Julia wrote a stunning post yesterday about her day at the beach. I was incredibly jealous of her description of swimming out to a catamaran to get a picture of her daughter and husband. She talks about the “risk aversion monster” – this great problem we now have of being hyper-aware of all risks. Certainly I am that way – I commented that I’m nervous every time Josh goes out on his bike, that some crazy SUV driver is going to take him out. But I’m not new to risk awareness. It’s the fear that’s different in me.I never thought I was exempt – I just never cared so much when the only person at risk was me. In less than a week, this baby will be viable (barely). Soon he’ll begin to hear and have something of a memory. I decided to have another pregnancy knowing it would be high risk. I decided the risk was worth it. I’m no so sure it would be again. If he’s born early and has special needs as a result – we will have decided it was worth the risk to make him live life, we will be the ones insisting that doctors try to save his life. And we’ll all be living with the results. But mostly him.
When other people say they know it’ll all be fine, I wonder if they believe it. Why do people think things will be fine? What do they mean by that?
If this baby is born early, and has a disability as a result, there will be people, even in our families, who will regret that he survived. There are people, even in our family, who never even acknowledge our firstborn son because he didn’t.
What I want to know, but can never know, is whether they suffer because of their limited vision of life. Am I better off because I know what it means to love someone who was born too soon and then died? Or am I suffering more because I acknowledge him as real while they’re getting off easy by denying it? Are people who run from anything less than “perfection,” and even perhaps secretly despise it, hurt? Or do they just not think about it at all?
Our relatives, and the various relatives you all are struggling with, is their coldness costing them anything?
I thought I’d be an hysterical crying mess these few weeks. Instead I’m distracted and confused. If I try to write, I stare at the screen blankly. When I read, my mind is racing, thinking of anything besides the words on the page. Early on I had a smart strategy for avoiding worry – not calculating gestation dates. Not working anymore. And of course there’s a plethora of new worries. Dr. K said I’m doing well considering, and that may be true, but unfortunately it’s not so much a signal of my optimism as a sign that I feel resigned. This baby’s either coming home alive or he’s not and of course I’ll do everything I can, but will that matter? I’m going to be destroyed if he doesn’t though.
Two days from when I entered the hospital with Natan, I feel fairly confident I won’t be in the hospital on Wednesday. With a cervix above 3.5 cm, I don’t think we’ll be delivering this boy at 25 weeks. Dr. K said this morning she doesn’t want me on strict bed rest since the cervix isn’t changing much, but that I’m just to rest when contractions come. I’m still going to take it very easy though, and see where I am at my appointment next Monday.