I’ve written about how I’m finally giving myself some space to hope with this baby. I always follow it with a qualifier though. But there are practical concerns to be considered. We have a major conference we have to be at in early January that’s 500 miles away. I have to make arrangements to be there, even though it’s only 2.5 weeks after my due date. If I’m not there, well, I probably have to push my entrance into the job market off a year – many places do their preliminary interviews at this meeting. But, in case all the pieces fall into place perfectly or crash disastrously, we have to make reservations and such. And, as remote as it seems, I have to make those plans with a baby in mind.
Thank you baby, for kicking me just now because I was worried about talking about planning. That’s the thing. Anytime I write/talk/think about this baby, I wonder if it’s already over. And Natan didn’t die inside my womb. I still worry, though, that this baby will.
Last night we had some people over for a bbq preceding a bachelor party for a friend. Most of the guests were very much more his friends than ours, so that I’m not sure who among them knows our history. One guy, a nice guy who moved away a few years ago, was asking me about my pregnancy. I was probably coming across as the least enthusiastic pregnant woman ever, but the whole premise makes me anxious. I want to be able to talk excitedly, though, I really do. And sometimes, alone with Josh, I can. Or I think I did alright when Kate was here a couple of weeks ago.
I know myself, my mind, my moods fairly well. I sense that it might not be good for me to not hope or think about this baby as if he’s really coming until he actually does. I don’t want to be told that, however, and certainly not by a person who hasn’t felt this devastation. Because it’s certainly not easy, not a matter of simply deciding.
Small things. I’m crocheting a baby blanket and it’s turning out well. For someone with as poor fine motor skils as myself, that’s really something. For someone who’s not craft inclined, that’s something. But it’s a bigger effort than simply purchasing something already made and I wanted to do that. Although I’m not fooling myself into thinking I’m not using some sort of consumer-model optimism here – I didn’t exactly grow the yarn from cotton seed or fashion the crochet hook out of sticks. I hope the baby will like it better than some machine-woven cloth, but we’ll see. In any case, it’s taking time, it seems like a maternal task, and I’m trying very hard not to think morbid thoughts about it.
Julia’s written about A’s room. Niobe about her twins’ room. Monica about making Jimmy’s room ready for Critter. And Meg about not having a room at all. We have a tiny apartment. We were/are just going to pack some stuff away, get rid of a few bookshelves and move the baby in. I cannot stand to be asked about it. I think, though, that that’s less about the “hope” feature than the fact that I’ve already been through that conversation. We’re already supposed to be even more crowded in here.
I complain a lot, I know, about the relentlessness of this journey. I know I chose to not prevent another pregnancy for longer than two months after losing Natan. On the one hand, it’s been great to get certain steps over sooner (would I conceive easily again? would I miscarry? how would I handle the cerclage? the progesterone shots? the weeks where I entered/suffered through PTL?). It’s very much in my personality to just keep on trying, over and over again, until things turn out better. But I’m not reckless.
Emotionally it’s incredibly difficult. And I hope I’m not scaring anyone off of a subsequent pregnancy with my neurosis. But practically there are reasons we did it this way. First, jobs. We wanted the baby to be born early enough to be able to be in daycare by the time we started them. Second, insurance. Not knowing if we’ll get those jobs and knowing our really excellent, free insurance will run out in August ’08, we wanted to get through a pregnancy at least, and hopefully through the earliest pediatric appointments while still on it. Third, proximity. My doctor knows the doctors from the hospital from last time very well, and thus fairly easily accepted their prognosis – other doctors may have wanted to go with the “fluke” diagnosis and not so easily acquiesced to the cerclage and progesterone.
Physically, it’s incredible. I went into my first pregnancy an exceptionally healthy 29 year old. Now I’m 30 years old and my body feels like a mess. I’m still healthier, I’m sure, than many pregnant women. Weight, blood pressure, etc., was still well within the normal spectrum for average. So that helped me decide it was okay. But my left hip is seriously aching, the limp is obvious, and my right knee is for some reason really sore. Lord knows what my overburdened abdomen will look like. I don’t feel very young anymore. Some women would have waited until they were in perfect pre-baby shape again, or followed the strictest recommendations of waiting nine months. But Dr. M. said it was actually just the most important to wait a few cycles to assess whether they’d returned to normal. And thank goodness, mine did. And it’s worth it to me. Even now, before I know the ending, I know I would rather be this mess than to have not tried at all. Again, that’s also something I don’t want to hear from someone who hasn’t been here.
So, I’m wondering now, how is this post about hope? I’ve been complaining through a lot of it. But I must have some because I’m certainly not prone to suffering needlessly. Somewhere inside me, I must really believe this will work out. Partly, it’s brainless optimism. Partly, it’s bitter naivety – defiance even. The universe will not do this to me again. Hell if it won’t though – I know that. Too many women I’ve met online have suffered more than once. And I’m still affected by the two little gravestones near Natan’s. Niobe posted recently about feeling that futility of wondering whether a glass is half empty or half full – she just sees that the whole glass shatters too easily. I flippantly commented that I wouldn’t consider the glass at all. But on reflection, that’s true. I refuse to be convinced one way or the other because it won’t make a difference for the outcome. For the moment, I’m just going to push ahead. I’m planning for this baby to come home, somewhat, simply because it doesn’t make sense to plan otherwise.
And my silly little crocheted blanket helps me make a practice of that.
Aren’t you sorry you missed this? From the Chicago American, December 19, 1835
“A cheese was exhibited in Troy, N.Y. a few weeks since weighing 1400 pounds.”
The funniest part is, I felt the need to copy that announcement into my notes over a year ago.