waiting room, trying to breathe, in and out, in and out. If I think ahead to that day, I start to tense up. So I stay here in today, where I've just started showing.
My due date is December 22 (the day we buried Henry) and I'll likely have a planned c-section in the week before that (not, I keep reminding them, on December 17). When my mind leaps ahead to December, it also jumps back to last December when I dragged my way through the month, barely able to get through it and back to the December before that when Kathleen was born and my anxiety grew until I could barely breathe. So I stay here in today, where I every now and then feel the first faint movements.
It is better than last time. Last time I was still crushed by the newness of grief. I could only imagine the outcome I had known or the various other scenarios by which you don't bring your baby home. I could plan for a funeral but not buy diapers; I could stock my freezer with food, but not wash the baby clothes. I hadn't started blogging yet, but I was desperate to talk to other people who had had a baby after losing a baby.
This time, I'm already plotting, where we'll put the bassinet now and the swing now that Kathleen's things have taken over the house. I've talked to a friend about covering one of my ongoing freelance jobs for a time after the baby comes. I hesitated to do it, but stepped away from superstition and made the request. Still, I have shared the news slowly and piecemeal.
I don't assume everything will be okay. I don't take for granted that I will bring home a healthy baby sometime before Christmas. But this time, unlike last time, I see that as a possibility, a very real one, and it makes a huge difference.