Tag Archive | due date

Lady-in-Waiting

Today is my due date. I am 40 weeks.

And still waiting.

No surprise really there. I’ve never gone into labor early on my own. Or rather, I’ve never gone into labor on my own. Period.

I’m hoping things will be different this time. When I saw my doctor today, he said, “We’ll induce at 41 weeks” and very sheepishly and sweetly, I asked, “Would you maybe let me go until 42 weeks instead?” He laughed and said to make an appointment for next week and we’ll discuss it then. “I have a feeling we won’t even need to have this discussion,” he said. Whatever that means. But I hope he has good instincts and his “feeling” is right.

I can’t tell if Poppy is getting ready or not. I’m only dilated 1cm and Poppy hasn’t dropped and sometimes I fear that he’s still flipping around in there, even though he’s been head-down at my last three appointments. And he is constantly head-butting my cervix, which causes a lot of discomfort and momentarily feels as if he’s already tunneling his way into my vajayjay. I seem to be having a lot of Braxton Hicks too and spent two hours the other day with the weirdest vaginal cramping that had me wondering if it was pre-labor. And I think, over the last day or two, I’ve started losing my mucous plug in pieces. So I’m hopeful my body is doing something. But it could just be wishful thinking. I’m really good at that.

The other day, I read a stillbirth story. I’ve been on edge ever since. Many a night has been spent awake doing kick counts every hour. I burst into tears the other day when Poppy didn’t move for a while. I’m starting to feel panicked all the time. It’s not necessarily unusual for me in pregnancy, especially towards the end, it’s just…I had been doing so well. But it seems that the trauma of infertility and loss never goes away. There is a part of me that always feels as though I am a blink or breath away from losing this baby. I don’t always feel ready for him to come and yet…I am. I’m ready for the reassurance of his first cry and the soft warmth of him on my chest. I’m ready for the realness of him, knowing he’s safe and healthy and here, and for the freedom from obsessing over the endless sad possibilities and unlikely outcomes. Now that I type it here, I feel more ready than ever.

Well, except my mom isn’t here yet. She arrives tomorrow. She’ll be staying until early November to help out and I’m looking forward to having the next five weeks be laundry-, dishes-, and housework-free, so that I can be solely focused on this baby and helping all of us transition to being a family of five. Moms are the best. Though I know from experience that there will be plenty of spats, disagreements, and annoyances. What can you expect when you spend an entire five weeks with someone without a break? I dread the conflict that is on its way, but remain excited for the rest of it.

Today, I’m finding that I’m extraordinarily tired and irritable. I have patience for nothing, which is not exactly how I wanted to feel when we reached this momentous occasion. I did quietly celebrate with a doughnut this morning, but that seems small in comparison to how huge it is to finally reach this day. Within two weeks (I assume?), there will be a new baby in our lives. That’s BIG! I wish I wasn’t spending the moment moping around the house, snapping at my children, barely able to keep my eyes open, and without any energy to even put together a simple dinner.

But through it all, through the grumpies and the sleepies and the leave-me-alone-please-ies, I remain grateful. The funk I am in will pass and, at the end of it, there is a baby. There are three babies, really, from ages four to zero who are mine. Mine. How incredible to think that six years ago, I was weeping because I didn’t know if I would ever have one. And soon, there will be a third. It’s miraculous.

I’m lucky. I’m thankful. That will always be so.

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To You, On the Day in Which You Were to Be Born

My dearest tiny Teddy Graham,

Today is the day in which you would have, could have, and should have entered the world, naked and gooey, beautiful and perfect. It is the day I was to hear your first cry and the day I would have held you in my arms, finally. Today could have been your day to shine, and yet it’s still your day, and always will be, regardless of whether you are here or not.

It is a relatively nice day here in our new town, considering we’re in the last days of autumn. A little rainy and the mid-40s. So very different from when your sister came during the first snowfall of the season and the temperature was 15 degrees. Today would have been a perfect day to be born. I wish you could have been. For me, it’s turning out to be a much harder day than I anticipated. I thought I could make it through without any tears, but instead I can’t stop crying, or imagining, or wishing for what was. I can’t stop thinking of you.

I am so sorry, my sweet angel baby, that you never had a chance. Already, in the short time that you were with me, I had plans for you, hopes for holidays at Disney World and a happy childhood and a college education. And I often wonder what you would be like, if you would look like your sister when she was born or something completely different. Would you be quiet or colicky? Would you be happy or serious? Would you have my nose? Your daddy’s toes? Cupcake’s cheeks? Your grammy’s eyes? Or would you be someone fully, totally, uniquely you? It is a sad thing that I will never know and that you will never get to grow and evolve and become who you were meant to be. And I am sad for the world, because it would be better if you were in it. I am certain of that.

I want you to know that I never once have regretted your existence. I am not sorry that you were conceived. I am not sorry that I knew the joy of having you in my life. My only regret is that you left so soon. But you are still my little miracle. It does not matter that you did not make it. You are as precious and as cherished as any other miracle in my life. And there is a tiny part of me that does not want another miracle, another baby, because it is you who I want. I want it to be you who grows in my belly and tunnels through my pelvis and suckles at my breast. I know that can never be. You are where you are and there is no reaching you, not now. And I know that I would never forgive myself if I quit now, if I fail to give your sister the one thing I never had as a child: a sibling. So we will move forward and continue trying, but please rest assured that no one else will ever replace you. For the rest of our lives, there will be someone missing. Someone missing in our home. In our family. During the holidays. At the dinner table. You are, and will always be, missed.

But in your life and your death, I have gained so much. Things like strength and faith and hope. I have learned a lot about myself and about others. I have made new friends, because of you. Some of my relationships have faltered in my loss, but others have grown. I know now that it is possible for me to love someone in the most extraordinary ways from the moment they enter my life. And I know what it means to lose one of the most treasured things in life, the intensity of the broken heart in those first weeks, and the tide of pain that ebbs and flows in the months thereafter.

Our Christmas tree is up and I should be facing middle-of-the-night feedings and diaper blowouts, or preparing the nursery and our home for your imminent arrival. Instead, I am trying to find ways  to remember you and to keep you alive in our small family. This ornament was placed on our tree today, for you:

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I have also hung a stocking for you. And today, I am wearing a bracelet with pink and blue roses that says “Remember.” I am writing you this letter, as I have occasionally done in the past. And every night, we still light a candle for  you. I imagine that we will stop doing some of these things as the years go by, but I don’t ever want to let people forget about you. You will not be forgotten. Not in our home or in my heart.

There are several people who miss you, who still mourn for you, people like your daddy and my mother. Maybe even my sister. But no one will ever miss you like I do. You grew inside of me, and I am so thankful for that, even if it was just for a few short weeks.  I still weep for you, Teddy. Every day, I wish you were here and that you never had to leave. I look at other infants and think of you. Forever and ever, you will be my baby. But I must believe that we’ll see each other again. One day, in an everlasting life, I will hold you in my arms. I can’t wait, my darling. I love you.

xoxoxo,

Mommy