I can confirm that after two lines, three ultrasounds (including an anatomy scan), and many months of all-day sickness that I am expecting a baby boy in November.
While everyone “in real life” knows, I have struggled immensely with writing about it. Maybe its because the written word is so concrete when pregnancy still feels so uncertain. Maybe it’s because I am scared to find myself, like three years ago, struggling to come to terms with the loss of a baby.
So why now? Well three things.
1) Today at work an older woman asked me if this was my first child. I said yes and she said she had 6 children within 9 years. Prior to the first baby she had two tubal pregnancies and thought she would never be able to have children. Suddenly I felt guilty because I know it’s not my first child but I automatically assume people will not understand. Losing a child, particularly a child that never crawled, walked, or cried creates these odd silences in your life. When someone asks me how many children I have, I get silent–waiting for the “right” response to bounce off my tongue. When I am lying in bed and I think about finally meeting him, I remember what it was like the last time. I pushed through unbearable pain just like all the women down the hall but it was only me whose room grew silent once it was all over. No cries from her and no cries from me. Just silence. The same silence that followed me home that evening but a quiet room means nothing to restless mind. And that’s the way every. single. day. felt for two years. So why did I think it would be a good idea to try this pregnancy thing again?
2) I lost Marième at 26 weeks. She was born on November 2. I am due on November 23. Being a little over 26 weeks breaks my heart again for the void that I will never be able to fill. Sometimes Marième seems like some imaginary child that I conjured up for the heck of it but then he moves and I remember just how real it all was/is. And there was/is nothing I can do. It could all be over in one night’s sleep and what will I do then?
3) I have been able to distract myself with work and our impending move cross country (that will be addressed in another post) but as the months wear on, I just want him here. I want to finally hold him and be at peace that he made it safely on the other side. Yes, I have heard “you will never not worry” about your child. I understand that. However, unless you have struggled to bring one child safely into the world, until you have held your baby whose eyes will never blink back at you, whose mouth will never crease into a smile, or whose shrieks will never pierce your ears, you will never understand the relief of just being able to see them everyday. You cannot fathom what it’s like to be told that you can only hold your baby for so long because they will start to turn colors. You cannot fathom what it feels like to realize today is National Rainbow Baby Day and you are still not sure that the baby you are carrying will be your be your rainbow because the finish line is so far away.
None of these thoughts are particularly uplifting, I have no answers to my problems and maybe that is the real reason I couldn’t announce that we are expecting a baby.
I want to control how the narrative of the second pregnancy/second baby will end. I wanted to write about him after his arrival because I’m too frightened to write about happiness and my hopes/dreams, only for him to be gone while my words live on. I guess I just don’t want to remember how much I love him if I will never be to tell him.